Hezbollah to follow closely Israeli drill along Lebanese borderApril 6th, 2008 - 2:51 am ICT by admin
Beirut, April 6 (DPA) The Shia movement of Lebanon is to “follow closely” Israel army manoeuvres planned for Sunday, the group’s commander in south Lebanon, Nabil Kaouk, was quoted as saying Saturday. “Israel’s military drill is not a testament of its strength but of its frustration and despair following its defeat in the Second Lebanon War,” Hezbollah television al-Manar quoted Kaouk as saying.
According to Lebanese security sources, Hezbollah has put its militants in a state of full alert ahead of Sunday’s manoeuvres.
Israeli media have reported that Israel will hold from Sunday a large-scale civil defence exercise featuring scenarios including simulated missile attacks on populated areas - some with chemical warheads.
UN sources in southern Lebanon said the peacekeepers will also “be watching the situation along the border with Lebanon Sunday”.
Lebanese army commander Michel Suleiman and also the country’s Prime Minister Foaud Seniora have called on the UN peace mission forces in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) to “monitor closely the situation at the borders with Israel”.
Foreign Minister Fawzi Salkouh, who is close to Hezbollah, also described the Israeli army drill as “dangerous”.
Salkouh warned that Israel could exploit major military exercises to exacerbate tensions along the volatile border between the two countries.
Salkouh also expressed concern that Israel could violate the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which was adopted to end the month-long war between the Shia militant group Hezbollah and Israel in south Lebanon in 2006.
According to Lebanese security sources, General Claudio Graziano, the commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, informed the Lebanese army that Israel was planning “unprecedented and massive military manoeuvres April 6″.