Monday, July 17, 2006

Hezbollah attacks Haifa, Israel pounds Lebanon

A round-up of the latest news:

According to The Washington Post, Israel, with U.S. support, intends to resist calls for a cease-fire and continue a longer-term strategy of punishing Hezbollah, which is likely to include several weeks of precision bombing in Lebanon":

For Israel, the goal is to eliminate Hezbollah as a security threat -- or altogether...

For the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran...

On the ground, The New York Times reports on "a scene of death and destruction" in Haifa:

Hezbollah has been shooting rockets at northern Israel on and off for some two decades, but [yesterday]’s attack was unprecedented on two counts. It was the deadliest Hezbollah rocket attack to date and the first time the Lebanese Shiite group fired on Israel with a rocket that can carry more than 100 pounds of explosives, capable of inflicting far more damage than the Katyusha rockets that are typically used, according to the Israeli military.

The AP has the latest update after the Haifa attack:

Hezbollah and Israel traded fierce barrages for a sixth day Monday, as the latest eruption of warfare in the Middle East showed no sign of easing. Rockets struck deep inside Israel, killing eight people in Haifa, and Israeli planes bombed Lebanon from north to south.

Israel has "accused Iran and Syria of providing the weaponry used in [the Haifa attack]" and has "warned of massive retaliation"

Guardian Unlimited looks at the situation on the ground in Lebanon:

Israel steeply escalated its military campaign against Hizbollah in Lebanon yesterday with a series of air strikes that left more than 35 civilians dead, including a single strike on a convoy of families fleeing the fighting in a village near Tyre in the south of the country that killed more than 20 people, most of them children.

Reuters reports on the (anti-Hezbollah, moderately pro-Israel) response of the G8 (currently meeting in St. Petersburg): "Group of Eight leaders on Sunday blamed extremists for an upsurge of Middle East violence and while accepting Israel's right to defend itself said the Jewish state should exercise 'utmost restraint.'"

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Elsewhere, according to the AP: "Israel bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry building in Gaza City early Monday, pushing ahead with its three-week offensive in Gaza as troops clashed with militants in the northern part of the territory."

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