The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Latest developments

From a Reuters feed, no comment:

July 20 (Reuters) - Following are developments in the Middle East.

* Hizbollah fight fierce battles with Israeli troops on Lebanese border, as thousands more foreigners flee 9-day-old war in Lebanon

* The fighting has killed at least 311 people in Lebanon and 29 in Israel

* Israeli forces take casualties in heavy fighting with Hizbollah guerrillas just inside Lebanon. Al Jazeera TV says four Israelis are killed. Israeli media report eight soldiers wounded. Hizbollah says one of its fighters is killed.

* Israeli army says 30 rockets fired by Hizbollah land in northern Israel, cause no casualties

* U.S. Marines arrive in Lebanon to evacuate about 1,000 Americans in the U.S. military's first return to Lebanon since it withdrew in 1984

* Israel believes its bombing campaign in Lebanon has destroyed 50 percent of Hizbollah's military capability, Israel Radio quotes Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz as saying. Hizbollah says it has not been weakened militarily

* EU gives Lebanon 10 million euros humanitarian aid, expresses 'grave concern' over humanitarian situation

* U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan calls for an immediate end to hostilities

* U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may travel to Middle East next week to press for political solution to reduce fighting

* Israel says it would welcome any help Germany can give in trying to free the two soldiers held by Hizbollah but reiterates rejection of Hizbollah proposal for prisoner swap

* Syria and Russia call for cease-fire, France presses for a U.N. resolution urging cease-fire, Washington has refused so far to pressure Israel for cease-fire

* Israel, which has imposed sea and air blockade of Lebanon and bombed main road to neighboring Syria, says it will let aid into Lebanon to ease threat of humanitarian crisis

* Israeli troops kill Palestinian in clashes in central Gaza refugee camp. Separate air strikes in same area kill two militants. Israel's offensive, launched June 28, has killed about 110 Palestinians, half of them militants.