Lebanon offensive continues

Friday, July 14, 2006 |  by Nicole Jansezian
The terrorist group Hizballah has launched more than 100 rockets from southern Lebanon at northern Israeli towns while Israeli warplanes continued to pound Hizballah strongholds in Lebanon.

According to Lebanese reports 55 people have been killed since air strikes began on Wednesday and 55 were wounded in overnight IAF air strikes against the Lebanese capital's southern suburbs where Hizbullah has its strongholds.

Israel has not let up on its offensive, firing several missiles on south Beirut this morning. Anti-aircraft fire from the ground echoed in other suburbs of Beirut as the planes roared over the Lebanese capital.

Rockets have landed in Israel as far south as Haifa. Several thousands of residents spent the night in bomb shelters. Meanwhile 10 Kassam rockets were launched from Gaza and landed in the southern town of Sderot, where several residents were treated for shock.

In a news conference yesterday, Gen. Ido Nehushtan said the fighting would go on as long as it takes to accomplish Israel’s goal of quiet on the border. He said Israeli warplanes are targeting rocket and weapon storage facilities, of which many are in houses, and terrorist transportation routes.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have to defend our people,” Nehushtan said. “We have to provide security for our citizens and we are willing to take as long as it takes.”

Gideon Meir, Foreign Ministry director of public affairs, said the source of Hizballah’s funding is Syria and Iran. Right now though, Israel is focusing on the source of the attacks, southern Lebanon.

While world reaction to Israel’s offensive has been tepid, readers of Israel’s Foreign Ministry website in Arabic have encouraged Israel to use tough military action against Hizballah and Hamas, according to a Ynet report.

"If Israel doesn't take very very tough offensive actions against this terror, it will open the doors of hell on herself," one reader wrote.

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