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Monday, August 23, 2004

Hizbullah admits helping Intifada, plans to keep attacking Israel across border

Hizbullah will keep up pressure along border: "BEIRUT: Lebanon's southern border will remain a line of active confrontation with Israel because the plight of the Palestinians is a cause that affects the entire region, says Hizbullah's deputy secretary-general.

Sheikh Naim Qassem said Hizbullah has a 'religious and moral' duty to provide assistance to the Palestinian intifada and will not limit itself to liberating 'a few kilometers' of Lebanese territory, a reference to the Shebaa Farms.

In an interview with The Daily Star on the eve of the party's internal elections, Qassem said Hizbullah's battle-readiness is better than ever.

'We are now highly prepared to face Israel. We are more highly prepared than at any previous time,' Qassem said. 'The battle with Israel is not at an end. We are always in expectation of an Israeli attack in Lebanon. That's why Hizbullah continues with its logistics and training to prepare its members for any eventuality in facing attacks by Israel.'

The organization uses the United Nations-delineated Blue Line as a locus for direct military confrontation with Israel. That confrontation generally takes either the guise of retaliation for Israeli actions in Lebanon and further afield, or consists of Hizbullah-instigated attacks, such as those in the Shebaa Farms."