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Lebanon's Hezbollah Criticizes US Comments

VOA News 28 April 2010

A Hezbollah official in Lebanon has sharply criticized U.S. comments about the group's weapons stockpile.

Parliament member Hassan Fadlallah says there is a difference between weapons that only serve "invasions, occupations and aggressions" - which he described as those of the U.S. and Israel - and the weapons of a resistance that he says "protects" and "liberates."

Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war in 2006 that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese. During that war, Hezbollah fired thousands of missiles into Israel. About 160 Israelis were killed.

Fadlallah's comments were reported Wednesday in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir.

On Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Iran and Syria are arming Hezbollah militants with sophisticated rockets and missiles. In a joint news conference with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Gates also said Hezbollah has more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world.

However, the U.S. defense secretary did not repeat an assertion from Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres who said Syria had been delivering long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah.

Scud missiles could pose a threat to Israel. Syria denied the allegation and accused Israel of looking for an excuse to attack.

Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran and Syria, is considered a terrorist group by the U.S. and other countries.

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