Israel accused of waging economic war

Aug. 25, 2006 at 12:09 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The speaker of Lebanon's parliament says Israel is trying to use the U.N. cease-fire to justify its economic war on his country.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Nabih Berri said U.N. resolution 1701 calls on Lebanon to secure its borders to prevent smuggling of weapons and "request" assistance from international troops if needed. Berri, who has acted as a mediator between the Lebanese government and Hezbollah, said, "So why is Israel putting conditions? What it's doing is justifying its blockade, on the airport and the sea, because one of the objectives of this war is to hit Lebanon economically and this war is still continuing."

Israel wants to keep its air and sea blockade until the United Nations is able to police border crossings to deter Hezbollah from re-arming, says the report.

Asked if Hezbollah would disarm in light of its victory claims, Berri said it would depend on Israel's implementation of the cease-fire. He also said Hezbollah had shown it is a resistance movement and that it is needed to defend Lebanon.

Topics: Nabih Berri
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