One person was killed and dozens injured as some rockets landed up to 70km inside Israel, the deepest so far. The upsurge came as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had destroyed Hezbollah's infrastructure. Mr Olmert insisted there would be no ceasefire until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon. "I said I'd be ready to enter a ceasefire when the international forces, not will be ready, but will be deployed," Mr Olmert said of the timetable for a halt to the violence.
The hail of Hezbollah rockets came after Israeli troops raided Baalbek, a Hezbollah stronghold in north-east Lebanon, seizing five people they said were Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah said they were civilians. In southern Lebanon, clashes have been continuing between Hezbollah and Israeli troops, now said to number around 12,000. The Israeli campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers. About 750 people - mainly civilians - have been killed by Israeli action in Lebanon, according to the Lebanese health minister. This figure includes unrecovered bodies. A total of 55 Israelis, including at least 19 civilians, are known to have been killed by Hezbollah.
In other developments:
- Britain's UN ambassador says agreement on an initial Security Council resolution to end the violence is close
- World Food Programme officials say Israel has assured them emergency fuel supplies will be given safe passage into Lebanon
- Iran's supreme leader urges the Muslim world to stand up to Israel and the US over their role in the conflict in Lebanon
One of the Hezbollah rockets landed near the town of Nahariya on the west coast, killing one person. Another struck close to the town of Beit Shean on the edge of the West Bank, 70km from the Lebanese border, while another landed in the West Bank - the deepest hit so far. The BBC's Richard Miron in the northern Israeli town of Tiberius said some residents had begun returning home, believing that the Israeli army had dealt with the rocket threat. Hezbollah militants have claimed they used a new type of rocket for the attack - a Khaibar-1, thought by the Israelis to be a modified Iranian Fajr-5, which has a longer range than the Katyusha rockets they usually fire into Israel.
A Hezbollah spokesman, Ghalib Abu Zeinab, said in an interview with the BBC Arabic Service that the latest attacks showed that Hezbollah was unbroken. "The rockets that have been raining down since this morning... and the firing of a missile over a distance of 70km, all this proves that the Lebanese resistance still has a high capability, including a missile capability." Israeli Interior Minister Avi Dichter told the BBC that although Hezbollah remained active, he was confident Israel would achieve its aims in Lebanon. "Hezbollah is still alive, but the mission of this operation is not to crack down Hezbollah totally." he said. "We're trying to minimise the number of rockets launched towards Israel, and we know that all other targets that we have put right at the beginning of this special operation are going to be fulfilled."
Source: BBCLast Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16