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Israel will continue to attack Hezbollah

india Updated: Aug 06, 2006 12:39 IST
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Israel will keep attacking Hezbollah and soldiers will stay in a strip of southern Lebanon until an international force arrives to take over, a senior Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday.

Justice Minister Haim Ramon, speaking on Army Radio about a draft UN Security Council resolution that calls for a halt to fighting between Israel and Hizbollah, did not say if the Jewish state accepted the resolution as it stood or not.

The cabinet holds its weekly meeting at 10 am.

"This is just a draft," Ramon said.

"So we must continue fighting ... We still have goals to achieve militarily. Every day we hit Hizbollah like what has been happening in recent days, then politically we will be able to achieve better results."

He said Israel doubted whether the Lebanese guerrilla group would abide by the French-US Draft resolution, once it passed.

The resolution calls for a "full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations".

A second resolution is envisaged a week or two after the first is adopted, setting down conditions for a permanent ceasefire and authorising an international force in the area.

Israel has 10,000 troops in southern Lebanon trying to drive Hizbollah back from the border area, from where the group has fired barrages of rockets into the Jewish state.

"There is no doubt that until an international force arrives ... Israel will stay in the security zone that we are in now and no source can act against Israel. That's what the draft says," Ramon said.

The war erupted on July 12 when Hizbollah seized two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others in a cross-border raid.