Saturday, August 19, 2006

Israel violates Middle East ceasefire

The fragile Middle East ceasefire faced its biggest test yet Saturday when Israeli forces raided a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon - violating the five-day-old agreement.
One Israeli soldier was killed and two others were injured, one seriously, when a commando team tried to stop what Israel claims is the smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah from Syria and Iran. Both countries deny arming the militant group.
Hezbollah fighters say they successfully fought off the Israeli fighters near the Syrian border and foiled their raid, although Israel contends the commando team was able to carry out its mission.
According to witnesses near the village of Boudai, west of Baalbek, Israeli missiles destroyed a bridge during the raid.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called the military mission a "flagrant violation" of the United Nations-brokered ceasefire, which came into effect Monday after more than a month of vicious fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah. Hundreds of Lebanese civilians were killed and nearly a million displaced from their homes.
The Israeli army claims it will continue such missions until "an effective monitoring unit" of Lebanese or multinational troops is in place.
"If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the (UN ceasefire) resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo," Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.
Meanwhile, an international force is being put together in Lebanon - it'll be deployed near the Lebanon-Israel border to provide a buffer between Hezbollah militants and Israel.
About 50 peacekeepers from France arrived in the south of Lebanon Saturday. France has pledged only 200 army engineers to the disappointment of the UN and United States - which had hoped for a larger commitment from the nation. The UN is calling on more countries to provide peacekeepers, which work with existing Lebanon forces.
The UN wants to have 3,500 troops in southern Lebanon by September 2, and the entire force in place by November 4. The Security Council has authorized up to 13,000 troops in addition to the 2,000-member force already there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It still looks as though the cease fire will hold....let us hope that is stays that way. should post up a blog honoring the photographer who took the flag raising pics at IWO JIMA

he recently passed away

take care


5:29 AM, August 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry...i meant blog entry


5:30 AM, August 21, 2006  
Blogger yugunter said...

Rosenthal, eh - don't you find it a bit ironic making this comment in this particular blog post?

12:13 PM, August 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



8:03 AM, August 24, 2006  

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