TEL AVIV (Aug. 26)
Israeli planes will continue to fly over southern Lebanon as long as Lebanon does not have a government that controls the terrorists on its soil, Deputy Defense Minister Mordechai Zipori declared today.
Zipori, in an interview on the Army Broadcasting Station, was commenting on reports from Damascus that the Syrian Air Force will try to intercept Israeli planes flying over south Lebanon. In one such attempt last Sunday, Israeli planes shot down a Syrian MIG-21.
“Whoever will interfere” with the Israeli flights over Lebanon “will bear the consequences,” Zipori warned. “if there are those who forgot the lessons in the past (when scores of Syrian planes were shot-down in dogfights over Lebanon by the Israel Air Force), we shall have to remind them.”
The Deputy Defense Minister stressed the flights were essential to protect the security of Israelis as long as there were terrorists in south Lebanon. “We do not intervene in Syrian flights,” he stressed, “as long as they do not cross Israeli air space and as long as they do not interfere with our activity.”