|July 20, 2006
This is bbc world. I'm matt frye in washington. The scale of the devastation in Hezbollah's heartland is revealed as the U.N. Secretary-general calls for an immediate cease-fire.
>> Most urgently needed is an immediate cessation of who is tits.
>>> Israel agrees to hope a humanitarian corridor as thousands continue to flee
>> Fierce clashes go on inside Lebanon. Civilians bear the brunt civilian air strikes. And why music could help cut drug bills. More than 300 people are died in Lebanon, many of them civilians. 900 Israelis have been killed, many service, too. In this bulletin we will be hearing from our correspondents across the region. Jim muir from tair, from james reynolds in northern Israel, and from john brain in gaza on continued Israeli action there. But in the first of our reports, our middle east editor jeremy bowen has been to southern Beirut, a Hezbollah strong hold which has been pounded by for a ninth day by Israeli air stris. Ke
>> Reporter: These are the southern suburbs of Beirut still smoking smoking in normal times, half a million people live here but the battered streets were almost empty. This place is also Hezbollah's nerve centre. They give the orders here we we arrived at their invitation. The only people going in are reporters. Civilians have left in a hurry. Israel told them to get out a week ago warning they were going to attack. There was more and more damage as we walked into the heart of south Beirut. A week's work for the Israeli air force. Every direction you look, that way, that way, that way, there's destruction. Israel said they made their military plans here but this was also a noisy overcrowded district of Beirut where thousands of people lived and worked. E streets were teeming, full of life. The district is now dead. An important question is whether the civilians got out in time. A couple of local men were there back inspecting their property. Furious at Israel for smashing their homes and that arab countries who criticized what Hezbollah hadones . There were military targets here for Israel but thousands of homes have been crushed and burned. Israel needs to prove it has if you filled its obligation under the laws of of war to make sure that the damage it cause s is in proportion to the threat it face. He was in Hezbollah. No one wants to spend too much time in a place Israel bombs every day. Hezbollah ease offices have gone but it still controls the southern suburbs and reliable western sources say that Israel's bombs have not broken its ability to fight. After dark, the Israeli air force came back. Another night, another raid, more destruction jeremy bowen, bbc news, buy route.
>> After more than a week of artillery shelling and bombardment, Israeli forces have clashed no Israel today. What is the strategy now had
>> Israel is trying to below apart Hezbollah piece by piece. Wherever army finds an enemy information, it troys-- destroys it. P Israel sees a chance to tall ship the militia it has been fighting for for than yeen years but the world's we have we have diplomatic said is imto speak up.
>> The extessive use the worse to to be upon demanded. In the ways of the lebanese
>> Reporter: The scale of of Israel's operation is vast. In the last eight days, on has sealed off Lebanon bombing international airport and launching aaIsraeli planes have flown more than 3,000 missions and rita round 1200-- and have hit around 12 pun targets.
>> He has given his at this time et he has given the orders they wanted for many years, break Hezbollah. P
>> We will weaken them, we will make then irrelevant. Then we can lead to this region to an era of prosperity.
>> This had a limited goal. But now the objective has become clear. Get rid of of Hezbollah from the border and get rid of it for good. Hezbollah rockets can hit much of northern Israel. In recent days they struck as far south as haifa and tiber Israel kept up its assault on Hezbollah groundsment
>> Here you get a kens of of since of the fight between and Israel i as country which feels as they it's at war. When Israel feels like this, you tend to find that the country unites behind the government and saves a lot of the tough questions for a lot later on some Israelis want to show the outside world how they're having to live right now. They invited the cameras to their weddingn april underground bunker. This they want to get rid of the country that fires rockets in their country, no matter what it takes.
>> Strong words from the U.N. General as we've just heard. Jeremy jeremy kovp, who is actually listening to them?
>> Many members will be listening very carefully. The french have the chairmanship at the moment agree with the assessment of kofi annan and several other members. They understand that it may be time for an immediate cease-fire. Indeed the french were considering putting forward a U.N. Security council resolution. But of course as you know, the rest of the world knows, the usual they are key members of the global community is that there will be no pressure from the white house and until that pressure comes and Washington decides that enough is enough it is likely the offensive will continue. Certainly Israeli diplomats are taking that as, especially between the Russians and the Chinese.
>> Everyone here interestingly is talking about the hour for diplomacy, the one consensus you can talk about is the fact that everyone knows that sooner or later there will have negotiations. There will have to be talk. The big question here this eng this evening is what hour that comes. Even kofi annan as he was addressing the security council talking in almost a for lorne way saying there must be an immediate cease-fire, and at least we hear the Israelis are going to allow that to happen and I think that is the one crumb of of comfort at the united nations this evening.
>>> Jeremy jemy kooch, first over to mike with more on the middle east convict.
>> Well, this is the edge over the past 24 hours and several dozen injured. Earlier today the Israelis fired a rocket into open space not far from here her they said a group of militants were in possession of of an antique tank gun. There are also Israeli snipeers just around the corner and some of the gunmen have been fighting back. Several in this street alone which is relatively safe. You can see one in the corner there. They say they're' xhi but a lot of of people have been heard in parts of gaza and the western mer holt is they claim that it's rrp they say the targeting is perfectly legitimate because they're filing can over the border and that is still loojing for the rpt the it's becoming increasingly harsh. Noer think wounded or killed in Lebanon have been children.
Israel's high-tech machine. Her neighbourhood, many others did not survive the air strike. We were on the first floor and there were 15 families in the building. We saw the planes going round and then the rocket hit us. Only this is the main casualty hospital for the whole of south of Lebanon. Looking forward to getting some food and water and they know the friends they leave behind leave behind a situation that gets worse before it gets better. P jim muir, bbc news south Lebanon.
>> Still to come on this programme, playing to an unfamiliar audience where president bush finally said yes to america's largest civil rights organization. All the business news from new york and tanya becket is america's second largest car maker lost $123 million in the second quarter reversing the profits of of a yearago. Bill ford said the country-- the company founded in 1903 will work to it's turn around plan. A company statement the chief executive said google grew at an impressive pace during seasonally quarter the search engine said it made 41 million compared to $323 million. He was back on capitol hill, the U.S. Federal reserve chief repeated testimony that indicated inflation pressure would be limited over time. During the second day of the U.S. Central bank's semiannual economic forecast, he also told lawmakers the U.S. Housing sector appears to be staging a safe landing. Troubled brazilian airline has been sold at auction for $24 million. The new owner is expected to split the business but keep most of the roots routes and plane. An earlier sale collapsed because the consortium missed a payment deadline. Looking at what happened on the market. Worries about inflation seemed to reyou are and earnings disappointments. One day after a very vong dane, weep saw nine nine market close lower.
>> You're watching bbc world. Our main headlines. The scale of the devastation in Hezbollah's heartland is revealed as the U.N. Secretary-general kals for an immediate cease-fire. Israel agrees to open a humanitarian corridor as thousands of of foreign nationals continue to flee.
>> For the last five years he had been invited and for the last five years he had declined but today president bush addressed the largest civil rights organization in the united states, the N.A.A.C.P.
|Today's BBC News|
20 July 2006
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