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Hizbullah possesses sophisticated weapons that could be used to target Israel, a retired Lebanese army general said Wednesday, a day after the group's leader promised that Israel would face a "big surprise" if it invaded Lebanon.
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer also said he recommended taking Nasrallah's comments seriously.
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"Nasrallah has never lied. He is cocky, he is arrogant, but at least from our experience with him, to my regret, what he has said, he has done. And when he says 'I have 20,000 missiles' I believe him," Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio on Wednesday.
In a speech marking the year anniversary of the cease-fire that ended last's summer's Israel-Hezbollah war, the Shi'ite Muslim group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, warned Israel against striking Lebanon.
Retired Lebanese army Gen. Elias Hanna said Wednesday he believes Nasrallah's speech shows that Hizbullah possesses thousands of advanced anti-aircraft missiles.
"Israel has air superiority. So Hizbullah must act to deny Israel this superiority by using advanced anti-aircraft missiles," Hanna told The Associated Press.
Hanna said that in addition to Hizbullah's possession of long-range missiles, "there is a possibility that Hizbullah may have some sleeper cells inside Israel that could be activated in the event of war." He also warned the group could have sleeper cells abroad, though it has denied this allegation.