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Army Chief Dan Halutz
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Photo: Dudi Vaknin
PM Ehud Olmert. Calls for restraint
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Army chief: Rockets fired on Haifa were Syrian-made
Army chief tells cabinet that road connecting Lebanon, Syria was bombed to prevent arm convoys from reaching Hizbullah. PM says Israel must show restraint, as fighting will eventually be resolved through negotiations
Some of the rockets that landed in Haifa Sunday morning were manufactured in Syria, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told the government during a cabinet meeting.

 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in the meeting, "We are being asked why we bombed the Beirut-Damascus road? The reason is not that we're interested in harming Lebanese infrastructure, or in punishing Lebanon, but rather it is to prevent caravans of weapons and other supplies from Syria from reaching Hizbullah."

 

During the meeting Halutz confirmed that a Syrian weapons transport intended for Hizbullah was prevented from reaching its destination

because of the bombing of the road.

 

According to Halutz, up until now more than 1,400 rockets have hit Israel, 900 of which were launched at IDF forces and targets located close to the border. Many of the shells were mortars. The chief of staff stated that the army was targeting launch sites near villages in Southern Lebanon in a bid to reduce the strikes on Israel.

 

"Hizbullah absorbed a harsh reality check, but this did not break or dismantle it. It is impossible to crush a movement," Halutz said.

 

PM: Fighting will end in negotiations

 

In answer to Minister Shalom Simhon's question as to whether a ground offensive is critical to a decisive positive outcome in the conflict, Halutz answered in the negative and added that "this option is considered all the time, even though we don't intend to use it at the current time."

 

Commenting on the possibility for a ceasefire, PM Olmert said that the only possible partner for negotiations is the Lebanese government, which can deploy its army in Southern Lebanon to rein in Hizbullah. "Therefore we are not fighting Siniora or the Lebanese people, but Nasrallah, who has taken Lebanon hostage and is an extension of the Tehran-Syria axis of evil."

 

The PM rejected Minister Haim Ramon's proposal to strike infrastructure in Lebanon, and asked his ministers to show restraint. "Common sense obliges us to be restrained and moderate. This fighting will be resolved through diplomatic negotiations with friendly countries and partners for the future," he said.

 

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