Sunday lunchtime and Beirut is under siege. Israeli air strikes are now into their fifth day and much of the southern part of the city is in ruins. This is the heaviest military campaign by Israel in Lebanon since action against Palestinian militants in 1982. Hezbollah buildings have been flattened but the assault is also targeting infrastructure, including bridges, roads and this oil depot. More than 100 people have been killed in Lebanon since the bombardment began on Wednesday. All but four were civilians. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has appealed for aid, claiming that “Lebanon is a disaster zone.”
Lebanon called on Saturday for a cease-fire, a plea that was rejected by the UN after objections from the United States. Israel has been using air and sea bombardments, but has also deployed ground commando units. It blames the Lebanese government for the crisis, saying it failed to meet UN resolutions to disarm Hezbollah.