CAIRO — Israeli threats against the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah are threats against Lebanon itself, the country's Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a visit to Cairo on Thursday.
"We take Israeli threats seriously," Hariri said after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"Any threat against Lebanese territory, whether in the south, Bekaa, Dahie (Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold) or any any place in Lebanon is a threat against all of Lebanon and the Lebanese government," Hariri said.
"The protection of any place in Lebanon is the responsibility of the Lebanese government," he told a news conference, calling for "Arab solidarity" with Beirut "to counter these threats."
Hariri said last week in an interview with the French daily Le Monde that he he feared "an Israeli intervention" following an increase in overflights over his country by Israeli warplanes.
An Israeli minister without portfolio, Yossi Peled, said last week that a new confrontation between the Jewish state and Hezbollah was inevitable in the long run.
An Israel-Hezbollah war in the summer of 2006 killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers.
On the 26 men accused of planning attacks in Egypt on behalf of Hezbollah, the Lebanese premier said it was in the hands of Egypt's judiciary and "we regard this business as strictly Egyptian."
An Egyptian prosecutor this week demanded the death sentence for the 26 alleged Hezbollah militants.
The group, which include Lebanese, Palestinians and Sudanese, is accused of plotting attacks against ships in the Suez Canal and tourist sites, of spying, and other crimes.
The defendants say they never planned the attacks but sought to help the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza and has close ties with Hezbollah.
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