Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel would not rush into a cease-fire to end 19 days of fighting in southern Lebanon until it achieves its goals there.
"I think it needs to be clear that Israel is not in a hurry to have a cease-fire before we reach a situation in which we can say that we achieved the central goals that we set down for ourselves," Olmert said before the government's weekly cabinet meeting.
"This requires a ripening of the diplomatic process and a specific agreement regarding the formation of the force that will operate from the areas from which Israel was threatened in this period."
Israeli officials have said they want to crush the Hizbullah guerrilla group that controls southern Lebanon or at least push it away from the border, which then would be patrolled by a sizable international peacekeeping force.
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