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Mofaz warns over Hezbollah strength

Hezbollah has returned to positions near the Israeli border with Lebanon, Israel’s transportation minister said.Shaul Mofaz, a former defense chief, said in a televised speech that while last year’s war eliminated Hezbollah’s border posts, the Iranian-backed guerrilla group was quietly setting up more discreet positions in the area. “In Lebanon today, Hezbollah has returned to the situation it was in before the Second Lebanon War,” Mofaz said. “And what appears to be happening along the border, whereby there are no Hezbollah posts along the border, is true, but Hezbollah is underground, very close to the Israeli border.” The remarks appeared to clash with those of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who in a Knesset speech Tuesday defended his decision to go to war by saying it had effectively banished Hezbollah from southern Lebanon. That account has been largely echoed by the commander of a boosted U.N. peacekeeping force in the area.