Saturday, July 15, 2006




The Middle East hangs on the edge of all out war. Across the Muslim world, the actions of Israel inside Lebanon are being condemned, and hints are already flowing of retaliatory strikes.

While President Bush and Australia's PM John Howard toe the "Israel has the right to defend itself" line, the leaders of Russia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, amongst the many, are now calling for Israel to back off and stop killing civilians.

Israel has moved beyond targeting Hezbollah artillery positions and are now trying to assassinate Islamic leaders inside Lebanon, along with port facilities, fuel depots, electricity infrastructure and even hospitals, in both Muslim and Christian areas.

Tens of thousands of civilians from the US, the UK, Australia, Brazil and a dozen other countries are trying to escape the carnage. Israeli cities in the north, who haven't faced rocket fire in decades, are now coming under attack. More than 100 civilians are now dead, with almost 500 wounded.

Israel Launches Heavy Attacks On Beirut, Syria May Be Next
Israeli air strikes hit central Beirut and targets near Lebanon's border with Syria Saturday as Hezbollah forces escalated their rocket barrage into Israel.

The Israeli strikes also included attacks on Tripoli and the Christian cities of Amchit and Junieh, CNN said, citing Lebanese media.

Israeli warplanes also hit an area near the southern city of Tyre, where Hezbollah guerrillas were launching rockets at Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Hezbollah rockets continued to stream into Israel, with officials warning that Tel Aviv could soon be hit.

At least 106 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Lebanon in the four-day Israeli offensive, Lebanese police told CNN. At least 15 Israelis have been killed, four civilians and 11 soldiers, Israeli police said.

Residents on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border are fleeing the area.

Civilians Told To Flee By Israel Burn To Death When Minivan Destroyed By

A number of internationl wire stories are carrying a particularly disturbing addition to this story of a convoy of civilian vehicles being attacked : that Israel loud speakers had told the civilians to flee the village of Mahaween, for no stated reason. Half a mile out of the village, Israel gunships then opened fire on the convoy.
Eighteen civilians, including nine children, were burnt alive in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack today on residents fleeing border villages in south Lebanon, UN peacekeepers and hospital sources said.

They were killed when a missile struck a car and a minibus near Shamaa, hospital sources said. Rescue workers said the minibus took a direct hit.

Nine of the 18 civilians were children, he said.

A total of 30 civilians were killed and 45 others wounded in a series of Israeli raids across the country today.

Thousands of Lebanese have been fleeing the border area after Israeli shelling and warnings to residents to leave in order to prevent Hizbollah guerrillas from hiding among civilians.

Three people were also killed in another raid today when Israeli jets struck the road leading to the main crossing of Masnaa between Lebanon and Syria, blocking passage across the border, police said.

At least 92 civilians have been killed and some 252 wounded since Israel began its assault on Lebanon after the capture of two soldiers and the killing of eight others
by the Syrian-backed militant group Hizbollah early on Wednesday.

Israel Puts Its Own Cities Under Martial Law

Defense Minister Amir Peretz was expected on Saturday evening to declare a "special security situation" in Israel, enabling certain cities to be subject to martial law.

Under such a situation, the instructions given by the Home Front Command, previously considered recommendations, would become obligatory. Businesses, factories and schools may be ordered to be shut down, while the declaration is in effect.

Claim : Israeli Warship Hit By Iran-Made Silkworm Missile

The disaster that overtook one of the Israeli Navy’s state of the art warships, Ahi-Hanit, was thoroughly planned in advance by an enemy which managed to take Israel’s military commanders by surprise. It has shocked Israel’s military to a degree comparable to the profound effect on US forces of al Qaeda’s 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Aden.

The Saar-5 class corvette, with a crew of 61 seamen and a 10-man helicopter crew, was hit Friday, July 17 at 20:15 hours, while shelling Beirut international airport.

...military sources reveal that the warship was struck from Beirut by an Iran-made C-802 shore-to-sea missile of the Silkworm family. Weighing 715 kilos, with a range of 120km, the missile is armed with a strong anti-jamming capability, which lends it a 98% success rate in escaping interception.

Israel Kills 32 Civilians, Including 15 Children
Israel killed at least 32 civilians on Saturday, including 15 children, in air strikes meant to punish Lebanon for letting Hizbollah guerrillas menace the Jewish state's northern border.

Israel's bombing of Lebanese roads, bridges, ports and airports, as well as Hizbollah targets, is its most destructive onslaught since a 1982 invasion to expel Palestinian forces.

For the first time, ports in Christian areas were bombarded and a helicopter missile hit a lighthouse on Beirut's seafront. Raids on roads, ports and petrol stations in north, east and south Lebanon killed 12 people and wounded 32, security sources said, bringing the death toll in four days of Israeli attacks to 100.

All but four of the dead were civilians.

Israel's assault has choked Lebanon's economy and led to an exodus of tourists and foreigners. Lebanon's main commercial ports of Beirut and Tripoli came under fire, as well as ports in the Christian towns of Jounieh and Amsheet, security sources and witnesses said.
President Bush Rejects Lebanon's Pleas To Pressure Israel For A CeaseFire
"We think it's important that (Israel)....try to limit as much as possible the so-called collateral damage, not only on civilians but also on human lives."
Israel Says It Will Rout Hezbollah
Israeli officials said a defeat of Hezbollah, a radical Shiite militia with strong ties to Syria and Iran, would send an important message to the region and would help Israel in its efforts to undermine the power of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority. They argued it would also help the weak Lebanese government assert control over the entire country.
Bush's Favourite Newspaper, Washington Times, Says : Israel's War "Could Last Many Months"

Trapped Scared Australians In Lebanon Beg To Be Brought Home, Australian Government Says It Can't Help For Now