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Israel Launches Expanded Ground Offensive in Lebanon


Israel began expanded ground operations in Lebanon late Friday, saying it was dissatisfied with efforts at the United Nations to implement a cease-fire. VOA's Jim Teeple has details from our Jerusalem bureau.

A statement from Israel's Foreign Ministry says Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided to implement the decision taken by his Cabinet on Wednesday, to expand ground operations in Lebanon, to deal with positions used by Hezbollah militants to fire rockets into Israel.

Gideon Meir, a deputy director general at the Israeli Foreign Ministry says, if a cease-fire resolution under consideration at the United Nations meets Israel's goals, Israel will re-evaluate its decision. "Preferably, we would like diplomacy to prevail, and to achieve the goals that were spelled out by the Israeli government," said Meir.

Israeli officials have not commented publicly about their objections to the current resolution under consideration.

However, they are believed to focus on a proposed timetable for Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, and assurances about stopping the flow of weaponry to Hezbollah militants.

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