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Sunday, August 24, 2008
[With Hebrew edition details - UNIFIL doesn't enter villages where Hezbollah operates] Defense officals: continue UNIFIL deployment in Lebanon and then push for extending their power

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

The English edition is vague: "Once UNIFIL's mandate has been extended, the
Defense Ministry recommends that Israel campaign to expand the troops' power
to engage hostile forces on the ground. Defense officials have often
complained that UNIFIL forces are not determined enough to block an armed
Hezbollah presence in South Lebanon.

The Hebrew edition is considerably more detailed:
www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1014663.html
"among other things the defense system recommends that Israel demand that
UNIFIL operate also inside the villages in South Lebanon, that have turned
into a fertile area for Hezbollah activity and within which UNIFIL declines
to enter. The system also recommends changing UNIFIL's instruction for
opening fire, in order to enable them to act with greater determination
against violations of Hezbolllah south of the Litani ."

Question: Why "Once UNIFIL's mandate has been extended, the Defense
Ministry recommends that Israel campaign to expand the troops' power to
engage hostile forces on the ground" instead of already pushing now?]

Israel should back extending UNIFIL presence in Lebanon, defense officials
say
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent Last update - 03:52 24/08/2008
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1014499.html

Despite the harsh criticism Defense Minister Ehud Barak has voiced over the
past few weeks about UN Resolution 1701, the defense establishment
recommended last week that Israel support extending the mandate of the
enlarged international force deployed in southern Lebanon.

The UN Security Council is expected to extend the mandate of the United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for another year on August 27, UN
chief Ban Ki-moon announced last week. The force consists of 12,000 troops
from various nations.

On Friday, Ban sent a letter to Belgian UN envoy Jan Grauls, this month's
Council chair, recommending extending UNIFIL's mandate until August 31,
2009, at the Lebanese government's request.

Once UNIFIL's mandate has been extended, the Defense Ministry recommends
that Israel campaign to expand the troops' power to engage hostile forces on
the ground. Defense officials have often complained that UNIFIL forces are
not determined enough to block an armed Hezbollah presence in South Lebanon.

Barak has been campaigning strongly against Security Council Resolution
1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War, repeatedly calling it a failure
and a serious miscalculation by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Barak says
Resolution 1701 has collapsed and UNIFIL has failed to prevent Hezbollah
from accumulating more power.

In an interview with Army Radio last week, Barak said that Kadima
front-runner, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, was unfit to make decisions
about Israel's security and that the pride she takes in contributing to the
passing of Resolution 1701 casts serious doubt on her judgment.

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