Netanyahu Downplays Talk of Hezbollah War

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is downplaying talk of war between Israel and the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon. Netanyahu's comments came after more than a week of threatening exchanges.

Netanyahu used the setting of an Israeli Air Force base with his Defense Minister Ehud Barak to remind Hezbollah that Israel is watching its arms buildup in southern Lebanon.

However, he minimized the threat that war with Hezbollah might break out soon.

"We do not see anything special up there (on Israel's northern border)," Netanyahu said. "There are no winds of war blowing. This is a storm created by the media."

Last week, Barak repeated Israel's charge that Hezbollah has stockpiled 40,000 rockets aimed at Israel, and he warned the pro-western party forming Lebanon's next government not to include Hezbollah in the coalition.

Hezbollah leaders responded, saying that if it comes to military action, Israel will find Hezbollah is much stronger than it was three years ago during the second Lebanon war.

Hezbollah fired 4,000 rockets into Israel during that war and nearly 1,500 people were killed on both sides of the Israeli Lebanese border.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.