Israel replaced its top commander in the four-week-old attack aimed at stopping Hezbollah militants firing rockets into northern Israel late Tuesday.
The Israeli military appointed Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinksi to run the Lebanese operation, effectively replacing the general who had been in charge of the campaign, Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam.
Israeli Defence Minster Amir Peretz said Israel wants to occupy more areas of southern Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah firing rockets.
But the command change might also have been prompted by the inability of the Israeli forces to stop the Hezbollah attacks, which have killed 36 civilians. About 160 rockets fell on Israeli towns on Tuesday, CBSNews reports.
Israel has also declared southern Lebanon a no-drive zone below the Litani River and threatened to blast any moving vehicle as a guerrilla target.
Only pedestrians ventured into the streets of Tyre and country roads and highways were deserted throughout the region yesterday.
In the 28th day of the war, four Israeli soldier were killed in Hezbollah attacks and a family of seven, which included a political member of Hezbollah, his wife and their five children, were killed in an Israeli air strike.
Ground fighting intensified across the south Lebanon front and at least 26 Lebanese civilians died in air strikes, while rescuers pulled 28 corpses from the wreckage of attacks the day before, news.com.au reports.
A vote on a UN resolution to end the war, triggered by Hezbollah’s seizure of two soldiers in a July 12 cross-border raid, may not happen before Thursday because of wrangling.
An Arab delegation warned Lebanon could erupt in civil war if Beirut ’s terms were not met. Lebanon demands an immediate ceasefire and a quick withdrawal of thousands of Israeli troops from its south, khaleejtimes.com says.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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