The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, met with a special United Nations delegation led by political advisors of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan. Olmert initially refused to meet with the delegation; they met first with his top aide, Yoam Turbovicz, and then Olmert joined them in the middle of the meeting.
Israeli sources reported that Olmert told the diplomats that Israel will not end its military offensive until the captures Israeli soldiers are released, and “calm is restored in the north”.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, hinted that Israel would not object to a temporary international force in south Lebanon, despite rejecting the plan earlier, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
Livni met with a United Nations delegation headed by special envoy Vijay Nambiar, and said following the meeting that Israel would prefer the deployment of Lebanese forces, south of Lebanon, but “will consider other solutions put forward”.
Livni added that if the Lebanese army is stronger, and is capable of preventing Hezbollah from reaching the borders area, Israel will considers ways to achieve this.
She also said that any solution should take into consideration that Israel has the ability to respond to any future incidents.
Livni accused the international forces which was deployed on the borders between Israel and Lebanon after Israel withdrew from Lebanon are “ineffective and irrelevant”.
According to a plan suggested by the UN team, the three soldiers abducted by Hezbollah and Hamas fighters would be freed, rocket fire on Israel would end, Israel would halt its Air Force attacks on Lebanon and withdraw its troops from Gaza, in addition to releasing the Hamas legislators.
Also, Livni hinted that Israel could agree the delay the issue of disarming Hezbollah if Lebanon deploys its troops immediately along the border.
Also on Tuesday, UN secretary general Kofi Anan said that he expected European forces to participate in a proposed stabilization force in Lebanon.
Moreover, Indonesia said on Tuesday that it is ready to send 450 troops for a possible UN-led peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
The Indonesian statement came after its president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, made the offer after meeting with ambassadors from the Middle East in Indonesia.