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Middle east

PM Hariri concerned over 'escalating' Israeli military incursions

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-10

Prime Minister Saad Hariri voiced concern over daily Israeli military incursions into Lebanese airspace in a BBC interview broadcast Wednesday, raising fears of another Israeli offensive against Hezbollah on Lebanese territory.

AFP - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri voiced concern about Israeli threats and escalating military activity in a BBC interview broadcast Wednesday.
Israeli officials have warned repeatedly in recent weeks that any attack by Lebanon's Syrian-backed Hezbollah will spark a tough response, and have been locked in a war of words with Syrian leaders.
"We hear a lot of Israeli threats day in and day out, and not only threats," Hariri told the British broadcaster.
"We see what's happening on the ground and in our airspace and what's happening all the time during the past two months - every day we have Israeli planes entering Lebanese airspace.
"This is something that is escalating, and this is something that is really dangerous," said the prime minister.
A month-long Israeli offensive in the summer of 2006 against Hezbollah strongholds destroyed large swathes of south Lebanon and Beirut's southern suburbs, but did more damage to the reputation of the Jewish state's military than the Shiite movement.
The war killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.
Hariri warned Israel not to count on Lebanon, whose politics is highly factious, remaining divided in case of an attack.
"I think they're betting that there might be some division in Lebanon, if there is a war against us," said the prime minister.
"Well, there won't be a division in Lebanon. We will stand against Israel. We will stand with our own people."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to ease tensions on Sunday, saying Israel wants peace with all of its neighbours, but had last week accused Beirut of allowing Hezbollah to smuggle weapons into Lebanon in "blatant violation" of the UN resolution which ended the 2006 war.

Date created : 2010-02-10