Israel Considers Responses to Possible Truce Violations

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai said this week that Israel is considering possible responses to what may be Hezbollah violations of the U.S.- brokered cease-fire.

“There are signs of violations,” Mordechai told reporters Tuesday during a visit to southern Lebanon. “We will examine them, and determine ways the IDF can react.”

The cease-fire reached in April, ending the cross-border fighting between Hezbollah and the Jewish state, barred both sides from targeting civilian areas.

However, it did not fighting altogether in the security zone.

In recent weeks, Hezbollah has detonated roadside charges and ambushed Israel Defense Force and Israel-allied South Lebanon Army soldiers in the area.

On Monday, two bombs exploded in separate incidents in the southern Lebanon security zone amid conflicting reports that four Katyusha rockers were fired in the area the same day. A roadside charge went off near an IDF patrol in the western sector of the security zone. The second bomb went off while SLA members searched the area. No one was hurt in either attack.

A Hezbollah spokesman in Beirut reportedly said gunmen set off two roadside bombs near Israeli soldiers in the zone.

In addition, three rockets apparently fired by Islamic fundamentalist gunmen exploded Monday in the security zone, according to pro-Israeli security sources in Lebanon.

No damage or injury was reported.

But the IDF spokesman’s office denied that the attack occurred.

If the rocket firings occurred, they would be the first in the zone since the cease-fire.

Israel launched its April 11-27 air, land and sea bombardment of Lebanon in response to the Hezbollah firing of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel.

Mordechai described the situation as complicated.

But he hinted that if Lebanon and Syria, which has strong influence in the area, limited Hezbollah, the sides could find common ground for negotiations.

“If the Lebanese government, and those behind it, display an ability to control the activities of Hezbollah, of course, it is possible to sit down and reach an understanding.”

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