Israel sends instructions to Lebanon through Italy

Lebanon's government said Sunday that Italy has relayed Israeli conditions to stop its assault on Lebanon: release the two captured Israeli soldiers and pull Hizbullah back from the Israeli border. Information Minister Ghazi Aridi briefed reporters on the conditions after an emergency Cabinet meeting. He said Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi spoke to Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, and relayed the conditions made by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Aridi said Prodi told Saniora that "Premier Olmert has two conditions for a cease-fire: handover of the captured soldiers and Hizbullah's withdrawal beyond the Litani (River)." He said Prodi relayed Olmert's conditions to Saniora as part of a "personal initiative." "Nothing is official because the real negotiations have not started yet," Aridi said.