Qatar based Al Jazeera TV reported three Israeli soldiers were killed during clashes with Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon Tuesday. Troops shelled Ba’labak area near the Syrian borders and several areas in Al Biqa’ region were also hit.

Israel denied the news as thousands of soldiers continue their offensive into several areas in southern Lebanon. The latest heavy gun battles with Hezbollah fighters came from the Eita Al Shaab area.

Lebanese police sources confirmed clashes between Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters Tuesday morning in the eastern section of southern Lebanon.

At least three air strikes were carried out in the Al Biqa’ area with six other strikes hitting the village of Sour.  

The Israeli air force launched further air strikes against Lebanese border villages on Tuesday. Lebanese security sources said Israeli aircraft hit Bayyada, Mansoureh, and struck roads leading to Syria and eastern Lebanon,  Al Jazeera TV reported.

Hezbollah said its fighters managed to destroy an Israeli warship of the coast of Tyre, though Israel denies the claim. Isreal said it has killed twenty Hezbollah fighters in the villages of Al Taiba and Al Adasiyya in the past two days.  

Official sources from Hezbollah said 48 fighters have been killed since the battles started July 13.

A Senior Israeli official reported Tuesday that the army plans to move deeper into southern Lebanon and occupy it for several weeks until an international force can be deployed.

The official added Israeli ground forces would reach the Litany River, located 30 km north of the Lebanon-Israel border.  

The Israeli cabinet authorized the ground invasion for a distance of 6 to 7 km into southern Lebanon. The cabinet also approved a wide-scaled ground offensive into Lebanon.

The Israeli Radio reported the army intends to call up at least 15.000 reserve soldiers from three Israeli military divisions.  

On the ground, soldiers shelled the southern Lebanese towns of Kafr Shouba,  Al Khiyam, and Eita Al Sha’ab Tuesday afternoon. Currently, fierce clashes are taking place there between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli soldiers.

According to Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV, at least 35 Israeli soldiers were injured during ongoing clashes.  

In a separate incident, Hezbollah said it managed to destroy an Israeli warship near the shores of Tyre Tuesday night. The ship’s model is Sa’ar 4.5 and had some 53 crew members on it when it was hit. Other Israeli vessels hurried to their rescue, the Hezbollah affiliated Al-Manar TV said.

Monday evening, an anti-tank mine exploded near a military vehicle near a settlement in the Golan Heights, the Israeli Television reported. In a seperate attack Monday, at least five Lebanese civilians were injured in an Israeli air strike to an areas located on the Syrian-Lebanese borders.   

The Israeli army also shelled a Lebanese military post on the Al Qasmiyya bridge, north of Sour, killing one Lebanese soldier and injuring three others.