Israel launched an expanded ground offensive in Lebanon Friday evening, the Associated Press reported, just as diplomats at the U. N. Security Council said they were nearing final agreement on a proposed cease-fire resolution.
Few details of the beefed-up military campaign were immediately available, in part because it was announced just at sundown in Israel, the start of the Jewish Sabbath, and many government officials were unavailable...
A spokesman for prime minister Ehud Olmert told the Associated Press that Olmert gave the order after concluding that the deal being worked out by the Security Council in New York failed to meet Israel's basic requirements,
Basic logic, give us everything or we will keep killing. I know this sounds blunt, but Olmert's tactics resemble that employed by kidnappers, and dare I say it, terrorists. Lebanon proper is now being used as a pawn, so that Israel can leverage its position. Why turn up the heat now, when a diplomatic solution was clearly on the horizon? Israel's reaction is reckless, risks undoing any progress and opens up the spectre of the dreaded "wider" war. The curious timing of this announcement, like earlier ones, leads me to believe that Israel is sabotaging the peace process, now that a solution looks feasible.