Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed yesterday to the demands of the United States to halt all air strikes in Lebanon for a period of 48 hours for the purpose of investigating the Kfar Kana incident.
At the same time, Israel will allow a 24-hour window for residents of southern Lebanon to evacuate north of a predetermined point coordinated by the UN.
US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said that Israel will still hold the right to attack different targets if they believe Hizballah is preparing a counterattack. “The United States praises this decision and hopes it will ease the suffering of the children of southern Lebanon and their families.” Ereli added.
A response from the Prime Minister’s office said that “following the Kfar Kana incident, Israel will refrain from air strikes on targets that are not immediately threatening to Israel for the purpose of concluding the full military investigation and drawing the conclusions from it, a process which will take 48 hours to conclude. Additionally, Israel will allow, with coordination with the UN, a period of 24 hours allowing all residents of southern Lebanon to evacuate north. The land and sea humanitarian relief corridors will remain open throughout this time.”