Ahmed Abul Gheit, Egypt's foreign minister, said that Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, sought war with Israel to foil plans by the Lebanese government to disarm the group.

 

"There had been an agreement, through discussions in Lebanon, to implement the 1989 Taif Accord, which calls for the disarming of the militias in the country," the minister said in an interview with Egyptian public television late on Saturday.

 

"Perhaps through the operation [against Israel] Nasrallah wanted to find a way out of the situation," he said.

 

Abul Gheit also condemned Nasrallah for launching what he called a "not very calculated" operation which had exposed the country to "great losses, even if some feel pride or victory".

 

"Any military operation must have a political goal. This operation did not achieve anything," he said.

 

Goals questioned

 

Abul Gheit also questioned the political goals of Hezbollah's actions, noting that the disputed eastern Shebaa Farms are still under Israeli occupation.

 

Hezbollah says the Shebaa Farms area is occupied Lebanese territory, however Israel and the United Nations say the farms are on the Syrian side of the border and therefore are part of the Golan Heights, which Israel has occupied since 1967.

 

Israel launched a massive military offensive in Lebanon on July 12 after two Israeli soldiers were seized by Hezbollah during a cross-border raid.

 

The month-long war killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly  civilians, and 160 Israelis, mainly soldiers.