The Lebanese cabinet on Thursday failed to secure a ceasefire between Israel and Hizbullah despite Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's stepped up contacts inside and outside Lebanon, Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said after a cabinet meeting Thursday.
He said Saniora will continue his efforts and the ministerial council will meet again this evening.
Hizbullah said on Thursday its gunners would bombard Israel's third-largest city of Haifa if Israel attacks targets in Beirut or its southern suburb. "The Islamic Resistance announces it will bombard Haifa and its surroundings if Beirut or its southern suburb come under any direct aggression," the Shiite group said in a statement.
This came after the Israeli army has warned Lebanon to evacuate all residents from a southern Beirut neighbourhood where it believes Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah lives, Israeli media reported on Thursday.
"We have passed on a warning to Lebanon to evacuate all civilians from the (southern) neighbourhood of Beirut, which is a Hizbullah stronghold and where Nasrallah lives, and where the organisation's headquarters and weapons stockpiles are," the Maariv NRG news Website quoted a senior army official as saying.