Israeli tanks have continued to blast targets in the Lebanese border town dubbed the capital of Hizbollah, Bint Jbail.
The army says its mission is clear – to take up positions around communities where the guerrilla movement is strong, and hit their positions hard. The eventual aim is to establish a so-called security zone, mirroring the border controls instituted during Israel’s 18-year occupation of Lebanon.
Defence Minister Amir Peretz said the military would control the zone until any multinational force were in place. “The bottom line is to create a deterrent force for the state of Israel so that when a ceasefire agreement is signed no one will dare hurt the Israeli home front,” he said. It comes as the Israeli army has been criticised at home for what some see as poor intelligence gathering – in particular in identifying and targeting Hizbollah rocket positions.