Israel announced Thursday it has put its army on high alert along the border with Lebanon and Syria amid reports of renewed gun battles with Hizbullah and warplanes dropping leaflets over Beirut's southern suburbs, urging Lebanese people to "rise and stop Hizbullah from gambling with Lebanon's future."
The alert was reported by Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Moufaz in the early morning hours shortly before reports started coming in about clashes across the U.N.-carved Blue Line on the common border. Israel said one Hizbullah fighter was wounded Thursday.
The leaflet-dropping drive was carried out before dawn. The Arabic language leaflets were signed "The State of Israel." An Israeli soldier was killed Wednesday by Hizbullah fire. Israel Army Radio said two Hizbullah fighters were killed in south Lebanon, but Hizbullah's information center in Beirut denied the claim.
The tension in the south came as presidential consultations opened with parliamentary blocs in Beirut to designate ex-Finance Minister Fouad Seniora to form a "national action government" to rule Lebanon.