Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert has reacted positively to the offer of 15,000 Lebanese troops being deployed in the south of the country to help control and monitor the area where Hizbollah is operating. Speaking after a meeting with Israeli President Moshe Katsav Olmert said he is ready to consider the idea: “I think that it will be fair to say that we’ll study this, it looks interesting, and we will examine it closely. We will take counsel with other parties that are interested in the situation and that are working towards the resolution of the United Nations and we will make up our mind about it.”
Olmert told a news conference that the Lebanese soldiers would have to be accompanied by a strong international force made up of combat units and that Hizbollah must be disarmed. However time may be a difficulty as Lebanon wants an immediate Israeli withdrawal before it deploys such a force.