Israel has confirmed that two of its military helicopters have collided near the Lebanese border. A military spokeswoman said the collision killed a pilot and injured three other crewmen. Earlier two Israeli soldiers were killed in fierce ground battles with Hizbollah fighters. Hizbollah says two of its fighters were killed in the clashes just inside Lebanon. Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has been holding talks with military commanders, has told the armed forces they can have as much time as they want to complete the Lebanon operation.
An opinion poll earlier in the week suggested three quarters of Israelis approved of Olmert’s handling of the crisis. Demonstrators in Israel’s third city Haifa would disagree. Dozens of women protested against the bombardment of Lebanon, saying it had failed to make Israel a safer place. The coastal city has come under fire several times from Hizbollah rockets since last week.