Israeli forces have been pushing further into southern Lebanon. After Israel’s cabinet approved widening its ground offensive against Hizbollah, troops have been moving in on several locations kilometres inside the Lebanese border. Israel aims to create a buffer zone between the border and the Litani river, which will prevent Hizbollah firing rockets into towns in northern Israel. The Israeli army has denied earlier reports it had warned Lebanese civilians north of the river to evacuate the area in anticipation of a ground offensive there.
The village of Aita al-Shaab has seen the heaviest of today’s fighting, with both sides claiming to have inflicted casualties. Hizbollah says it killed or wounded 15 Israeli soldiers. The Israeli Justice Minister has claimed 300 out of an estimated 2000 Hizbollah fighters have been killed and many more wounded since the offensive started three weeks ago. The Shia guerilla group says it has lost only 43 fighters. Meanwhile, as thousands of Lebanese continue to flee the area, Israel has announced it will resume air strikes on Wednesday. It failed to honour a 48-hour suspension in aid raids following the deadly Qana attack on Sunday.