Heavy fighting continues at Bint Jbail

Jerusalem Post:

A day after IDF forces managed to seal off the Hizbullah stronghold of Bint Jbail in southern Lebanon, heavy clashes erupted after forces entered the town.

At least 30 soldiers were wounded in the battles. Some of the evacuations of the wounded took place under fire.

IDF sources reported heavy gun battles between soldiers from the Golani Brigade and Hizbullah guerrillas, and said that some of the shooting was taking place at point-blank range, in homes, and in courtyards.

From its duration and reported casualties, the battle is the heaviest combat between Hizbullah and Israel since the war erupted.

Hizbullah said through its Al-Manar TV station Wednesday that its guerrillas had ambushed an Israeli unit on the Massoud hilltop in Bint Jbail, causing many casualties whom the Israelis were unable to rescue because of heavy fire.

A senior Hizbullah official, Mahmoud Komati, told The Associated Press Wednesday that Israeli forces had managed to seize a few points inside Bint Jbail, but had not yet taken the town center.

The Israeli army said several Hizbullah fighters had taken cover in a local mosque.

But Komati denied fighters were taking cover in a mosque and suggested they may be civilians. "Fighters don't take shelter in mosques. They fight on the battlefield. If they can't, they retreat but not to mosques."

Rahhal, the Hizbullah spokesman, angrily responded to a question about the mosque refuge. "What's the Israeli's business that our fighters were in the mosque? Maybe they were praying at the time!"


Perhaps they needed to pray. Of course the Israelis business is destroying Hezballah where ever they are found and if they are hiding in a mosque, it becomes a legitimate target. It appears that Israel is going to clear the city by going house to house. This puts its troops at risk when it would be easier to just back off and pound the place with air and artillary attacks.


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