Mideast Crisis: Israel Widens Ground Offensive


Israel Steps Up Ground Offensive

Heavy clashes have been taking place in southern Lebanon between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters, after Israel vowed to widen its ground offensive. (BBC)

Assad Tells Syrian Army to Get Ready

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told the Syrian military to raise its readiness, pledging not to abandon support for Lebanese resistance against Israel. (Reuters)

Cancelled Convoys Hamper Aid for Stranded in Southern Lebanon

WFP has warned that it has suffered another setback in its huge efforts to bring much-needed aid to the beleaguered inhabitants of southern Lebanon. (WFP)

President Warns Mideast Peace Process Could Collapse

President Hosni Mubarak warned Monday that the entire Middle East peace process could collapse because of Israel's attacks on Lebanon. (Daily Star)

Sheikh Nasrallah on Al-Manar TV- July 29, 2006

-'Throughout the Entire Arab-Israeli Conflict – When Were Two Million Israelis Forced to Become Displaced, or to Stay in Bomb Shelters for More Than 18 days?'

-'When the People of This Tyrannical State [Israel] Loses its Faith in its Mythical Army, This is the Beginning of the End of This Entity'

The following are excerpts. (MEMRI)

Saudi Shura Council Member Sheikh Al-'Obikan: According to Shari'a, Hizbullah Operations are Illegitimate; A Temporary Peaceful Settlement with the Jews is Needed

In a column in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat titled "Do Not Cast Yourselves into Perdition by Your Own Hands," prominent Saudi sheikh 'Abd Al-Muhsin Al-'Obikan criticized Hizbullah's current operations. The following are excerpts. (MEMRI)

Bush Reiterates Opposition to Immediate Cessation of Fighting

US President George W. Bush on Monday resisted calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah, saying instead that the UN Security Council would work this week for a "sustainable" peace. (Daily Star)


Modest Proposal: A Plan For a Lasting Peace

By Fawez A. Gerges

As Israel's war in Lebanon enters its third week and the Lebanese civilian casualties increase by the hour, international diplomacy has gone into full swing. A consensus appears to have finally emerged that the fighting must stop before negotiations can resolve the underlying differences between Israel and Lebanon. (ABC News)

Special Report: The Ground Offensive

By George Friedman

Israeli forces are well into their main ground offensive into Lebanon. It is difficult to hide a strategic offensive of this size, but Israel has made no attempt to hide this one at all. The three-week air offensive, followed by the pseudo cease-fire and disagreements in the Israeli Cabinet on strategy, made it necessary for Israel literally to announce its offensive. Ultimately, this gave Hezbollah little advantage. It might have wanted to halt fighting at this point, but it certainly knew that for precisely this reason Israel would have to intensify the fighting. There might be elements of tactical surprise, but strategic surprise is gone. (Stratfor)

Al Manar TV's Director General Talks to Asharq Al-Awsat

By Thair Abbas

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Former Lebanese MP Abdullah Qasir, and director general of the Al-Manar television Channel, which is known as the mouthpiece of the Lebanese Hezbollah. In light of the recent bombings of the television station's headquarters, the interview was conducted at an undisclosed location. (Asharq Alawsat)

Stop Crossing Red Lines, Focus on Peace

By Emad Omar

Many also believed recent democratic and reform dynamics, such as in Lebanon, would help ease tension and promote peace and stability in the region. This, in turn, would decrease extremism, promote humanitarian values and improve relations between East and West. (Dar Al Hayat)

On a Razor's Edge

By Omid Memarian

Despite Iran's strong rhetoric condemning Israel's military onslaught against Lebanon, Tehran, which is accused by the US of supplying weapons to Hezbollah, has become cautious in supporting its most flourishing investment abroad. (Asia Times)


Violence Kills 63 People Across Iraq

A roadside bomb blew up a bus Tuesday, killing 24 people as violence across Iraq left 63 people dead. Among the dead was a British soldier killed in a mortar attack in the south, while the U.S. military announced that an American soldier was killed by a roadside bomb on Monday. (AP)

Democratic Leaders ask Bush to Redeploy Troops in Iraq

Leading Congressional Democrats, after months of division over Iraq, have called on President Bush to begin a phased redeployment of troops by the end of this year, a unified statement signaling they have concluded that the war could hurt Republicans in the midterm elections. (New York Times)


Castro Steps Aside After Surgery

Veteran Cuban leader Fidel Castro has temporarily handed power to his brother Raul because of illness. (BBC)


UK Troops Killed in Afghan Ambush Three British soldiers have been killed after a vehicle patrol was ambushed by militants in southern Afghanistan. (BBC)


UN Closer to Sanctions on Iran

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Monday demanding that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing work by the end of August or face the possibility of sanctions. (Chicago Tribune)

Tehran Teeters on the Path to War

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

The United Nations Security Council's new resolution on Iran gives Tehran until the end of August to suspend all uranium-enrichment-related activities or face the prospect of international sanctions, an ultimatum instantly denounced by Iran as illegal and unjustified. This means that Iran now faces a double crisis, given Israel's military onslaught against its strategic ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah. (Asia Times)


New Maximum-Security Jail to Open At Guantanamo Bay

The controversy over the US-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is to erupt anew with confirmation by the Pentagon that a new, permanent prison will open in the Cuban enclave in the next few weeks. (Independent Online)


Mexican Protesters Take over Capital

Hanging protest banners from sculptures and pitching tents in the middle of Mexico City's historic Reforma Boulevard, supporters of the leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador paralysed the city's financial district yesterday, and refused to leave until they received a ruling on demands for a recount in the presidential election. (Independent Online)


Britain Says Faces Terrorist Threat

Britain launched a new security alert system on Tuesday, ranking the terrorist threat to the country as "severe" and saying an attack was highly likely. (Reuters)

Analysis:The Questionable Benefit of Britain's Modified Alert System

The British government unveiled its modified terrorism alert system Aug. 1, switching from a seven-level system to one with five levels. The new system debuted at the second-highest level, or "severe," indicating an attack is likely. This system is similar to one used in the United States -- with dubious success -- since 2002. (Stratfor)


Fierce Fighting Rages in Eastern Sri Lanka

Government jets bombed rebel positions Tuesday during a fierce battle over an irrigation canal in eastern Sri Lanka, while the rebels fired artillery rounds at a naval base (AFP)


N And S Korean Guards Trade Fire

North and South Korean troops have exchanged gunfire along the border between the two countries, for the first time since October. (BBC)


A Scramble in India to Limit Polio

The head of the World Health Organization's polio eradication team has warned that India could reinfect the rest of the world with polio if a new outbreak of the disease is not rapidly brought under control. (International Herald Tribune)


Can Iraq be Fixed?

By Kevin Whitelaw and Anna Mulrine

Politicians dance around this question, but here's the reality: It will take U.S. troops years of work, and success is hardly a sure bet. (U.S. News)

The Insider Daily Investigative Report (DIR) is a summary of major news articles and broadcasts relating to investigative news, including international terrorism and developments in Iraq. The DIR is edited daily from foreign and U.S. sources by Chris Isham, Hoda Osman and Elizabeth Sprague of the ABC News Investigative Unit. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ABCNEWS.