Israel to hit Lebanon if Hezbollah attacks: defense minister



WASHINGTON- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Monday that Israel will strike directly at Lebanese institutions if the militant group Hezbollah launches rockets at Israel.
Barak, who held talks in Washington on Monday with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, made clear in an interview that his government will not tolerate any more Hezbollah attacks.



Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
If Hezbollah fires a rocket into Tel Aviv, "we will not run after each Hezbollah terrorist or launcher," Barak told The Washington Post.
"We will see it as legitimate to hit any target that belongs to the Lebanese state, not just to Hezbollah," he added.
When asked to comment on the Barak interview, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said: "Israel has a right to self defense. Obviously we'd rather see a launch of peace talks than rockets."
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said Israel is "trying to justify a war against Lebanon that it could launch when it wishes" and has complained of Israeli surveillance flights over Lebanese territory, The Post pointed out.
Tensions between Israel and Lebanon have escalated amid reports that Lebanese activists plan to dispatch aid ships to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip despite an Israeli blockade, the newspaper said.
Barak called the aid ships an "unnecessary provocation", according to The Post.
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Tuesday, July 27th 2010
AFP
           


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