Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Two Soldiers Kidnapped, Eight Dead

Two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and three others were killed when Hizbullah attacked an IDF patrol earlier today. Four others died pursuing the militants when their tank ran over a mine.

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah demanded that Israel release prisoners in order to see the safe return of their soldiers. "No military operation will return them”, he said.

PM Ehud Olmert called the attack an “act of war” and Defence Minister Amir Peretz said that “Israel holds the Lebanese government fully responsible for this morning’s attack along the northern border”.

Today’s events could cause a major escalation in the level of force used by the IDF, who have called up a reserve division following the attack.

Jpost reports that Professor Gerald Steinberg, Senior Research Associate at the Begin Sedat Center for Strategic Studies, said that "Israel may have to take alarming force as an outcome of the latest attacks, which may even result in the disarming of the Hizbullah. Israel's leaders will have to decide how to act next along its borders as well as with Syria. They cannot sit back and allow terrorist organizations to dictate the situation. The primary focus must be military."

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