Hizbullah Warns it Will Resume Fight if Israel Remains in Lebanon

Published June 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Hizbullah threatened Saturday that its fighters will resume their anti-Israeli attacks unless UN officials halt Israeli "encroachment" on Lebanese territory, in a statement ahead of a visit by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. 

"All the violations must be stopped in strict accordance with Lebanon's observations. Otherwise, we will consider that the mission to liberate Lebanese territory has not completely ended," Hizbullah said. 

In that case, "resistance remains our first option to liberate the last inch" of land, said the group, which conducted most of the attacks on Israeli occupation troops before their May 24 withdrawal. 

Hizbullah said that Annan's announcement Friday that Israel has withdrawn to the international border, fulfilling United Nations Security Council Resolution 425, is "inaccurate," "hasty" and "out of touch with reality." 

Annan, who will travel to Lebanon Monday, said that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) had confirmed that Israel had withdrawn its forces "in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425." 

But Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss said Israel had "sadly not pulled out completely from Lebanese territory." 

He said Lebanese observers working with UNIFIL had noted that "several Israeli military posts are still situated inside Lebanese borders and that several pieces of Lebanese land are still under Israeli control." 

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud earlier told Annan in a four-page memorandum that the UN had been too hasty in mapping the border to which Israel had to withdraw and called the UN line "fictitious." 

Hizbullah said, "We regret that the United Nations is covering for the continuing Zionist occupation of Lebanese territory and that it agrees that one of its decisions, after a wait of 22 years, should be partially implemented."  

"We have followed and will continue to follow all the steps at this level, and we are awaiting the final result, it added. 

Annan, who starts a six-country Middle East tour Saturday in Morocco, is scheduled to visit Lebanon Monday for talks with Hoss and Lahoud – BEIRUT (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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