Smoke rose over the suburbs of southern Beirut this morning, a sign of retaliation for missile strikes on Israeli territory. A senior airforce officer has told Israeli army radio that bomber pilots have reportedly been advised to wipe out ten buildings in the Lebanese capital for every rocket that hits the city of Haifa.
At least five raids overnight hit residential blocks and the old road to the airport. The UN’s emergency relief coordinator has been visiting a Shi’ite district flattened by bombers. It was targeted as a suspected Hizbollah stronghold. Jan Egelund criticised the tactics of both the guerrillas and Israeli army. “These are violations of humanitarian law and the civilians should be shielded, civilians are protected people, they are not the targets,” he said. Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict. The UN believes over 500,000, and up to a million people, are in need of help, either medical treatment or food and water.