JERUSALEM (Reuters) -
Israel's security cabinet on Wednesday ordered an expanded ground offensive in Lebanon aimed at striking a harder blow against Hizbollah and curbing its cross-border rocket attacks, the prime minister's office said.
The decision by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and top ministers to send troops deeper into Lebanon, possibly as far as the Litani river, up to 20 km (13 miles) north of the border, would bring a major escalation despite U.N. diplomacy to end the war.
"The security cabinet approved the recommendations of the defense establishment for the continuation of operations in Lebanon," the statement said.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz had recommended a deeper thrust into Lebanon despite what media reports said were Olmert's fears of heavy Israeli casualties in such a large-scale operation. Nine ministers approved the decision. Three abstained.
Israel already has about 10,000 troops in southern Lebanon, and it was not immediately clear how many more would be deployed in the widened military campaign. Olmert's office said further details would be released in a separate statement.
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This is an action that has been anticipated and thought of for awhile now and I believe it is one that Israel must take to safe guard the lives of its own people who are under constant attack from rockets fired by crazy Islamo-Fascists hell bent on the destruction of the Jewish state and all those who reside in its borders.
The United Nation will almost undoubtedly condemn this action taken by Israel and again place blame and criticism upon a nation which is fighting for its very existence, but what they will not do is condemn those terrorist organizations which are responsible for this in the first place.
Hezbollah has had ample time and opportunity to stop the deadly attacks that have been raking northern Israel and are the main reason for the upcoming drive to the Litani River, which is intended to end those rocket attacks.
If the Lebanese government had taken action sooner to prevent these attacks and had disarmed Hezbollah as it was suppose to do, than we would not be in the delicate situation that we find ourselves in now.
The international community has had sharp criticism regarding Israel’s military incursion into southern Lebanon, and has tried to bend this to make Israel look like the villain when they are only fighting for their very existence.
I do not think any person believes that this incursion will be without cost and nor do I, but I do agree with Israel on this issue, the positives out weight the negatives, even in the face of possible stiffer casualties.
Many in the international community have criticized the United States for our unflinching support for the Jewish state, but they fail to realize that a defeat against Hezbollah In southern Lebanon is a defeat against Iran.
It is my opinion that the Arab world supports Hezbollah actively and they seek the destruction of the Jewish state and hope to subjugate women around the world and hope to bring their radical ideology to the rest of the world.
Iran has gone down the wrong course, they believed Hezbollah was finally strong enough to make a effective attack upon Israel, this is not the case, Hezbollah will soon fold and Iran will be the next target.
Israel is able to make these bold moves because of the unwavering support from President Bush’s administration and the American people who realize that Israel is fighting the same fight that we now face in Iraq and Afghanistan, my support for Israel is unflinching.