Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Hizbullah "is real Lebanese army, not sideline militia as in the past." The Israeli leader made the remarks to members of Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
"If in the past we considered Hizbullah as a sideline militia, today Hizbullah is the real Lebanese army," he said. "It has replaced the Lebanese army as a significant force; it is arming and organizing as a real army. The Lebanese government and Hizbullah are becoming interwoven in each other – and they will suffer the consequences of any violation against Israel," he added.
Netanyahu said Israel wants direct talks with Syria, but if mediator needed, he prefers France over Turkey.