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Friday, July 14, 2006

Developments in the Middle East on July 14

July 14 (Reuters) - The following are security developments in the Middle East on Friday as of 1230 GMT.

Asterisk denotes a new or updated item.


* Israel bombs targets in Beirut's Shi'ite Muslim suburbs, killing three people and wounding 40. Their deaths bring to 63 the number of people, almost all civilians, killed in Lebanon since Israel's campaign began. At least 165 people are wounded.

* Air raids target several mobile telephone relay stations in eastern Lebanon.

- Israeli aircraft fire two rockets into a runway at Beirut's international airport, which has been closed since Israeli warplanes first hit its runways on Thursday.

- Israel's military says Hizbollah's main security compound in southern Beirut has been bombed.

- Israeli jets bomb a pro-Syrian Palestinian guerrilla base in eastern Lebanon, security sources said. Palestinians say no casualties.

- Israel strikes fuel storage tanks at Jiyyeh power station south of the capital igniting a large blaze.

- Israeli aircraft strike the main highway linking Beirut to Damascus shortly after midnight.


* A rocket fired from Lebanon slams into a house in the northern town of Safed, wounding ten.

* Five people are injured by rockets that fall on the coastal city of Nahariya.

* The Israeli army says Hizbollah has fired more than 130 missiles into Israel in 48 hours, killing two civilians and wounding 115.

- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert orders more intense strikes on Lebanon, ratcheting up retaliation against Hizbollah guerrillas following the capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid.


* The Israeli army says it has pulled out of the central Gaza Strip, which it entered as part of its broader Gaza Strip offensive aimed at forcing militants to release a captured soldier. Israel has killed more than 80 Palestinians during the offensive.

- Israel bombs the offices of Hamas lawmakers, destroys a bridge and fires a tank shell that killed one Palestinian as part of the offensive.


* French President Jacques Chirac says Israel's offensive in Lebanon is "completely disproportionate" following the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah guerrillas.

* U.S. President George W. Bush telephones Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and assures him he is pressing Israel to "contain the damage" to Lebanon and avoid civilian casualties.

* The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour urges both sides to refrain from attacking civilian targets.

* The Vatican strongly deplores Israel's strikes on Lebanon, saying they are "an attack" on a sovereign and free nation. Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano says that the Vatican condemns both "terroristic attacks" and military reprisals.

- Indonesia lashes out at Israel for military actions that have killed civilians, and urges the parties involved to move to the negotiating table.

- Lebanon urges the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a ceasefire and an end to Israeli attacks on its territory.

- U.N. Security Council to hold urgent meeting on Friday.

- Arab foreign ministers will meet in Cairo on Saturday.

- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urges Israel to excercise restraint in its attacks against Lebanese targets and demands Syria press Hizbollah to stop attacking Israel.

- Saudi Arabia blames "elements" inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel.

- Ratings agency Standard & Poor's warns it may downgrade Lebanon's debt ratings "in the face of escalating violence in the Middle East", which may weaken the country's economy.

- Syria's ambassador to the United States urges Washington to impose restraint on its ally Israel and push for the resumption of peace talks.

- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says an Israeli strike on Syria would be considered an attack on the whole Islamic world and would bring a fierce response.
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