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28 Jul, 2006 05:09

The fate awaiting those striking Israel – defence minister’s warning

The fate awaiting those striking Israel – defence minister’s warning

The Lebanese government said 600 of its citizens have died since the fighting with Israel began on July 12. Many of the dead are believed still buried in the rubble of their homes.

Lebanon's health minister said as many as 200 people could be sheltering in their homes, afraid to leave to seek refuge from the heavy bombardment.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah rockets continued to rain on northern Israel, hitting a chemical factory in Haifa. More than 1,400 rockets have been fired into Israel since the conflict began. Despite pressure from many European nations, Israel said its attacks could continue for another few weeks. It called up an extra 30,000 soldiers to bolster its forces but denies planning a major ground offensive.

A delegation from the European Union arrived in Israel’s capital, Tel Aviv, calling for a ceasefire. Israel's Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, made a defiant speech saying Israel's action in Lebanon awaited anyone attacking Israel and that their fight was far from over. “Our goal is to create an area clean of Hezbollah so that this crisis will end,” he said. “They (Hezbollah) will not be able to return to their current posts.”  

Words of U.S. President George Bush were reflected in those of the Israeli defence minister. “My goal is exactly what I said it was and that is to hopefully end this as quickly as possible and at the same time, making sure there is a lasting peace,” Bush said. “Not a  fake peace, not fake circumstances that make us all feel better then sure enough the problem arises again,” he added.