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UNIFIL in Dark over Israeli Freeze on Ghajar Pullout

Israel has failed to notify U.N. peacekeepers along the volatile Lebanese-Israeli border of its decision to freeze its plan to withdraw from the disputed village of Ghajar, a U.N. official said Thursday.

"The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has not been notified by Israel of any change in their position on this matter," said Milos Strugar, UNIFIL's director of political and civil affairs.

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Egypt: Nasrallah Walking in Khamenei’s Footsteps

Egypt accused Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah of “walking in the footsteps of his mentor,” Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

“They all want to ignite the region,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Husam Zaki told the Saudi al-Watan daily about Nasrallah and Khamenei.

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Britain: Scale of Any Possible Israel-Hizbullah Conflict is Growing

British Foreign Secretary William Hague voiced concern over possible conflict between Israel and Hizbullah following last month's collapse of the Lebanese government.

"The scale of any military conflict that may happen between Israel and Hizbullah is growing, because of the growth of armaments in the area," Hague told the London Times in comments published Wednesday.

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Barak to Inform Ban on Wednesday of Israel’s Decision to Suspend Withdrawal from Ghajar

Israel is planning to inform the United Nations on Wednesday of its decision to suspend its withdrawal from the northern section of the village of Ghajar.

It attributed the suspension to the crisis in Lebanon and the possibility of Hizbullah bolstering its presence in the new Lebanese government, reported Israel radio.

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Shalom: Hizbullah Consolidating Capabilities in Contravention with 1701

Israeli deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom warned on Tuesday that Hizbullah was consolidating its military capabilities in contravention with U.N. Security Council resolution 1701.

He told the Herzliya Conference on “The Balance of Israel’s National Strength and Security" that Lebanon is the only country where a party has representatives in parliament and at the same time military capabilities.

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Ashkenazi: Hizbullah Fears Conventional Warfare, Can't Conquer N. Israel

Hizbullah and Hamas are aware that meeting the Israeli army on the classic battlefield would be "devastating," Israel's outgoing army chief Gabi Ashkenazi said Monday.

"That's why they are positioned in urban areas," he added.

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Israel’s Pullout from Ghajar on Hold: We Won't Give Hizbullah Gifts

An Israeli official has said that a plan to withdraw from the Lebanese side of the occupied border village of Ghajar is now on hold due to recent changes in the region, including Lebanon.

"We don't want to give the Hizbullah government free gifts," the official in Jerusalem told Israel’s Ynet news website, hinting that for the time being the plan to withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar has been frozen.

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Israel Restricts Access to Al-Aqsa to Avert Pro-Egypt Revolt Demos

Access to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound was restricted on Friday in a bid to prevent demonstrations in support of the Egyptian uprising after Muslim prayers, police said.

"This Friday, we are forbidding access to the compound to men under 50 years old carrying an Israeli identity card," Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France Presse.

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Israel Constructs Fence around Ghajar, Talk of its Withdrawal Come to an End

Israeli troops began constructing a barbed wire fence around the southern village of Ghajar on Thursday.

A high-ranking United Nations Interim Force officer inspected the site, while a source from the international force told the Central News Agency that the issue of Ghajar is very difficult and complicated, adding that it needs time to be resolved.

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Lebanon Files U.N. Complaint over Israeli Violation, Shami to Meet Ban

Amid increased Israeli military activity on the border with Lebanon in the past few days, the Lebanese permanent mission to the U.N. filed Tuesday a complaint against Israel with the Security Council over a recent border violation.

On January 24 an Israeli patrol crossed the technical fence into a disputed area between the occupied Shebaa Farms and the liberated outskirts of the town of Kfar Shouba.

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