Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire in effect

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    Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire in effect


    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

    BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- A U.N.-brokered cease-fire took effect Monday morning on the 34th day of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah.

    About four hours into the cease-fire, the Israeli military reported that its soldiers had identified and fired upon Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon. One of the guerrillas was reported to have been hit. No other details were immediately available.

    In the meantime, Israel promised to keep a tight rein on the region with military officials saying the army will continue enforcing the air and sea embargo on Lebanon.

    Israeli military officials said some of its forces were withdrawing from southern Lebanon but gave no details.

    Just two hours before the truce started, Israel papered Beirut with propaganda leaflets, blaming Hezbollah for bringing "destruction, displacement and death" to Lebanon and calling the militant group a puppet of Iran and Syria.

    "The IDF will respect the cease-fire, but will continue to defend its forces and the citizens of Israel," an Israel Defense Forces statement said.

    "IDF forces will remain situated in southern Lebanon until responsibility over the area is handed over to the Lebanese army" and U.N. forces.

    Israel and Hezbollah continued to trade blows across southern Lebanon and northern Israel as the clock ticked toward the 8 a.m. deadline (1 a.m. ET), trying to inflict as much maximum damage as possible in the final hours of the conflict.

    Israel reported that 250 rockets hit its territory, killing at least one person, and five Israeli soldiers died fighting Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon. (Watch aftermath of rocket strike on Haifa -- 2:11)

    The Israel Defense Forces meanwhile, launched what appeared to be one of the heaviest bombardments on southern Lebanon to date and struck targets in Beirut's southern suburbs. (Watch aftermath of hits on Beirut -- 1:47)

    Lebanese civil defense officials also reported eight people dead and 16 wounded in an airstrike on the Bekaa Valley town of Brital, and three killed and seven wounded near the eastern town of Ali al-Nahri, identifying the dead as civilians. Israel has described the locations as being strongholds for the Hezbollah militia.

    Civil defense sources also told CNN of an airstrike on a road between the village of Jammaliya and the city of Baalbeck. The sources said there are casualties and that rescue workers were en route.

    In a parting propaganda shot, Israel promised more of the same if Hezbollah continues to operate from southern Lebanon.

    "Hezbollah, with it isolationist, reckless and deceitful policies has brought you many achievements: destruction, displacement, and death," the leaflets dropped over Beirut said.

    "Can you pay this price again?

    "Know that the Israel Defense Forces will return and will act with all necessary might against any terrorist act coming from Lebanon that touches Israel."

    'Days of uncertainty'

    Despite widespread hope that the cease-fire will bring a halt to the violence, it was unclear what really lay ahead.

    "The next few days are days of uncertainty," said Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz, the chief of Israeli ground forces.

    Gantz said Israel will adhere to the cease-fire if Hezbollah does not fire at its forces or civilians -- "But if fire is renewed against our forces and against the Israeli civilian population, we will be able to and know how to and will not hesitate to operate," he said. (Watch as fighting continues until last moment -- 2:38)

    Israel said at least 114 military personnel and 53 civilians have been been killed, and 865 civilians have been wounded.

    The IDF said its troops had killed more than 530 Hezbollah fighters, releasing the names of 180 of them. But Lebanon said most of the 890 people killed before Sunday's bombardments were civilians.

    According to Israeli police, nearly 4,000 Hezbollah rockets hit northern Israel.

    Sticking point over disarming Hezbollah

    Monday's cease-fire is part of a peace plan approved by the U.N. Security Council on Friday. It calls for Lebanese government troops and a U.N. peacekeeping mission to move into southern Lebanon as Israeli troops withdraw, taking control of the Israeli-Lebanese border from Hezbollah.

    However, the Lebanese government postponed a meeting on the plan's implementation for up to two days. A Lebanese government minister said the postponement came at the request of parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, a key negotiator with Hezbollah, to give government officials more time to discuss the plan with Hezbollah -- but sources in Berri's office denied that report.

    Two Hezbollah members of the Lebanese Cabinet said Saturday the militia wanted to keep its weapons south of the Litani River -- a zone the U.N. resolution calls for demilitarizing. Yet the Cabinet unanimously approved the resolution, with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah indicating the two Hezbollah ministers voted for it in a spirit of national unity. (Text of U.N. Resolution 1701)

    A government minister said there were disagreements over Hezbollah's disarmament south of the Litani, and told CNN he was losing optimism for the resolution.

    The postponement sparked concern worldwide among leaders with high hopes for the resolution. A senior Lebanese government source said Prime Minister Fouad Siniora received calls from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, French President Jacques Chirac and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    The source said Annan told Siniora that if Hezbollah maintains its position against disarmament south of the Litani, an international force can't go into Lebanon.

    Israel said Sunday it planned to abide by the resolution, which calls on Israel to halt "offensive" military actions -- a position it reiterated Monday.

    Israel has made clear it will not immediately pull out of southern Lebanon but will wait until other forces arrive to prevent the Hezbollah militia from again taking over the area on Israel's northern border.

    "We ask that there not be a vacuum -- in other words, that there not be a situation in which the IDF exits and there remains a vacuum there and the Hezbollah returns to those places where it left, or alternately remains in those places and nothing actually happens," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday.

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    This will necessitate a fall in crude oil prices, IMO.
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    The cease fire is a farce. Hizballah just wants some reprieve and the Israelis know damn well the next battle is right around the corner.
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    this comes as a terrible loss for Israel. The first one since Israel came into existence. Nothing was achieved, hezbollah is still armed and neither of the 2 kidnapped soldiers returned.

    It will be a matter of months, if not weeks before hezbollah reoccupies south lebanon and this is repeated.

    If the IDF wasn't capable of totally disarming and removing the hezbollah terrorist threat then there is not a snowballs chance in hell the Lebanese army along with a laughable french-backed farce of a UN force will be able to.

    makes me sad.
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    Yes. Olmert and Perezt are finished. So is Halutz. This has been a royal cluster ****. A lot has been achieved, but still a lot more need to be done. What is left undone, is a royal mess and definitely need a second round. This is far from over.
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    it would be nice if Israel had the West's support when defending itself against genocidal terror cults...
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    If they would have Ok'd the purchase of the 'bunker buster' bombs the US wanted to sell them a few months ago, they would have taken out most of those rocket nests.

    I dont know enough about the whole situation to really make accurate comments, but it seems to me like the only reason Israel didnt crush Hezbollah is because something was ****ed up in the chain of command. Seems like all they really did is solidify a hatred of Israel in Lebanon, and drive people who were on the fence into the waiting arms of Hezbollah.

    BV
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    You are sort of correct regarding the command and leadership issue. But I shall defer to our Israeli members who are there in the theater, to shed light on the situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioHazzard
    You are sort of correct regarding the command and leadership issue. But I shall defer to our Israeli members who are there in the theater, to shed light on the situation.
    there were disputes between high ranking generals in the army and the knesset (israeli parliment) and olmerts cabinet over how the offensive should have been carried out.

    the generals wanted to do a blitzkreig type attack where warplanes heavily bombard a suspected hezbollah controlled village/town immediatly followed by an overwhelming ground invasion of 10,000 foot soldiers.

    there would have been far more lebanese civilian casualties this way and that is the main reason olmert opposed such action and decided to do selective bombings with limited smaller scale ground forces. By the time Israel figured out that this method would not work against an stronger-than-expected and well rooted hezbollah 3 weeks had passed and International pressure was so high that israel had no choice but to accept the ceasefire.

    Apparently many are calling for olmert to resign or have a special election scheduled to force him out of office.

    oh, and while i'm on the subject, the the claims made by the leftist media, UN and european leadership that Israel was intentionally targeting civilians is utterly laughable. If that was the case, the lebanese total population today would have been 6.
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    there would have been far more lebanese civilian casualties this way and that is the main reason olmert opposed such action and decided to do selective bombings with limited smaller scale ground forces. By the time Israel figured out that this method would not work against an stronger-than-expected and well rooted hezbollah 3 weeks had passed and International pressure was so high that israel had no choice but to accept the ceasefire.
    Well, its admirable to be a humanitarian but you shouldnt start bombing your enemies with that attitude - look what happened. Its funny how islamist extreemist-types rally support toward their cause, claiming 'you will never bring down the might of hezbollah, etc,etc' - as if any western nation that's attacked them has used even a fraction of its full military power.

    Unfortunately, full power handicapped by political stupidity.

    Leaders on one side want to preserve civilian life, while civilians on the other side seem to jump at the chance to die for their cause. That's a messed up situation.

    BV
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    Leaders on one side want to preserve civilian life, while civilians on the other side seem to jump at the chance to die for their cause. That's a messed up situation.

    BV
    very true.

    I said this in another thread and it is the primary difference between State military's like that of the USA and Israel, and Stateless Terrorist Groups (Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc)

    Both inflict civilian casaulties in their actions, In fact the US and Israel inflict greater number of civilian casaulties in their offensives. The difference lies herein that:

    the main aim of the terrorist groups is to kill as many as civilians on the other side as possible, while the main goal of the US/Israeli forces is to prevent them from carrying out that said goal. AND if that means civilians will be killed on their side, then that is the way it must be because it is an inevitably that comes along with the protection of one's own people.

    I read a quote recently somewhere from an Israeli mother who summerized the situation pretty well, she said:

    "If you hide behind your baby to shoot at my baby, you are
    responsible for getting children killed.

    You and you alone."

    in a simplified version, this is precisly what hezbollah was doing, that is what it boils down to.
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    Once again civilian authority holds up the experts from doing their jobs. If the Israeli Generals were set loose to do what they knew had to be done to get ride of the Hezbollah then the Hezbollah would have been in a real **** storm.

    Personally I am behind Israel on this. I remember a post where someone said that if the Hezbollah were to lay down their arms the Israelis would go home and call it a day. If the Israelis were to lay down their arms the Hezbollah would kill as many Israelis as they could.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmarJackson
    ....Apparently many are calling for olmert to resign or have a special election scheduled to force him out of office....
    What are the alternative choices for the leadership? Bibi? Barak? Any black horse ex-military?

    About the cease fire, I tend to concur with the view that, Olmert and Peretz were looking for a way out. They grabbed the cease fire with both hands like mana from heavan. I think something is royally ****ed up in that Yaalon can't even get a call in to Halutz. That is crap. What kind of BS Halutz has been playing? Not to mention the bank thing.....

    oh, and while i'm on the subject, the the claims made by the leftist media, UN and european leadership that Israel was intentionally targeting civilians is utterly laughable. If that was the case, the lebanese total population today would have been 6.
    Most of the better informed people realize this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioHazzard
    What are the alternative choices for the leadership? Bibi? Barak? Any black horse ex-military?
    if there is another election on the basis of 'failure to act' on the current government i would assume Likud would win and bibi would take over.

    I think something is royally ****ed up in that Yaalon can't even get a call in to Halutz. That is crap. What kind of BS Halutz has been playing? Not to mention the bank thing.....
    I don't know whats going on between Yaalon and Halutz.

    But yea, the **** is hitting the fan, now that it came out that Halutz sold all his shares in the israel stock market the day before the first day of the war. He's facing charges of insider trading.
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    What a damn shame. Halutz was a top rate pilot. He is just not up to the job he has now. His appointment to the current position has been controversial from the beginning.

    Like I said before, this whole mess would never have come to this, has Sharon not been struck down. Olmert got elected b/c of Sharon. Oh well, this is all water under the bridge. The important thing now is the next step. There is zero chance of either UNIFIL or the Lebanese army in disarming Hizballah. There is no chance that Israel will live with this violation of its deterrence. As soon as Israel gets internal mess sorted out, it will be Operation Restore Deterrence.
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