Israel had promised a 48-hour cease-fire in the wake of a deadly attack that killed dozens of Lebanese women and children, but it hit Hezbollah after it reserved the right to strike targets to stop imminent attacks on its own forces.


Israeli warplanes carried out strikes in southern Lebanon on Monday, hours after agreeing to temporarily halt air raids while investigating a bombing that killed at least 56 Lebanese civilians, mostly women and children seeking shelter.

Before fighting resumed, trucks and cars loaded with people streamed north as thousands of civilians trapped in south Lebanon’s war zone for three weeks took advantage of the brief lull to escape.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had agreed to a 48-hour cease-fire beginning at 2 a.m. Monday while the military concluded its inquiry into the attack on the south Lebanese village of Qana, Israel’s deadliest strike in nearly three weeks of fighting.


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