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Israel Kills 47 , Hits Lebanon Infrastructure
BEIRUT — Israeli warplanes killed on Thursday, July13 , at least 47 Lebanese civilians, mostly children, in 50 air strikes across the tiny Arab country, wrecking havoc on Lebanon's infrastructure, including Beirut international airport.
A Shiite imam, his wife and eight children were killed when an Israeli missile struck their home in the village of Dweir, near the main central town of Nabatiyeh, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
At dawn, relief workers were attempting to recover the remains of the children scattered in the family olive grove, an AFP correspondent said.
Another family of seven, including a10 -month-old toddler, was killed in the village of Baflay, near the coastal city of Tyre, police said.
Air strikes also killed two civilians in Baraashit, five in Shour and three in Srifa -- three villages near Tyre -- police said.
A teenage girl was also killed and her two brothers wounded in an air strike on the village of Zibqine, southeast of Tyre, they said.
Israeli air strikes on Wednesday killed at least four Lebanese civilians.
Israel had promised a "very painful" response to Hizbollah's operation on Wednesday, July12 , which left eight Israeli soldiers killed and two others taken prisoners.
Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah said the two Israeli soldiers had been seized to force Israel to release prisoners, including Lebanon's longest-serving prisoner Samir Kantar, in prison since1979 .
Israel air planes fired several missiles at Beirut's Rafik al-Hariri International Airport, forcing flights to divert to Cyprus.
A senior military officer was quoted by the Israeli radio as saying Lebanese airports, other than Beirut's international concourse, would be the target of further raids.
"Israel is imposing an air, maritime and land blockade on Lebanon until further orders as part of operations to retrieve its two soldiers abducted by Hizbullah on Wednesday," military sources said.
Israeli warships entered Lebanese territorial waters to operate the blockade from the sea, one military source said.
They were tasked with restricting access to the Lebanese ports of Saida, Tyre, Beirut and Tripoli.
Two hours after the airport raid, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile at the headquarters of Hizbollah's al-Manar TV in the Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik, wounding six people.
One of the wounded was an al-Manar employee, the station's director said.
Israeli aircraft later attacked an al-Manar transmission tower south of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon, witnesses said.
The Lebanese resistance retailed the Israeli attacks, firing a volley of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel.
"In response to the massacres of civilians in the south and assaults on infrastructure, the Islamic resistance bombarded ... the settlement of Nahariya in northern occupied Palestine with 60 rockets," said a statement by Hizbullah.
The attack killed an Israeli woman and wounded several others, Israeli medical sources said.
The resistance group also said it had fired long-range missiles, dubbed "Raad1 ," on an Israeli air base in northern Israel, scoring direct hits.
Hizbullah chief asserted in a press conference Wednesday that his group was not seeking to escalate the situation with Israel.
"We only want our prisoners back," said Nasrallah.
He underlined that a prisoner swap like that done in 2004 between his group and Israel would be the only solution to return the Israeli soldiers.
Nasrallah warned Israel that his resistance fighters would retaliate Israeli aggressions against Lebanese civilians.
"We have surprises for Israel and we are ready to go beyond what they can ever imagine."