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Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that Israel was closely following the Hezbollah militant group's rearmament, responding to reports that Syria has recently shipped ballistic missiles of the Scud type to the Lebanon-based guerillas.

"The rearmament [in Lebanon] looks to be in callous violation of the Security Council resolution," Barak said, referring to the agreement which brought an end to a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

"We have been saying our piece for some time now - we have no plans to attack Lebanon, and we recommend and hope that everyone will preserve the quiet," Barak added. "But the entry of systems like this that disturb the balance endangers stability and quiet."

Earlier Tuesday, Barak told Israel Air Force soldiers at a base in the north that the Israel Defense Forces was preparing to face threats from both near and far.

"We have the pilots, the ground crews and the best planes in the world," Barak declared. "Our air force is the supporting pillar of our operational capabilities against threats from both near and far."

"The IDF is trained and ready, with its eyes open in every direction," Barak told the soldiers. "With this strength and deterrence, Israel must try to find every opportunity to reach peace with its neighbors."