Five Lebanese civilians were killed and eight Israeli soldiers were wounded after a raid that took place in the south of Tyre.  Israeli commandos clashed with Hezbollah fighters after raiding an apartment Monday.

Israel attacked the village of Houla, killing more than 40 civilians.  Prime Minister Fuad Siniora called it a “deliberate massacre.”  Four Israeli soldiers were also killed in the attack.

Ground fighting intensified after Israeli soldiers attempted to advance on the border villages of South Lebanon.  One Israeli soldier was killed and four were wounded in Bind Jbeil.  According to Israeli forces, five Hezbollah fighters were also killed.  

Fourteen Lebanese civilians were killed when Israel launched air strikes.  Seven members of one Lebanese family were killed in the village of Ghazzaniyeh, according to police.  Another 4 were killed and 13 wounded in Kfar Tibneet village in a separate strike.  Two civilians were killed in a strike in the nearby Harouf village and one was killed in Ghaziye, close to Sidon.  

The port city of Tyre has been severed from the rest of Lebanon, due to continued Israeli bombardments.  Three main roads and one bridge have been destroyed.  The roads include one leading to the Masnaa border post, the road between Baalbek and Rayak, which links the Baalbek region with Zahle in central Lebanon and the Aita al-Fukhar road, which connects villages in the Beqaa Valley with Syria.  Four additional raids targeted the hills east of Baalbek, about 10km from the Syrian border.  

With the destruction of many of southern Lebanon’s bridges and roads, all aid supply routes have been cut, leaving humanitarian groups with no choice but to deliver supplies by hand across the Litani River.  

Four explosions were also heard in the Baalbek region, but no casualties have been reported.  

Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Peretz met Monday morning to discuss new strategies for Israel’s ground offensive in southern Lebanon.  Expanding the offensive to include the targeting of civilian infrastructure is among their suggested plans of action.  

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council also met today to continue trying to reach an agreement for a ceasefire.  One setback has been whether to include Hezbollah’s demand that Israel troops withdraw immediately from Lebanon.