CSMS Magazine Staff WritersLate yesterday afternoon, UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, confirmed that the governments of both Israel and Lebanon have agreed to “cease all hostilities.” Israeli agreement came after a 24-0 vote, with one abstention, that was taken by the Israeli cabinet. Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, gave his cautious consent. The truce was to take effect on Monday morning. As the vote took place, Israeli shells slammed into the hard-hit Dahiyeh suburb, a Hezbollah stronghold just south of Beirut, Lebanese television stations said. Al-Arabiya said several buildings were destroyed. So, while Israel is talking peace, there is sign on the ground that its military onslaught on innocent Lebanese civilians is about to recede. According to Associated Press, earlier Sunday, Israeli warplanes fired missiles into gasoline stations in the southern port city of Tyre, killing at least ten people in those and other attacks. Fierce ground fighting involving 30,000 Israeli troops continued in the south, where Israel lost 24 soldiers Saturday, including five on a helicopter shot out of the air by guerrillas.In Jerusalem, a heated debate erupted during the Cabinet session, with minister Ofir Pines-Paz criticizing the government’s decision to order an expanded ground offensive in the days before the cease-fire is to take effect. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immediately praised the Cabinet’s decision, saying “Hezbollah won’t continue to exist as a state within a state.” There is no formal explanation to the Israeli’s latest full-scale ground offensive in South Lebanon other than an operation to save face, as its military proves incapable to wipe out the militia even after its war machine has cost more than a thousand Lebanese civilians their lives, forced a million Lebanese to flee their homes, destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and threatens, due to the blockading of vital food and medical supplies, to cause an even greater humanitarian crisis.Also see: UN Resolution on the conflict. http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20060812I219Israeli Butchering of Innocent Lebanese Civilians: http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20060731I198Lebanon rejected first proposal : http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20060808I210
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