WORLD / Middle East

Israeli Cabinet approves Mideast truce
Updated: 2006-08-13 21:46


"I'm not satisfied with the government," said Marchib. "We've been a month in shelters. With an army like ours and the war being stretched out for a month? There's definitely a problem. Our leadership has made some mistakes."

Others also expressed disappointment with the performance of the army, an institution generally held in high esteem in Israel, where national service is compulsory and many people have to serve as reservists into their 40s.

In 1967, Israel defeated the combined strength of four Arab armies in six days, and many Israelis appeared to expect a similarly powerful performance against Hizbollah this time.

Instead, Hizbollah's leadership is still standing, and up to 30,000 U.N. and Lebanese army troops are now expected to replace Israeli forces as they steadily withdraw from southern Lebanon.

"Every time the United Nations has helped we have a month or two of quiet, but in the end, Hizbollah comes back," said Zahava Agula, 50, a city worker from Maalot-Tarshiha.

"Even with the U.N. there, we will still be threatened, so we have to finish the job."

Goldman, the contractor, was even more pointed. "Our existence depends on the way we deal with terrorists and our enemies, and so far, it's been insufficient," he said. "A ceasefire now will only come back to haunt us."

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