Israel at War 16 July

Scroll Down for Updates, My comments are at the bottom:

IAF launches heaviest raids yet on southern Beirut

Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the Israel Defense Forces Saturday night to step up the rate of attacks against Lebanon. His orders were issued close to the time when Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora made a national address and called for an immediate cease-fire.

Hours after the order was made, the Israel Air Force indeed launched a wave of bombing raids on the Lebanese capital’s southern suburbs early Sunday, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV and witnesses said.

A series of loud explosions, about 18 in total, shook the capital, much of which was plunged in darkness after warplanes struck power stations and fuel depots feeding them.

UN rejects Lebanese call to intervene in conflict with Israel

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday again rejected pleas that it call for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon after the United States objected, diplomats said.

IDF reenters northern Gaza Strip killing three militants

Israel Defense Forces troops, tanks and attack helicopters were
back inside the Gaza Strip again Sunday, killing three militants and signaling that the large-scale operation that began after a soldier was captured last month is still in full swing.

Three Hamas gunmen were killed, Hamas said, and at least 11 people were wounded in Israeli air strikes in Beit Hanoun, including a child, hospital officials said. Also, ambulances were unable to reach the scene of one missile strike aimed at militants.

IDF: Residents south of Haifa will have one-minute rocket warning

A senior Israel Defense Forces official said on Saturday evening that should Hezbollah guerillas fire rockets that reach areas south of Haifa, a warning siren will be heard one minute before they land.

The head of the IDF Home Front Command, Yitzhak Gershon, also said that residents of hard-hit areas of the north that have been instructed to remain in protected rooms and bomb shelters should continue to do so and not go to work on Sunday.

U.K., U.S., European countries work to vacate nationals from Lebanon

Britain is making contingency plans to protect its interests in the Middle East as Israel’s military offensive against Lebanon continues, officials said Saturday.

The United States is working on its own plan to evacuate American citizens from Lebanon to the neighboring island of Cyprus, the U.S. Embassy said Saturday.

A British Ministry of Defense spokeswoman refused to comment on a report by Sky Television that the aircraft carrier Illustrious is being prepared to sail to the Lebanese coast, possibly to evacuate British citizens.

Eight people killed as Hezbollah rockets slam into Haifa

At least eight people were killed Sunday morning as rockets fired by Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon struck the northern port city of Haifa.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday told Israelis from Tel Aviv northward to “be alert.”

The command said that in the event of a rocket strike, a siren will sound, alerting the public to seek shelter inside in a protected room or an area away from doors, windows and exterior walls.

Nasrallah Speaks:

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday said the Israel Defense Forces offensive on Lebanon had not depleted its large stockpile of weapons, and warned that the Islamic group could strike almost anywhere in Israel.

Nasrallah threatened “direct confrontation” if IDF ground forces entered Lebanon, adding that his guerrillas have “complete strength and power” despite Israel’s five-day bombardment.

At least eight people were killed Sunday morning as rockets fired by Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon struck the northern port city of Haifa.

Nasrallah also said that Hizbollah doesn’t target civillians…

IDF Mobilized ground forces for potential strike into southern Lebanon 

The IDF on Sunday mobilized a reserve infantry division in preparation for a possible ground incursion into south Lebanon, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The move was intended as the beginning of a new effort to push Katyusha rocket launching cells away from the Israel-Lebanon border.

IAF officer revealed to the Post on Sunday afternoon that the IDF was using bunker-buster bombs to strike at senior Hizbullah officials in hiding throughout Beirut and Lebanon. According to the officer, several of the bunker hideouts were hidden under civilian parking lots.

Meanwhile, Al-Arabiya television reported that the Syrian military was mobilizing its own reserve divisions.

Haifa-hit rockets were Syrian made

Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said on Sunday afternoon that the more advanced Fajar missiles that were fired with a barrage of other rockets at Haifa on Sunday morning, killing eight people, were made in Syria.

My Comments

This has escalated far beyond the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers or the Israeli efforts to get them back. Now Israel will settle for nothing less (and rightly so) than the complete dismantleing of Hizbullah as a fighting force. The Lebanese PM is begging the UN to impose a Cease Fire… that in itself is a joke.  If Lebanon wants the strikes to stop then Lebanon needs to take immediate steps to recognize Hizbollah for what they are… Terrorists… Send Lebanese forces to dismantale and disarm Hizbullah and any Syrian or Iranian Foces on Lebanese soil, Arrest Hizbullah leadership including the cabinet ministers and elected officials, and return the two Israeli soldiers to Israel.

Others Blogging

Michelle Malkin Blogs of War, Captains Quarters Israpundit Dry Bones Assorted Babble, News Views & Opinions 

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