Israel continues its air bombardment of Southern Lebanon, while the Israeli cabinet made it clear that air attacks on Lebanon will intensify, but ground operations will be limited, Israel media reported.
In southern Lebanon today, three people were killed in the Bekka Valley. One woman was killed near Tyre, and two people were killed in the village of Kafra.
The Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon stated that the border town Bint Jbeil will no longer be classified as a civilian area, but treated as a military zone. He alledged that "Everyone who is still in South Lebanon is linked to Hezbollah, we have called on all who are there to leave.”
Israel’s call to step up air strikes is in response to the highest daily casuaty toll since the massacre began. At least 9 Israeli soldiers were killed on Wednesday, and 25 wounded.
Ramon, who is a close ally of Prime Minister Olmert, told Israeli Army Radio that Israel is interpreting the indecision at the Rome conference on Wednesday as a green light. At the conference, the U.S and Britain refused to support the international call for an immediate ceasefire, giving Israel the ‘go ahead’ to continue its attacks on Lebanon until Hezbollah is dismantled.
Several roads were also destroyed in Lebanon by Israeli air strikes and missiles, as well as a Lebanese military base and a radio relay station.
According to the Guardian, Hezbollah fired over 150 rockets at Northern Israel today, the highest total since the fighting began.
Israeli public opinion has decreased slightly in support for the Israeli offensive, from 90% last week, to 82%, after the announcement of the nine deaths on Wednesday.