A short-lived celebration

Israeli soldiers march inside Lebanese territory during a ground operation on the Lebanon-Israeli border, 12 August 2006. (MaanImages/Moti Milrod)

Everybody was clapping in the street half an hour ago. I looked from my window to find out the reason — the electricity was back.

I was sitting in my office, sweating, trying to meet my deadline and to keep the mosquitoes away at the same time.

The clapping in the street meant I was able to turn the AC on. But then my neighbors were clapping again. What now? Did Brazil win the world cup?

No. It was Al Jazeera. It reported that Israel accepted an emergency cease fire.
Well, so we’ll have a break tomorrow?

This was what I wrote yesterday night, but I didn’t send it because my colleagues and I were waiting for the UN Security Council resolution to be voted on and we stayed in the office till about 3 a.m. The answer to yesterday’s question came today.

These are extracts of what my colleague Zeina Karam wrote for the Associated Press news agency:

Israeli air strikes and ground attacks continued on Saturday, despite a U.N. resolution for a cease-fire, with missiles and artillery killing at least 19 people across Lebanon, mostly in the south.

In the south:

  • The deadliest attack was on homes in the village of Rachaf, some seven kilometers (four miles) from the border, where at least 15 civilians were killed, security officials said.
  • Israeli missiles also hit a vehicle in Kharayeb, a village in the Zahrani region about halfway between Beirut and the border, killing three people and wounding five, officials said.
  • A separate raid destroyed a bridge linking the southern cities of Tyre and Nabatiyeh with Sidon.
  • Shrapnel from missiles fired on the village of Insariyeh, halfway between Sidon and Tyre, hit a vehicle carrying Lebanese journalists working for a Swedish television channel, and one of them was wounded, security officials said.
  • Electricity was cut in Tyre and Sidon after Israeli warplanes struck transformers at power plants in both coastal cities. An official at the power plan in Sidon, George Makhoul, said it could be 10 days before power was restored.
  • Ground fighting was also intense throughout south Lebanon. Bombardment continued in hills and villages in southeast Lebanon as well.

    In the north:

  • An Israeli air strike destroyed a road leading to the only remaining border crossing to Syria — Arida, on the northern coast — severing the last escape route for besieged Lebanese and for humanitarian aid entering the country.
    Israeli jets targeted the highway linking Arida with the northern city of Tripoli, at a point about eight kilometers (five miles) from the border, officials said. The crossing remained open, but the road leading to it was impassable, and vehicles were spotted driving off-road through ditches early Saturday.
  • Security officials reported several air strikes in Akkar province, located about 97 kilometers (60 miles) north of Beirut.
  • In the Bekaa (east)
  • Warplanes struck at apartment buildings that house a Hezbollah charity organization in the heart of the eastern city of Baalback, wounding three people. Another four people were injured in an air strike on a house west of Baalback, officials said.
  • A Lebanese soldier was killed overnight in an air raid near an army base in the western Bekaa Valley, the army said.

    Hanady Salman is an editor at As-Safir newspaper

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