Barak: Hizbullah Setting Up Fortified Positions Along Border

[ Ha'aretz] Yuval Azoulay - Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who toured Israel's northern border Tuesday, said that Hizbullah is setting up fortified positions in villages along the Israel-Lebanon border while continuing to grow stronger and collect weapons. He said Hizbullah is also setting up positions in 150 villages deep within southern Lebanon. He added that the strategic positions were established in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war with Hizbullah. "The Syrians are working in intimate cooperation with Hizbullah, and they are in large part responsible for the transfer of weapons and supplies to Hizbullah. The ultimate responsibility, as far as we're concerned, lies with Hizbullah on the one hand, and with the Iranians and the Syrians on the other," Barak said. On the recently renewed negations between Israel and Syria, he said, "Initial contact with the Syrians is aimed at determining whether there will be proper conditions in the future to launch direct negotiations and discuss all the issues. But the issues themselves require, like in any negotiations, some tough concession. That means difficult decisions on [Syrian President] Assad's part as well as on ours."

2008-06-04 01:00:00

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