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DF: Israel may stop Hezbollah's rearmament forcefully
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-02-08 14:42
Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said on Wednesday that Israel had the right to act forcefully against Lebanese Hezbollah's rearmament.

Addressing a conference in Jerusalem, Peretz was quoted by the Ha'aretz daily as saying that Syria, Hezbollah's main ally, is continuing to allow weapon shipments to the group to cross its border with Lebanon.

"We can't under any circumstances ignore the transfer of weapons and ammunition to Hezbollah," Peretz said, adding that "while Israel remains committed to the cease-fire we reserve the right to protect the citizens of the State of Israel and we will do this forcefully without any compromises."

On Monday, the Israeli army discovered a number of explosive devices along the country's northern border with Lebanon.

The devices were deemed by the army as being placed in recent days by Hezbollah guerillas, which means the Shiite group has again gained the ability to reach Lebanon's border with Israel and carry out attacks against Israel, despite presence of reinforced UN peacekeepers and Lebanese army in the region.

However, Hezbollah denied Israel's accusation on Tuesday, saying that the bombs discovered were planted before the outbreak of the Israel-Lebanon war last summer as part of defense procedures to prevent Israel from penetrating Lebanese territory.

On July 12, 2006, two Israeli soldiers were captured by Hezbollah militia, after a bomb exploded and severely damaged their vehicle. The abductions then ignited a 34-day war that killed at least 1,200 Lebanese and 162 Israelis.

Since a UN-brokered ceasefire was declared in August, the United Nations has reinforced peace-keeping troops deployed along the Israel-Lebanon border to ensure the truce.

The ceasefire also made it possible for the Lebanese army to be deployed into the southern area of Lebanon, which was used to be dominated by Hezbollah militants.

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