Latest developments

From Reuters:

Latest developments in the Middle East

Reuters 01.08.06 | 19h16

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Here are developments on the 21st day of the Middle East crisis.

* Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he sees the beginning of a process that would lead to a cease-fire in Lebanon. He also says Hizbollah guerrillas could never threaten the Jewish state again.

* Israeli troops cross into new area of south Lebanon and pound towns and villages in two other areas

* Troops meet fierce resistance from Hizbollah guerrillas. Al Arabiya TV says three Israeli soldiers killed.

* EU calls for immediate halt to hostilities to be followed by a sustainable cease-fire, watering down demands for immediate cease-fire at insistence of Britain and other U.S. allies.


* Israel warns some residents north of Lebanon's Litani River to leave area, reversing earlier denial it had done so.

* Israel says it will resume full airstrikes from 1 a.m. Wednesday (2200 GMT Tuesday) after 48-hour partial suspension.

* Israeli infrastructure minister says army needs up to two weeks to complete its objectives.

* U.N. and Red Cross say forced to delay dispatch of aid to southern Lebanon because failed to get security guarantees.

* Israel's tourism minister says up to 400 Hizbollah guerrillas have been killed. Hizbollah says 43 fighters killed.

* Israeli cabinet minister says Israel's armed forces are not capable of destroying all of Hizbollah's missile capabilities.

* U.N. postpones discussion on mobilizing international force for Lebanon to at least Thursday.

* At least 617 people have been killed in Lebanon, although the health minister puts toll at 750 including bodies still buried under rubble. Fifty-one Israelis have been killed.

* Syria agrees to supply Lebanon with petrol from its strategic reserves to compensate for shortages.

* British Prime Minister Tony Blair is calling for the West to rethink its strategy for defeating extremism in the Middle East, once the Israel-Lebanon crisis is resolved.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.