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'Hizbullah should join Lebanese Army'
August 20, 2010 12:11
Beirut politician proposes reinforcing LAF in southern border region.
Hizbullah fighters in training [illustrative]

Hizbullah fighters in training [illustrative]. (photo credit:AP)

Hizbullah forces should accept Lebanese Army command, Lebanese Forces party chief Samir Geagea proposed yesterday during high level defense strategy talks between Beirut officials, Lebanese media reported on Friday. His proposal was positioned as a way to solve the problem of Hizbullah's large-scale possession of weaponry even though it is a non-state actor.

Geagea's proposal also included a plan to reinforce the Lebanese Armed Forces deployment in South Lebanon with 3000-4000 special force troops, who could potentially be disguised in civilian dress and dispersed in urban areas throughout the region bordering Israel.

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The head of the pro-Hizbullah party Loyalty to Resistance MP Mohammed Raad rejected Geagea's proposal out of hand as an attempt to marginalize Hizbullah's power base.

"The aim of Geagea's proposal is not to defend Lebanon, but rather to get rid of Hizbullah and its arms," Raad was quoted by Lebanese newspaper An Nahar as saying.

Israel vowed to respond harshly to further Lebanese aggression after a reserve battalion commander was killed in the beginning of August and another soldier was seriously wounded in the worst violence along the northern border since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

The IDF is concerned with the radicalization that the LAF has undergone over the past year, including the assistance it provides Hizbullah in hiding its arms caches and operations throughout southern Lebanon.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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