Accessibility links

Breaking News

Shelling and Bombing Persist Ahead of Diplomacy in Israel-Lebanon Conflict

Israeli troops and tanks moved into southern Lebanon, as war planes continued to strike targets across the country, including television transmission towers. And, Hezbollah rockets again hit northern Israel.

Israeli artillery pounded southern Lebanon, as tanks and troops moved in and out of villages along the border.

Reporter Robert Berger was on the border, and describes the situation for VOA.

"About 10 Israeli tanks have deployed here at a staging point on the Israel-Lebanon border," he said. "They are preparing to head up to the frontline in south Lebanon. But soldiers say they are worried. Hezbollah anti-tank missiles and mines have destroyed several tanks since the fighting began."

Small troop units have been operating inside Lebanon for several days now, focusing on villages near the border to try to destroy Hezbollah positions.

Israel's army chief of staff, Lt.-General Dan Halutz, said Friday, limited, small incursions are foreseen.

Halutz said Israel had no choice but to root out and destroy the terrorists that seek to harm it.

Israeli warplanes continued bombing runs across Lebanon. On Saturday, bombs struck television and mobile phone towers and transmission stations, including in areas north of Beirut. The attacks knocked several television stations off the air, and disrupted mobile phone service in parts of the country. The Israeli military said the attack was aimed at Hezbollah communication lines.

Hezbollah fired dozens of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel, including the port city of Haifa.

Lebanese authorities say more than 360 people have been killed in the violence so far, most of them civilians. Aid agencies say well over half-a-million people have been displaced. More than 30 Israelis have been killed.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heads to the region Sunday to try to find a diplomatic solution. She has dismissed calls for an immediate cease-fire and has said a long-term solution is what is needed.