Israel needs int'l support for war against terror: DM

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Wednesday morning that Israel is fighting a war of the free world against terror and it needs international support, local newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

"We are fighting the war of the free world against terror and we expect the international community to support this struggle," Peretz said during a meeting with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"However, we intend to deal with the Katyusha launching pads on our own," the defense minister added.

Peretz said that he will present his position to the security cabinet convening on Wednesday.

The German minister arrived in Israel after a visit in Lebanon, during which he met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Peretz and Steinmeier examined Siniora's proposal to deploy 15, 000 Lebanese soldiers in southern Lebanon to ensure quiet in the area.

The defense minister said that "the international community must ensure that the political agreement will be valid, and not of the type that crumbles and evaporates after a short time."

Israeli security cabinet is supposed to approve a proposal on widening ground operation in Lebanon on Wednesday,

But the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry ask to carefully examine the proposal following efforts made by the UN Security Council to create the groundwork for a ceasefire in the area.

Another concern of Israel is a possible significant rise of its soldiers' casualties.

Israeli troops are carrying out ground operations in south Lebanon and have met with fierce confrontations from Hezbollah fighters.

Over 100 Israelis and about 1,000 Lebanese have been killed in the 29 days of fighting since violence between Israel and Hezbollah erupted on July 12.

Source: Xinhua



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