On the sixth day of the war in northern Israel and in Lebanon, on the day in which an IDF soldier was killed in Nablus and the Qassam fire in the south continued, the army chief and his senior officers arrived at the Knesset in order to brief the Knesset members on the various fighting scenes.
A senior military officer said at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel has began "leveling the ground" about one kilometer from the border with Lebanon for "military needs" and in order to prevent a return of Hizbullah posts to the area.
The officer spoke about one moment in which 100 aircrafts flew over Lebanon, and in which Hizbullah forces were "harshly crushed."
Israel has information about places where the rockets are being hidden, and the Air Force is engaged in intercepting them. An officer from the intelligence department said that it appears Nasrallah has not dyed his beard for days, and the reason is simple – "he has not left the pit where he is hiding."
Halutz at Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi said that the IDF is "faced with a challenge the like of which we have not known in many years."
He explained that the "operation has become complex in light of the fact that there are kidnapped soldiers on both fronts, and we need sophistication, creativity, and patience."
MK Effie Eitam (National Union-National Religious Party) backed the policies of the army and government during the meeting, saying that "There's no need for rows of armored vehicles to roll into more villages containing Hizbullah. Nasrallah is simply begging for an IDF ground operation. But the strategic and tactical operation being carried out by the IDF is the correct one. Nasrallah was very surprised by the Israeli home front's stamina. We have passed the fear barrier of the unknown."
He added that "it would take time" to return the kidnapped soldiers.
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The committee's former chairman, MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), said that in light of the IDF chief of staff's briefing, he believed that the operation could take a number of weeks.
"The citizens of Israel need to take a deep breath so that the IDF can succeed to change the reality in the north," he said.
He added: "Like we abandoned the rocket industry in the north, we are abandoning it in Gaza – and if it is not dealt with, then within a year to two years they will be able to hit all of the south. There is an opportunity to take advantage of the situation for root treatment."
Knesset Member Ami Ayalon (Labor) called on Finance Minister Abraham Hirschson to provide compensation to damage caused to businesses in the north following the Katyusha attacks. Ayalon also called for a freeze to the credit and overdraft regulations changes in effect from last month in northern communities.
Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List – Ta'al) attacked Defense Minister Amir Peretz following IDF operations in Lebanon.
"The generals and admirals took Amir Peretz hostage, and then then he has been doing it in a more cruel and brutal way. There should be a ceasefire that will save lives on both sides," Tibi said.