WikiLeaks: Elias Murr Believes Hizbullah Cannot Launch Rockets from Downtown Beirut

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A leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar Saturday revealed that Defense Minister Elias Murr believed that the Lebanese army would be able to swiftly deploy its troops in southern Lebanon.

The WikiLeaks cable, dated August 8, 2006, said that Murr informed then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffery Feltman that 15,000 soldiers would be able to deploy in the South within 12 hours if they are ordered to do so.

He also stressed that the army would be prepared to retaliate against Hizbullah if the party were to attack Israel.

“We won’t hesitate to fire at anything that moves, no joke,” he was quoted as saying.

Furthermore, the minister said that a lack of a clear solution to the Israeli-occupied Shabaa Farms wouldn’t enable the Lebanese government from eliminating Hizbullah’s excuse to remain in the South.

Murr also ruled out the possibility of Hizbullah attacking Tel Aviv or that Israel would attack downtown Beirut.

He said that Hizbullah would not dare deploy rocket launchers in downtown Beirut in order to lure Israel into attacking the area, saying that 3,000 armies are deployed in the area.