BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Siniora: Hezbollah drone sent over Israel at Iran’s behest

Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora talks to reporters in Sidon, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that a Hezbollah-dispatched reconnaissance plane that flew over Israel was sent at Iran’s behest, a statement issued by Siniora’s press office said.

“Sending the drone over Israel is not a Lebanese decision, however the move was made at an Iranian behest. Such act needs techniques only available in Iran,” Siniora told visitors at his Sidon’s office.

Siniora said that Iran used the country to send regional messages and implicate it in conflicts it should stay away from.

“We are proud of any triumph against the Israeli enemy, however Hezbollah Chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah hasn’t consulted the Lebanese state about sending a drone over Israel,” said Siniora.

Siniora warned that such behavior implicates Lebanon in possible military operations and Israeli reactions that threaten the security of Lebanese citizens.

“Nasrallah hasn’t asked the Lebanese if they are prepared to get engaged in such battle or into a war against Israel,” he said.

The former PM also said that the drone was a clear violation of the UN Resolution 1701 which calls on the Lebanese and Israeli sides to maintain calm on the border.

Siniora’s remarks come after Nasrallah made an appearance on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV Thursday, declaring that the party was behind the drone that Israel shot down last week and warned that the operation would not be the party’s last.

Nasrallah said the drone flight over Israel was in response to the Jewish state’s repeated aerial violations of Lebanon’s airspace.

He pointed out that Israel had violated Lebanese airspace 20,864 times since U.N. Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, was adopted six years ago.

Although Israeli warplanes shot down the unmanned plane after it flew some 55 kilometers into Israel, the incident marked a rare breach of the Jewish state’s tightly guarded airspace.

 

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