Olmert Levels Cease-Fire Conditions
The Jerusalem Post reports that, in "an impassioned speech to the Knesset" today, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leveled Israel’s three demands for a cease fire:
1) Hizballah's return of kidnapped soldiers.
2) Cessation of rocket attacks on Israeli cities.
3) Deployment of Lebanese Army along its southern border.
The third is clearly the most difficult to achieve, for a multitude of reasons. It is, however, not an unreasonable demand. This clearly displays that, while Israel 'holds the Lebanese government responsible' for Hizballah's actions in southern Lebanon, Israel is clearly not at war with the State of Lebanon. Clearly, they want the Lebanese government to be in control vice Hizballah, whom they are at war with.
"When missiles are launched at our residents and our towns, our answer will be war waged at full strength, with all determination, courage and sacrifice," he [PM Olmert] said.
"We are not looking for war or direct conflict, but if necessary we will not be frightened by it," added the prime minister.
Lebanon is reluctant to deploy its army to the south for fear of rekindling a paused but yet-unsettled civil war, sparking a bloodbath between Shi'ite Hizballah in the south and Sunnis from northern Lebanon.
It appears quite necessary for the IDF to 'soften' Hizballah significantly before the Lebanese army would make such a move, with or without the 2004 UN Security Council Resolution 1559 (PDF: Resolution 1559 Text here), which called for the Lebanese Army to disarm the terrorist organization.