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Israel Faxx News Services

An Israeli man was killed in a Hizbullah rocket attack in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya. The death occurred during one of 12 Katyusha attacks on Nahariya on Tuesday, the city's mayor, Jackie Sabag said. Hizbullah rockets struck throughout northern Israel. Residents took refuge in shelters after sirens were heard Tuesday in Haifa, Safed and elsewhere. Israel said it destroyed two trucks carrying weapons from Syria into Lebanon. But an Israeli defense official said Tuesday that Syria is not currently a target for possible Israeli air strikes.

Olmert: Iranian Trick Succeeded


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrived Tuesday evening at the rocket-battered city of Haifa and met with the heads of about 60 regional councils in northern Israel, which have been subjected to ongoing and deadly barrages for almost a week now. "This is a state of emergency, we will do everything to help you," he promised.

Olmert also met with Israeli ambassadors and heads of delegations leaving for diplomatic missions, and pointed a finger mainly at Iran. "The timing of Hizbullah's operation in the north was not coincidental," he said. "It was coordinated with Iran and was aimed at drawing the international attention from Iran. Unfortunately, Iran's trick succeeded. Everyone now remembers the G8 decision on the Lebanese issue and fails to deal with the Iranian issue."

The prime minister noted that Israel does not reject diplomatic negotiations to solve the crisis, under the condition that it will be based on the principles of the G8 decision, meaning: An immediate release of the kidnapped soldiers under no conditions and an implementation of the Security Council's Resolution 1559 regarding the deployment if the Lebanese army along the border and disarming Hizbullah.

"No one in the international community is asking us to halt the operation before an implementation of the G8 decision," Olmert said. "In order to implement this, we may have to hold diplomatic negotiations – not with Hizbullah. In any case, starting negotiations will not stop the operation – only the return of the kidnapped soldiers will."

He made it clear that until there is no certainty that Israel is not under threat, the Israel Defense Forces will not stop its operation.

As for proposals made by Europe, the United Nations and other to deploy an international force in Lebanon, the prime minister said: "This is a good headline, but our experience shows that there is nothing behind it. There is an international force in Lebanon also today, and we see what they are doing. I want to be cautious about the issue, and I think it is too early to discuss this."

A particularly exciting moment took place when Olmert was approached by Home Front Command Chief Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon, who told him that he had just returned from a visit to the family home of Lt. Col. Eitan Belachsan, who was killed during an operation in Lebanon when he was the commander of a paratroopers commando unit.

"They asked me to tell you that they support you and the IDF's operation, and that you should do everything in order to remove the Katyushas from the Galilee," he said. Olmert was extremely moved.

Olmert praised "the strength of the residents, who are facing a situation which is no less difficult than previous terror attacks in all the cities of Israel." He made it clear that "we won't let go of the terrorists and will attack them from the air, the sea and the land. I will make sure that Israel's citizens will not be subjected to missile attacks anymore and will be safe."

Israel Pounds Lebanon for Seventh Day

By Sonja Pace (VOA-Haifa)

A barrage of Hizbullah rockets hit northern Israel, killing one man and injuring at least 14 others, while Israel continued its bombardment and air strikes of Lebanon, killing at least 30 people. VOA's Sonja Pace was in northern Israel, including the port city of Haifa and reports on events there.

It was 12:45 local time in Haifa when the air raid sirens went off. Seconds later the sound of a dull thud in the distance signaled a Katyusha rocket had hit. The few people who were on the streets of this normally bustling city hurried back to their homes or into air raid shelters.

Israel radio reported four rockets had hit Haifa, this time with no casualties and little damage. But, it was not to be the last attack of the day. In all, Hizbullah rockets struck towns across northern Israel, including Nahariya, Safed, Acre and Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee. This was the seventh straight day of violence and it has taken its toll.

U.N. peace envoys were in Israel to boost diplomatic efforts to end the violence. And in Haifa, residents reacted to the latest rocket attacks with a mixture of fear, anger and resignation.

Standing across from an apartment building that was hit by a Katyusha rocket on Monday, Yaakov leaves no doubt who is to blame. He says he has only disdain for the Shiite Muslims to the north. "I know them well from my time in the military in southern Lebanon," he said, adding bluntly "they are bad people and we should have killed more of them."

While Yaakov's reaction may be extreme, an Israeli opinion poll shows the public strongly supports Israel's latest military action. On a small street in the old section of Haifa, four men sit at tables outside a café playing backgammon. They say there is little use sitting at home. If we are to die, it's God's will, they say.

Nearby, Schmuel Belen, 95, has come out to visit his friend, the local shopkeeper. "I am [an] old man. … before 63 years, before Hitler," he said. "So, I see more. I speak to you. I am [an] old man. I may die today, tomorrow." Belen shrugs off the violence, saying he's seen so much worse under the Nazis, back in his home in Romania. Belen is a Jew, his friend the shopkeeper is a Christian Arab. They've known each other for years and the shopkeeper checks on his friend to make sure he is OK.

Anti-Missile System Considered by Israel Navy


Air raid sirens sent residents and workers running for shelter four times on Tuesday as the port city was bombarded by Katyusha rockets, hitting the Haifa train depot for a second time since Friday.

Hizbullah continued to target the Haifa area throughout the day. One of the Katyusha rockets fell near the Haifa train depot repair facility, where eight people were killed Sunday morning when rockets scored a direct hit on the depot. A second missile caused a fire in an open field.

Six rockets slammed into the northern coastal city in the first attack of the day, landing near the train depot repair facility and in the industrial area. According to Haifa police, however, the rockets used on Tuesday were of a different model and smaller in diameter than those used in earlier attacks. Other rockets fell into open areas. No injuries were reported.

Haifa was bombarded for the first time last Friday with long-range Syrian-made 220 mm missiles. The train depot took a direct hit during that initial attack. Eight people were killed and at least 17 wounded.

A second barrage hit the city on Monday. At least 10 missiles injured 11 people in the seaside neighborhood of Bat Galim when a building took a direct hit and collapsed from the impact.

Meanwhile, the Israel Navy Department of Armaments and the Defense Ministry's Weapons Development Authority began on Monday to consider bringing guided missile ships equipped with the Barak anti-missile system to Haifa Bay.

The Barak system, guided by land-based radar, would target advanced Fajar and Katyusha rockets. The radar system includes Green Pine, the radar used with the Arrow anti-missile batteries.

Ma'an: Nasrallah will Give Tel Aviv Residents One Hour to Flee


Arab press sources close to the Hizbullah say that residents of Tel Aviv will be given one hour to flee before the terrorist group launches a barrage of missiles at the city.

The unidentified sources are quoted by the Palestinian Authority-based news agency Ma'an as saying: "The Lebanese resistance is preparing retaliation parallel to Israel's military actions. Hassan Nasrallah will address the people of Tel Aviv and warn them to evacuate the city within one hour. As soon as the delay ends, hundreds of heavy missiles will start landing in the city, which has been divided into squares in order to let damage reach every inch of the city. An estimated 500 missiles are expected to land in Tel Aviv in a short period of time."

The Arab sources further said that the Hizbullah has been very careful in cultivating its public image, in order to increase the surprise effect of the planned barrage on Tel Aviv.

The war, from the perspective of Nasrallah, has not yet begun, the sources said, adding that other "surprises" planned by the Hizbullah include more kidnappings of Israeli soldiers from along the Lebanese border.

Foreign Airlines May Stop Israel Flights

By Ha'aretz

Foreign airlines could be forced to reduce their scheduled flights to and from Israel, or suspend operations here entirely, if their insurance premiums go up due to the fighting in the North, according to the local head of a foreign carrier who spoke to TheMarker on Tuesday.

The source who wished to remain anonymous said that at an emergency meeting held this week with Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog, he and his colleagues asked the government to apply pressure on international insurers to keep the carriers' passenger and aircraft insurance premiums from rising as a result of the new security situation.

The executive added that Herzog instructed the representatives of foreign carriers to explain to their home countries that despite the missile strikes in the North, many of the country's tourist sites are operating as usual.

A senior Transportation Ministry official expressed concern about the "serious consequences" for air transportation to and from Israel as a result of continued fighting in Lebanon. He said he was worried about the drop in the number of incoming tourists, but said that the war will have less effect on travel abroad by Israelis.

TheMarker has learned that Swiss International Air Lines has stopped putting up its flight crews in Tel Aviv hotels due to the current hostilities, joining Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines in returning crews to their own countries rather than having them stay here between flights.

Air France and KLM are flying their crews to Larnaca, Cyprus to rest between journeys. "The flight from Zurich will depart later, so the aircraft will be on the ground at Ben-Gurion Airport for less time, and the same flight crew will operate the return flight," the CEO of Swiss in Israel, Avner Gordon, said in response to this report. "We never put up the flight attendants in Israel in any case. There will be no changes to departures from Ben-Gurion, and passengers will not be affected."

Subject: Correspondence from Lebanon.

By Barry Shaw

To my surprise, I found myself in email correspondence with a business associate who, I thought was American. He lives there. I had no idea that he originated from Lebanon, or was there during the current conflict.

Our recent correspondence touched on personal identities and feelings for each other. I was so moved by our exchange of emails I have taken the liberty of sharing some of it with you.

You may be surprised, and moved, by his closing remarks after suffering the heavy bombardment as Israel goes in search of Hizbullah targets in Lebanon.

(Dani) I was on few weeks' vacation with my family in Lebanon. Now we are stuck in the middle of all this and we are trying to evacuate with the rest of the U.S. citizens.

(Barry) As you can appreciate, we are glued to the news day and night, as I am sure you are. It is really sad that this is happening but (from our point of view) radical Islamic terror has to be faced and fought, especially when it calls for the destruction of my country.

I can tell you that all Israelis have a respect and a liking for Lebanon. We dearly wish that Lebanon had a stronger Government that would free itself of outside influences (such as Syria and Iran). We support our Government's demand for the Lebanese army to control its borders, including the border with Israel. If this would happen peace may be guaranteed.

In the meantime, take care of yourself and stay away from Hizbullah facilities....Let me know when you can extricate yourself from Lebanon.

(Dani) Amen to what you are saying. Deep in the heart of many Lebanese there is a great appreciation to what Israel is doing. They are doing what no one else in the world can do. No one dares to say anything that is opposite to what is politically right to say in here. We all pray for you and your people and for their protection.

Washington Post Op-Ed: 'Israel a Mistake'


An opinion article in the Washington Post, which has supported Israel's retaliation against Hizbullah terrorists, states that Israel's creation was a mistake.

Richard Cohen wrote, "The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake; a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now."

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