News Brief – July 16, 2006
Rockets fired at the Israeli coastal city of Haifa have killed at least 8 people and injured 7 more, the BBC reports. Hezbollah is thought to have fired the missiles from southern Lebanon. Most of the casualties occurred when the rockets hit Haifa’s train station.
It was Hizbollah's deadliest rocket strike on Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said it would have "far-reaching" consequences for Lebanon.
Meanwhile Israeli jets pounded central Beirut yesterday, as many of its inhabitants sought refuge from the conflict elsewhere.
Nonetheless Israel seems to have deliberately targeted roads, bridges and Beirut airport; cutting off means of escape from the conflict and killing many refugees in the process.
In turn Hezbollah has responded with a wave of missile attacks that Israel alleges, is being accomplished with help from Iran.
Hezbollah’s main sponsor is thought to have 100 troops in Lebanon providing key support - including helping fire a missile Friday
that badly damaged an Israeli warship
This is the second time in as many days that Haifa has been hit by Hezbollah rockets.
The BBC's reports that until now it had been thought that towns like Haifa, which is some 30km (19 miles) south of the Lebanese border and, Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, which was attacked yesterday, had been out of range of Hezbollah's rockets.
Meanwhile, President Bush has criticised the violence but not out specifically condemned Israel.
According to Bush, who is currently in St Petersburg for the G8 summit: ``In my judgment, the best way to stop the violence is to understand why the violence occurred in the first place,'' Bush said. ``And that's because Hezbollah has been launching rocket attacks out of Lebanon into Israel and because Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers.'' (1)
(1) For a deeper perspective on exactly why Bush is assuming this stance see the latest Voice of the White House.
Last updated 17/07/2006