Lebanon to 'uncover spying networks'

Lebanon determined to u

November 1, 2009 15:35
1 minute read.

Israeli spying devices on foreign soil are a clear violation of international resolutions, Lebanese Interior Minister Ziad Baroud said during a visit to southern Lebanon on Sunday. Baroud, a rising Maronite politician who was appointed interior minister in 2008 as a representative of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman's bloc, expressed his "determination to continue to uncover espionage networks." The Lebanese interior minister's remarks came a day after Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon admitted that Israel was gathering intelligence within Lebanon and would continue to do so until Hizbullah renounced its arms. "During a conflict with an enemy, one must gather intelligence," he said, adding that the conflict would end once peace with Lebanon was achieved. In October, Hizbullah had claimed a blast near Lebanon's border with Israel had been caused by the detonation of an Israeli "spying device" which had been exposed by the Lebanese army. Following the incident, Lebanon filed a complaint against Israel with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Lebanese government would not stand for such flagrant violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, said Baroud, "especially when a reprehensible enemy declares its persistence to plant espionage networks" in the country. Baroud stressed that Israel's actions affected not only Hizbullah and the Shi'ite-dominated southern part of the country, but also Lebanon's sovereignty and its populace, referring to the "days of occupation" the region had undergone during the IDF's 1982 Operation Peace in Galilee. Concerning Hizbullah's paramilitary activity in Lebanon, cited by Ya'alon as grounds for Israeli espionage, Baroud declared that the people of Lebanon all had "a national responsibility to protect" their homeland. Hizbullah's "resistance," he said, continually paid a heavy price for its defense of the country.

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