Arab Foreign Ministers attend a foreign ministers emergency meeting in Cairo July 15, 2006. Arab governments convened an emergency meeting of their foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday to discuss ways to bring an end to Israeli attacks on Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. Image Credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (EGYPT)
The link below is a developing post at Pajamas Media; once launched, scroll down for more stories - Posted 6:00 AM PST July 15, 2006
The Israel-Hezbollah War Part Four
Note: The best currrent resource for updates from Lebanese and Israeli bloggers covering the conflict can be found @ Truth Laid Bear.
Excerpts from AP via Yahoo! News -
Israel targets Hezbollah in south Beirut
By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 9 minutes ago
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Israeli warplanes pounded Hezbollah's south Beirut stronghold and roads around the country, killing at least 15 Lebanese as they fled the onslaught. Hezbollah expanded its rocket fire, hitting another of Israel's main cities, and Israel warned that the guerrillas could strike Tel Aviv.
A senior Israeli intelligence official said Iranian troops helped Hezbollah fire a missile that damaged an Israeli warship off the Lebanese coast Friday night.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said about 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon and helped fire the Iranian-made, radar-guided C-102 at the ship that killed one and left three missing.
The Lebanese guerrilla force has shown an increasing sophistication since snatching two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, sparking Israel's largest assault against Lebanon in 24 years.
Five Hezbollah rockets hit Tiberias in northern Israeli on Saturday, causing no injuries — the first rocket attack on Tiberias, about 22 miles south of the border, since the 1973 Mideast War. An Israeli intelligence official said Hezbollah has rockets with ranges of 60 to 120 miles that could reach Tel Aviv, Israel's largest metropolitan area.
At least 88 people have died in Lebanon, most of the them civilians, in the four-day Israeli offensive, sparked by Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. On the Israeli side, at least 15 have been killed — four civilians and 11 soldiers.
As the fighting continued unabated, Lebanon sought support from fellow Arabs whose foreign ministers were meeting at an emergency session in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the the worst Israeli attack since the 1982 invasion of the country.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh presented his fellow Arab League members with a draft resolution condemning Israel's military offensive and supporting Lebanon's "right to resist occupation by all legitimate means."
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin also discussed the worsening situation, but the two appeared divided on how to restore calm.
Bush blamed Hezbollah and Syria for the escalating violence in the Middle East. "In my judgment, the best way to stop the violence is to understand why the violence occurred in the first place," Bush said. "And that's because Hezbollah has been launching rocket attacks out of Lebanon into Israel and because Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers."
Putin said it was unacceptable to try to reach political goals through abductions and strikes against an independent state. "In this context we consider Israel's concerns to be justified," he said. At the same time, he said, "the use of force should be balanced."
Israel launched its offensive after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the Israel-Lebanon border on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers. Israel has bombarded Lebanon's airport and main roads in the most intensive offensive against the country in 24 years, while Hezbollah has launched hundreds of rockets into Israel.