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Photo: Herzl Yosef
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon
Photo: Herzl Yosef
Ya'alon on Syria: We keep to red lines
Defense minister responds to Beirut blast, Latakia explosion: 'There are many explosions in the area. Our borders are calm and that's not a given'

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon responded to reports of the large explosion in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut on Tuesday and said: "There are many explosions in the area. Our borders are calm and that's not a given."

 

"We see war seeping from Syria to Lebanon, and we follow what happens in Tripoli and Beirut," he added. "This is a struggle between Shiites and Sunnis. We watch but we don't interfere."

 

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In a tour of the Tze'elim base together with IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Ya'alon also responded to accusations that Israel attacked Syrian military arsenals in Latakia on Friday, and stressed that it was not Israel's doing.

 


דקות אחרי הפיצוץ בביירות, הבוקר

Minutes after Beirut blast, Tuesday morning


(צילום: רויטרס)

(Photo: Reuters)

 

"We haven't intervened in the Syrian bloodshed in a long time," he said. "We've drawn our red lines and we keep to them." Recently, several Israeli officials emphasized that Israel will not accept the transfer of "game changing weapons" from Syria to Hezbollah.

 

Dastardly deed?

A blast rocked an Islamic center operated by Hezbollah in the Beir el-Abed suburb early Tuesday morning.

 

Thick smoke plumed over the rooftops and dozens of flaming cars were seen in the street following the blast, in addition to the heavy damage caused to the surrounding buildings.

 

An Al-Jazeera correspondent in Lebanon claimed the suburb is one of the major strongholds of the Hezbollah movement. According to him, the area is divided into a residential area and a security compound, and Hezbollah controls both.

 

Despite inner strife and friction with the Syrian rebels, Hezbollah hastened to point a finger at Israel.

 

Ali Ammar, an MP from the Hezbollah party, termed the blast a "dastardly deed" and added that the incident bears the "clear fingerprint of Israel and its instruments."

 

The blast occurred at a time of reduced Lebanese support for Hassan Nasrallah's organization, in light of growing criticism of its involvement in the Syrian civil war.

 

Some in Israel estimate that the group is losing its legitimacy as Lebanon's protector against Israel, and that the battle in al-Qusair is considered a failure due to Hezbollah's heavy losses, amounting to hundreds of dead and wounded.

 

 

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פרסום ראשון: 07.09.13, 13:22
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