Israel Softens Stance on Cease-Fire Conditions
The Israeli prime minister appeared to drop his country’s insistence that Hezbollah must be dismantled before Israel discontinues its attack. (You have to scan down the article to see the “softening.” Israel is still demanding release of its two captured soldiers, a cessation of rocket attacks on Israel, and the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border.)
WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday the fighting in Lebanon would end when the two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah guerrillas were freed, rocket attacks on Israel were stopped, and the Lebanese army was deployed along the border.
Delivering an impassioned speech to parliament after six days of fighting with Lebanon, Olmert said Israel would have no mercy on militants who attack its cities with rockets, and he pledged to destroy terrorist infrastructure.
“We shall seek out every installation, hit every terrorist helping to attack Israeli citizens, destroy all the terrorist infrastructure, in every place. We shall continue this until Hezbollah does the basic and fair things required of it by every civilized person,” he said in his first major address since the fighting in Lebanon began last week.
“Israel will not agree to live in the shadow of the threat of missiles or rockets against its residents.”
Israeli officials have said publicly that Israel would not stop fighting until Hezbollah, a Shiite militia that controls much of south Lebanon, is dismantled. But Olmert’s comments Monday ? seeking the release of the soldiers, the end of Hezbollah attacks on Israel, and the deployment of Lebanese troops in south Lebanon ? seemed to be a softening of that position.
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