Israel for rules change in south Lebanon

July 14, 2006 at 11:37 AM   |   Comments

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 14 (UPI) -- Israel's ongoing military operation is aimed at changing the rules of the game in south Lebanon, notably to end the Hezbollah threat to its northern border.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Friday his country will not stop its war on Lebanon until Resolution 1559 stipulating Hezbollah disarmament and deployment of the Lebanese army on the international border is implemented.

Olmert said he will cooperate with U.N. envoys to the Middle Easr "only in case their aim is to return the kidnapped Israeli soldiers and implementing 1559 fully."

Israeli political sources said earlier Israel's condition for a cease-fire in operation "Just Reward" against Lebanon is to push Hezbollah positions away from the border and create a buffer zone on the Lebanese side of the frontier.

The sources quoted in daily Haaretz said Friday "the aim of the military operation is to change the balance of powers between Lebanon and Israel."

In the meantime, Israel increased threats against Lebanon, including targeting Hezbollah centers in the southern suburb of Beirut and vowing to liquidate Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and members of his leadership.

Israeli Interior Minister Roni Bar On said "Nasrallah decided his own fate and it seems to me that he cannot find an agent for insuring his life these days."

"We will settle our accounts with him when the time comes," On added.

In another sign the Lebanon assault was far from over, a senior army officer told Haaretz "the IDF is free to carry out strikes against Hezbollah offices in the southern suburbs of Beirut in the coming few hours."

The southern suburb, a hotbed for Hezbollah and a base for its leadership, was targeted in overnight air strikes for the first time, in which three people were killed and 17 others injured.

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