Israel’s Security Cabinet will convene on Wednesday and will be asked to approve the Israel Defense Force’s recommendation, endorsed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz to expand and deepen the ground campaign in southern Lebanon all the way to the Litani River.
The objective of the operation, to be carried out mainly by reservists, is to “flood” southern Lebanon with tens of thousands of troops and silence the short range Katyushas.
Senior security officials say that the plan will change the face of the war: “There will be more forces on the ground and we will use much more firepower.”
Prime Minister Olmert said in a talk with reservist officers in the Northern Command that “the stronger the blow you land, and the more you are able to lessen the Katyusha launching, there will be better conditions for a future settlement. Israel cannot afford to have someone firing at a million of our citizens, and not return a strong blow in return.”
Olmert added that “War involves fatalities, pain, crying, and trauma. We know this, but this is the time when we need to cope, both on the front lines and in the rear. I give you all of the power and all of the support. We are not slowing down. We must stop the Katyushas. It is inconceivable that a million citizens will be living in bomb shelters. In this aspect the army will have no limitations.”