Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, met on Wednesday with the UN
secretary-general, Kofi Annan, and said that Israel will not end its
air and sea blockade over Lebanon until “all cease fire components are
fulfilled by Lebanon”.
Olmert added that Lebanon should implement all key part of the UN Security Council resolution 1701 before the blockade is lifted.
Resolution 1701 includes deploying international forces and Lebanese troops on Lebanon's borders. Olmert stated that this step is meant to bar weapons from being smuggles from to prevent weapons flowing from Syria to Hezbollah.
It also calls for the deployment of 15000 UN troops by November 4, the troops will be deployed alongside the Lebanese army forces.
Currently, there are 2500 soldiers deployed in Lebanon, additional 800 Italian soldiers are due to arrive in Lebanon on Friday, 900 French soldiers are expected to arrive in September.
“Our soldiers will remain in Lebanon until the resolution is fully implemented”, Olmert added.
Also, Olmert demanded the release of the two Israeli soldiers who were captured by Hezbollah fighters on July 12.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, said after meeting with Annan that Israel wants to make sure that Hezbollah does not re-arm.
Meanwhile, Annan said that the blockade in Lebanon is causing humiliation and infringement on Lebanon sovereignty.
He suggested that the blockade should be lifted “as soon as possible” to enable Lebanon to rebuild its infrastructure, economy and go back with its commercial activities.
Moreover, the Lebanese Prime Minister, Fuad Siniora, said that he hopes the blockade will be lifted in the coming few days.
He added that Lebanon planned to pay $33.000 as compensation to each family whose home was destroyed during the war.
Siniora also said that Lebanon “will be the last Arab country that sings a peace deal with Israel”.
At least 1,100 Lebanese, the majority of them civilians,were killed by Israeli shelling during the war. 150 Israelis, mainly soldiers, died during the Israeli offensive.
The Qatar based Al Jazeera satellite news agency reported that Jesse Jackson, the US civil rights activist, is currently visiting the area in an attempt to mediate a prisoner swap between Israeli and Hezbollah.
Talking to the Israeli press, Jackson on Wednesday that Hezbollah assured him that the two captured Israeli soldiers were alive.
A Hezbollah spokesperson said that the abducted soldiers would only be freed as part of a prisoner swap agreement with Israel.