Lebanon has called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s assault on the country. The call comes after dawn raids struck at Beirut airport and bridges throughout southern Lebanon, and Israel declared it was imposing a land, sea, and air blockade on Lebanon until it stopped Hizbollah firing rockets into the north of Israel.
Beirut airport is closed. The total death toll stands at at least 50. Some 12 bridges were destroyed, and the north- south motorway between Tyre and Sidon has been cut. Naval units are in Lebanese territorial waters, bombarding what they say are Hizbollah positions.
Since yesterday war appears to have returned to Israel’s northern frontier, with the Israeli army going into Lebanon to rescue two kidnapped soldiers and halt Hizbollah’s continuing cross-border rocket attacks. Israel fears Hizbollah is about to transfer the men to Iran.
Israel has also annouced it will attack the motorway between Beirut and Damascus, cutting any supply lines between Syria and Hizbollah.
Sidon has been particularly badly hit by airstrikes, supposedly targetting the transport network. However it appears there are many victims, mostly civilians.
Planes also hit Hizbollah’s televisison station in a southern Beirut suburb. Israel has warned the capital to evacuate the district, as it is believed Hizbollah’s leader is based there. Hizbollah has countered by saying if there is any attack on Beirut, it will bombard Haifa with rockets.
Hizbollah has been entrenched in southern Lebanon for two decades, supported by Syria and Iran, and enjoying much popular support as southern Lebanon’s defender against Israel. It is also a member of the government in Beirut, and until now it has resisted any attempt to curb its power.