France to Israel: Hands off Hizballah

Sunday, July 15, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

France on Saturday warned Israel not to harm senior Hizballah and other Lebanese terrorist leaders participating in a conference of Lebanese groups near Paris.

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah reported that the warning came after French intelligence learned of a Mossad plot to abduct several Hizballah officials either during the conference or as they made their way home to Lebanon.

According to the report, Israel planned to use the captured Hizballah officials as bargaining chips to secure the release of two Israeli soldiers still being held by the terrorist militia in contravention of UN demands.

Jerusalem expressed concern last week after learning that France would allow Hizballah to participate in the conference, which is aimed at healing social rifts that continue to tear Lebanon in pieces. Israel had hoped that newly-installed French President Nicolas Sarkozy would take a tougher line with Hizballah than his predecessor, Jacque Chirac.

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