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Israel army 'ready' to bomb Hizbullah in civilian areas

July 20, 2010 2:33 P.M. (Updated: July 21, 2010 2:12 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma'an/Agencies – Israel is prepared to attack Hizbullah in populated areas where weapons are stashed, Israel's army chief Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday.

"It is quiet now, but we are monitoring developments and are ready for all possibilities," Ashkenazi told Israel Radio, speaking from Rome where he is on an official visit.

Asheknazi said Israeli intelligence was surveying Hezbollah armament and weapons' storage in populated areas, adding that the Israeli army would "not hesitate" to bombard them should confrontations resurface.

“Hezbollah prefers to hide weapons in populated areas in an attempt to protect them from Israeli attacks, yet if war erupts again, we will have no other choice but to target these caches and their surroundings, and Hezbollah will be responsible for that,” he added.

In response to an Israeli army statement saying it had maps and aerial photographs of what it described as a network of weapons depots and command centers in southern Lebanon, the Shiite movement warned that it had a list of Israeli military targets.

In early July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned of "a resumption of hostilities" between Israel and Lebanon in a report obtained by Agence France-Presse.

Ban warned that "Amidst allegations of continued arms transfers to Hezbollah ... a perceptible increase in tension between the parties was recorded," in the 13th report on UN Resolution 1701, which gave a mandate to UN peacekeeping forces to operate in southern Lebanon and ensure an end to hostilities following the war.

The Security Council resolution effectively ended Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah, in which more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians were killed.
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