Sunday, July 30, 2006

Detroit Demonstration Against Israeli Aggression in Lebanon Set For Friday, Aug. 4

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory for Aug. 4 Demonstration

Event: Demonstration Against Israeli Aggression
in Lebanon and Palestine
Gather: Detroit/Windsor Tunnel Entrance, Corner of
East Jefferson and Randolph, at 4:30 p.m.
March: To Grand Circus Park for 6:00 p.m. Rally & Teach-In
Date: Friday, August 4, 2006
Contact: The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI)
Phone: (313) 680-5508 or log on to the MECAWI Website:

Detroit Honors the National Day of Action to Stop U.S./Israeli Terror & Aggression Against Lebanon and Palestine, August 4, 4:30 p.m. Gathering, 5:30 p.m. March to Grand Circus Park for 6:00 p.m. Teach-In

The Bush administration with the backing of both political parties in Congress, have given Israeli rulers the green light to wage all-out war in Lebanon and Palestine. This war is part of the drive by the United States administration to dominate, colonize, exploit and rob the natural resources (especially oil) of the people of the Middle East.

This war is not about religion and does not benefit the Jewish people. It is an extension of the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq. The obstacles to peace in the Middle East are not Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria or Iran, but the U.S. government and its client, the Israeli settler state.

The U.S. government spends over $100 billion a year to wage war in Iraq and gives Israel an additional $15 million a day in military aid. In the meantime, despite growing poverty and joblessness at home, social programs are slashed every day. Only the oil companies with their rising gas prices and record profits benefit from the U.S. wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Together we must intensify the struggle to get U.S. imperialism out of the Middle East, to free the thousands of Palestinian, Lebanese and Iraqi prisoners held in U.S. and Israeli prisons and to end the occupations of Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq.

Representatives of MECAWI are available for media interviews on the current crisis in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq.


Pan-African News Wire said...

Make the weekend of August 4-6 National Days of Actions to say



Support the Palestinian and Lebanese Peoples' Right to Resist!
End the Occupation of IRAQ, PALESTINE and LEBANON
Support the Palestinian People's Right to Return
U.S./Israeli Troops Out Now
No More Fighting and Dying for Oil Profits
STOP U.S. aid to Israel

New York - Los Angeles - San Francisco - Boston - Detroit - Buffalo - Denver - Philadelphia - Tucson - Washington DC - Raleigh - Atlanta - San Diego - Rochester - and dozens of other cities

In New York - August 5 - Rally at Times Square at 4 pm , march to ExxonMobil Building at 5 pm
In Los Angeles - August 5 - Rally at Westwood Federal Building at 2 pm, march to Occidental Petroleum
Details of other actions to be listed soon.

Partial list of endorsers:
(to add your endorsement, go to )

International Action Center
Al-Awda The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Arab American Muslim Federation
NJ Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
Defend Palestine
AWS, Albuquerque, NM
Proyecto Guerrero Azteca Por La Paz, Escondido, CA
Wael Mosfar, Arab American Muslim Federation
Millions 4 Mumia
Birmingham Interfaith Human Rights Comm, Hoover, AL
Guyanese-American Workers United, New York, NY
Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council
Chris Silvera, Chair National Teamsters Black Caucus*, Sec-Treas. Teamsters 808*
Justice 4 Homeless San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Charles Barron, City Council Member, NYC
Martin Luther King, Jr, Bolivarian Circle Of Boston, Boston, MA
Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice
New England Human Rights Organization For Haiti, Boston, MA
Action Center For Justice, Charlotte, NC
Brenda Stokely, Million Worker March East Coast Chair
Million Worker March Movement
Peoples Video Network
Chuck Turner, Boston City Council, District 7, Boston, MA
Tony Van Der Meer, Prof. Africana Studies, U Mass Boston; Co-director, Boston Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Committee*, Boston, MA
Teresa Gutierrez, May 1 Coalition, NYC
All Peoples Congress, Baltimore
NYCHRP - New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
St. Pete For Peace, St. Petersburg, FL
Veterans For Constitutional Respect, Wilcox, PA
Chito-Quijano, Spokesperson Bayan-USA;
Ishmail Kamal, founder Sudanese-American Society*;
Javier Rodriguez of March 25th Coalition and May 1st Boycott;
Puerto Rican Alliance;
Rev. Meri Ka Rah Byrd
Howard Guidly, Texas Death Row Activist
KRST Unity Center LA
Unity Center for African Spirituality
Hilton Head For Peace, Hilton Head, SC
Incarceration In Question, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
World Homeless Union, Mansfield, PA
Troops Out Now Coalition
Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan-African News Wire*, Detroit, MI
Leslie Feinberg, Author and Co-Chair LGBT Caucus, Nat'l Writers Union/UAW*
Mary Lou Finley, Peace And Freedom Party*, San Diego, CA
Chuck Mohan, President, Guyanese-American Workers United, New York, NY
Reza Namdar, Dele.Executive Council, Washington/Baltimore Newspaper Guild*,
Gloria Rubac, Steward, Houston Federation Of Teachers, Local 2415*, Houston, TX
Rev Max Surjadinata, Clergy, United Church Of Christ *, New York, NY
The Most Rev. Filipe C Teixeira, Diocesan Bishop, Diocese Of Saint Francis Of Assisi
Juyeon Rhee-Korean Action Network for Unification
Thomas Rockriver, Vets for Peace*, NC

Pan-African News Wire said...

Below are some updates on Detroit area community actions planned in response to the continuing massacres in Lebanon. Please circulate this email to anyone who you feel would be interested. The invitation is open and we do not have everyone's email and we do not want to miss or exclude anyone.

1- Monday July 31, 2006 at 7:00 pm: Memorial service and community gathering at the Islamic Institute of Knowledge on Schaefer between Warren and Ford Rd in Dearborn (this event will take place in lieu of the vigil which was planned at the Qana Memorial on Warren and Oakman)

2- Demonstration on Tuesday Aug 1, 2006 at 5:30 pm starting from Warren and Oakman in Dearborn (pending details and city approval and permits which are still being worked out. Further emails will be sent out to confirm).

3- Wednesday Aug 2, 2006 at 6:30 pm: gathering for the families that were evacuated from Lebanon in recent days at the Islamic Center of America on Ford Rd and Evergreen in Dearborn.

4- Thursday August 3, 2006 at 6:30 pm: Memorial service and community gathering at the Islamic Center of America on Ford Rd and Evergreen in Dearborn. This event is called for by Dr. Ali Ajami, the Lebanese Counsel General in Detroit.

5- Friday August 4, 2006 at 4:30 pm: Demonstration at the Detroit / Windsor Tunnel entrance, corner of Randolph and E. Jefferson in downtown Detroit with a march to Grand Circus Park at 6:00 pm. Event called by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice to stop U.S. – Israeli Terror and Aggression Against Palestine & Lebanon.

Thank you

Abed Hammoud

Congress of Arab American Organizations (CAAO)

Pan-African News Wire said...

Israeli warplanes strike targets deep in Lebanon

Cabinet OKs wider ground combat; Syria’s Assad tells army to lift readiness

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 9:27 p.m. ET July 31, 2006

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Israeli warplanes struck deep inside Lebanon early Tuesday, witnesses reported, hitting an area that is a stronghold of Hezbollah guerrillas. The strikes came hours after Israel’s Security Cabinet approved widening the ground offensive in Lebanon.

The jet fighters struck Hermel, 73 miles north of the Israeli border in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon.

Warplanes fired at least five air-to-surface missiles on the edge of the town, targeting a road linking eastern Lebanon to western regions and the coastline.

It was not clear what was hit and whether there were any casualties.

Another strike targeted an area near the Syrian border, about 6 miles north of Hermel, targeting the Qaa-Homs road, one of four official crossing points between Lebanon and Syria.

Tuesday's airstrikes means that two border crossings are out of order. Repeated airstrikes during the last three days made the crossing on the Beirut-Damascus highway impassable.

The remaining crossings are Lebanon's main transport links to the outside world. Israel has hit the Beirut international airport, forcing its closure, and has imposed a naval blockade. Late last week the airport began receiving aid relief flights on a repaired runway.

The latest bombings came despite a 48-hour Israeli suspension of air raids in Lebanon, prompted by an airstrike Sunday that killed at least 56 people, more than half of them children, on the southern Lebanese village of Qana. The pause, which ends early Wednesday, was to give time for an investigation into the Qana attack, but Israel said its warplanes would still hit targets that presented an imminent threat, and at least three strikes were launched Monday.

Airstrikes to resume ‘in full force’

Israel’s Security Cabinet early Tuesday approved widening the ground offensive and rejected a cease-fire until an international force is in place, a participant in the meeting said.

Airstrikes in Lebanon would resume “in full force” after the 48-hour suspension expires in another day, said the participant, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Israel’s military had recommended the expansion of the offensive, which could take Israeli soldiers several miles deeper into Lebanon than their current operations nearer the border.

“The Security Cabinet approved a widening of ground operations without any objections,” a government official told Reuters.

Assad ratchets up Syrian army

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Syrian military to raise its readiness, pledging not to abandon support for Lebanese resistance against Israel.

"We are facing international circumstances and regional challenges that require caution, alert, readiness and preparedness," Assad said. Travelers from Syria have reported that some reservists have been called up for military duty — a sign that Syria is concerned the fighting in Lebanon could spill over.

"The barbaric war of annihilation the Israeli aggression is waging on our people in Lebanon and Palestine is increasing in ferocity," Assad said in a written address on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the foundation of the Syria Arab Army.

Meanwhile, Lebanese fled north in overflowing trucks and cars Monday, taking advantage of a lull in Israeli bombardment. Israel’s prime minister took a tough line, apologizing for the deaths of dozens of Lebanese civilians in a single strike but declaring there will be no cease-fire.

Diplomatic efforts to end the crisis faltered, despite increased world pressure for a cease-fire after the devastating strike in Qana.

Israeli warplanes hit Hezbollah fighters battling with soldiers near the border as the guerrillas fired mortars into Israel. The clashes signaled that the violence was not over, even though an Israeli suspension of most airstrikes in Lebanon — and a pause by the guerrillas on rocket attacks in northern Israel — brought both countries their quietest day since the conflict began three weeks ago.

Some 200 people — mostly elderly — escaped the Lebanese border town of Bint Jbail, where Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas fought their bloodiest clashes.

Two residents dropped dead on the road out, one of malnutrition, the other of heart failure.

Some survivors described living on a piece of candy a day and dirty water as the fighting raged.

“All the time I thought of death,” said Rimah Bazzi, an American visiting from Dearborn, Mich., who spent weeks hiding with her three children and mother in the house of a local doctor.

Olmert: ‘There will be no cease-fire’

The lull was felt across northern Israel, too: In the town of Nahariya, residents who had been hiding in shelters for the better part of three weeks began emerging. Supermarkets were fuller than before and more people were in the streets, walking along the beach and shopping.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apologized for the civilian deaths in the strike on Qana.

“I am sorry from the bottom of my heart for all deaths of children or women in Qana,” he said. “We did not search them out. ... They were not our enemies and we did not look for them.”

But he insisted Israel had no choice but to fight.

“There is no cease-fire, there will be no cease-fire,” he said. “We are determined to succeed in this struggle. We will not give up on our goal to live a life free of terror.”

The Israeli onslaught was sparked when Hezbollah snatched two soldiers and killed three others in a cross-border raid July 12.

Near the fighting, grass fires set by shelling blazed into the night sky from the hills outside the Lebanese border town of Marjayoun. U.N. peacekeepers struggled to get trucks full of aid supplies across the Litani River as artillery pounded only a few hills away.

Bush: Hezbollah provoked attacks

President Bush resisted calls for an immediate halt to fighting, underlining that any peace deal must ensure that Hezbollah is crippled. He said Iran and Syria must stop backing the Shiite militant group with money and weapons.

“As we work with friends and allies, it’s important to remember this crisis began with Hezbollah’s unprovoked attacks against Israel. Israel is exercising its right to defend itself,” Bush said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice earlier in the day said she expected a U.N. resolution for a cease-fire within a week. But as she headed to Washington after a visit to Jerusalem derailed by the Qana strike, she struck a more pessimistic tone.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” she told reporters. “You have to get all the work done, you have to get it done urgently.”

The central focus for a peace deal has been the deployment of a U.N.-mandated international force in southern Lebanon to ensure guerrillas do not attack Israel. But details of the force still must be worked out. With talks continuing, the U.N. postponed a Monday gathering meant to sound out contributions to a force.

Death toll increases

At least 524 people have been killed in Lebanon since the fighting began, according to the Health Ministry. Fifty-one Israelis have died, including 33 soldiers and 18 civilians who died in rocket attacks.

After Rice’s intense diplomatic mission in the Mideast, efforts to put together a peace package now turned to the United Nations.

She said the U.S. will work to achieve a U.N. resolution on three fronts: the precise language of the U.N. resolution, working with Lebanon and Israel on the details of tough political questions and an agreement that leaves no ambiguity in the international force’s role and operations.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit Action Alert:

Too many innocent people are being killed, wounded or left homeless by bombing in the Middle East. The Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit appeals to all people of conscience to call President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and members of Congress. During the week of July 31, 2006, urge them to work for an immediate cease fire. This position is supported by major peace and justice organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace.


Conflicts in the Middle East are complex and long-standing. However, since the abduction of an Israeli soldier on June 25, 2006, violence between Israel, Palestinians and Hezbollah militants dramatically escalated into a humanitarian crises within the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. After touring Beirut in late July, Mr. Jan Egeland, the UN's top humanitarian official, described Israel's actions as a disproportionate response virtually whole blocks being leveled to the ground in southern Beirut. Mr. Egeland reported that in Gaza the death toll grew to more than 100 Palestinians. Human rights groups say Israeli attacks on Gaza power plants and other blockages have created widespread electrical shortages and threatened medical services. As of July 24, the death toll in Lebanon approached 400 with 900,000 people displaced from their homes. Several dozen Israelis have been killed and hundreds wounded. Even as negotiations for an end to the conflict have started, the destruction of lives and property continues. It must end now!


Jewish Voice for Peace, along with United for Peace and Justice, Peace Action, the American Friends Service Committee, Interfaith Peace-Builders, the US Campaign to End the Occupation, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Council for the National Interest, Partners for Peace, and Progressive Democrats of America, have asked that U.S. Representatives be urged to join 24 other legislators and co-sponsor House Concurrent Resolution 450 that calls upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions. Get a copy of H. Con. Res. 450 via Michigan Representatives John Conyers & Carolyn Kilpatrick are co-sponsors.

TAKE 3 MINUTES, MAKE 3 PHONE CALLS--Demand Immediate Cease Fire!

--Call President Bush?s Comment Line: 202-456-1111.

--Call Condoleezza Rice via State Department switchboard: 202-647-4000.

--Call your U.S. Representative via the Congressional switchboard: 202-225-2121.


1. Educate yourself, your friends and neighbors about what's happening in the Middle East.

- Visit and Jewish Voice for Peace

- Hold a discussion on the Middle East crisis in your organization.

2. Demonstrate.

- A demonstration is being held Friday, August 4, 4:30 p.m. at the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel entrance (Randolph and E. Jefferson in Detroit). Call 313-680-5508 or visit

3. Write letters to the editor and call into radio shows.

4. Let Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit know what actions you?ve taken. E-mail ( or call Randy Block at 248-549-5170.

For more information, visit the Gray Panthers website:

Pan-African News Wire said...

Fierce battles reported in Baalbek

Wednesday 02 August 2006 12:50 AM GMT

Israeli soldiers are said to be trapped in al-hikmah hospital

Israeli airborne commandos have landed near a Baalbek hospital and are said to be engaged in fierce battles with Hezbollah fighters in the eastern Lebanese region.

Lebanese security sources said Israeli soldiers had landed by helicopter near the al-hikmah hospital in Baalbek in the eastern Bekaa valley early on Wednesday as aircraft launched several strikes in the region.

A Hezbollah source said several Israeli soldiers were trapped in the hospital, engaged in fierce clashes with the group's fighters who surrounded the facility.

Hussein Rahal, a Hezbollah spokesman, said: "A group of Israeli commandos was brought to the hospital by a helicopter. They entered the hospital and are trapped inside as our fighters opened fire on them and fierce fighting is still raging."

Rahal said Hezbollah fighters were using automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and dismissed as "untrue" reports that the commandos managed to snatch some patients from the hospital and take them away in helicopters.

He said Israeli jets were attacking the surrounding Hezbollah forces with rockets. The Israeli military refused to comment.

Witnesses in Baalbek also said that there was fierce fighting with assault rifles, grenade-launchers and machine guns around the hospital.

Hospital bombed

Israeli helicopters fired rockets at targets near the hospital and other targets in the city.

Witnesses also said a private hospital in Baalbek, filled with patients and wounded people, was bombed by Israeli helicopters late on Tuesday.

Baalbek is about 100kilometres north of the Litani River, which the Israelis had set as a northern boundary for their expanded ground operation, announced early on Tuesday.

The ancient city with spectacular Roman ruins was a former Syrian army headquarters and included the barracks of the Iranian revolutionary guards when they trained Hezbollah fighters there in the 1980s.

You can find this article at:

Pan-African News Wire said...

August 1, 2006

Up to 7,000 Israeli Troops Push Into Lebanon


MISGAV AM, Israel, Aug. 1 — Israel sent up to 7,000 troops into Lebanon on Tuesday, marking a significant increase in a ground offensive aimed at pushing the Hezbollah militia back from the border before a cease-fire is declared and a multinational force deployed.

The troops, backed by air support, tanks and armored bulldozers, entered at four different places along the border, moving up to four and a half miles inside to engage Hezbollah fighters and destroy their outposts and infrastructure.

The Lebanese news media reported that at least one helicopter with Israeli commandos landed near Baalbek, in eastern Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold well north of the Litani River, marking a deeper, if limited, invasion. The Hezbollah television station Al Manar said its fighters repelled the Israeli troops. Israeli officials declined comment.

Israel continued its promised 48-hour “partial suspension of aerial activity,” as the army called it, but there were numerous sorties. The air force flew missions in support of ground troops and to hit Hezbollah targets that included, the army said, two groups of fighters who were launching rockets, missile launchers, missile launching sites, “access routes” in the Bekaa Valley that were used to bring weapons from Syria, and “Hezbollah structures and headquarters.”

At least one truck suspected of carrying weapons was bombed near the Syrian border, the Israeli Army said. Lebanese said there were repeated airstrikes in the area, where the highway from Damascus crosses the Bekaa, especially in the Shiite area of the valley known as the Hermil, where one pickup truck carrying canisters of cooking gas was attacked with rockets.

In northern Israel, red-and white tourist buses arrived along the border filled with soldiers who had been waiting weeks for orders. They moved into Lebanon through corridors cleared by bulldozers, tanks and engineering units.

There were house-to-house battles with hundreds of Hezbollah fighters in Lebanese towns and villages close to the border, especially around Aita al-Shaab, northeast of Shtula, where Hezbollah fighters breached the border on July 12, capturing two Israeli soldiers and killing eight, igniting this 20-day-old conflict.

There were other battles to the west around Al Taibe and Maroun al-Ras, Adessa and Rab-e-Talatin, the Israeli Army said.

At least 3 Israeli soldiers and more than 20 Hezbollah fighters were killed in periods of heavy fighting, according to Arabic television and the Israeli Army.

Arab satellite television stations broadcast live images of smoke rising from the villages and there was the sound of heavy machine-gun fire.

Israeli troops may push northward to the Litani River, 15 miles from the border, cabinet ministers said following their meeting, which ended in the early hours on Tuesday. But the Israeli intention now seems to be to clear out a wide strip of land along the border into which an international force could deploy without itself having to fight Hezbollah, a cabinet minister said.

Israeli military officers said they suspected they would have a limited time to pursue their objectives — perhaps a week or so more — and were trying to map out their final goal.

If an international force is long delayed or does not materialize, officials said, Israel is likely to proceed to the Litani River, which marked the southern Lebanon “security zone” that Israel left in 2000.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday evening, “We are at the beginning of a political process that in the end will bring a cease-fire under entirely different conditions than before.”

Speaking at the graduation ceremony at the National Security College, Mr. Olmert said, “The State of Israel is winning in this battle, and is gaining impressive achievements, perhaps unprecedented ones.”

He added: “If the military campaign would have ended today, today we could already say with certainty the face of the Middle East has changed.”

Mr. Olmert’s conduct of the war has been criticized by some Israelis as being too slow or timid, but he defended himself.

“This threat will not be what it was,” he said of Hezbollah. “Never will they be able to threaten this people they fired missiles at. This people will defeat them.”

But he continued to reject calls from various countries, including Arab ones, for an immediate stop to the fighting. “Every additional day is one that erodes the power of this cruel enemy,” Mr. Olmert said.

Meeting in Brussels, the European Union foreign ministers called for “an immediate cessation of hostilities, to be followed by a sustainable cease-fire.” The ministers called for the United Nations Security Council “to be rapidly convened to define a political framework for a lasting solution agreed by all parties, which is a necessary precondition for deployment of an international force,” to which, they said, some European countries would provide troops if the rules of engagement were right.

But Mr. Olmert and the Israelis say they will not stop fighting until a political package is in place, including the release of captured soldiers and the formation of a buffer force that can take the place of the Israeli Army inside Lebanon without leaving a power vacuum that Hezbollah could use to resupply or re-infiltrate the area.

“A few of our forces are already along the Red Line of the former security zone and some are already beyond it,” said Brig. Gen. Shuki Shachar, deputy commander of the northern command, referring to the Litani River. Other officers said that Israeli forces north of the Litani were commandos, not infantry units fighting in mass.

“We have so far now about six efforts running inside Lebanon, a kind of brigade size or bigger than a brigade in each one, all of them mainly infantry,” the general told reporters during a briefing at command headquarters in Safed.

An Israeli brigade can contain anywhere from 900 to 1,600 soldiers. Other officers of lower rank said the total number of soldiers now inside Lebanon was 5,000 to 7,000 and was expected to climb higher.

“The ground campaign is becoming bigger and bigger from day to day,” General Shachar said.

In the Lebanese border town of Kafr Kila, where artillery fire was heavy, residents said Israeli tanks had approached but had been forced back. The Israeli Army said it had no reports of tank fighting around the village, though nearby villages were attacked.

Hezbollah fighters were seen replenishing stocks of ammunition and preparing positions, journalists inside Lebanon reported, adding the fighters expected a new Israeli push on Wednesday after 2 a.m., when the 48-hour Israeli aerial pause expires.

General Shachar said Israel already controlled the Litani River with air power or artillery in some places and in others, such as where the river turns close to the border, with troops on the ground. He said the military had left two bridges over the Litani intact — one in the east near Hasbayah and another in the west north of Tyre — to allow people to move north and humanitarian aid to move south.

The growing Israeli offensive is targeting a relatively small enemy. Israeli military officers estimate Hezbollah’s active fighting force at 2,000 to 3,000 men, 250 to 300 of whom Israel says it has killed.

“It isn’t easy to accomplish the mission, because they are in small teams and are spread over such great distances,” General Shachar said.

“It’s bigger, it’s increased in its scope in numbers of troops and in area,” said a senior military officer. “But the mission is still the same, as in Bint Jbail and Maroun al-Ras,” which is to clear Hezbollah fighters, explosives, mines, outposts, storage areas, barracks and other infrastructure from a band of territory two to three miles wide along the border, into which an international force can be inserted without having to fight Hezbollah.

Last week, the cabinet called up some 30,000 reserve soldiers, many of whom reported to their bases earlier this week to begin training. The reserves will be used partly for Lebanon and partly to be ready in case Syria, whose military is on high alert, chooses to broaden the war, Israeli officials say.

“We have reached the stage where we have to expand the operation,” said Defense Minister Amir Peretz, without giving the dimensions of the next phase.

“The goal is to hit at Hezbollah fighters and their weapons arsenals,” Justice Minister Haim Ramon said in a televised interview. “And today, we are not doing a bad job.”

As the world talked about the new multinational force to go into Lebanon, its makeup and rules of engagement were vague. There is also the murkiness of Lebanese politics, sectarian-based, and the meddling influence of Hezbollah’s main sponsors, Syria and Iran.

The central contradiction is that, while Israel and the United States regard Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, most Arabs and many, although not all, Lebanese view them as heroes who forced Israel out of southern Lebanon in 2000, after an 18-year occupation.

The last few weeks have essentially transformed Lebanese politics, marginalizing the democratic forces promoted by the United States and France — known as the March 14 group — and instead empowering President Emil Lahoud, a staunch ally of Syria, and, above all, the Shiite Muslim speaker of parliament, Nabih Berri, who is the only official link to the Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.

France’s defense minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie, said in an interview published in Paris on Tuesday that any international force should have 15,000 to 20,000 troops, far larger than the current United Nations force posted there, and have rules of engagement that would permit its soldiers to open fire when necessary.

“It must be credible and capable of making itself respected by everyone,” Ms. Alliot-Marie said. France is considered likely to take the lead in providing a core of any force sent to southern Lebanon.

Craig S. Smith reported from Misgav Am, Israel, for this article, and Steven Erlanger from Jerusalem. John Kifner contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon, and David Stout from Washington.