Israel calls Hezbollah capture of soldiers act of warHezbollah guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers and killed up to seven Israelis, in what Israel described as an act of war by Lebanon that would draw a "very painful" response.Israel mobilised a reserve infantry division and Hezbollah declared an all-out military alert.Two Lebanese civilians were killed in an Israeli air strike on a coastal bridge at Qasmiyeh.Four other bridges in the south were hit and five Lebanese were wounded, security sources said.The sources say the Israeli soldiers had been seized at around 9am local time across the border from Aita al-Shaab, some 15 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast.The Israeli army confirmed that two Israeli soldiers had been captured on the Lebanese frontier.Israeli ground forces crossed into Lebanon to hunt for the missing soldiers, Israeli Army Radio said.'No incursion'But Hezbollah and the Lebanese authorities said there was no major incursion.Traffic was thin on roads in the south amid sporadic Israeli shelling of border areas.An Israeli rocket hit a car carrying a crew from Lebanese New Television, wounding all three.Israeli troops have not struck deep into Lebanon since they withdrew from a southern border strip in 2000 after Hezbollah's Shiite fighters waged an 18-year war of attrition against them."It is an act of war by the state of Lebanon against the state of Israel in its sovereign territory," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said of Hezbollah's action, threatening a "very painful and far-reaching" response.Palestinian offensiveIsrael is already engaged in an expanding military offensive in the Gaza Strip launched after Palestinian militants captured a soldier in a cross-border raid on June 25."Fulfilling its pledge to liberate the (Arab) prisoners and detainees, the Islamic Resistance ... captured two Israeli soldiers at the border with occupied Palestine," the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah said in a statement."The two captives were transferred to a safe place," it said, without stating what condition the captives were in.A Lebanese political source said Hezbollah was willing to discuss swapping them for prisoners held in Israel.A Hezbollah spokesman refused comment.Hezbollah said it had destroyed an Israeli tank that had entered Lebanon.Al Jazeera television said a total of seven Israelis had been killed in Wednesday's border violence.Hezbollah supporters set off fire crackers and distributed sweets in the streets of Beirut after the Islamist group issued its claim.Similar scenes were reported across Lebanon.Gaza strikesIn Gaza, Israel killed nine members of a Palestinian family in an air strike that destroyed a three-storey residential building where top Hamas commanders were believed to be meeting.The bombing was among a series of attacks that killed a total of 15 Palestinians as Israeli forces swept into central Gaza on Wednesday, broadening an offensive aimed at freeing a captured soldier and halting cross-border rocket fire.The Israeli military said the air raid wounded Mohammad Deif, leader of the governing Hamas's armed wing. A spokesman for Hamas's Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades denied Deif was hurt.Israel's Gaza offensive is aimed at freeing captured Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit and halting cross-border rocket fire.Corporal Shalit's seizure by Hamas and allied fighters led Israel to launch its first ground attacks in Gaza since quitting the Strip last year.About 71 Palestinians have been killed so far.Israel has rejected calls from Hamas for a prisoner swap for the 19-year-old tank gunner.
Conflito agrava-se no Médio OrienteIsrael diz que Hezbollah bombardeou a cidade de Haifa Os guerrilheiros do Hezbollah terão bombardeado esta tarde a cidade israelita de Haifa. O ataque, confirmado pelo exército israelita, acontece depois do anúncio oficial de que o Líbano iria apresentar uma proposta de cessar-fogo a Israel. A comunidade internacional mostra sinais de preocupação com o agravamento do conflito.SICO ataque a Haifa foi confirmado pelo exército israelita mas o Hezbollah desmente os bombardeamentos.De acordo com os relatos, a terceira maior cidade do país foi atingida com dois rockets lançados pela milícia xiita. As autoridades aconselham os habitantes a recolher-se em abrigos.Entretanto, o Irão nega que os dois soldados israelitas alegadamente raptados pelos guerrilheiros do Hezbollah tenham sido levados para o país.Fonte do Governo de Teerão, citada pela Reuters, apelidou de "absurda" a hipótese avançada por um porta-voz do Ministério israelita dos Negócios Estrangeiros.Israel ameaça bombardear, depois dos aeroportos libaneses, a auto-estrada entre Beirute e Damasco, na Síria, por onde estão a fugir muitas dezenas de pessoas.O conflito está a ganhar cada vez maior dimensão: dois israelitas morreram e 49 ficaram feridos no ataque desta manhã do Hezbollah. Horas antes, pela madrugada, Israel tentou isolar o Líbano com ataques em pontos estratégicos, o que provocou a morte de 40 civis.Comunidade internacional preocupadaO secretário-geral das Nações Unidas, Kofi Annan, não esconde a preocupação com a situação no Médio Oriente e anunciou o envio de três representantes ao terreno para mediar as várias frentes do conflito.A União Europeia e a Rússia já criticaram os ataques de Israel ao Líbano e apontam-nos como um passo para o agravamento do conflito no Médio Oriente.Já o Presidente dos Estados Unidos, George W. Bush, defendeu a ofensiva israelita. "Israel tem o direito de defender-se. Todos os países devem defender-se contra ataques terroristas e a morte de inocentes", disse.De visita à Alemanha, Bush deixou, no entanto, um apelo para que Israel não enfraqueça o regime de Beirute.
Israel Attacks Beirut Airport and Sets Up Naval BlockadeBEIRUT, Lebanon, July 13 — Israel imposed a full naval blockade on Lebanon and put Beirut International Airport out of commission today as the crisis in the Middle East escalated rapidly following the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others by the Shia militant group Hezbollah on Wednesday.Hezbollah fired rockets deep into northern Israel today, with two rockets hitting the port of Haifa and sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters.In a second day of Israeli attacks on Lebanon, Israeli warplanes also struck two Lebanese Army bases and Hezbollah’s Al Manar television station. According to Lebanese government figures, 53 Lebanese have died, including one family of 10 and another of seven in the village of Dweir. More than 103 have been wounded, the Lebanese said.The Israeli government has said that it is holding the state of Lebanon responsible for the actions of Hezbollah, which is a member of the government, and that the cross-border raid and abduction of its soldiers is an unprovoked act of war by a neighboring state.Israel’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, warned that “nothing is safe” in Lebanon and that Beirut itself, especially Hezbollah offices and strongholds in the southern part of the city, would be a target.Hezbollah in turn fired more than 120 Katyusha rockets and mortars into Israel today, Israeli officials said, killing one woman drinking coffee on her balcony in Nahariya and wounding more than 100 other Israelis in some 20 towns and villages, including Haifa, Safed and Carmiel. Hezbollah said it was using a new rocket, the “Thunder 1,” more advanced than the standard Katyusha.Thousands of Israelis in the north spent the night in bomb shelters as Hezbollah warned that Israeli attacks on southern Beirut would be met by rocket attacks on Haifa, a port city of some 250,000 people 18 miles from the international border. This evening, two rockets landed near the city’s Stella Maris Church.In Beirut, residents lined up for blocks to get gasoline and packed supermarkets and bakeries preparing for what could be a long siege. With Israeli warshops visible off the coast and the occasional roar of warplanes rattling nerves, Lebanese reenacted some of the same ritual preparations for war they had abandoned 15 years ago, when their bloody civil war finally ended.The rapid surge in fighting on a second front, two weeks after Israel entered Gaza to try to secure the release of another captured soldier, alarmed Arab and Western governments, drove up the price of oil and drove down the Israeli currency, the shekel.The European Union today criticized Israel for “the disproportionate use of force” in Lebanon “in response to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel,” according to a statement issued by the current Finnish presidency. It said that “the imposition of an air and sea blockade on Lebanon cannot be justified.”President Bush, in remarks in Germany, said that “Israel has the right to defend herself,” but he also called for care, warning Israel not to weaken the government in Lebanon.“There are a group of terrorists who want to stop the advance of peace,” Mr. Bush said. “The soldiers need to be returned.”President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority warned that Israel’s Lebanon offensive “is raising our fears of a new regional war” and urged world powers to intervene.The British foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, meeting with European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana, called jointly “for the urgent release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers and an end to attacks on Israeli towns and cities” and asked “all those countries with influence over Hezbollah and Hamas to play their part.”She said that “we strongly support the U.N.’s efforts to arrange as quickly as possible a cease-fire and the release of the abducted soldiers.” But there was also a warning for Israel. “While Israel is entitled to do what is required to protect its security, it should do so in a way which does not escalate the situation and which is proportionate and measured, conforms to international law, and avoids civilian deaths and suffering,” she said.Foreign Minister Mikhail Kamynin of Russia condemned both the Hezbollah raid and the Israeli offensive for destroying civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and in Gaza.The Lebanese government, which has said that it had nothing to do with the raid by Hezbollah, called for a cease-fire, saying that all means should be used to end “open aggression” against the country.But Israeli officials said there would be a long campaign to restore the country’s security both along its southern border with Gaza and its northern one with Lebanon. The Israelis want to restore their military credibility with the Palestinian militants and Hamas government in Gaza and with Hezbollah, and say they intend to make the current campaign painful on both sets of antagonists.The Israelis say that they want the message to get across to Syria and Iran, the countries Israel considers to be the main sponsors of Hezbollah and Palestinian militancy.The Israeli defense minister, Amir Peretz, said Israel would no longer allow Hezbollah forces to occupy positions along the border.“If the government of Lebanon fails to deploy its forces, as is expected of a sovereign government, we shall not allow Hezbollah forces to remain any further on the borders of the state of Israel,” Mr. Peretz said.But few Israeli officials think the Lebanese government, which is greatly influenced by Syria, has the will or the power to displace Hezbollah in the south.A senior Israeli foreign ministry official, Gideon Meir, told reporters today that Israel has “concrete evidence that Hezbollah plans to transfer the kidnapped soldiers to Iran,” but he gave no specifics or source for the claim. “As a result,” Mr. Meir said, “Israel views Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran as the main players in the axis of terror and hate that endangers not only Israel, but the entire world.”Israeli concerns that the soldiers might be moved out of Lebanon are a prime reason for its efforts to blockade the country and prevent air traffic, Mr. Meir said later.Israel called on the international community to press Lebanon to full its commitments under United Nations resolutions to dismantle Hezbollah’s military and send the Lebanese army into southern Lebanon to take control over the international border with Israel.Israel identified the two captured soldiers as Ehud Goldwasser, 31, of Nahariya, and Eldad Regev, 26, of Kiryat Motzkin. Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, was captured by Palestinian militants on a raid from Gaza into Israel on June 25, setting off this current crisis.The Israeli attack on the Beirut airport — the first such attack by Israel since 1982 — blasted craters into all three runways, but did not hit the main terminal.It came at the height of the tourist season, which was expected to bring Lebanon $4 billion this summer, and travelers were stranded all over the Middle East. Even the Lebanese foreign minister, Fawzi Salloukh, had to return home overland from Syria from a trip to Armenia. Syria opened its borders to stranded tourists.The Israeli military said it struck the airport because it is “a central hub for the transfer of weapons and supplies to the Hezbollah terrorist organization.”In Beirut, residents prepared for a long campaign. “We’ve been through this many times before,” said Rania al Faris, who stood with her three sisters and mother with their bags packed waiting for the next bus towards the Beqaa Valley. They had blankets, extra food and books, and were ready to be gone for a while. “The roads get closed and it’s impossible to buy any food or supplies. It’s much safer in the countryside. That is what we used to do during the war.”By midday, the city grew more panicked as Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets over the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs, warning residents to evacuate the area before impending attack. Many families packed their bags and left to country side where they chances of being hurt would be lower.“People are trying to get out of here any way they can,” said Mohammad Assif, who escorted his mother up to the mountains. Mr. Assif said one of his cousins had been killed in one of the bombings on the south Wednesday night, and the family had collectively decided to head out to safety. “Hezbollah is concentrated here so this going to be where they hit. They hit al Manar near our house, who knows what comes next,” he said.Hoards of tourists, most of them from Arab countries, packed up their bags and milled about in hotel lobbies desperate for a way out. But with the country blockaded by sea and air, the sole exit was through the border with Syria, where traffic was backed up for miles by midday.Thousands took shelter at the Saudi Embassy in the Ras Beirut neighborhood until buses were organized to the Damascus airport. “People are really shaken, you can see it in their eyes,”said Rifaa al Otaibi, an embassy employee. “When the airport was hit, it was enough for many.”Hassan M. Fattah reported from Beirut for this article and Steven Erlanger from Jerusalem.
Israelis Enter Lebanon After AttacksJERUSALEM, Thursday, July 13 — The Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah surprised Israel with a bold daylight assault across the border on Wednesday, leading to fighting in which two Israeli soldiers were captured and at least eight killed, and elevating recent tensions into a serious two-front battle.Israel, already waging a military operation in the Gaza Strip to free a soldier captured by Palestinian militants on June 25, immediately responded by sending armored forces into southern Lebanon for the first time in six years.Early on Thursday morning, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the runways at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, shutting the airport and potentially stranding thousands of visitors at the peak of tourist season. Israeli warplanes also hit numerous locations in southern Lebanon, adding to the civilian death toll. The Israeli military confirmed the strike, saying that the airport was a target because Hezbollah receives weapons shipments there.The Israeli government also confirmed that Hezbollah fired several Katyusha rockets into northern Israel, injuring three people.The toll was the highest one for the Israeli soldiers in several years, and combined with the deaths on Wednesday of at least 22 Palestinians, including many civilians, in fighting in Gaza, it was the deadliest day in the Arab-Israeli conflict since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip last year. And the violence continued into the early morning hours, when an Israeli airstrike heavily damaged the Palestinian Foreign Ministry building in Gaza.Even though Israel has overwhelming military superiority in both southern Lebanon and Gaza, the new fighting signaled the emergence of a conflict that has blown past the limits of local confrontation into a regional crisis. Some analysts suggested that the similarity between the Hezbollah raid and the one in Gaza by fighters with the Islamic faction Hamas and its allies, both intended to gain leverage through captured Israeli soldiers, pointed to increasingly closer relations between the groups.As with the Gaza conflict, Israel ruled out negotiations with the Lebanese captors of the Israeli soldiers. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he held the Lebanese government responsible for the assault by Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim group that participates in Lebanese politics but also continues to battle Israel.“I want to make clear that the event this morning is not a terror act, but an act of a sovereign state that attacked Israel without reason,” Mr. Olmert said. “The government of Lebanon, of which Hezbollah is a part, is trying to shake the stability of the region.” Israel is demanding that all three soldiers be returned and that militants stop firing rockets at Israelis from Gaza in the south and Lebanon in the north. But both Hamas and Hezbollah are holding out for an exchange for a large number of Palestinian and other Arab prisoners held by Israel.“The prisoners will not be returned except through one way — indirect negotiations and a trade,” said the leader of Hezbollah, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, speaking to reporters in Beirut on Wednesday. He suggested the possibility of a deal. “The capture of the two soldiers could provide a solution to the Gaza crisis,” he said. The operation had been planned for months, he said, though he added, “The timing, no doubt, provides support for our brothers in Palestine.”Hezbollah released a statement saying that the two soldiers had been transferred to “a safe place,” but did not give any other details.Two years ago, Hezbollah managed to push Israel to free more than 400 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in exchange for an Israeli businessman held in Lebanon and for the bodies of three Israeli soldiers killed in a Hezbollah attack in 2000. Israel is currently holding close to 9,000 Palestinian prisoners, though the number of Lebanese prisoners is believed to be much smaller.The White House released a statement condemning the Hezbollah raid, calling it an “unprovoked act of terrorism” and holding Syria and Iran responsible because of their longstanding support for the group. The United Nations representative to southern Lebanon, Gier Pedersen, also criticized the raid, calling it “an act of very dangerous proportions.”The fighting on the Lebanese border erupted around 9 a.m., when Hezbollah attacked several Israeli towns with rocket fire, wounding several civilians, the Israeli military said. But that attack was a diversion for the main operation, several miles to the east, where Hezbollah militants fired antitank missiles at two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence, the military said. Of the seven soldiers in the two jeeps, three were killed, two wounded and two abducted, the military said.Israel then responded with artillery fire, airstrikes and a naval bombardment that focused on about 40 sites in southern Lebanon. Most were believed to be Hezbollah strongholds, but roads and bridges were also hit in an attempt to keep Hezbollah from moving the captured soldiers farther north, according to the military. At least 2 Lebanese civilians were killed and more than 10 wounded in southern Lebanon, Lebanese officials said.Israel also sent ground forces into Lebanon, and a tank hit an explosive planted in the road, killing all four soldiers inside, the Israeli military said. Another soldier was killed while trying to rescue those in the tank.The Israeli incursion was the first such operation in southern Lebanon since Israel pulled its troops back into Israel in 2000, ending two decades of occupation.Political and military analysts in Egypt and Israel said the recent events seemed to stem from a growing relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah. While there is no direct evidence of coordinated attacks, several analysts said they believed that the two kidnappings were part of a plan reflecting a trend that began several years ago, with Hezbollah trying to teach Hamas its methods. “What took place from Hezbollah today, in my opinion, is tied to their relationship with Hamas,’’ said Dr. Wahid Abdel Meguid, Deputy Director of the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Egypt. “Hezbollah developed a strong relationship with Hamas, the most manifest form of this relationship is Hezbollah’s role in training the Hamas cadres.”Hezbollah and Hamas are part of a complex four-way relationship with each other and Iran and Syria. Iran helped to create, finance and train Hezbollah. Hamas’s political leader, Khaled Meshal, lives and works in Damascus. The expectation among political and foreign affairs analysts is that Hamas and Hezbollah would never have taken such provocative actions without at least the tacit approval of their sponsors in Tehran or Damascus.Meanwhile, Gaza endured another bloody day. Hours before the Hezbollah attack on Wednesday, Israeli troops moved in force into central Gaza for the first time, expanding the operation intended to secure the release of the captured soldier there, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and stop rocket fire into Israel. Israeli tanks, armored personnel carriers and armored bulldozers entered at the Kissufim crossing on the eastern side of Gaza and cut off the southern third of the territory from the rest of the strip.The Israeli Air Force also dropped a bomb on a home in Gaza City at around 3 a.m., saying its targets were Hamas leaders. But the blast killed nine members of the Salmiyeh family, according to Dr. Jumaa al-Saqqa, the spokesman for Al Shifa Hospital, where the bodies were taken. There were visiting Hamas leaders in the house at the time of the bombing, but they escaped with only minor injuries, Palestinians said.The owner of the house, Nabil Abu Salmiyeh, who was reported to be a Hamas member, was killed along with his wife, Salwa, and seven of their children, ages 7 to 18, Dr. Saqqa said. The Israeli military said the main target was Muhammad Deif, the head of Hamas’s armed wing. Israel says Mr. Deif is behind scores of attacks against Israeli civilians. The military, which has tried to kill Mr. Deif at least four times in recent years, said he was wounded. But Hamas officials refused to say whether Mr. Deif was at the house at the time of the bombing, and insisted he was safe.In two separate gun battles near the town of Deir al-Balah, Israeli soldiers killed 10 Palestinian militants and wounded at least 7, Palestinian security and medical officials said. At least 12 more Palestinians were killed in other Gaza incidents, many of them in airstrikes around Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah.Early on Thursday, a strike by Israeli aircraft heavily damaged the Foreign Ministry building in Gaza. There were reports of injuries, though it was unclear whether they included people inside the ministry, which is controlled by Hamas, or in nearby buildings.In Beirut, residents gave out sweets in celebration of the kidnapping, while convoys of young men drove through the downtown district, waving Hezbollah’s yellow flag.Fouad Siniora, Lebanon’s prime minister, sought to distance the government from the Hezbollah raid after an emergency cabinet meeting. He noted that the Lebanese government was “not aware of and does not take responsibility for, nor endorses what happened on the international border.”Greg Myre reported from Jerusalem for this article, and Steven Erlanger from Gaza City. Hassan M. Fattah contributed reporting from Beirut, and Michael Slackman from Cairo.
tenho um bom amigo por lá. Espero tudo corra bem.
Citação de: "aero" tenho um bom amigo por lá. Espero tudo corra bem.Hehe....então podes-te gabar que conheces 1 dos apenas 22 portugueses que se encontram no Líbano
Governo de Israel quer “destruir” o HezbollahO ministro israelita da Defesa, Amir Peretz, afirmou hoje que Israel pretende “destruir” o Hezbollah pelo lançamento de rockets, esta tarde, sobre Haifa, a terceira cidade israelita, uma acção que o movimento xiita já desmentiu ter sido da sua autoria.“Estamos à espera que o Hezbollah quebre as regras do jogo. Temos a intenção de destruir essa organização”, reforçou Peretz em declarações aos jornalistas, antes de um encontro com responsáveis norte-americanos.O ministro da Defesa sublinhou que existem vítimas israelitas no conflito com o movimento xiita e que Israel deixa de ter que justificar “os meios para destruir a facção mais dura do Hezbollah, que violou todas as regras e pretende levar o Médio Oriente ao abismo”.Pelo menos dois rockets lançados a partir do sul do Líbano atingiram hoje Haifa, um ataque que Israel atribuiu ao Hezbollah, mas no qual o movimento nega qualquer envolvimento. Os rockets atingiram o bairro cristão de Stella Maris, uma área onde há vários restaurantes, um mosteiro e uma igreja, não havendo registo de vítimas.Este ataque levou o Exército israelita a ordenar o refúgio de meio milhão de civis israelitas em abrigos, durante esta noite, como precaução, na região de Haifa, Saint-Jean d'Acre, de Safed e ao longo da fronteira com o Líbano.Mais de uma centena de rockets foram lançados desde ontem sobre o norte de Israel, dois deles em Haifa, cerca de 40 quilómetros da fronteira entre Israel e o Líbano. Os ataques fizeram três mortos e uma centena de feridos, todos civis israelitas.Os guerrilheiros do Hezbollah, que são apoiados pelo Irão, capturaram dois soldados israelitas ontem, numa incursão em território israelita. Israel respondeu com vários ataques em solo libanês e o envio tropas para procurar os seus soldados.Hoje, a aviação israelita bombardeou por duas vezes o aeroporto internacional de Beirute, destruindo duas das suas principais pistas, o que levou ao seu encerramento, e depósitos de combustível.
Hezbollah nega ter lançado "rockets" contra HaifaO movimento xiita libanês Hezbollah nega ter lançado rockets a partir do Líbano em direcção a Haifa, a terceira cidade de Israel, depois de o Exército israelita ter avançado que pelo menos dois rockets atingiram o bairro cristão de Stella Maris.Um porta-voz do movimento xiita indicou à Reuters que "um oficial da resistência islâmica negou que a cidade de Haifa tenha sido atacada" pelo Hezbollah.Depois de o Exército israelita ter anunciado o ataque do Hezbollah, os habitantes de Haifa e de Saint Jean d'Acre foram aconselhados a permanecer perto de abrigos na eventualidade da ocorrência de novos bombardeamentos.
Logo, a Siria está sozinha, e é a Siria a fonte dos problemas (pelo menos para os Israelitas).
Acho que é mais assim...Libaneses »»»:Esmagar:««« Merkavas Israelitas