The Israeli government has endorsed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a “full cessation of hostilities.” But Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said soldiers will not withdraw from southern Lebanon until a stronger peacekeeping force arrives.
“Israel will leave in tandem with the deployment south of the Lebanese army along with the international force,” she said, speaking of the soon-to-be expanded presence of UN troops in the region.
She also said Israel would “not neglect” its aim of securing the release of two soldiers whose abduction by Hizbollah triggered the crisis.
With the official ceasefire due to come into effect on Monday morning, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana has been meeting Israel’s Defence Minister Amir Peretz in Jerusalem.
Yesterday, the EU envoy met Lebanese leaders, who have also approved the resolution, despite what the prime minister called “some reservations.” The leader of Hizbollah, which is represented in the Lebanese cabinet, said it had negative aspects but could have been worse.