Israeli Air Force bombs Beirut airport after attack in which 8 soldiers were killed and 2 kidnapped
July 13, 2006
IAF bombs Beirut International Airport
IAF fighter jets bombed runways at Beirut International Airport early Thursday morning as part of a military campaign which it vowed would be harsh and quick against the Lebanese government and Hizbullah, which a day before killed eight IDF soldiers and kidnapped two others along the northern border.
It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the IAF strike.
Late Wednesday night IDF echelons approved plans to target the airport and other strategic infrastructure inside Lebanon including power plants.
Earlier, several Katyusha rockets, fired by Hizbullah from southern Lebanon, landed on an IDF base in Mount Meron on Thursday morning. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.
Overnight Wednesday, the IAF struck a Hizbullah post and two bridges in southern Lebanon as the number of targets hit by the Airforce since fighting erupted after the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers, reached into the hundreds.
Meanwhile, Hizbullah shelled the Western Galilee with mortars. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.
For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here
Earlier, in a series of air strikes, IAF aircraft bombed Kfar Shuba and Sheba Farms. The communications infrastructure connecting Beirut to the south of the country was also damaged by IAF strikes.
The strikes followed an attack by IAF warplanes and navy gunboats on a Palestinian terrorist base south of Beirut late Wednesday in the closest raid to the Lebanese capital since fighting erupted.
Meanwhile, the names of six of the eight soldiers killed Wednesday in a Hizbullah attack on IDF forces patrolling the Lebanese border were released for publication Wednesday evening: Sgt. Nimrod Cohen, 19, from Mitzpe Shalem; Sgt.-Major Eyal Benin, 22, of Be'ersheba and Sgt.-Major Shani Turgeman, 24, of Beit Shean. All the soldiers' families have been notified.
The fourth victim was later identified as Sergeant-Major Wasim Nazel, 27, from the Druze village of Kfar Yanouch. Earlier, Nazel's family was mistakenly informed that he had been kidnapped.
Two of the soldiers who were killed when the tank in which they were riding drove over an explosive device, were identified as Staff-Sergeant Alexei Kashiniervski, 21, from Ness Ziona and Yaniv Bar-on, 19, from Maccabim.
Under heavy fire, IDF forces continued their attempts to reclaim the bodies of the four soldiers who died when their tank was ripped apart by the blast.
Three other soldiers were killed were riding in a Hummer jeep when it was attacked, while two other soldiers in the same jeep were kidnapped.
All residents along Israel's northern border from Nahariya in the west to Kiryat Shmona in the east were ordered into bomb shelters on Wednesday night.
"This is a new situation. The residents of Israel need to know that we are going into a period that would require resilience," Minister Issac Herzog said after the emergency cabinet meeting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened on Wednesday night in Tel Aviv in light of the events on the northern border.
According to Herzog, Israel is holding Lebanon responsible for the attack, which was carried out from its territory.
OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam said the IDF was preparing for a widespread operation not only against Hizbullah but also against the Lebanese government. The IDF, The Jerusalem Post learned, has drawn up plans to bomb main infrastructure, including power stations in Lebanon.
"The IDF is responding with its full might by the air, the sea and the ground," Adam said. "We are also preparing for a massive operation to defend Israeli citizens and stop the terror."