BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — Hezbollah militants crossed into Israel on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers. Israel responded in southern Lebanon with warplanes, tanks and gunboats, and said seven of its soldiers had been killed in the violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the soldiers’ capture “an act of war,” and his Cabinet prepared to approve more military action in Lebanon…
Olmert said he held the Lebanese government responsible for the two soldiers’ safety, vowing that the Israeli response “will be restrained, but very, very, very painful.”
Israel retaliated by bombing bridges and Hezbollah positions and killing two Lebanese civilians. Kofi Anan, the UN General Secretary, condemned Israel’s offensive in Lebanon and called for an immediate release of the kidnapped soldiers.
Meanwhile, Israeli aggression in Gaza continued killing 23 people. Among those killed are nine members of a family on whose house a bomb was dropped.
Israel is defying all international treaties by continuing to use force to gain the freedom of its captured soldiers. In addition, it is not only defying norms of democracy by imprisoning the democratically elected Hamas officials, but also committing war crimes by killing innocent civilians.
However, international response has been disappointing: The UN, which has sensed the manslaughter and violation of laws, has no authority to take action. The US, a traditional backer of Israel, is legitimizing the use of force against civilians. The rest of the world, including the EU, has taken no serious action in the wake of the prevalent circumstances.