In eastern Lebanon, fighting raged for hours around Baalbek, deep in the Bekaa Valley. The Israeli army stormed a Hizbollah-run hospital which had been evacuted. They claim five suspected militants were seized. The guerrilla group denies this. It was the first helicopter-borne assault deep inside Lebanon as the conflict intensified after a partial suspension of air strikes by Israel.
At least 18 civilians were killed when Israeli warplanes hit the villages of Jammaliyeh and Saath, near Baalbek. Lieutenant General Dan Halutz said the assault was motivated by the belief the hospital was a Hizbollah base: “The target of this operation was to enter to what Hezbollah is calling a hospital, in which we thought we may find materials and the intelligence information.” Once the commandos left, what remained of the hospital was entirely flattened by Israeli air strikes.