While it has agreed to suspend air attacks on Lebanon for 48 hours, Israel has said it is not ready for an immediate ceasefire, warning any Hezbollah strikes will meet retaliation. Several Israeli soldiers were injured in border fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon this morning.
Israel’s suspension follows the killing of more than 50 civilians in an Israeli bombing on the village of Qana yesterday which drew international condemnation. In the Knesset this morning, Israeli defence minister Amir Peretz said his country could not agree to an immediate ceasefire as that would allow the extremists to rear their heads again.
“In a few months we will be back in the same place,” he added. Lebanon says it will only negotiate a peace package if there is an unconditional ceasefire. Israel is demanding the deployment of an international stabilisation force and wants Hezbollah to be disarmed before any truce can be negotiated.