Israeli vessels enter Lebanese waters to enforce blockade

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Israel's naval ships have entered Lebanon's territorial waters to enforce a blockade on the Levantine state, Thursday.

"Since this morning Israeli naval vessels have enforced a full naval closure on Lebanon, because Lebanon's ports are used to transfer both terrorists and weapons to the terror organizations operating in Lebanon," a spokesman for Israeli Army said.

The spokesman did not comment on whether Israel had also blockaded Lebanon's airspace. However Israeli aircraft attacked Beirut's Rafik al-Hariri International Airport, Thursday morning, which damaged the main runway and forced incoming flights to divert to Cyprus. Israel's Army Radio said that other airports might also be targeted in order to restrict access to Lebanon.

"We will take all necessary measures to bring an end to the rogue behavior of a state that does not assume responsibility and put an end to the activities of a major partner in their own government," said Israeli Cabinet Minister Isaac Herzog to Reuters.

The government in Beirut has said it accepts no responsibility for what Hezbollah claimed was the capture of two Israeli soldiers, in an attack which injured six Israeli civilians. 27 civilians have been killed so far in Israeli raids on Lebanon.

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