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Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
Day-by-day: Lebanon crisis - week two
A day-by-day look at how the conflict involving Israel and Lebanon is unfolding in its second week.

TUESDAY 25 JULY

Israel's Defence Minister Amir Peretz says Israel will keep control of an area in southern Lebanon until a force of international peacekeepers is deployed.

An explosion from an Israeli air strike in Tyre, southern Lebanon
Israeli air strikes on Tyre in southern Lebanon continue

The idea of the multinational force will be high on the agenda of an international ministerial meeting on the crisis in Rome on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has completed her diplomatic tour of the region, meeting separately with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.

Mr Abbas calls for an immediate truce but Mr Olmert says there will be no let-up in army operations.

Ms Rice calls for peace across the region and expresses concern for the suffering of "innocent people".

UN observers say Israel has taken the town of Bint Jbeil, a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah guerrillas continue to fire Katyusha rockets.

Israel resumes air raids on Beirut.

Late in the day, an Israeli air strike kills four UN observers at their post in the southern Lebanese town of Khiam. The UN had already repeatedly warned the Israelis that their artillery bombardment was endangering the UN post.

MONDAY 24 JULY

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in the Middle East, making a surprise stop in Beirut for talks with Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Israeli helicopter crash
An Israeli helicopter crash killed two pilots

Ms Rice reportedly makes the release of the two Israeli soldiers and the withdrawal of Hezbollah forces from the border the pre-conditions for any ceasefire. She later moves on to Israel.

The UN launches an appeal for $150m (81m) in aid and the US pledges a $30m aid package to begin on Tuesday.

UK PM Tony Blair says the situation in Lebanon is "a catastrophe", while UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says international ministerial talks in Rome on Wednesday must not fail.

Meanwhile, there is fierce fighting in southern Lebanon around Bint Jbeil.

An Israeli helicopter crashes in northern Israel, with two pilots killed. Hezbollah claims it shot the helicopter down; Israel disputes this. Air strikes continue on both sides.

SUNDAY 23 JULY

Israeli strikes hit southern Beirut, the Bekaa valley, Tyre, and - for the first time - Sidon, a southern port city full of refugees from the surrounding countryside. There are no confirmed reports on the number of Lebanese casualties.

A volley of Hezbollah rockets hits the northern Israeli city of Haifa, killing two people and injuring 15.

The UN's emergency relief co-ordinator, Jan Egeland, is shocked by the ruins he finds as he tours southern districts of Beirut. He says the large scale of the destruction, and its indiscriminate nature, renders it a violation of humanitarian law.

Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz says Israel would agree to the proposed deployment of a multi-national force in southern Lebanon and suggested it should be led by Nato.

Envoys from France and Britain also hold talks in Israel to look for ways to resolve the crisis. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected in the region.

SATURDAY 22 JULY

The Israeli army continues ground incursions into southern Lebanon. It says it has gained control of the village of Maroun al-Ras after several days of fighting and warns civilians in 14 specific villages to leave.

Troops continue to line up along Israel's northern border, but Israel says it is not planning a full-scale ground invasion.

Humanitarian concerns mount as thousands of Lebanese try to flee southern Lebanon. The UN pushes for secure routes for civilians to escape and much-needed aid to be delivered.

Israel targets Lebanese phone and television masts in air strikes, while Hezbollah fires dozens of rockets into Israel.

The death toll rises to at least 350 Lebanese and 34 Israelis.

FRIDAY 21 JULY

Israel masses soldiers and tanks on the Lebanese border, called up thousands of reserves, drops leaflets on parts of southern Lebanon urging residents to leave.

Israeli troops fire into Lebanon
Israel has warned of a possible ground offensive

It maintains its bombardment of the country, hitting more than 40 targets, mainly in southern Beirut.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora says the offensive is now no longer against Hezbollah, but against Lebanon.

The evacuation of foreign nationals continues, with thousands more expected to arrive in Cyprus.

THURSDAY 20 JULY

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan calls for a ceasefire and stresses the need to let aid into the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agrees to allow aid into Lebanon.

Lebanese girl in damaged house in Saksakiyeh, southern Lebanon
Many Lebanese fear their country is being utterly devastated

Heavy fighting erupts between Israeli troops and Hezbollah militants inside Lebanon's border. Two Israeli soldiers and a number of Hezbollah fighters are killed, according to the Israeli army.

Israel continues its bombing of Lebanon, carrying out 80 air strikes.

Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah appears on television, saying Israel has not dented its capabilities.

The Israeli army says that Hezbollah has fired 30 rockets into northern Israel during the day, but they do not cause any casualties.

The death toll reaches at least 306 people in Lebanon and 31 in Israel.

Evacuations continue, with many nations sending both military ships and chartered vessels to remove their citizens from danger.

Forty US marines come ashore to help around 1,000 US citizens in Lebanon - the first presence of US troops in the country since Hezbollah militants blew up a marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 personnel.

But Cyprus, which is taking many of the evacuees, says it cannot cope with the influx and appeals to the European Commission for additional planes to fly people to their home countries.

WEDNESDAY 19 JULY

As Israeli forces bomb Lebanon for an eighth day, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora appeals for an immediate end to the Israeli attacks on his country, saying more than 300 people had been killed by the Israeli air raids so far, with 1,000 wounded and 500,000 displaced.

Meanwhile, Israeli strikes hit Hezbollah positions in Beirut, as well as targets in southern and eastern parts of the country.

The military says its aircraft dropped 23 tonnes of explosives in an evening raid on a bunker in south Beirut where senior Hezbollah leaders, possibly including Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, were hiding.

But Hezbollah denies any of its "leaders or personnel" were killed and says the Israeli raid hit a mosque under construction rather than a bunker.

More than 60 civilians are killed in raids - 12 in the southern village of Srifa, near Tyre, six in the southern town of Nabatiyeh, and many more elsewhere in the south as well as Baalbek in the east.

Israeli troops cross into southern Lebanon to carry out what the army called "restricted pinpoint attacks". Two Israeli soldiers die in clashes with Hezbollah fighters inside Lebanon.

Rockets fired from Lebanon strike the northern Israeli city of Haifa, and kill two children in the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth. They are the first Arab Israelis to die in the rocket attacks.

Thousands of people continue to flee Lebanon. A British warship arrives in Cyprus, carrying the first 180 UK citizens. A Norwegian ferry takes hundreds of Norwegians, Swedes and Americans to Cyprus, while a US-chartered ship docks in Beirut to evacuate US and Australian citizens.

After meeting Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, says he has seen the suffering of Lebanese civilians and it is nothing to do with the battle against Hezbollah - it was "disproportionate".

But Ms Livni says the Israeli military response is proportionate to the threat posed by Hezbollah to the entire region.







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