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34243Following Cabinet decision: Ground operation expanded

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  • Joseph M. Hochstein
    Aug 1 1:20 AM
      Ynetnews
      Aug. 1, 2006

      Following Cabinet decision: Ground operation expanded

      Five divisions - three infantry and two armored corps - complete
      preparations in southern Lebanon ahead of advancement deeper into
      Lebanon and possible joining of reserve divisions

      by Hanan Greenberg
      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3284525,00.html

      A number of hours after a Security Cabinet meeting in which it was
      decided to widen the ground operation Lebanon, large IDF forces began
      operating simultaneously along a number of areas on the border.

      On Monday, forces from the Paratroopers Division began operating in a
      different region, while overnight additional forces from the Golani and
      Paratroopers Division to areas in southern Lebanon to carry out searches
      after infrastructures and Hizbullah caches.

      As armored corps divisions joined operations overnight, preparations by
      five full divisions in the area were complete - this is the largest
      force that has operated in the area during the current campaign.

      IDF soldiers in southern Lebanon. Preparing for broadened operation
      (Photo: AP)

      The five divisions will be joined in the coming days by reserve soldiers
      drafted last week.

      During the night, in operations aimed at seizing the initiative aimed at
      striking Hizbullah infrastructures, infantry and armored corps soldiers
      captured dominating positions in the town of al-Taibeh and also operated
      in the villages of al-Adaisah and Rav al-Taltin, west of Metula. The
      villages, according to the IDF, have been used as launch zones to fire
      rockets at Israel.

      During operations Hizbullah members opened fire and shelled IDF forced,
      but there were no injuries.

      Following nearly four hours of discussions, Security Cabinet ministers
      overwhelmingly approved the expansion of IDF ground operations in south
      Lebanon, after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert clarified earlier Monday in a
      speech that there would be no ceasefire in the upcoming days.

      The aim of the widened offensive is to attain real achievements on the
      ground in weakening Hizbullah before the window of opportunity closes
      this weekend when the UN Security Council is expected to decide on
      ceasefire conditions.

      Just hours after the conclusion of the meeting, witnesses reported that
      Israeli warplanes targeted the Hizbullah stronghold of Hermel deep
      inside Lebanon early Tuesday, despite Israel's 48 hours suspension of
      air strikes. Warplanes fired at least five air-to-surface missiles on
      the town, witnesses said. Another strike targeted an area near the
      Syrian border.

      (08.01.06, 08:41)