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ISRAEL, U.S. & LEBANON

Secretary Rice & PM Olmert Agree On Defanging Hezbollah In South Lebanon

Knesset Members To IDF: Call Up Two More Reserve Divisions In Light Of Syrian Threat

IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Yadlin: The War Is Going To Plan - Hezbollah Is Trying To Syria Into the Battle

After their meeting in Jerusalem, U.S. Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apparently saw eye to eye on the need to drive Hezbollah out of south Lebanon from where it has been rocketing more than one million Israeli citizens across the border.

Israeli ground forces capture another Hezbollah stronghold in south Lebanon as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem.

IDF troops continued their search and clear operations in south Lebanon by capturing the Hizballah base in Binyt Jabayal. IDF forces say it served as an important control and command center for launching Katyusha rockets into Israel. IDF troops and tanks are now expected to drive Hizballah fighters out of their bunkers in other areas to create a buffer zone up to the Litani River. This operation is expected to take another week or two.

In the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, IDF Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin said Hezbollah is trying to draw Syria into the war against Israel. However, General Yadlin said Israel has no interest in going to war against Syria although it supplies Hezbollah with rockets. The intelligence chief spoke of the war going to plan. Several Knesset Members criticized the IDF for not calling up more reserve soldiers in light of a possible Syrian threat. MK Effy Eitam of the National Union spoke of the need to mobilize two reserve divisions immediately:

 

(Insert: Efi Eitam)

Also in Jerusalem, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Rice appeared to be fully co-ordinated with Olmert on the need to uproot Hezbollah:

 

(Insert: Rice)

The Prime Minister said Israel has no quarrel with the Lebanese people but the Jewish state would defend itself from terrorists like Hezbollah:

 

(Insert: PM Olmert)

Deputy Premier Shimon Peres repeated this message in the Knesset when it was recalled for a special session from its summer recess. He also addressed the Lebanese people saying:

Citizens of Lebanon - this can be your finest hour. You have an army of 80,000 soldiers - where are they? Order them to free you from the madness of the fanatic Hezbollah. Its either Israel or Hezbollah. You also have an alternative - its either you or Hezbollah. Israel sees this as a war for life and peace. Citizens of Lebanon - until this very moment you leave us no other choice but war. We know that most of you, maybe the vast majority, do not want the presence and activity of Hezbollah terror. But there are those who also open their homes for storing rockets. And there are those who allow them to shoot and kill us. They bear the heavy responsibility for the situation. Hezbollah is a Foreign Legion acting in your country. It does not listen to your government or take orders from the Lebanese army. It has no Lebanese goal. Israel has left Lebanon and did not try and abduct any Lebanese. Lebanons tragedy today is due to Irans ambitions.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah launched more rockets again hitting Haifa and several other communities causing more injuries and destruction.

David Essing

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