Hezbollah attack on Haifa

Rockets fired by Hezbollah in Lebanon have killed at least nine people and wounded dozens of others in Haifa.

Hezbollah attack on Haifa
It is the worst attack on Israel since the clashes with Lebanon began.

Israeli jets have again hit targets in the south of Beirut as they continue a fifth day of air strikes, which have killed at least 100 Lebanese people.

The Israeli air raids began after Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers.

Cars abandoned

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned the attack on Haifa would have "far-reaching consequences".

"Our government is determined to do everything necessary to reach our objectives. Nothing will prevent us," Mr Olmert said.

It is the second time Haifa has been hit by Hezbollah rockets in recent days.

In a first salvo on Saturday at least 13 rockets were reported to have landed in the city.

Eight of the nine people who died were part of a train repair crew working at a railway depot.

The BBC's Wyre Davies at the depot says that the rocket, believed to be a Katyusha rocket, crashed through the roof.

About 20 people were also injured and our correspondent says that although they have all been taken to hospital the devastation is still apparent, with pools of blood everywhere.

According to Israel Radio a second wave of four rockets then hit, one landing in city street. People driving on the roads in Haifa reportedly abandoned their cars as they fled from the onslaught.

Tel Aviv alert

The BBC's Bethany Bell in Jerusalem says that until now it had been thought that towns like Haifa, which is some 30km (19 miles) south of the Lebanese border and, Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, which was attacked on Saturday, had been out of range of Hezbollah's rockets.

Following the Haifa attack a new barrage of rockets hit to the north of the city in Kiryat Motzkim and Kiryat Haim.

Lebanese people salvage belongings from bomb crater
Israeli war planes have continued to attack Beirut

More than 400 rockets have been fired into Israel by Hezbollah since Wednesday and, with the rockets penetrating ever further into the country, Israelis living all the way south to Tel Aviv have now been told to be on the alert.

The  group has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for the deaths of Lebanese civilians and the destruction of the country's infrastructure during the Israeli air raids.

Israel has carried out a heavy bombing campaign across Lebanon, hitting Hezbollah sites, but also a wide range of civilian targets.

City exodus

The BBC's Ian Pannell in Beirut says that there have already been a number of Israeli air strikes against Lebanese targets on Sunday.

In the southern suburbs of Beirut, Hezbollah's al-Manar TV was attacked.

The station's Foreign Editor Ibrahim al-Moussawai said that staff there had now taken precautions to keep their new broadcasting location from the Israelis.

A major power station in Beirut was also attacked. Our correspondent in the city says that the fire engines sent to put out the burning power station ran out of water and there was an appeal on Lebanese TV for local people to go and assist.

There was also a raid in the eastern city of Baalbek, where local Hezbollah leaders were believed to have gathered.

Foreign nationals have been leaving Lebanon to escape the violence. Our correspondent says that at first they were joined by a small number of locals who opted to stay with relatives in areas that were not being targeted or cross the border into Syria.

As the violence has escalated the number of locals attempting to flee has grown, but with the Israelis targeting the border areas and nearby roads, this has become increasingly difficult.

Iranian threat

Meanwhile, Iran's foreign ministry has denied Israeli allegations that it supplied missiles to Hezbollah and has warned Israel not to contemplate attacking Syria, which, like Iran, supports the group.

In the event of such an attack Israel would incur "unimaginable losses" Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

Tehran has also warned the West not to refer Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme, saying that will derail all negotiations.

On Saturday, Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora made an emotional appeal for a UN-supervised ceasefire to end the Israeli raids.

However, the current president of the UN Security Council, French ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, said there would be "no agreement tonight" on a truce statement following a closed-door session late on Saturday.

Lebanese diplomats blamed the US for blocking the ceasefire move.

Lebanese representative Nouhad Mahmoud said he was "very disappointed" and that this would "send a very wrong signal not only to the Lebanese people, but to Arab people".

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
Add Comment