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Hezbollah Chief Declares All-Out War Against Israel

  • VOA News

The head of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has declared all-out war against Israel after surviving an Israeli airstrike on his home and office in Beirut.

In an audio message Friday, Hassan Nasrallah said Israel would feel Hezbollah's response at all levels - to the northern Israeli city of Haifa and beyond.

He also hailed an attack on an Israeli naval ship off the Lebanese coast. An Israeli spokesman said the ship was lightly damaged, although the Arab television network al-Jazeera is reporting the Israeli military is searching for four people missing from the warship.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack urged American citizens to assess their own personal security situation and consider leaving Lebanon when conditions permit. He said, however, no U.S. officials have left the country because there is currently no way for them to leave.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pledged to continue the offensive until Hezbollah guerrillas are disarmed and two captured Israeli soldiers are released.

Lebanese officials say more than 60 people have been killed in Israeli attacks. Israel says eight Israeli soldiers and four Israeli civilians have died in Hezbollah rocket attacks since Wednesday, when Hezbollah captured the two Israeli soldiers.

Israel's military chief of staff (Dan Halutz) said Friday that the two soldiers seized by Hezbollah and a third captured in June by Hamas near the Gaza Strip are alive and doing reasonably well. He did not reveal the source of his information.

Syria and Iran are the main supporters of Hezbollah. The Syrian ambassador to London Sami Khiyami said Friday that Syria has asked Hezbollah to stop firing rockets at Israel.

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