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Peres' allegation on Hezbollah's rocket stockpile baseless:Lebanese FM
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07:56, August 25, 2009

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Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh told the local Al Sharq radio on Monday that Israeli president Shimon Peres' allegation on Hezbollah's rockets stockpile was baseless.

"How did the number jump from 40,000 rockets to 80,000 in a few days?" said Salloukh, "Peres' statement is political connivance and totally baseless."

Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai quoted Peres on Monday as saying that Hezbollah had stockpiled 80,000 rockets which can be used against Israel, some three times more than it had prior to the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

While earlier this month, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak accused Hezbollah of holding as many as 40,000 rockets aiming at Israel, posing a big threat to the Jewish state.

Salloukh also referred to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's tenth report on UN Security Council Resolution 1701, where he found that "to date, (UN peacekeeping force) UNIFIL has neither been provided with, nor found, evidence of new military infrastructure or the smuggling of arms into" southern Lebanon.

Resolution 1701, adopted on August 11, 2006, called for an immediate ceasefire, the disarmament of armed groups in Lebanon, the redeployment of UNIFIL troops, and a full Israeli withdrawal from Lebanese territory, among other things.

"If Peres is convinced of peace, then he must persuade his government to implement UN resolution 425 and 1709 and withdraw from occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba hills. He must also end the daily air, ground and sea violations," said the minister.

The Israeli president said in the Kuwaiti newspaper that Hezbollah is working for its own interests and will always find a pretext to continue its policy against Israel, even if the IDF withdraws from Shebaa Farms and the Lebanese Ghajar village.

Israeli occupied the Shebaa Farms from Syria in the Six-Day War in 1967 against Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. Lebanon claims sovereignty over this area at all times, while Israel and the United Nations insist it is part of Syria. However, Syria says this area is part of Lebanon.

Source: Xinhua



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