Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attacked the leaders of Syria and said they are hasty, immature and irresponsible. He also blamed the leaders of Syria in backing terrorism and said there is no use asking the Syrians to help settle the dispute in Lebanon.
In interviews to the press, Olmert said that he is proud of the Israeli commando raid in Baalbek, located 100 kilometers from the Israeli border. “The commandoes achieved an impressive result. The Hizballah people will be interrogated and they will be treated according to international humanitarian law which Israel enforces. It is too early to speak about their release. They need to get used to being in an Israeli prison.”
Olmert emphasized that Israel will not end the fighting in Lebanon before a strong and effective multinational force is deployed in southern Lebanon. We do not intend to stop the fighting and wait for weeks until the force arrives because until then, the Hizballah will return to the south and we will have achieved nothing.”
Olmert added that the Hizballah’s infrastructure has been destroyed and there was a serious blow to their weapons arsenal. According to him, the local residents, which were Hizballah’s base of power, have lost their homes and they are now bitter and angry towards Hizballah. The organization is isolated both internationally and within the Arab world, with the exception of Iran and Syria. Hizballah is in a very bad state and has effectively been disarmed of most of its weapons.
When speaking about Nasrallah, Olmert said that thousands of Shiites in Lebanon think he is an evil, irresponsible and insane murderer who is responsible for all this destruction. Many in the Arab world share this notion, even if there are extremists who still support him.
Olmert said that the Lebanon campaign has unearthed Iran’s strategic plan to use Hizballah as a strategic arm. “This realization allows the west to prepare for the Iranian nuclear threat sooner, something that is not favorable to Iran, but is favorable to the west.”
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