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Die Welt - Germany | Thursday, July 13, 2006

Israel steps up its offensive

"Zero tolerance ! The Israeli government led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert makes no compromises when it comes to the kidnapping of Israeli citizens – and a soldier is also a citizen. There are good reasons for this stance: it would be at the mercy of blackmailing tactics if it were to concede to any kind of negotiations with the militant extremists in the Gaza Strip on the one hand and the Shi'ite Hizbullah militants in south Lebanon on the other," writes Dietrich Alexander. "Nonetheless it's valid to question whether attack really is the best defence in Israel's current situation. The country is facing a conflict on two fronts which could quickly escalate into a full-blown war in Lebanon... Meanwhile, the Lebanese government must not make the mistake of underestimating how earnest Israel's threats are... Lebanon, which has only recently freed itself of the Syrian yoke under which it lived for decades, should not waste its gradually growing strength on a war precipitated by false friends and which it cannot win."

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