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Lebanon to react to Israel invasion

Lebanese President Emile Lahud has vowed that his country will react to any new Israeli violation of Lebanese sovereignty.

Last Modified: 22 Jan 2004 22:29 GMT
Lahud denounced 'great powers' for failing to take a stand

Lebanese President Emile Lahud has vowed that his country will react to any new Israeli violation of Lebanese sovereignty.

A flare-up on the border with Israel started on Monday after violations of Lebanese airspace by Israeli warplanes prompted anti-aircraft fire from forces of the Lebanese Shia group Hizb Allah. 

Hizb Allah fighters then destroyed an Israeli bulldozer that the United Nations later said had violated Lebanese territory. 

The attack, which killed an Israeli soldier and wounded another, prompted Israeli air raids on Tuesday on targets deep in southern Lebanon, which brought stern UN condemnation. 

'Aggression'

Speaking after Thursday's weekly cabinet meeting, Lahud said "we do not want to carry out attacks, but we will not allow Israel to establish a new equation based on (the principle) of aggression without response. 

"After the aggression, the adequate deterrence was carried out against what Israel did," Lahud was quoted as saying by Information Minister Michel Samaha. 

Without naming them, Samaha criticised "great powers" for
failing to acknowledge that Israel was responsible for the
violations and the eruption of violence, putting both sides on equal footing. 

Providing security

Israeli warplanes violated
Lebanese airspace on Monday

"We ask the great powers dealing with the south (of Lebanon) to see with both their eyes," he said. "Are some countries asking Lebanon not to respond when subject to aggression? 

"The security forces are carrying out their duty in southern Lebanon and are providing security to the Lebanese," he said. 

"If the government were not responsible for the security, the
great powers and the United Nations would not have participated in financing reconstruction projects in the south," he said. 

Samaha was apparently referring to the United States and France, which called on both sides to observe restraint and repeated demands for the deployment of the Lebanese army at the borders. 

Source:
AFP
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