Wednesday, August 09, 2006

There are burnt-out tanks, but few Israeli troops to be seen

[Censorship in Isral has worked wonders in bluffing the Israeli public and the world as to their acheivements in the conflict.]

It is perhaps the world's most dangerous road, snaking up and down through boulder-strewn hills and wadis along the Lebanese-Israeli border. By Israel's account, its forces are moving between seven and 10 kilometres beyond it to take control of a long strip of Lebanese territory before the UN security council votes for a cessation of hostilities.

But reporters travelling along the border road last Saturday found few signs of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), let alone of its successes. People in only one village had seen Israeli troops recently. Elsewhere there was evidence of failures: burnt-out or crippled tanks. Despite the message of success Israel's generals and politicians are giving their public, the reality on the ground appeared mixed.

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