As Hizbollah rockets continued to land on northern Israel, the government has said it will help some 20,000 residents leave border towns for several days. Until now they have had to make their own arrangements. Many have spent most of the past four weeks in underground shelters.
But Israeli cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer denied this was an evacuation plan. He said: “It has never happened and never will happen, I think there is a misunderstanding. No one is going to be evacuated and there is no plan of our government to evacuate anyone.”
In nearby Maalot, most people had already left and the majority of businesses are shut. Around 70 per cent of those who live in the border village of Tarshiha have fled, with more preparing to go in the coming days. Hizbollah has fired more than 2,700 rockets at Israel since the war began.