Gemayel: Hizbullah's Border Tour Tarnished State's Image
Kataeb party leader Sami Gemayel said a tour organized for reporters by Hizbullah along Lebanon's southern border to brief them about the defense measures set up by Israel in recent months “has insulted and tarnished the image of the State," media reports said.
“The tour organized by Hizbullah's military command along a border area under resolution 1701--which stipulates that the region should be free of any military force other than UNIFIL and the Lebanese army-- is considered an insult to the Lebanese State's standing and a new threat to Lebanon's relationship with the international community,” said Gemayel.
“Where is the government of all that is happening in Lebanon? What are the authority's concerns?" asked Gemayel.
He went on accusing the government and said: "It is not concerned with the sovereign affairs or extending the authority of the state and law on its territory."
Hizbullah sought Thursday to show that Israel is building up defenses in anticipation of another conflict, after a string of statements from Israeli officials warning of a potential confrontation.
The party, which fought a devastating war with the Jewish state in 2006, brought dozens of journalists on a rare and highly-choreographed trip to the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel.
A military commander identified as Haj Ihab, dressed in digital camouflage and sunglasses, said the Israeli army was erecting earth berms up to 10 meters (30 feet) high, as well as reinforcing a military position near the Israeli border town of Hanita.
There has been rising speculation about the possibility of a new war between Israel and Hizbullah, more than a decade after their last direct confrontation.
The 34-day conflict in 2006 led to the deaths of 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.