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Photo: Reuters
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Accomplishment
Photo: Reuters
Vice Premier Shimon Peres
Photo: Hagai Aharon
PM's Office: Truce within 48 hours
Political echelon expresses satisfaction over Security Council resolution, which government sources brand 'important achievement.' Officials in Prime Minister's Office stress that as soon as ceasefire goes into effect – apparently by Monday – all military operations will be halted
Officials in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem welcomed the UN Security Council resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities in south Lebanon. The resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the Council Friday night, accepts most of the terms and reservations that have been set by Israel.

 

Sources at the PM's Office estimated that the ceasefire will go into effect on Sunday or Monday, after the government approves the resolution in Sunday's cabinet meeting.


UN vote. 'Worthy diplomatic achievement' (Photo: Reuters)

 

Officials at Olmert's office stressed that in the meantime the IDF continues its operations in south Lebanon, but that as soon as the government decides on a ceasefire, the army will suspend all activity, even if it had not yet reached the Litani River and the Nabatyeh Heights that have been set as the final destination of the ground offensive.

 

They additionally stated that according to the resolution, Israel reserves the right to respond to hostile activities, in the form of a Hizbullah attack on Jewish or Israeli targets abroad, for instance.

 

"We got what we wanted – driving Hizbullah away from the border, an embargo (on weapons' delivery into Lebanon), deployment of the Lebanese army, an effective multinational force and an unconditional demand for the return of the kidnapped troops," an official stressed.

 

Peres: We've turned the tables

 

On Sunday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will bring the resolution before the government for its approval. Within a week's time, the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, will report to the Security Council on the progress in the resolution's implementation.

 

Vice Premier Shimon Peres welcomed the UN Security Council resolution and said it constituted an achievement for Israel. "Without military pressure we would not have reached a diplomatic ending, and without a diplomatic ending, the military pressure would have been pointless."

 

Peres expressed his appreciation for PM Olmert and noted that Israel succeeded in preventing an attempt to delegitimize Israel in the UN. "We have turned the tables. The resolution that was approved supports Israel and is backed by the Lebanese government and the Arab league," he added.

 

Peres also said that the resolution, "restores authority to the Lebanese government's hands, ends the arms supply to Hizbullah, pushes the terror organization away from the border, brings to the deployment of 30,000 multinational and Lebanese troops in the area, and unequivocally calls for the release of our kidnapped soldiers. This is undoubtedly a worthy diplomatic achievement."

 

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