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Israel's Dilemma

IDF Air strikes may have wiped out 50% of Hezbollah's capability, but the rockets keep spreading death and destruction

Should Israel launch a major ground invasion into Lebanon in order to halt the Hezbollah rocketing of its population centers. This is the dilemma now facing the Israeli government.

Former DM Mofaz

Former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz says Israeli air strikes may have wiped out 50% of Hezbollah's capability, but the rockets keep spreading death and destruction. If Iran and Syria supplied over 11,000 rockets over the past six years it will take more than several weeks to knock them out. Meanwhile, the Hezbollah fighters estimated at ten-thousand, show no sign of breaking despite the Israeli pounding. Some military experts argue that the only way to disrupt the Hezbollah command and control network is by a major ground operation. They note that it took NATO air power more than eight weeks to compel the Serbian forces to evacuate Kosovo and that Israel does not have that much time.

Israel Radio reports from Washington that the U.S. has called on Israel to halt hitting Lebanese infrastructure and that Israel is complying. But sending in ground forces will mean heavy casualties. Hezbollah leader Sheik Nasrallah has even dared Israel to do so. Hezbollah has had years to plant mines and tank ambushes and fighting inside urban territory is always costly in casualties. So, going in on the ground will get the job done more quickly but Israel will pay in blood. The IDF has been conducting special-forces operations to hit Katyusha rockets squads and identify but even these limited attacks can run into an ambush. Case in point yesterday two soldiers were killed and another nine wounded when an IDF force walked into an ambush in south Lebanon yesterday near Avivim. Defense Minister Amir Peretz has said that all options are open.

David Essing

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