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Israel Suspends Bombing, But Says War Not Over

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Post Israel Suspends Bombing, But Says War Not Over   Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:26 am

Israeli officials say warplanes carried out a last bombing run in eastern Lebanon early Monday, shortly before Israel suspended its air campaign against Hezbollah guerrillas for 48 hours.
By VOA News
31 July 2006

Israeli officials say warplanes carried out a last bombing run in eastern Lebanon early Monday, shortly before Israel suspended its air campaign against Hezbollah guerrillas for 48 hours.

Facing worldwide condemnation for an air strike that killed nearly 60 Lebanese civilians, Israel ordered its pilots to hold their fire while an investigation of Sunday's attack in the village of Qana is under way.

Israel says its air strikes in Lebanon ended before 2 a.m. (local time) Monday (23 hours Universal Time on Sunday).

However, Israel's Justice Minister Haim Ramon says the move does not mean an end to the war against Hezbollah. Suspending the bombing will lift some of the political pressure on Israel, he says, and allow it to keep fighting over time.

Israeli military officials say they could resume air strikes on Hezbollah at any time, to act against militants planning to attack Israel.

Israel's agreement on a 48-hour pause in its air campaign followed talks in Jerusalem between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other officials.

The air strike at Qana in southern Lebanon was the bloodiest incident in Israel's 19-day offensive against Hezbollah guerillas. Lebanese officials say at least 34 of the dead were children.

The Israeli army says Hezbollah has repeatedly used the village as a launch point for missiles aimed at Israel, and that civilians in Qana had been warned to leave the town for their own safety.

Israel says Hezbollah militants fired more than 140 rockets into northern Israel Sunday, wounding at least eight people.

While the air campaign is suspended, Israeli officials say they will try to arrange an agreement with the United Nations to organize a period when civilians in southern Lebanon can leave the area, if they wish.
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