Hizbullah bombs northern Israel as Lebanese PM speaks on ”slow progress”

Published August 11th, 2006 - 02:32 GMT

Five Israelis were wounded in Hizbullah rocket attacks on northern Israel on Friday. One person was moderately wounded when a Katyusha rocket hit an 11-story building in Kiryat Shmona. Another person was lightly hurt by shrapnel after a rocket hit a house in Kiryat Shmona. Another house in the town went up in flames after it sustained a direct rocket hit.


A Safed resident sustained light wounds as Hizbullah fired a heavy barrage of Katyusha rockets at. Rockets also landed in the occupied Golan Heights.

Earlier Friday, 15 rockets were fired at Haifa and its suburbs. After the barrage hit, the Israeli army said it had destroyed three launchers from which the rockets were fired, two of which had a width of 302 millimeters. Most of the rockets that hit Haifa in the first barrage landed in open areas, aside from one, which landed in the southern part of the city, lightly wounding two people.


In the second barrage, most of the rockets landed in open areas, except for one which hit a home in a Haifa suburb, Haaretz reported.


Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes pounded the southern suburbs of Beirut at midday firing three missiles within half an hour at the districts of Bir el Abed and Hay Madi, LBCI television said.


Loud explosions reverberated throughout the capital as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch arrived unexpectedly to meet with PM Fuad Saniora in central Beirut. The envoy's shuttle diplomacy comes amid intense negotiations at the United Nations to introduce amendments to a U.S.-French draft Security Council Resolution to end the fighting.


"They (Saniora and Welch) were holding negotiations on the detail of the U.N. draft," a government source said. Saniora told reporters after the talks that slow progress was being made over the draft resolution. "There is progress, even if it is slow, centimeter by centimeter," he said.


Welch has also held discussions with Speaker Nabih Berri. Berri, after meeting with Welch, said "discussions are taking place over sensitive details. There is progress in some of them. However experience has taught us not believe something before it happens."


Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said earlier that French and U.S. proposals for the U.N. resolution are unsatisfactory because they do not provide for an immediate ceasefire to end the conflict.

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