CHRONOLOGY-Events in Middle East
  2006-08-08 11:44:58      Reuters

Here is a chronology of events, including violence between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas, since they seized two Israeli soldiers and killed eight on July 12.

July 13 - Israeli aircraft bomb runways at Beirut airport. Israel's navy blockades Lebanese ports.

July 14 - Israeli warplanes blast the main Beirut-Damascus highway, tightening an air, sea and land blockade of Lebanon.

July 15 - Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora demands an immediate U.N.-backed ceasefire, denouncing Israel for turning his country into a "disaster zone". He appeals for foreign aid.

July 16 - Rockets fired by Hizbollah kill eight in the Israeli city of Haifa. Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warns Lebanon of "far-reaching consequences" after the attack.

-- Group of Eight leaders at their annual summit blame an upsurge in violence on "extremists" and while accepting Israel's right to self-defence say Israel must exercise restraint.

July 17 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan call for the deployment of a security force in Lebanon.

July 19 - Israeli troops cross the border to raid Hizbollah posts. Annan calls for an immediate end to hostilities.

July 22 - Israel ousts Hizbollah guerrillas from the hilltop village of Maroun al-Ras, a stronghold just inside Lebanon.

July 23 - U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland says Israeli bombing of a Beirut neighbourhood where Hizbollah had its headquarters has breached humanitarian law. He says rockets going into Israel have to stop.

July 24 - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flies to Lebanon from Cyprus and meets Siniora.

July 25 - Olmert meets Rice to discuss war in Lebanon.

-- Israeli air strike kills four unarmed U.N. observers.

July 26 - Hizbollah kills nine Israeli soldiers advancing on the town of Bint Jbeil near the frontier.

-- An international conference in Rome papers over cracks by pledging to work for an urgent, but not immediate, ceasefire and agreeing on the need for an international peacekeeping force.

July 29 - Rice holds talks in Israel to seek a deal on an international force to end fighting.

July 30 - Lebanon says at least 54 Lebanese civilians, including 37 children are killed by an Israeli airstrike in the village of Qana. Lebanon cancels Rice visit.

-- Rice wins a 48-hour halt to aerial attacks from Israel.

July 31 - Rice ends her peace mission in Israel.

Aug 1 - Israel's security cabinet approves an expansion of its military operations.

Aug 2 - Israeli commandos snatch five suspected Hizbollah members from the ancient Lebanese city of Baalbek, 100 km (60 miles) from Israel.

-- Following expiry of a 48-hour bombing pause, Olmert says Israel will keep fighting Hizbollah until a strong international force is deployed.

-- Hizbollah fires 231 rockets into Israel, the highest number so far in one day, killing one and wounding 124.

Aug 3 - Siniora says Israeli offensive has killed 900, wounded 3,000 in the 23-day old war.

-- Hizbollah fires at least 130 rockets into Israel, killing eight people.

-- Israel makes two fresh forays into Lebanon and now holds seven positions.

Aug 4 - Israeli air strike hits farm close to Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley where workers were loading fruit on to trucks. Officials say 33 people were killed and 20 wounded.

-- Several Hizbollah rockets land in or near the Israeli city of Hadera, about 80 km (50 miles) from the Lebanese border -- the deepest rocket attack of war so far.

-- The United States and France inch closer to a deal on a U.N. resolution calling for an end to the fighting.

Aug 5 - Helicopter-borne Israeli commandos attack Hizbollah guerrillas near Tyre; Israeli army says eight Israeli naval commandos were wounded in the raid; seven Lebanese reported dead.

-- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch meets Lebanese leaders on a possible deal to end the war. At least 734 people in Lebanon and 75 Israelis have been killed in the conflict.



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