Hizbullah, despite suffering additional losses, fired over 120 Katyushas at northern Israel on Tuesday in one of the biggest rocket barrages yet.
The number of Israeli civilians killed since the battle with Hizbullah began last week rose to 13 on Tuesday after a man was killed in Nahariya. Close to 100 others have been wounded in the attacks. In Lebanon, officials said that over 50 people were killed in IAF strikes throughout the day.
The IDF recently got a taste of what it could expect if ground forces are sent into southern Lebanon. A D9 bulldozer drove over a half-ton explosive device on Sunday just over the Lebanese border. The driver escaped uninjured and minor damage was caused to the bulldozer but the incident, officers said, confirmed suspicions that Hizbullah had planted bombs throughout the area in anticipation that one day Israel might try to retake southern Lebanon.
On Tuesday, head of the IDF Operations Directorate Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said the IAF had thwarted attempts by Syria to smuggle weapons to Hizbullah. Earlier in the day, IAF fighter jets destroyed four trucks carrying weapons in the Bekaa Valley. In Tyre, jets bombed a bunker used as a hideout for Hizbullah officials.
"They are shooting Syrian missiles at us," Eizenkot told reporters during the IDF's daily briefing at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
"Over the past day there have been numerous successful attacks by the air, land and sea," the general said. "Unfortunately, the rocket attacks are continuing and the citizens of Israel need to continue to heed the instructions of security officials."
While the IDF has destroyed 180 Katyusha rocket sites, as well as 200 Hizbullah buildings and weapons warehouses since the beginning of Operation Change of Direction last Wednesday following the abduction of two soldiers along the northern border, Eizenkot said Hizbullah still had "many rockets," some capable of reaching central Israel.
On Monday, the IAF confirmed that it had destroyed a Zelzal missile, manufactured by Iran and capable of reaching distances of up to 160 km., placing Tel Aviv in its range.
"The organization has many more missiles," Eizenkot said. "They have been building up for 10 years and today we saw that it can still fire rockets at Israel."
Attacking Syria, he said, was not under consideration, despite the fact that weapons it supplied to Hizbullah were being used in attacks against Israel. "Syria is not a target," he said. "Messages have, however, been relayed to the Syrians and we hope that this phenomenon stops."
Meanwhile, a Kassam rocket hit Sderot Tuesday night causing damage but no casualties. Earlier, two Kassams landed in open areas in the western Negev.