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DAY# 12 UPDATE

Hezbollah Rockets Kill Two Civilians In Haifa

After Capturing Hezbollah Stronghold of Maroun A-Ras, IDF Continues Its Search and Clear Operation Against Hezbollah Sites in South Lebanon

BBC Confirms That Hezbollah Is Launching Rockets From Inside Civilian Areas Like Port Of Tyre

Day twelve of the war started with another rain of Katyusha rockets killing two civilians in Haifa. More people were injured across Galilee, some of them seriously. 

:: IsraCast Audio ::
Hezbollah terrorists carrying missiles

The killing of two more Israeli civilians in Haifa indicates that Hezbollah still has a a deadly capability.

This weekend, Hezbollah has bombarded northern Israel with scores of rockets despite the IDFs massive air an artillery assault on the guerrillas. The IDF has not yet turned the corner in the campaign. However, the capture of the Hezbollah stronghold in Maroun Aras could be a turning point. This is one of the highest ridges in south Lebanon and provides a birds eye view for miles around. The IDF can use it as an observation point and launch pad for more search and clear missions to uproot the Hezbollah rocket squads in the area. On the ground, near the Lebanese port of Tyre, BBC reporter Christian Fraser gave an eye-witness account of how Hezbollah exploits Lebanese population centers for launching rockets into Israel.

BBC reporter

Not only that - the IDF has also revealed video footage of how Hezbollah also exploits mosques. A Katyusha launcher was shown outside the door of a mosque in south Lebanon. The guerrillas had been whipping the launcher in and out of the mosque to fire off rockets. Defense Minister Amir Peretz said so far Hezbollah has fired some 2,200 rockets at Israel since the start of the war twelve days ago. Most were Katyushas being launched from south of the Litani River. This is obviously why Israel wants to drive Hezbollah out of that area which ranges from five to twenty- five kilometers from the border. Peretz added that the guerrillas have longer-range rockets that they have not used so far. Hezbollah was the only terror organization in the world that possesses ground-to-ground rockets. As for an international force for south Lebanon, Peretz also said it must have the power to enforce its mandate and not simply monitor the situation. He referred to a NATO force.

The head of IDF intelligence, General Amos Yadlin told the cabinet that Iran funds Hezbollah to the tune of $100 million dollars annually. In his words: Iran is up to its neck in Hezbollah. This also explains how Hezbollah has been able to build sophisticated underground bunkers in the south and amass an arsenal of some 12,000 rockets.

Syria: It is stepping up its supply of weapons but the IDF is intercepting them inside Lebanese territory. Israeli jets are steering clear of the Syria border to avoid war with Syria. A Syrian cabinet minister has warned that the Syrian army will enter the war if the IDF approaches 20 kilometers of Damascus.

Although thousands of reserve troops have been called up, the Israeli cabinet says the IDF has not been ordered to launch a ground invasion of Lebanon. So more of the same limited IDF incursions can be expected over the next few days. This while Israeli jets, helicopters and artillery pound Hezbollah targets. Cabinet Minister Yitzhak Hertzog:

Hertzog sound

French Foreign minister Douste-Balzy found out what its like to be under a Katyusha attack. In Haifa, the visiting French official had to rush for cover when air raid sirens warned that more rockets were on the way. Paris charges that Israels response to the rocketing is disproportionate. This is the background as U.S. Secretary of State Codoleezza Rice starts out on her Middle East tour. She has made clear the U.S. is not waiting with a stopper for Israel to root out the Hezbollah threat. Washington and Jerusalem apparently agree that Hezbollah is spearheading the World Jihad campaign against the West. And that the Jewish state is now on the front line in this global confrontation.

David Essing

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