Hizb Allah asserts right to mine border

Lebanon's Hizb Allah has said for the first time in public it has the right to plant explosives on the border with Israel.

    Nasr Allah insists Lebanon has right to defend itself from Israel

    "There are some border places where the Israelis are used to crossing. I say it in public: It is our right to plant explosives there and prepare ambushes there," Hasan Nasr Allah, Hizb Allah secretary general, told thousands of supporters on Sunday. 

    "The Israeli enemy has no right to ask the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to come and remove them." 

    UN Concern

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed concern two weeks ago about Hizb Allah planting mines along the border, as well as Israeli flights over southern Lebanon, describing border
    tensions as "frequently high and the situation fragile". 

    The UN Security Council at the same time urged Lebanon to assert its authority across the south rather than leave it in the hands of Hizb Allah, which fought the 22-year Israeli occupation of the region until Israel withdrew in May 2000. 

    Nasr Allah said while Israeli forces were able to cross into
    Lebanon, Hizb Allah had the right to defend the area. 

    "Is it required that this area be left abandoned so that the Israelis enter to plant explosives here and there, to kill someone or kidnap someone?" he asked. 

    Nasr Allah was speaking to Hizb Allah supporters gathered in
    Jibsheet in southern Lebanon to celebrate the release of
    hundreds of Arab prisoners from Israel under a swap agreement. 

    Next stage

    Nasr Allah said he would stipulate to German mediators that secrecy surround the next swap, expected within three months. 

    "I have agreed with my brethren that we have to enter this stage with secrecy, because media statements and speeches could harm or block it," said Nasr Allah. He blamed Israeli news coverage of the last swap for repeated delays. 

    "There are some border places where the Israelis are used to crossing. I say it in public: It is our right to plant explosives there and prepare ambushes there."

    Hasan Nasr Allah
    Hizb Allah secretary general

    The next stage of the talks is expected to focus on the fate of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad, who bailed out over Lebanon in 1986, and include the release of Samir al-Qantar, the last Lebanese prisoner in Israel. 

    Hizb Allah destroyed an Israeli bulldozer in the border region by missile last month, killing the soldier driving it. 

    "The fate of the Israeli bulldozer is what any Israeli will meet if they put a foot inside Lebanese land or water," Nasr Allah told the crowd on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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