Iran has admitted its role in supplying Hezbollah with the missiles hurl into Israeli cities and towns:
Mohtashami Pur, a one-time ambassador to Lebanon who currently holds the title of secretary-general of the "Intifada conference," told an Iranian newspaper that Iran transferred the missiles to the Shi'ite militia, adding that the organization has his country's blessing to use the weapons in defense of Lebanon.
Pur's statements are thought to be unusual given that Tehran has thus far been reluctant to comment on the extent of its aid which it has extended to Hezbollah.
It's the stated policy of the Iranian government that Israel must be destroyed. It's hard to see why they bother to be coy about it.
Hassan Nasrallah bellowed that should Israel bomb Beirut again, he would send his rockets at Tel Aviv. Israel called his bluff, and the best he could manage, over a day later, was to fire one of his long-range missiles at the town of Hadera, about 30 miles of the mark. Of course, it was probably not aim that kept Nasrallah from following through on his threat, but the instructions of Hezbollah's Iranian sponsors.
Hezbollah claimed that the missiles which hit Hadera were in retaliation for the supposed Israeli bombing of two towns near the border, which supposedly left over 50 people dead. I say supposed because it the IAF claims not to have made any bombing runs at that area, and because the claims of the number of dead at Qana were greatly exaggerated. At the moment, all we can be certain of is that Hezbollah has a new story for their propaganda broadcasts. Their writers have hit the jackpot twice in one week. More no doubt will be revealed in the next few days.
Regardless of the proximate cause of the deaths in the Lebanese towns, Hezbollah is responsible for having started the war, for using civilian areas for staging their rocket attacks, and for preventing civilians from leaving the area, as those civilians had been warned to do by Israel. At the very least, given Hezbollah is the effective government of south Lebanon, they could have built a few bomb shelters for their citizens. Instead, Hezbollah leaves the civilian population to take their chances inside of their own houses.
Since Hezbollah doesn't seem to care about the lives of its own population, why should I? This is what Hezbollah has brought to its people. Below is a satellite photo of south Beirut before Hezbollah killed eight Israel soldiers and kidnapped two more, juxtaposed against a more recent photo:
Israel has extended the bombing campaign north of Beirut. The strategy seems to be to further isolate Lebanon from Syria. The Lebanese president calls this an attempt to starve his country.
While the most likely scenario is that a cease fire is established in the next week or so, there is also a reasonable chance that this war won't end any time soon. Hezbollah is rejecting any talk of a cease fire before Israel pulls out of the south (via Big Pharaoh), and of course Israel would never pull out unless it could be certain that Hezbollah were no longer a threat.
As the fighting continues in Lebanon, the Muslim world becomes steadily more agitated. Thousands of Iraqi Shiites took to the streets to proclaim their willingness to kill Jews for Hezbollah. Similar demonstrations of support have taken place in Indonesia and Egypt.
They may not be necessary. One report suggests that Hezbollah has not yet committed its elite troops.
UPDATE 7:04 pm CDT: Lebanon.Profile provides possible reasons why Israel bombed bridges north of Beirut.