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Israel to Decide Whether to Expand Offensive Against Hezbollah


Israel's security cabinet meets Wednesday to decide whether to send ground troops deeper into Lebanon to fight Hezbollah guerrillas.

The Israeli military late Tuesday named a new commander, Major General Moshe Kaplinsky, to lead the offensive, sidelining the head of Israel's northern command Major General Udi Adam.

Israeli media reports linked the move to mounting criticism of the military's handling of the conflict with Hezbollah.

Israel's ground forces have been battling Hezbollah fighters in areas just across the border since the fighting began nearly four weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Lebanese medics say at least five people were killed in an Israeli air strike in the eastern Bekaa Valley early Wednesday. They say the attack destroyed a house where a local Hezbollah official was living.

In southern Lebanon, at least one person was killed when Israeli forces fired on a Palestinian refugee camp Ein al-Hilweh near the port city of Sidon. The Israeli military says it was targeting a house used by Hezbollah guerrillas.

At least 900 Lebanese and 100 Israelis have killed in the fighting that began after Hezbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12.

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