Israel Rejects Call By UN For Lifting Lebanon Blockade
Israel has rejected a call by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lift its seven-week blockade of Lebanon. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Annan a key condition to ending the seven-week-old siege was the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah.
Ehud OlmertHezbollah have stated that the pair, whose abduction in early July sparked the invasion of Lebanon, will only be freed as part of a prisoner exchange with Israel. Olmert also announced that Israeli troops would not be fully withdrawn from southern Lebanon until the terms of the ceasefire, which began on 14 August, were fully implemented.