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Lebanese PM: Government was unaware of Hezbollah raid
by Haaretz (reposted)
Wednesday Jul 12th, 2006 9:47 PM
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Wednesday Beirut did not condone the cross-border Hezbollah attack against Israel, in which two Israel Defense Forces soldiers were kidnapped and seven others killed.
"The government was not aware of and does not take responsibility for, nor endorses what happened on the international border," Siniora told reporters after an emergency cabinet meeting.

He condemned Israel's retaliation and said his government would call for a UN Security Council meeting.

The ruling Palestinian faction Hamas on Wednesday praised Hezbollah, saying it would help a campaign to free 1,000 Palestinians.

"This is a heroic operation carried out against military targets and so it is a legitimate operation, especially as it took place in occupied Lebanese territory," Hamas political bureau member Mohammad Nazzal told Reuters.

"Any military operation that targets the occupation serves the Palestinian people and Arab causes," he said in an interview in Cairo, where he came to reassure the Egyptian government that Hamas wants Egyptian mediation with Israel to resume on a deal including freedom for an Israeli soldier held in Gaza.

"We think this operation will serve ... the issue of the prisoners," he added.

But Hamas had no prior knowledge of the Hezbollah operation and it was too early to decide whether the two separate organisations would coordinate their demands that Israel release Palestinian and Arab prisoners, he said.

Lebanese security sources said the Hezbollah operation took place across the border from the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab.

Nazzal, who is based in Damascus, dismissed U.S. and Israeli allegations that Syria was responsible. "If something happens in Iraq, or Lebanon or Palestine, they accuse Syria. Everyone knows that in fact Syria has nothing to do with this matter.