Israel's military chief of staff warned Monday that the terror group, Hezbollah, could soon take over Lebanon in a violent coup.
Israel Defense Forces chief Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said a United Nations tribunal is planning to indict top Hezbollah leaders for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri five years ago.
Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said his group will "cut off the hand" of anyone who tries to arrest or detain any of its members.
"Whoever thinks the resistance could possibly accept any accusation against any of its jihadists or leaders is mistaken -- no matter the pressures and threats," Nasrallah said.
According to Ashkenazi, members of the Lebanese army have given Hezbollah covert assistance and even transferred weapons.
The top Israeli general is scheduled to meet Tuesday with U.S. military leaders in Washington to discuss the security challenges facing the Jewish state in the Middle East.