MAALOT, Israel, Aug. 3 — Israeli ground troops pressed forward today to try to create a thin buffer zone along the border with Lebanon and bombed southern Beirut as Hezbollah rockets killed eight Israeli civilians.
On the 23rd day of this conflict in the north, Hezbollah launched more than 100 rockets on northern Israel in less than an hour, with most of the damage on the western edge, in Maalot, its associated Arab Israeli village of Tarshiha and Acre.
Four Israelis, including a man and his daughter, were killed in Acre when a rocket landed on a house and another three, Arab Israeli teenagers, were killed when a rocket exploded near their vehicle in Tarshiha. Thirteen people were seriously wounded.
In Gaza, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinian militants and one boy, 12, in fighting on the edges of the southern town of Rafah as Israeli troops searched for tunnels between Egypt and Gaza.
Israeli airplanes struck again at Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut and in Nabatiyeh, while in intermittently fierce ground fighting, three Israeli soldiers were killed and four wounded. They were hit by an antitank missile fired by Hezbollah fighters near the southern village of Farajin, the Israeli military said. The Israelis said they moved to take over new positions along the border and now control some 20 villages.
In the East:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 — Two senior American military commanders said today that the wave of sectarian bloodshed in Iraq has heightened the danger that the country will slide into all-out civil war.
“I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it, in Baghdad in particular, and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war,” Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of United States forces in the Middle East, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
כי אתה ה' באש הצתה, ובאש אתה עתיד לבנותה
For with fire you ignited it, and with fire you're going to build it.