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Israel Will Not Return to Talks Until Syria Reins in Hezbollah


Syria will have to rein in the Hezbollah movement before Israel resumes peace talks with Damascus, Prime Minister Shimon Peres has declared.

The Israeli leader made the statement as the Islamic fundamentalist group braced for a forceful Israeli reaction in southern Lebanon to recent attacks on the Israel Defense force and its allied militia, the South Lebanon Army.

Syria, the leading power in Lebanon, has been criticized repeatedly by Israel for giving Hezbollah the go-ahead to strike at the IDF in Lebanon.

Israeli officials have charged that Syria uses the Hezbollah attacks as a means for ratcheting up the pressure on Israel to reach a settlement with Damascus.

Israeli-Syrian negotiations at the Wye Plantation in Maryland were suspended by Israel on March 4, after Syria failed to condemn a series of recent suicide bombings in Israel.

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