||[16 Jul 2006|11:00am]
"At least 20 rockets slammed into Haifa on Sunday, and one of them hit a section of the train depot where crews perform maintenance on the trains, tearing a huge hole in the roof and killing eight people. One body was covered in a white bag and placed on a stretcher on the ground."
I was at this exact train station just 3 weeks ago.
If u wanna read the article about the other attacks continue reading... this article comes from the Associated Press:
Hezbollah launched deadly missle attack on Haifa
Attack prompts swift response from Israel
(7/16/06 - HAIFA, Israel) - Lebanese guerillas fired a relentless barrage of rockets into the northern Israeli city of Haifa on Sunday, killing eight people at a train station and wounding seven others in a dramatic escalation of a five-day-old conflict that has shattered Mideast peace.
Soon after the Haifa attack, Israeli airstrikes reduced entire apartment buildings to rubble and knocked out electricity in swaths of the Lebanese capital Sunday.
Israel had already bombarded southern Beirut, a teeming Shiite districts where Hezbollah has its headquarters, prior to the Haifa bombing. A series of 18 explosions rocked Beirut before sunrise.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed that there would be "far-reaching consequences" for the rocket attack the worst since Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000 after an 18-year occupation. Smoke rose over Haifa and air raid sirens wailed as the dead and wounded were evacuated. Other rockets hit the city's major oil refinery, gas storage tanks and a major street during the busy morning rush hour.
Israeli officials blamed Syria and Iran for providing the weaponry that hit Haifa raising the specter of a wider regional confrontation.
The airstrikes in Beirut reduced an entire apartment building to rubble and knocked out electricity in swaths of the capital. Hezbollah's Al-Manar television station briefly went off the air
The Israeli air force dropped leaflets over south Lebanon telling residents to leave immediately before an imminent attack.
"In two or three hours we are going to attack the south of Lebanon heavily," said Maj. Gen. Udi Adam, the head of Israel's northern command,
It was the sharpest escalation since fighting began last Wednesday after Hezbollah guerillas penetrated Israel in brazen raid, killing eight soldiers and capturing another two. The fighting opened a second front for Israel, which had already been fighting Hamas-linked militants in the Gaza Strip following the capture of another Israeli soldier on June 25.
President Bush and European allies on Sunday urged Israel to show restraint at the Group of Eight summit of industrialized countries in St. Petersburg, Russia.
"Our message to Israel is, look, defend yourself," Bush said. "But as you do so, be mindful of the consequences. So we've urged restraint."
He also said "the international community must address the root causes" of the violence.
"This started because Hezbollah decided to capture two Israeli soldiers and fire hundreds of rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon," Bush said. "That's the cause of the crisis."
Israeli troops, tanks and helicopter gunships re-entered northern Gaza on Sunday, firing missiles and exchanging gunfire with armed Palestinians in a raid that killed three militants.
Masked militants in Gaza vowed in a news conference on Sunday to launch more rockets and Israel "to show solidarity with the twin of our resistance," referring to Hezbollah.
The attack on Haifa raised Israel's death toll from the fighting to at least 23 soldiers and 12 civilians. Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon have killed 130 people, mostly civilians.
Israel has expanded its mission from the immediate need to free the three soldiers to a campaign to halt rocket fire from Gaza and to neutralize Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran and Syria are prime supporters of the two Islamic militant groups, raising fears they could be drawn into a regional war.
Syria on Sunday warned that any aggression against it "will be met with a firm and direct response whose timing and methods are unlimited," according to the official Syrian news agency quoting Information Minister Mohsen Bilal.
Israeli officials said the guerillas, who had been firing relatively small Katyusha rockets, launched at least four Iranian-made Fajr missile at Haifa. Those missiles, with a range of 28 miles, have a far larger warhead than the Katyushas. Adam, the head of Israel's northern command, confirmed that Iranian-made missiles were fired at Haifa the first time Hezbollah had used the Fajr missiles in attacking Israel.
Shaul Mofaz, an Israeli Cabinet minister and former army chief of staff, pointed his fingers at Syria.
"The ammunition that Hezbollah used this morning ... is Syrian ammunition," he said. He also compared Hezbollah to al-Qaida, saying Israel should mount its operation accordingly.
Hezbollah guerillas said they hit Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, with Raad-2 and Raad-3 missiles. The attack came after Israeli warplanes bombed a major power station south of Beirut and other targets in Lebanon. But it was certain to invite a far harsher Israeli retaliation.
"Nothing will deter us," Olmert said at the beginning of his government's weekly Cabinet meeting. "There will be far-reaching consequences in our relations on the northern border and in the area in general."
At least 20 rockets slammed into Haifa on Sunday, and one of them hit a section of the train depot where crews perform maintenance on the trains, tearing a huge hole in the roof and killing eight people. One body was covered in a white bag and placed on a stretcher on the ground.
"I saw bodies in the warehouse. The picture was not pleasant," one witness, who identified himself as Igor, told Israel's Army Radio.
About 30 people were working in the depot at the time of the attack, Ofer Litzevski, an official with the train company, told reporters.
Mayor Yona Yahav warned people against holding large gatherings and canceled all cultural events in the city. Trains in northern Israel were halted and bus service in Haifa and north was stopped.
"Anyone who was under the illusion that Hezbollah was a motley bunch of guerrillas with AK-47s and some (rocket propelled grenades) should see these sorts of attacks as a wakeup call," Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. "Hezbollah is a very well organized, heavily armed, military structure that has received, over the last decade from Iran and Syria, state of the art weaponry."
Hezbollah said it intentionally avoided hitting petrochemical installations in Haifa, according to a statement read on Al-Manar.
"But the next time, it (Hezbollah) will not spare anything in Haifa and its surroundings," the statement said.
Israel deployed a Patriot missile battery in Haifa on Saturday to protect the city against surface-to-surface missiles. The Patriot was not built to combat the kind of missiles that hit Haifa on Sunday, said Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, a member of the army's General Staff.
Hezbollah said it fired dozens of rockets at Haifa at 9 a.m.
"After the enemy continued all night their destructive shelling of (Beirut's) southern suburb and other areas ... the resistance movement fired dozens of rockets on Haifa," the Hezbollah statement said.
Rockets fired by Lebanese militants also hit Acco, Nahariya and several other northern towns, and residents of the region were told to head to bomb shelters. Israeli rescue teams said 20 people were injured in Haifa and Acco, four of them seriously.
"The attacks were meant to harm citizens, and this is an evil war of Hezbollah against the state of Israel and its residents," Olmert said.
Adam, the head of Israel's Northern Command, said Iranian troops were helping Hezbollah fire Iranian-made missiles at Israel. Hamid Reza Asefi, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, denied claims that his country had troops in Lebanon or had given missiles to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah guerillas hit Haifa with a rocket for the first time ever Thursday. Israel responded by stepping up its airstrikes in Lebanon.
Olmert said that Israel's offensive did not intend to harm Lebanese civilians.
"We want to live our lives in peace and in good neighborly relations," he said. "Unfortunately, there are those who misinterpret our wishes for peace in the wrong way. We have to no intention of bending in the face of these threats."
"Our enemies are trying to disrupt the lifestyle in Israel. They will fail," he said.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.