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Heavy Fighting Reported Between Israeli Troops, Hezbollah Militants in Southern Lebanon


Israeli ground forces pushed deeper into Lebanon on Saturday, just hours after the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to bring about a cease-fire. Israeli air strikes killed at least 19 people overnight in southern Lebanon and heavy fighting is reported across the region.

Despite a U.N. resolution calling for "an immediate cessation of hostilities," heavy fighting is reported between Israeli troops and Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon. Israel expanded its ground operations Saturday, sending tanks and armored columns toward the Litani River, about 30 kilometers inside Lebanon.

Israel's Cabinet is expected to approve the U.N. resolution Sunday, but military commanders say it could take them "a few days or a few weeks" to carry out their operations against Hezbollah. Brigadier General Yossi Kupperwasser says Israel is pursuing a two-pronged strategy in Lebanon.

"We have a combination of a military effort and a diplomatic effort which support each other," he said.

In addition to calling for a "cessation of hostilities," the U.N. resolution approved on Friday calls for adding 15,000 foreign troops to the U.N. force already in Lebanon, to assist the Lebanese Army stop the weapons flow to Hezbollah.