Israeli troops reportedly entered southern Lebanon today after at least two Israeli troops went missing during border clashes with Hizbullah and were reported captured by the militant group. Israeli government officials said the army had crossed into Lebanon to search for the soldiers and prevent them being taken further inside Lebanon. An emergency cabinet meeting would be held at 7pm (1700 BST).
The defence minister, Amir Peretz, warned Lebanon against allowing Hizbullah to operate from its territory.
“The Lebanese government, which allows Hizbullah to operate freely against Israel from its sovereign territory, will bear responsibility for the consequences and ramifications (of the cross-border attack),” he said in a statement. “Israel sees itself as being free to employ any means it deems fit, and the army has been instructed accordingly,” he said, seeming to suggest a broad Israeli military response to the abduction.
Full Guardian piece here. The Israeli News Agency is now calling this a “four front war” against Palestinian-occupied Gaza, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Other perspectives from Israel’s Haaretz; Turkey’s Zaman Online; and the Council on Foreign Relations. The White House, meanwhile, has “demanded the immediate release of two Israeli soldiers captured by Lebanon’s Hizbollah guerrillas and blamed Syria and Iran for the attacks.” (via Washington Post)