Photo: Reuters
Continuing as planned
Photo: Reuters
Strike in Tyre
Photo: AP

Senior officers: Operation to continue as planned

Sources in Jerusalem say no contradiction between UN move, war in field; note ceasefire will anyway wait for multinational force's arrival. On Sunday, Olmert to recommend cabinet accept outline; meanwhile, air strikes continue, IDF prefers for massive ground entry

While an agreement on a ceasefire in the Middle East was being formed at the United Nations Security Council, senior Israel Defense Forces officers said that the wide-scale operation – approved by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz in accordance with the cabinet decision – will be launched as planned.


The goal: Arriving at the Litani River, a move which according to the army's estimates will take a week, and another four to six weeks to establish the line and mop up the area.


On Friday night, Lebanese sources reported that two transformers were hit, darkening the Tyre area. It was also reported that an Israeli drone fired missiles into a convoy of refugees fleeing attacks in the southern town of Marjayoun, killing seven and wounding 40.


In total, according to the IDF, more than 120 air strikes were carried out on Friday, including bombings of about 60 buildings and headquarters used by Hizbullah, routes and bridges, three petrol stations and eight rocket launchers.


On the northern border, forces prepared for a massive entry into the field, in accordance with the "green light" received from the political echelon. Officials in Jerusalem claimed that there was no contradiction between the decisions in New York and the expansion of the operation, as also according to the proposed outline, the ceasefire will only come into force upon the arrival of a multinational force, and it will be carried out gradually and in parallel to the IDF's withdrawal from the area.


Diplomatic sources stressed that Israel will operate the military force considering the diplomatic agreement considerations.


"If the diplomatic agreement will satisfy us and will lead to halting the fire and achieving the goals defined, the fire will stop. But if the fire continues and Hizbullah will still be near Israel's border and threaten its citizens, the military operation will continue forcefully as approved by the cabinet," a source said.


On Sunday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to recommend that the cabinet adopt the draft discussed at the Security Council.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 08.12.06, 02:13
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