The Israeli Cabinet convened today to discuss the UN Security Council's resolution calling for a ceasefire in Southern Lebanon. There was an almost unanimous approval with Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz being the only minister to abstain.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recommended that cabinet ministers approve the resolution and saying that it is good for Israel and includes a series of diplomatic accomplishments.
The ceasefire is to take affect Monday morning at 7:00 am Israel time. This means that the IDF will stay on the ground for a period of a week or two in order for the international force to be deployed. According to the UN resolution, the UNIFIL force will increase from 2,000 soldiers to 15,000 and will get significant enforcement capabilities.
From the moment the ceasefire goes into effect, Israel will not initiate any offensive actions, but will reserve the right to protect itself if attacked.
The Likud party in Israel criticized the government and said that the UN resolution is a political victory for terrorism and a huge failure for the government. MK Israel Katz (Likud) said that if the government would approve and adopt the resolution, a million and a half people will have sat in bomb shelters for nothing and within a few years the war will be repeated. MK Limor Livnat (Likud) said that the agreement is bad for Israel and does not achieve any of the objectives set forth by the government.
MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) called for all cabinet ministers to oppose the decision which is a leadership failure for Olmert. Former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said that this is the worst agreement Israel could ever have gotten, saying that "the UNIFIL force is a bunch of retirees and tourists. How exactly will they disarm Hizballah?"
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