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Israeli gunships have attacked central Beirut
Israeli gunships have attacked central Beirut for the first time in Israel's four-day-old assault on Lebanon as the civilian death toll neared 100.
The renewed fighting prompted the Lebanese prime minister, Fouad Siniora, to repeat calls for a ceasefire on Saturday, saying
Israeli attacks had turned Lebanon into a disaster area in need of international aid.
"We call for an immediate ceasefire backed by the United Nations," Siniora told a news conference in Beirut. "I declare today that Lebanon is a disaster zone in need of a comprehensive and speedy Arab plan ... and [it] pleads to its friends in the world to rush to its aid."
The latest Israeli strikes hit the lighthouse, radar installation and grain silos at the port in Beirut, in the first attack so close to the centre of the Lebanese capital.
One Lebanese soldier was wounded.
A soldier was also killed and three others wounded in an Israeli military strike on their position in the coastal city of Batroun, north of Beirut, the army said.
It was not clear why Israel appeared to now be targeting the Lebanese army, but it could be to knock out radar capabilities, particularly after the Hezbollah missile attack that severely damaged an Israeli warship off the Beirut coast on Friday.
Israeli helicopters also fired two missiles at the port in the mainly Christian city of Jounieh, north of Beirut, and in Tripoli, Lebanon's second largest city.
Northern Israel hit
Also on Saturday, Hezbollah rockets hit towns in northern Israel including Tiberias, 35 kilometres from the border, which was the deepest penetration so far. Several people were reported injured.