In northern Israel on the border with Lebanon, many people have welcomed the news that the EU plans to send some 7,000 peacekeeping troops to the region. “I think we will feel more secure,” said one woman in the border town of Metula. “We know that Europe is sending its soldiers and we’re waiting for it. It will be better if we can bring back the soldiers home and stay here safely.” “I think that it has to make sure that Hezbollah does not come back to this region and hopefully disarm,” said another, “and if UNIFIL does not maintain the security of the Israeli people, I believe that a next round in this conflict will come up.”
Others however were more sceptical: “We have known for a long time that UNIFIL are doing what they can,” said one man. “Most of them are untrained soldiers that are not allowed to open fire, they are not allowed to do anything except to defend themselves and they do it very good, actually, very well.” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, under fire for his government’s handling of the war, has promised more than 1.5 billion euros to help rebuild the towns hardest hit by Hizbollah rockets.