Over 20,000 rockets threaten Israel lined within Hezbollah's defenses
Olmert appears galvanized, acknowledges serious nature of the threat, and also the need to counter it immediately.. makes the call.
(YNET) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said after an emergency ministerial meeting late Wednesday that the government has authorized the IDF to crush the Hizbullah threat in the north, even at the price of rocket fire on Israeli territory.
"We will confront the threat with determination and we will win this battle. This is not an easy test for the leadership, for security
forces or for Israeli citizens. The rocket threat against Israel existed for many years. We did not choose to deal with it now, but the present reality obligates us to. We cannot be hostages to this threat," Olmert asserted.
The government authorized the "lieutenants' forum" to make operative decisions, in both the military and international arenas, starting immediately, regarding action against Lebanon and Hizbullah. [...]
Israel facing a strategic threat..
The emergency cabinet meeting lasted two hours, during which ministers expressed their views on the issue. Many of those present defined the meeting as "serious" and "intense." Security officials urged the government to act based on the presumption that if the IDF acts, a reprisal of rocket attacks should be expected from the Hizbullah enemy.
The prime minister responded, "There are times when the state needs to protect its citizens, even at the price of the rocket threat or international tensions." During the cabinet meeting, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said he instructed the IDF and OC Homefront Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon to prepare for rocket attacks.
Israel fears Hizbullah will retaliate to the IDF attacks with long-range rockets it keeps in south Lebanon; these improves rockets are capable of reaching populated areas in Haifa and even the Sharon region and can also strike strategic facilities such as the refineries near Haifa or the power station in Hadera.
To his credit, looks like Olmert may not need an emergency unity government with his right. He has for the time being decided to lead.
It will be a dificult number of days for the residents of Israel's Golan & North, forced into war by the Hezbollah. Equally, civilians in Lebanon now have their own inaction vis a vis Hezbollah to thank for what will be trying times and violence.
When does Lebanon face the music?
Israel is clearly and with justification holding Lebanon responsible for its soldiers lives. What kind of leadership have we seen thus far in Lebanon? Will the Lebanese Army now engage Hezbollah as required by international consensus, or attempt to shield the terrorist organization that rules South Lebanon.. Possibly opening even wider the already gaping Syrian front.
I'm eager to see the much needed overwhelming international pressure on Lebanon, Iran & Syria. The putting into action of the token 'wisdom and success of diplomacy in these matters' that so often accompany the never ending calls for Israel's restraint. Israel's soldiers must be released unconditionally, these are acts of war.