Four Israeli soldiers were killed and at least forty were injured in heavy clashes with Hezbollah gunmen in southern Lebanon. Clashes have been also reported in the Lebanese towns of Al Taiba and Sour, the Arabs48 news website reported.

Meanwhile, Israeli sources only reported that a large number of soldiers were injured and hospitalized in Israeli hospitals.

Also, the sources added that four members of a brigade were injured, one seriously, after a missile was fired at them in Al Teera. Several injuries were reported in every area the Israeli army advanced to.

Israel Defense Forces troops were engaged in heavy exchanges of fire with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon on Saturday, as troops pushed northward to the Litani River under cover of intense artillery fire.

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that a large number of Israeli soldiers troops were air lifted deep into Lebanese territory on Saturday, and engaged in what was described as the largest military operation since 1973.

Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, said that the number of Israeli soldiers operating in southern Lebanon has been nearly tripled, these forced are expected to fight at least for another week despite a United Nations cease-fire resolution.

He added that these invading forces would remain in Lebanon until the arrival of an international force.

The UN force is expected to start deploying in southern Lebanon in seven to ten days, UN Middle East envoy Alvaro de Soto told Reuters on Saturday.

Israel started the expansion of its ground offensive in Lebanon after the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities and the deployment of a 15,000-strong international force in Lebanon.

On Sunday, Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, intends to present the cease-fire resolution to the cabinet, Israeli sources reported.