Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Israeli D.M. warns Hezbollah against taking revenge

JERUSALEM, April 1 (Xinhua)

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Tuesday warned Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah against taking any revenge measures for the killing of its senior commander Imad Mughniyeh, which Hezbollah believes was perpetrated by Israel.

Barak voiced the warning while speaking to Israeli soldiers during a tour of the country's northern border, local daily Jerusalem Post reported.

"Israel is the strongest country in the region and I wouldn't recommend that anyone provoke us," Barak was quoted by local daily Jerusalem Post as telling the soldiers there.

Hezbollah is becoming stronger and so is Israel, Barak said, noting that the Israel Defense Forces is prepared for all eventualities.

"Hezbollah is currently refraining from firing but has not stopped hatching plans in the entire area," he added. "Hezbollah's activity continues and we continue to monitor the activity and deployment of the organization."

Barak called on Israeli soldiers to maintain vigilance, saying that they must be alert at all times and ready to respond quickly.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed on March 8 that the country would achieve deterrence against terror groups as it had done against Hezbollah.

Olmert made the remarks while speaking on the occasion of the International Women's Day in a Tel Aviv suburb.

Mughniyeh was assassinated on Feb. 12 in a car bomb in the Syrian capital of Damascus. After the assassination, Hezbollah blamed Israel for having carried out the strike and vowed to hit Jewish targets outside Israel in retaliation.

The Israeli government has denied any involvement in the death of Mughniyeh.

Read also "Barak warns Hizbullah: 'I wouldn't recommend that anyone provoke us" (JP)


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