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Israel Resumes Bombing in Lebanon as Fighting Escalates

August 3, 2006 at 6:10 PM EST
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TRANSCRIPT

RAY SUAREZ: We have two reports tonight from the Middle East, beginning with Martin Geissler of Independent Television News, reporting from Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel.

MARTIN GEISSLER, ITV News Correspondent: Northern Israel in flames. On the day this country’s prime minister told his people the goal is nearly achieved, Hezbollah launched its most deadly cross-border strike of this war.

More than 160 Katyusha rockets fired from southern Lebanon in just half an hour. The towns of Acre and Ma’alot bore the brunt of the assault. For the past three weeks, they’d been lucky; the missiles had passed them by. Today, Hezbollah proved they can and will find their targets.

In the small town of Kiryat Shmona, a rocket embedded itself in the middle of the main street, one of 39 fired into this community in those same 30 minutes.

Warnings like this are being sounded across northern Israel every single day. Hezbollah’s Katyusha rockets might not have the accuracy or the range of the Israeli missiles, but today have served as a reminder to the people here that they’re deadly enough.

There are now 10,000 Israeli troops across the border in Lebanon. It’s proving a long, slow job pushing these missiles out of range.

Situation in Lebanon

RAY SUAREZ: Tens of thousands of Lebanese have been forced from their homes. ITN's Kylie Morris reports from the city of Tyre on the efforts to bring them aid.

KYLIE MORRIS, ITV News Correspondent: Precious cargo in Tyre. Boxes of basic necessities gingerly carted along the back roads of the city to a school where more than 300 people have taken shelter. Most here have fled their villages with only what they could carry.

ASSAD IEL DOUR, U.N. Development Program: The situation is very bad, OK? The number of displacements have been increasing day by day. The reason is all these surrounding villages, especially after Qana massacre, they've fled away from their villages and they came over here, hoping to find safe shelters.

KYLIE MORRIS: The Lebanese government say a million people have now been displaced by the fighting. That's a quarter of the country's population. The challenge for aid agencies now is to ensure those who fled are given the assistance they need wherever they are.

Hassan Maz (ph) is six years old. He and his family fled their village 19 days ago. For now, this is the only classroom he knows. He's living here with eight others, among them his 18-year-old sister, Manera (ph).

Manera tells me the family was separated as they fled their village and that she's anxious for news of them. She says she doesn't want to go further north from Tyre, no matter how close the fighting comes, but what she wants most is for the war to end so they can all go home.