Haaretz reports: Heavy fighting at Dibel, Ayta al-Shaab (southern Lebanese villages, but haven’t managed to get time to topo it). They also report that the IAF rubbled a Hezbollah operative’s house in the Bekaa, killing him and a half-dozen family members. Frankly, I’m surprised that this hasn’t been done more often. It’s tragic for the civilians in the family, but the Hezbollistas are making that call — the wartime Israelis are under no compulsion to commit suicide by trying to ferret them out the way a police officer would have to.
Casualty reports are iffy, with something like 5 killed 14 wounded, to 30 Hezbollah killed (no word on wounded). Meanwhile, as usual, the Jerusalem Post is all over the place, claiming similar Israeli casualties, to 30 Hezbollah killed there and 20 more at Bint Jbeil (and two of the Israeli paratroopers at BJ). Without some way of gauging wound severity, I need one of our local pros to step in and comment — this could be anything from “embarrassing mop-up” to “steady slogging,” and I can’t tell which. One thing that seems very clear is that the long-range anti-tank munitions clearly seem to be cramping IDF’s style.
So far, aerial bombardment aside, this very much looks to be an infantryman’s war, as the IDF slowly works on clearing or pocketing the heavily-fortified border zone.
JUST IN 8/9/0950: Haaretz reports that the Israeli cabinet has voted to not sit on their thumbs and lose the war. Although the surface reasons are to make Katyusha launches more difficult, that’s only a teensy part of this. What’s really being voted on is whether or not to break Hezbollah. And the reason that was put to a vote is to determine whether or not the Israeli people have the stomach for watching their dead roll in, and whether Kadima can survive that politically (or, indeed, can survive NOT doing this).
UPDATE 8/10: IDF has apparently either taken or is about to take Marjayoun, which is enroute to Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley. Meaning that Hezbollah’s about to get cut.