Israel has neither confirmed nor denied carrying out Monday's
strike, in keeping with its silence on at least three such attacks
over the past year targeting suspected Hezbollah-bound convoys of
advanced weapons from civil war-torn Syria.
In an unusually forthright public statement about the incident,
Hezbollah said on Wednesday it would "choose the time and place and
the proper way to respond" against Israel, with which it fought a
war in south Lebanon in 2006.
Israel has frequently promised to target Lebanon at large in any new
conflict, noting that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi'ite Muslim
militia, had politicians in the Beirut government.
"It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any
attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon," Israeli Strategic
Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Friday.
"It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist
attack - whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind -
on the State of Israel," he told Israel Radio.
Israel is technically at war with Lebanon and Syria.
[to top of second column]
Israeli analysts have been mostly dismissive of Hezbollah's threat
this week, arguing that its fighters were too busy helping Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad battle a three-year-old rebellion to open
up a new front with Israel.
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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