Israeli forces pounded southern Beirut in the early hours of Sunday. It is now the fifth day of an offensive which Israel says is meant to obtain the release of two of its soldiers held by Hizbollah militants. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has denounced Israel for turning his country into a disaster zone. He called for an “immediate and comprehensive ceasefire under UN auspices”. The UN Security Council rejected the call after the United States objected.
Israeli air strikes on Lebanon killed at least 35 civilians on Saturday. In the worst incident, two families fleeing a village in a minivan were hit by an Israeli missile. Several children were killed. At least 104 people in Lebanon, all but four of them, civilians, have been killed since violence erupted on Wednesday. Targets on Saturday included bridges, fuel storage tanks and petrol stations in the south of the country in what is Israel’s most destructive onslaught since an invasion in 1982.