In the face of mounting international pressure, Israel has agreed to suspend its aerial bombardment of southern Lebanon for 48 hours. The window will allow for an investigation into Sunday’s bombing that killed at least 54 civilians living in the Lebanese town of Qana. Many of the dead were children. A US government spokesman also said those living in southern Lebanon would be given 24 hours safe passage to leave the area if they wish.
By way of explanation, Israel has released video footage which it claims shows Hizbollah rockets being launched from the area around Qana. Israel claims the militant group is using Lebanese citizens as human shields.