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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Latest developments in the Middle East

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Here are developments on the 23rd day of the Middle East crisis.

* Hizbollah guerrillas kill eight people in rocket barrage on Israel and four Israeli soldiers in clashes in Lebanon on deadliest day of war for Israel.

* As world powers struggle to agree on U.N. resolution to end fighting, both sides threaten to escalate war.

* Nasrallah says Hizbollah will target Tel Aviv if Israel attacks central Beirut. Source tells Israeli TV Israel will destroy Lebanon's infrastructure if that threat is carried out.

* Siniora says war has killed 900 people in Lebanon and wounded 3,000, with third of casualties children under 12. He says 1 million Lebanese have been displaced.

* Reuters tally of Lebanon deaths is at least 686. Sixty-eight Israelis have been killed in war including 41 soldiers.

* Israeli army carves out "security zone" of 20 villages in south Lebanon up to six km (four miles) from border and will stay until international force arrives, Israeli TV says.

* France and United States conduct intensive negotiations on draft U.N. resolution seeking end to fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hizbollah, but no deal is reached yet.

* Israel expanding ground war in southern Lebanon. Seven brigades, or up to 10,000 troops, fighting Hizbollah, Israeli army radio says.

* Lebanese security source says 80 Hizbollah fighters killed so far -- well below Israeli estimate.

* Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he expects U.N. vote on truce next week.

* Iran, other Muslim leaders demand halt to Israeli attacks.

* Jordan king says Hizbollah heroes in Arab eyes.

* Israeli forces kill five Palestinian gunmen and three civilians, including 10-year-old boy, in Gaza Strip, witnesses say.
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