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Signs Israel preparing major ground offensive...

User ID: 120633
07/22/2006 01:04 PM
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Signs Israel preparing major ground offensive...
Signs Israel preparing major ground offensive
AM - Saturday, 22 July , 2006 08:00:00
Reporter: Emma Griffiths
HAMISH ROBERTSON: But we begin with the conflict in the Middle East, where there are growing indications this morning that Israel is preparing a major ground offensive in Lebanon.

Thousands of army reservists have been called up, some Israeli troops have already crossed the border to try and destroy Hezbollah bunkers and rocket posts, and Israeli planes have been dropping leaflets over south Lebanon, urging civilians to leave the area.

But the speculation that a full-scale ground invasion of Lebanon is imminent has increased fears among many Israelis that there'll be many more casualties within their ranks before this conflict is over.

Emma Griffiths reports from northern Israel.

(sound of sirens and yelling)

EMMA GRIFFITHS: As the warning sirens blare across the city of Haifa, residents scurry for the shelters.

The bunker at apartment block 28 Hanasi Road is about the size of a large caravan.

A dozen elderly Israelis are sitting inside listening to the radio for news of this latest strike.

Haifa's petrochemical plant is a target, but someone's home is just as likely to be hit in these random attacks.

WOMAN: We go to the shelter and we sit here for about 15, 20 minutes until they say that there's no casualties and more or less it's quiet. But not to get out of, they told us, out of the safe area, which is a shelter or inside a hall in the house.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Do you think Haifa's been lucky so far, the amount of rockets they have hit?

WOMAN: Yeah it's lucky because we have the petrochemical outside here. We're lucky.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Are you worried about casualties?

WOMAN: Our casualties, yes.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: And the other side?

WOMAN: The other side, no. They brought it on them themselves.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Israel's air force has completed close to 3,000 sorties into Lebanon, hitting 1,500 targets. The military insists Hezbollah has suffered from the attacks, but still the rockets fall on Haifa and towns and villages across northern Israel.

VOX POP 1: It was here, about 20 metres from here. I see a very strong boom. We are very afraid, all the people you know, all the cars are stopping, people are running around, you know, it's war, yes, this is war.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Limited ground operations across the border into Lebanon haven't stopped Hezbollah either.

The reserve call-up has led to speculation that the military is paving the way for a major ground invasion to push back Hezbollah and create a buffer zone of several kilometres.

Such an operation would put thousands of Israeli soldiers in direct line of Hezbollah fire and the consequent casualties could erode public support.

The military is not revealing its plans, but Brigadier General Ido Nehoshtan is confident the public will stay firm.

IDO NEHOSHTAN: I think that the Israeli public very much understands that he was living under a threat that eventually realised.

And living with a sword against your neck, that bleeds from time to time, and growing all the time is a situation in which the Israel public would not like to live.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Back at 28 Hanasi Street, the residents aren't so sure about sending in troops.

WOMAN 2: Ground invasion, under no circumstances, because that's too dangerous, because we don't know the layout of the whole country down there. As it is we lost already today five soldiers, but if it can get them from the planes I think it's much better.

HAMISH ROBERTSON: That report compiled by Emma Griffiths in northern Israel.
[link to www.abc.net.au]
Maya Man

User ID: 120574
07/22/2006 01:34 PM
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Re: Signs Israel preparing major ground offensive...
Jews are in a lose-lose-situation:
in their backs the threat from hams and hizballah
and on their breasts the knife from their own government.

guess what happens....