Renewed Israeli Airstrikes Kill Family,
Others, Wound 2 UN Troops;
Nasrallah Vows Longer Range Rocket Strikes
The Israelis continued air strikes on Saturday. Naharnet.com carries this via AFP and AP:
‘Elsewhere, Israeli warplanes demolished houses, killing seven people, including a woman and her five children . . . Lebanese civilians have born the brunt of the Israeli onslaught. The woman and her children were crushed in their home by a strike outside the market town of Nabatiyeh, which also killed a man in a nearby house, Lebanese security officials said. In the border village of Ain Arab in southeast Lebanon, six bodies were dug from the rubble of a house destroyed by a strike Friday, police said. Thirty-two Lebanese villagers killed in Israeli raids were also laid to rest in a mass grave in the southern port city of Tyre. ‘
‘Early Saturday, Israeli fighter jets renewed raids on Beirut’s southern suburbs destroying a four-wheel-drive vehicle in a missile strike. The driver escaped unharmed when he jumped out of the vehicle. Israeli forces have repeatedly targeted cars and trucks . . . Two people were wounded in an attack on a lorry in the Bekaa Valley area of Sultan Yaacoub, the National News Agency said. Israeli forces also bombarded from the air and the sea various regions of south Lebanon, targeting valleys and houses. There were no immediate reports of casualties. ‘
And there was this:
‘ Before dawn on Sunday, Israeli warplanes hit the Masnaa border crossing, cutting the main road that links Lebanon to Syria and forcing the closure of the main transit point for refugees fleeing and humanitarian aid entering Lebanon. Two more missiles hit the area early Sunday. . . Two Indian UN peacekeepers were wounded on Saturday in an Israeli air raid on their post in south Lebanon. Four UN military observers were killed earlier this week in an Israeli strike on their observation post. ‘
The Israeli military mysteriously and suddenly pulled out of the far-south town of Bint Jbeil on Saturday, after a hard-fought battle to take the town of 30,000 that cost the lives of 8 Israeli troops last Wednesday alone. Naharnet says, “On Friday, the Israeli army said seven of its soldiers were wounded, including one seriously, when Hizbullah fighters attacked a ridge overlooking Bint Jbeil and the nearby village of Maroun al-Ras. ” It appears to be the case that the Israelis were over-confident and have been taking much higher casualties than they had been prepared for, and so withdrew lest the casualties mount, until they figured out what to do about Hizbullah’s tactics.
Altogether about 33 Israeli troops have been killed in the fighting with Hizbullah, with 17 civilians dead. The Lebanese authorities estimate that some 400 Lebanese civilians have died in the Israeli assaults, plus another 200 that likely are still buried in rubble.
Hizbullah fired 90 rockets at Israel on Saturday, again, but none did significant damage or inflicted severe wounds. 7 civilians and 3 soldiers were reported injured.
Hizbullah leader Shaikh Hasan Nasrallah pledged Saturday to hit even further into the heart of Israel with his rockets if the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon did not cease. He denied that the Israelis had won any victories, pointing to their destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure as a “savage achievement.”
Israel rejected a plea from the UN for a 72-hour ceasefire to allow aid to be distributed. Some food and other aid has arrived in Beirut but relief workers are afraid to distribute it because the Israelis are targeting moving trucks for destruction.
Hundreds of Egyptians demonstrated at al-Azhar mosque on Friday against the Israeli war on Lebanon. They called for Hizbullah to destroy Tel Aviv and denounced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudii King Abduallh for not intervening with all their energies to denounce Israel.