In a press conference Tuesday evening, Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch, commander of the IDF's Galilee division, said "We have achieved full control over Bint Jbeil and, as such, many residents of northern Israel will now be protected from low-trajectory fire, and soon, from high-trajectory fire as well. We are working toward this end. Terrorists who fight us will be hurt."
According to Hirsch, forces operating in the area, and in areas such as Kfar Aitroun, destroyed many of Hizbullah's operations rooms, intelligence collection centers and news stations. As a result, a number of the operatives are fleeing.
The IDF Northern Command reported relative quiet on Tuesday, with few exchanges of fire. They posit that the deployment of artillery, infantry and armored brigades, which created "a finger hold" in southern Lebanon, is having the desired effect. IDF sources say that forces are working in a ways that utilize their relative advantage – they operate primarily at night, for example. According to the sources, Hizbullah casualties are very high.
At least one senior Hizbullah member operating in the Maroun al-Ras/Bnit Jbeil area was killed Tuesday as a result of IDF activities in the area. An IDF source told ynet that the operative was staying in a house serving as an operations room. He further reported that, while searching the houses, forces found many weapons, including light arms, Katyushas, and various kinds of missiles.
IAF air strikes continue alongside the ground offensive. Twelve Lebanese citizens were killed as a result of a Tuesday evening aerial strike that dropped 23 bombs on the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiya, considered a Hizbullah stronghold. The IDF had not attacked the district for two days. Currently, sources report thick smoke is covering the whole area.
News agencies reported that some 25 Hizbullah operatives have been killed by IDF fire. Mahmoud Komti, one of the organization's field commanders, explained that this includes 17 operatives that were killed on the border this past weekend.
Despite IDF operations, rockets continue to fall on Haifa and across the Galilee. According to reports, some ninety rockets were launched as of Tuesday night, resulting in some sixty casualties. A fifteen year old girl, from the Druze village of Mrar, was killed when a rocket landed near the local mosque Tuesday afternoon.
Likewise, a 75-year old Haifa resident when warning sirens were activated in the city. His body was transferred to a forensics unit, who will determine if the man died from stress upon hearing the sirens.
Hanan Greenberg and Ahiya Raved contributed to the report