REPORT: Israel warns Lebanese gov't it will be responsible for any Hezbollah retaliation

Message sent via UNIFIL forces following Hezbollah's threats to retaliate for air-strike earlier this week on weapons convoy attributed to IAF.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 28, 2014 11:13
1 minute read.
UNIFIL peacekeepers at the Israel-Lebanon border.

UNIFIL in Lebanon 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Israel sent a warning to the Lebanese government in Beirut by way of UNIFIL that it would be held responsible for any attacks by Hezbollah that are launched from Lebanese soil, reported al-Akhbar News Agency on Friday.

The warning comes in connection to Hezbollah's threats of retaliation for an air-strike on a Hezbollah missile convoy near the border with Syria, which was attributed to the IAF by foreign media sources.  The strike would have been a first on Lebanese soil as recent attacks attributed to Israel have taken place on the Syrian side of the border.

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On Monday, Israeli warplanes allegedly struck Hezbollah targets near the Lebanese-Syria border.  An unspecified number of Hezbollah militants were killed in the airstrike, according to pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya.

A Lebanese security source was quoted saying that the Janta region where the alleged airstrike took place is known to be a hotbed of Hezbollah recruitment and training. It is also considered a key stop on the route through which arms are smuggled between Lebanon and Syria.

At first, Hezbollah denied the airstrike on its television network al-Manar. However, on Wednesday, the network quoted Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah who vowed to respond "at the time and place of our [Hezbollah's] choosing."

"It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon," Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Friday.

"It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist attack - whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind - on the State of Israel," he told Israel Radio. 



Meanwhile, Lebanon filed a complaint the the UN Security Council against Israel over the Israeli strikes, according to a report in Lebanon's Daily Star.  

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil condemned the Israeli strikes saying that Israel was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War, according to the Lebanese news outlet.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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