Israel approves U.N. call for ceasefire

Last updated at 13:16 13 August 2006


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's cabinet today approved a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities with Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, a political source said.

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U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan had said the prime ministers of Israel and Lebanon agreed the fighting would end on Monday at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT).

Olmert had urged the cabinet to accept the U.N. resolution.

All but one of the cabinet voted for the resolution that was approved by the Security Council on Friday to end a month-old war that has killed over 1,060 people in Lebanon and 140 Israelis. Shaul Mofaz, the former defence minister, abstained.

The resolution envisages a phased withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon when violence subsides and deployment of 15,000 Lebanese troops and 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers.

Hostilities began on July 12 when Hizbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight in a cross-border raid, then unleashed rocket fire at northern Israel after Israel launched an aerial offensive in Lebanon.

Despite the resolution, Israel has expanded its offensive in south Lebanon, tripling its forces there on Saturday in a bid to wipe out Hizbollah rocket launch sites before the ceasefire takes effect.

Nearly 30,000 troops were operating against Hizbollah targets in southern Lebanon on Sunday.

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