Thursday, August 10, 2006

From the news agencies :

In Beirut :

Israeli planes have blanketed the heart of Beirut, including the Lebanese government headquarters, with leaflets for the first time.
Israeli warplanes have dropped leaflets over downtown Beirut, threatening a ®painful and strong¯ response to Hezbollah attacks and warning residents of three southern suburbs to evacuate
®The Israeli Defense Forces intend to expand their
operations in Beirut,¯ the single-page leaflet read. It
said the move came after statements from ®the leader of
the gang¯ _ an apparent reference to Hezbollah leader
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, who made a taped television address
the night before.

In Tripoli ( north):

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) _ Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets
over northern Lebanon for the first time Thursday, warning
trucks off the roads after 8 p.m., residents said.
The leaflets fell north of Tripoli, Lebanon's second
largest city, some 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the Syrian
border. The blanketed area includes the Palestinian refugee
camp of Beddawi.
Trucks were being used to carry rockets and missiles to
Hezbollah, the single-page documents said.
They were signed: ®The State of Israel.¯
In Baalback (east ) :

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) _ An Israeli drone fired a missile
into a minibus driving in the eastern Bekaa Valley, killing
one person and wounding 12, residents said.
The attack occurred near the town of Rayak, about 5
kilometers (3 miles) east of the provincial capital of
Another airstrike targeted a road linking the city of
Baalbek, with theSyrian city of Homs, witnesses said.

IN the South : trying to reduce the number of people who have been wounded turning to people who have died

By Michael Winfrey
BEIRUT, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Hospitals were running out of
food, fuel and other supplies in southern Lebanon on Thursday
and aid groups said fighting and a ban on movement meant they
could not reach thousands trapped in the area.
Medecins Sans Frontieres said that since an Israeli air
strike destroyed the last coastal river crossing for trucks to
the south on Monday, aid agencies had been reduced to carrying
supplies by hand over a log across the Litani river.
It said Israel's warning that it might attack any vehicle
south of the Litani that was not part of an aid convoy with
Israeli clearance significantly undermined the chances of the
tens of thousands of people still believed to be trapped in the
"The people in the south are afraid. They are terrified to
move," Rowan Gillies, president of MSF International, said in
Beirut. "To forbid all forms of movement, without distinction,
will lead to even more civilian deaths and suffering."
MSF said it had suffered close calls with shelling and air
strikes close to two of its convoys earlier this week. On
Monday, warplanes attacked two cars travelling near a U.N.
Nations convoy, killing three people.
Israel has drawn international criticism for attacking
targets in populated civilian areas. At least 1,011 people have
been killed in Lebanon during the four-week-old conflict with
Hizbollah guerrillas.
Israel, which has lost 116 dead, mostly soldiers, says air
attacks and ground operations are the only way to stop the
Shi'ite group, which sparked the conflict when it captured two
Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12.
The United Nations World Food Programme said it sent a
15-truck convoy to the eastern town of Baalbek but was still
waiting for two planes carrying about 10 tonnes of supplies each
which had been delayed since Tuesday.
The agency was also trying to send a 10-truck convoy to the
battered town of Nabatiyeh in the south, but had not received
security guarantees.
"We had hoped to get down to Nabatiyeh today, but were
denied clearance," WFP spokesman Robin Lodge said.
MSF said hospitals were quickly running out of food, medical
and other supplies in Tyre and other southern cities. The worst
shortage was diesel fuel to run generators.
The shortages coincide with heavy fighting that has brought
new wave of casualties to southern hospitals. More than 3,000
people have been wounded in Lebanon so far and the United
Nations says up to 900,000 people have been displaced.
"We're trying to reduce the number of people who have been
wounded turning to people who have died," said Gillies.
"It's very basic. If we can't give the local authorities the
ability to do that, the consequences for civilians are dire."
The European Union aid chief Louis Michel also said it was
vital to restore access to aid in south Lebanon.
From Beirut to the US : stay away from us, we want sayyed hassan

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) _ During a tour of a refugee shelter
Thursday, a U.S. congressman got a taste of the virulent
anti-U.S. sentiment among many Lebanese, fueled by
Washington's support for Israel's offensive, which has
forced almost one million people from their homes.
When Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from
California, walked into a classroom that is now home to
several refugees, one of them held up her newborn
granddaughter while she launched into a tirade against U.S.
President George W. Bush.
®We don't want America. Stay away from us,¯ shouted
Mariam Saad, 45, who was displaced from Beirut's southern
suburbs.®Tell Bush we don't want his civilization. Tell him we
want Sayyid Hasan,¯ she added, referring to Hezbollah's
leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
Issa arrived in Lebanon on Thursday on a trip he described
as primarily humanitarian to assess the needs on the
grounds during the hostilities and ®also to try to hit the
ground running to get Lebanon back up and running once the
fighting stops.¯
Economists estimate it will cost billions of dollars to
repair Lebanon's infrastructure, which has been critically
damaged by Israel's offensive, and repatriate hundreds of
thousands of people displaced from their homes in Beirut's
suburbs and south Lebanon.
®We are on the edge of what is becoming a humanitarian
crisis, and it's important for the United States to have a
firsthand witness go back to the Congress,¯ Issa told The
Associated Press.
As Issa's car pulled into the school in a predominantly
Christian Beirut area, a couple of explosions were heard in
the distance _ an Israeli air raid on an old lighthouse a
few kilometers (miles) away.


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