Day Six: Tel-Aviv on “Rocket Alert;” says Rockets are compliments of Iran, Syria

17 July 2006: There is no end in sight – only escalation, as Israel answers Hezbollah rocket attacks for a sixth day Monday. Rockets struck deep inside Israel over the last 12 hours, killing eight people in Haifa, while Israeli planes bombed Lebanon from north to south, raising the death toll on both sides to more than 200. In addition to the Israeli victims at a rail repair facility in the Haifa attack on Sunday, an Israeli rocket blew up a Lebanese army position, killing eight soldiers, and a sea-launched missile killed at least nine people in the southern Lebanese port of Tyre.Following the Haifa attack - Hezbollah’s deadliest strike ever on Israel, Israel warned of “massive retaliation,”, and accused Iran and Syria of providing the weaponry used in this and other attacks.

“Nothing will deter us,” stated Israeli Prime Minister Olmert. According to Israeli military officials, at least four of the missiles were the Iranian-made Fajr-3, with a 22-mile range and 200-pound payload, and far more advanced than the Katyusha rockets the Hezbollah terrorists used against northern Israel in previous attacks.

New Air Strikes

Early Monday, waves of Israeli air strikes struck the Lebanese city of Tripoli and Hezbollah bases in the eastern Lebanese town of Baalbek. Missiles intended for a relay station used by Hezbollah’s al-Manar television missed their target and hit a house south of Beirut, killing four and wounding 10. Israeli missiles hit the Lebanese capital shortly after sunrise Monday, as three loud explosions rocked the southern suburbs while another strike sparked a large fire in Beirut’s port.

Israel targeted radar stations because Hezbollah used them to hit an Israeli ship last Friday. Israel suggested that the Lebanese military is providing logistical support to Hezbollah. According to reports by the Associated Press made by an Israeli army spokesman, “The attacks … are against radar stations used, among other things, in the attack on the Israeli missile boat, by Hezbollah in cooperation with the Lebanese military.”

“Ominous Warnings”

On Sunday, Syria warned that any aggression against it “will be met with a firm and direct response whose timing and methods are unlimited.” Hundreds of cars drove through Damascus on Sunday night with drivers and passengers waving Syrian and Hezbollah flags and honking horns.

Iran threatened “unimaginable damage” to Israel if Syria were attacked, and its “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Hezbollah was winning its fight against Israel and would not disarm. Iran’s foreign minister headed to Damascus, Syria late Sunday for talks.

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