There is still no end in sight to the Middle East crisis. While diplomatic efforts intensify, there is growing despair on the ground. As Beirut’s southern suburbs were pounded last night, the death toll from an Israeli air strike there on Monday rose to 30. In one of the city’s squares, residents set up a candlelight memorial for the hundreds of Lebanese civilians killed in the Israeli military’s four week offensive. In the centre, a pyramid was erected bearing the names of the dead.
With no let up in the aerial bombardment, residents are braced for further strikes. Israel warns it’s planning to step up its attacks on suspected militant targets, while fierce fighting between Israeli soldiers and Hizbollah guerrillas continues in the south. Yesterday 14 Lebanese in the village of Ghaziyeh were killed in an air strike as they prepared to bury victims from an earlier assault. The deaths bring the total number of casualties on the Lebanese side to nearly 1,000, according to the government.
Israel says the building targeted in the raid belonged to a senior member of Hizbollah and was not near the funeral. It also claims residents of the village had been told in advance to leave.