Updates: IDF announcements, Heavy casualites in Lebanon, 4 long range rockets fall near Beit Sh’ean

Israeli casualties reported in Lebanon
Israel is reported to have suffered “heavy” casualties in fighting today in south Lebanon. Israeli soldiers and Hizballah have been engaged in heavy battles all day, but the army has confirmed that two soldiers have died.

Summary of IDF operation in Lebanon in past 24 hours

IDF forces operating in the area of the village of Bint Jbeil identified killing over 20 Hezbollah terrorists in exchanges of fire throughout the day in a number of incidents.

An IDF force located a Hezbollah command center in the area and exchanges of fire erupted between the soldiers and the Hezbollah terrorists manning the command post. In the exchanges of fire an IDF soldier was severely wounded and died of his wounds during the rescue attempt which was conducted under heavy fire. Another soldier, a member of the rescue force, was also killed. The names of the soldiers killed are Staff Sgt. Oren Lipshitz, 21, and Staff Sgt. Moran Cohen, 21.

The Hezbollah command center was targeted from the air during the night.

In a separate incident, an anti-tank missile hit an IDF force north of the village of Bint Jbeil, six soldiers were wounded, one of them severely and another one moderately. A tank that arrived to the location in order to assist evacuate the wounded soldiers was hit by a large explosive device, no injuries were reported.

The IDF carried out over 200 sorties in the past 24 hours, mainly targeting structures used by Hezbollah terrorists as offices and headquarters, launching grounds and five rockets launchers were also targeted from the air.

Since the beginning of the IDF operation in Lebanon IDF forces have killed over 470 Hezbollah terrorists.

The IDF will continue to use all means at its disposal in order to protect the citizens of Israel and to create the conditions for the return of the abducted IDF soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, to their homes.

4 long-range rockets land in open areas near Beit SheanSharon Roffe-Offir YNET 9 August 2006

Four long-range rockets landed in open areas in between Beit Shean and Afula Wednesday morning.

No casualties were reported.

Limitations on travel in southern Lebanon

To the members of the foreign press,

The IDF has announced a limitation on travel in any kind of vehicle in all areas south of the Litani River in Lebanon. The limitation took effect at 22:00 on August 7th 2006 and will remain in place until further notice.

Information regarding the limitations was communicated to the population in southern Lebanon via media outlets and leaflets as well as through local channels.

Passage of humanitarian convoys continues throughout all of Lebanon in coordination with the IDF.

We would like to stress that these limitations apply to journalists as well.

Please understand that this is a combat zone from which terrorists operate, and as such, we cannot guarantee the safety of journalists in the area.

In fact, we have asked civilians in the area to leave for their own safety.

The IDF will do its utmost to keep civilians, and journalists among them, out of harm’s way.

However, we are obligated to remind you that journalists are acting at their own risk and are requested to comply with the recommendations provided to the civilian population.

We urge you also to heed the advice of your own country’s consular advisors as to safety during the conflict.

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