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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2006, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Haifa attack changes everything
By Wyre Davies
BBC News, Haifa

Northern Israel is now on a high state of alert after an event which the Israeli government says "changes everything".

Emergency workers carrying body on stretcher
Israel has no doubt Hezbollah is to blame
The railway maintenance depot in the city of Haifa is a scene of devastation.

Eight railway workers were killed here and at least 25 were injured when a rocket crashed through the roof and exploded among them.

Debris is everywhere, pools of blood cover the floor.

Forensic investigators are trying to establish if this was an enhanced rocket fired from within Lebanon by Hezbollah.

Ominous threat

The Israeli government has no doubt that Hezbollah is to blame and has vowed to hit back hard.

Rocket attack on train station in Haifa, Israel

With northern cities like Haifa now well within range of the rockets, Israel says its response will have far reaching repercussions on the regional balance of power. An ominous threat to Hezbollah and to those who support it.

Although Israelis insist they are not panicking they are very, very worried.

People in the northern part of the country have been told to stay indoors and to go to bomb shelters where they can find them.

Businesses in the north have also been told by the government they have to close.

And needless to say, coastal resorts, which at this time of the year would be full of tourists, are like ghost towns.

Haifa is 30km (18 miles) inside Israel and it was previously thought the city was well out of the range of the Hezbollah rockets.

With residents of Tel Aviv now also being told to take precautions, this conflict - Israelis call it a war - is touching more and more Israelis.




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