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Israel Considers "Punishing" Lebanese Government

Reported by Marie Therese - August 7, 2006 -

This morning FOX News reporter Mike Tobin reported that "because Hezbollah has continued to fire rockets at will, there is a debate taking place now in the cabinet and in the military about expanding the operations, picking targets for the Israeli air force which would include Lebanese government installations, utilities and tourist sites in Lebanon. The thinking there is simply to punish the Lebanese government because they are not opposing Hezbollah in the south of the country."

"There's also discussion," Tobin said, "about pushing the ground operations further north now to the Litani River to somehow inhibit the Katushya rocket fire, the short-range rocket fire, because, as we have seen, Hezbollah continues to fire almost 200 a day into the north of Israel. The other option for the Israelis is to simply put more ground forces in operation here in these little villages three to four miles north of the Israeli border."

In a subsequent interview Daniel Ayalon, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, told E. D. Hill: "What I understand right now - the talks are not to have a vacuum, that is, we will stay in put until we see a mechanism which can replace us. Otherwise it renders the whole exercise futile. We have had too many problems, too much war and fighting, just to let it slip into the status quo ante where the Hezbollah is, you know, free to do whatever they did before and it is obvious that they still have the strength to do it."

Hill then mentioned that Lebanon has requested that the issue of the disputed Sheba'a Farms be included in the cease-fire agreement. The Ambassador indicated that that would not happen. He then stressed that if Lebanon accedes to Israel's wishes regarding Hezbollah, "calm and peace" will be restored to the region.