From the Beeb:
Israel carried out an overnight raid inside Lebanon aimed at disrupting an arms transfer, the Israeli army says.
One soldier died and two were injured in the Bekaa Valley operation, it said. Lebanese sources earlier told Reuters agency that three militants also died.
The incident came hours after UN chief Kofi Annan warned of a “fragile” situation on the ground.
Israel’s fresh operation inside Lebanon came five days after a UN-brokered ceasefire ended the month-long conflict.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the Israeli raid was a naked violation of the ceasefire.
The Israeli army said the raid was to prevent arms being delivered to Hezbollah by Iran and Syria.
What utter hypocrisy. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Sinoira calls Israel’s raid a violation of the cease-fire, yet his government refuses to disarm Hezbollah, one of the cease-fire’s actual requirements.
Added: Disarming Hezbollah is actually not part of the cease-fire. The resolution says that the Lebanese government has the sole authority to determine who is armed:
OP3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;
The Real Ugly American still sees a little hope in Olmert’s leadership:
This cease-fire is hanging on by a thread. Iran and sycophants Syria and Hezbollah would be wise to quit while they are ahead. Even the weak-knead Olmert has to have his limits.
Captain Ed also thinks Israel will still come through:
If the Lebanese want to restart the war, they will find the Israelis more than willing to do so. Israel may count on precisely that reaction, as well as the inability of Siniora to enforce his end of the cease-fire agreement. If this cease-fire fails, the Israelis will have no further constraints by the UN and can take all the time necessary to complete their overall mission, and Siniora will have no way to stop it. All the crying in the world will not cover the fact that he had an opportunity to rid himself of Hezbollah and chose to endorse it instead.
Update: Lebanon is threatening to stop its deployment of Lebanese troops to the south even though Israel’s raid was done in an effort to enforce the cease-fire the Lebanese cabinet approved:
In Jerusalem, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev defended the raid as a response to “a violation of the cease-fire.”
“The U.N. Security Council resolution on Lebanon is very explicit: It says that Hezbollah cannot use the cease-fire to rearm, to receive more missiles and more rockets from Syria and Iran. That was happening, and Israel acted to prevent that from happening,” he said.
Regev indicated Israel could conduct further raids until Lebanese and international troops take up positions to prevent Hezbollah from rebuilding its arsenal – a goal that the U.N. resolution sets as part of a long-term end to the conflict but does not immediately require.
“If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo,” Regev said. “Once the Lebanese army and the international forces are active … then such Israeli activity will become superfluous.”
Update II: Now the Lebanese government is instructing its troops, the very troops the UN says must be deployed to south Lebanon to prevent hostilities from starting back up, to stand with Hezbollah:
An internal Lebanese army statement, circulated among forces in the past week, has called for troops to stand “alongside your resistance and your people who astonished the world with its steadfastness and destroyed the prestige of the so-called invincible army after it was defeated”.
The circular has alarmed ministers in the Lebanese cabinet who had been calling for the army to disarm Hizbullah.
It will also fuel the concerns of Israel, the US and the UN security council that the Lebanese army is incapable of securing the south of the country, adding increased urgency to the calls for a multinational force to be swiftly deployed.
I really wonder what the US was thinking when it allowed this resolution to go through. I supposed Sec. Rice and Amb. Bolton assumed the Lebanese government cared enough about its sovereignty to actually disarm Hezbollah. It appears they were wrong.
Update III: Kofi Annan is saying that the Israeli raid was a violation of the cease-fire agreement.