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Israel to EXPAND ground operations in Lebanon

idftank1.jpgYN: Following nearly four hours of discussions, security-political cabinet ministers overwhelmingly approved the expansion of IDF ground operations in south Lebanon, after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert clarified earlier Monday in a speech that there would be no ceasefire in the upcoming days.The aim of the widened offensive is to attain real achievements on the ground in weakening Hizbullah before the window of opportunity closes this weekend when the UN Security Council is expected to decide on ceasefire conditions.All the lawmakers who participated in the late-night meeting, with the sole exception of MK Ophir Pines, voted in favor of widening ground operations. During the meeting, ministers were briefed on which locations the army planned to target and were updated on intelligence information.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni presented ministers with the low-down on the international situation. Among other things, she spoke of the assembly of European Union foreign ministers and UN Security Council foreign ministers slated for this weekend. These diplomatic processes, Livni said, would directly lead to a ceasefire.? ?

On Sunday the Nahal brigades began operating in the area of Taybeh in the eastern section of the north border. Golani�s 13th regiment was also operating in the area. The IDF has selected a number of particular locations to target, which were hotbeds of Hizbullah activity, including launching rockets at Israel, operating headquarters to issue directives to Hizbullah members in the field, and storing weapons.

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