Israel warns Syria, Lebanon after Hizbullah attack
Israel told the United Nations on Friday that raids on northern Israel by Hizbullah in southern Lebanon threatened to increase regional tensions and undermine Middle East peace efforts.
"This latest escalation in Hizbullah attacks confirms that the terrorist organization, and its sponsoring states, continue to seek to destabilize the region, despite Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon over three years ago," Israel's Ambassador Dan Gillerman wrote to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
His letter warned Syria and Lebanon that Israel would have "no option but to take the necessary measures to protect its citizens" unless they restrained Hizbullah from further attacks. But Hizbullah warned more raids could be on the way.
Gillerman sent the letter after Hizbullah used anti-tank missiles and mortar bombs in the first attack in eight months on Israeli posts in the occupied Shebaa Farms area.
Gillerman's letter said Syria, as "the power broker and the occupying force in Lebanon," as well as Lebanon bore blame for the attacks and regional instability due to their failure to "suppress Hizbullah and ensure effective control" of southern Lebanon as required by Security Council resolutions.
A copy of the letter was sent to Syrian Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe, the Security Council president for August.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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