The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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W. Asia war worsens as rivals step up raids

Beirut, Aug. 2 (Reuters): Hizbollah fired more rockets into Israel today than on any other day of the three-week-old war after helicopter-borne commandos attacked guerrilla targets in Israel’s deepest raid into Lebanon.

Air strikes in support of the helicopter raid in the Hizbollah stronghold of Baalbek in northeastern Lebanon killed 19 people, including four children.

In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would fight on until an international force reaches south Lebanon — even though no country has volunteered to send troops in the absence of a truce. Olmert called for an international combat force to implement a UN resolution calling for Hizbollah to be disarmed.

Soon after he spoke, one of the 206 rockets that Hizbollah launched today landed just inside the West Bank.

Israeli police and Hizbollah said it was the highest number of rockets fired into Israel on one day since the war began. The barrage, which killed one person near the northern city of Nahariya, followed a two-day lull in such attacks.

Olmert said earlier Hizbollah’s infrastructure had been “entirely destroyed” in the Israeli offensive.

Battles raged between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops in south Lebanon, especially around the villages of Aita Shaab and Kfar Kila.

According to a source in the UN peacekeeping force, there was intense Israeli shelling and air strikes near the villages.

The source said Israeli forces were present in five areas of southern Lebanon and troops had landed by helicopter during the night near the southeastern border village of Meis al-Jabal. Lebanese security sources said the Israelis had captured a hilltop at al-Aweida overlooking several villages, including Kfar Kila and Adaiseh where fighting has raged this week.

Olmert listed the flight of civilians from the area as among the accomplishments of the Israeli military campaign. At least 750,000 Lebanese, almost a quarter of the population, have been driven from their homes.

“How much longer will I live' If I’m to die, I prefer to die under the rubble of my house,” Hassan Khaleef, 80, alone at home in the Lebanese village of Haboush near Nabatiyeh, said.

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