Israel 'authorised' to continue attacks
07/27/06 "Aljazeera" -- --
Israel has said it has recieved implicit
"authorisation" from international powers to continue its attacks in
The Israeli justice minister, Haim Ramon, said Israel had "in effect
obtained the authorisation to continue our operations" by
Wednesday's 15-nation Rome conference on the crisis in Lebanon.
Ramon said on Thursday the conference had implicitly said Israel
could continue its attacks "until Hezbollah is no longer present in
"The whole world knows that a Hezbollah victory will mean a victory
for international terrorism, which will be a catastrophe for the
world and for Israel."
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, described
Ramon's interpretation as a "gross misunderstanding" of the outcome
of the conference.
"I would say just the opposite - yesterday in Rome it was clear that
everyone present wanted to see an end to the fighting as swiftly as
The conference failed to reach agreement on calling for a ceasefire
between Israel and Hezbollah, instead agreeing to work to towards a
Ramon made his remarks before an Israeli security cabinet meeting on
At the meeting, the Israeli government continue its limited
incursions into Lebanon rather than launch a bigger ground
offensive, an Israeli political source said.
The meeting took place after nine soldiers were killed in south
Lebanon on Wednesday, the heaviest loss the army has suffered in 24
hours since the war began.
"It was decided to continue the offensive with the same strategy,
using pinpointed ground incursions and air strikes, not to bring in
massive forces," the source said.
"At the moment the army is not bound by time, it can act as long as
Israel Radio said ministers made it clear that they had no intention
of widening the conflict to confront Syria, which backs Hezbollah.
A statement from the prime minister's office said the security
cabinet had authorised the call-up of more reserve troops.
"The cabinet has decided ... to mobilise reserve units to reinforce
the military potential and capacity in the face of Hezbollah in
Lebanon," the statement said.
Israel says it is trying to push Hezbollah back from the border and
end rocket attacks on the north of the country.
European Union officials and diplomats met on Thursday to discuss
plans to help Lebanon and whether any EU nations would be prepared
to join a peacekeeping force there.
Officials said many countries remain cool on the proposed force,
only Germany, Italy and non-EU member Turkey have voiced support for
contributing to a mission.
Finland, which holds the rotating EU presidency, is leading the
meetings in Helsinki and at the EU headquarters in Brussels.