Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Israel's three-week-old offensive in Lebanon would stop only once a robust international peacekeeping force was in place in southern Lebanon.
In an interview in his Jerusalem office, Olmert also said the release of two IDF soldiers captured by Lebanon's Hizbullah guerrillas must be unconditional - signaling Israel does not favor a prisoner swap.
The prime minister also predicted that the outcome of the Lebanon fighting would create "new momentum" for Israel's plan to separate from the Palestinians by withdrawing from much of the West Bank.
He had harsh words for Syrian leaders, calling them "reckless," "immature," and promoters of terror.
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