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Israel PM Warns Hizballah Over Galilee Threat

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned Lebanon's Hizballah against any attack, after the Shi'ite militia threatened to take over the Galilee in northern Israel.

"Whoever hides in a bunker should stay in his bunker," Netanyahu said. "We have a strong army and a united people."

The comments by the two sides illustrate the fragile situation along the frontier since Israel and Hizballah fought a bitter, six-week war in the summer of 2006.

The conflict ended in a UN-brokered truce, but officials on both sides of the border believe it is only a matter of time before hostilities resume.

Meanwhile, Israel's foreign minister said today that Iran was sending two warships into the eastern Mediterranean, labeling the act a "provocation."

Speaking at a conference of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, "Tonight two Iranian warships are supposed to cross the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Syria."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak labeled the reported sailing as "hostile" and said that Israel was closely monitoring the situation.

The Suez Canal Authority said it had not yet been informed of an Iranian request to send its ships through the canal, but that it should not be a problem if they do.

compiled from agency reports