A television station run by Hezbollah said that thousands of Israeli ground forces sent in to silence continuing rocket attacks despite incessant air raids was ambushed as they were advancing. The guerrillas say that they killed 12 soldiers and 3 civilians in such attacks which included a barrage of 120 rockets. Army sources admit that two Israeli soldiers were killed by a Hezbollah anti-tank missile during heavy fighting in a southern Lebanese village where the militant group had been launching rockets.
Apart from killing each other, a UN peacekeeping force monitoring the now broken ceasefire and civilians has also been caught in the crossfire. The UN force was attacked inadvertently by a Hezbollah mortar and 3 Chinese members were lightly injured. An Israeli air strike accident hit dozens of farm workers loading vegetables near the Lebanon-Syria border killing 23 of them. Another air strike killed 5 Lebanese civilians and wounded 19 others north of the capital in Christian areas where Hezbollah has little support or presence.
An Israeli army spokesman rejected Lebanese Government accusations saying that the reason for targeting bridges leading to Syria is to stop the flow of weapons from Syria. Unfortunately, the side affect according to International aid agencies is that with the bombing, shipments of aid to needy civilians in central Lebanon and the coastline around Beirut where the bulk of the population lives would also slow down. Since Israel has imposed a naval blockade and also hit the international airport to seal off sea and airspace, the “umbilical chord” has been severed.
Thankfully, UN World Food Programme announced from Geneva that Israel had agreed to allow two fuel tankers to dock at Beirut port and unload their cargo to prevent further humanitarian crisis in the country. However, Beirut port authorities say that they have not received notification that the ships had set sail. At present, Beirut gets 12 hours of electricity, petrol and diesel stocks in short supply, and hospitals have only a two-week reserve.
Independent sources say that at least over 550 Lebanese civilians, 26 Lebanese soldiers, and 46 Hezbollah fighters have died and about 200 remain buried in the rubble of bombed buildings.