Netanyahu downplays tension between Israel and Lebanon 2009-08-12 02:03:06   Print

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that there are no special signs of imminent escalation of tensions along the border between Israel and Lebanon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks out of a surveillance aircraft during his inspection to the Hatzerim air base in southern Israel on August 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Pool-Uriel Sinai)
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    "We are not drifting toward war. It is just a media storm," local daily Ha'aretz quoted Netanyahu as saying, when he visited Hatzerim Air Force Base, near Beersheba.

    Verbal wars erupted recently between Israeli and Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah officials, as both sides accused each other of intending to wage another war.

    The Prime Minister said on Monday that Israel would hold Beirut accountable for any attack on Israeli targets from Lebanon, if Hezbollah joins the new government.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) sits in the cockpit of F-15i fighter jet, during his inspection to the Hatzerim air base in southern Israel on August 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Pool)
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    While Hezbollah's Vice Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem said on the same day that resistance against Israel is neither an option of the political moment nor a momentary reaction, but a fortification of independence.

    The daily Ha'aretz reported Tuesday, citing a Lebanese army source, that Lebanese army was forced on alert, after Israeli forces had reportedly advanced to the controversial border area ofthe Shaba farms.

    However, Netanyahu said, replying to a reporter's question, that "there is nothing in particular going on" at the border, another local news service Ynet reported.

    The mounting tension came as a suspected Hezbollah arms and ammunition depot exploded on July 14 in South Lebanon. Both Israel and the UN interim forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) called it a serious violation of UN Resolution 1701, which ends the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 and prohibits any unauthorized arms in UNIFIL's operation area.

Editor: Yan
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