BEIRUT: Hizbullah's leader offered Thursday to stop pounding Israel's "northern settlements" if the Jewish state refrained from bombarding Lebanon's "cities and civilians." Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also issued a warning, however, in a televised speech: "Let my words be clear,
Hizbullah bombarding the Zionist entity's capital, TelAviv."In an almost immediate response aired on Israeli public television, a senior military official said Israel would destroy all of Lebanon's infrastructure if Tel Aviv were hit."We are ready to keep the whole thing restricted to a military fight with the Israeli Army," Nasrallah said, "on the ground, fighters to fighters."
But Israel dropped leaflets over the southern suburb of Beirut, warning residents of Bir al-Abed, Hay Madi and Al-Ruweiss to evacuate their homes. Nasrallah also refuted the Israeli claim that it had carved out a "security zone" by taking up positions "in or near 11 towns and villages in South Lebanon." An Israeli Army spokesperson said Thursday Israel was creating a new defensive line estimated at 6 to 8 kilometers inside Lebanon. This new zone would be comparable to the area it held until the pullout from Lebanon in May 2000. Three weeks into the conflict, about 10,000 Israeli troops are believed to be inside Lebanon."Our fight with the Israeli Army is based on the tactic of street fights against an organized army. This means we hit and run without holding our positions," Nasrallah said."The Israelis claimed they had heavy clashes with our fighters resulting in the taking over of a Hizbullah post in the southern town of al-Abbad. The truth is ourfighters had left the post when the aggression first started three weeks ago. I don't know with whom the Israelis had heavy clashes there." Nasrallah also described Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert as "an incompetent moron." Continued