Despite recent accusations to the contrary, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said in an article published on Saturday that Israel was not preparing to launch another war against Lebanon in the near future, but he added that in the long run this was not a certainty.
"There are no serious signs that point to an Israeli intent to engage in a renewed war with Lebanon, despite its violations, attacks, and the fact that it hides secret spy rings in Lebanon," Salloukh said during an interview with the London-based daily, Asharq Alawsat. But he added that the presence of such spy rings leads to a conclusion that "[Israel] is laying the grounds for justifying every future war it decides to launch."
On Tuesday, a Katyusha rocket was launched from Lebanon into northern Israel. Israel responded by immediately shelling the area from which the rocket was fired.
"Israel reacted in a disproportionate way to the rocket fire," Salloukh said, "this, despite the fact that we condemned the rocket fire and immediately opened an investigation."
"The Lebanese army and UNIFIL peacekeepers immediately launched an investigation into the attack in order to discover who was behind the rocket fire," he continued. "[Lebanon] operates in cooperation with the UN troops in order to preserve the security in the southern part of the country."
Following the rocket attack, a joint force of Lebanese Armed Forces and UNIFIL troops discovered four more Katyushas in southern Lebanon, and on Saturday, Israel Radio reported that Lebanese troops had arrested the mastermind behind Tuesday's attack. According to the report, the man had ties with an al-Qaida-linked terror group in the country.
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