Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants continued firing rockets and fighting ground battles in southern Lebanon in the hours before a United Nations brokered ceasefire was to take effect in the month-long war.
Israeli airstrikes battered neighborhoods in South Beirut on Sunday, while in southern Lebanon 30-thousand Israeli soldiers fought Hezbollah guerrillas on the ground. Israel says five soldiers were killed. Lebanese officials said at least 15 people died.
Hezbollah fired 250 rockets into Israel -- the most in a single day. The rockets hit Haifa and several other parts of northern Israel and killed at least one civilian.
The Israeli and Lebanese governments have each approved the U.N. resolution that
calls for a full cessation of hostilities before a U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon is increased to 15-thousand troops.
The Lebanese army is also expected to deploy 15-thousand troops near the border.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says Israeli forces will leave Lebanon when the Lebanese army and an expanded international force deploy.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says his forces will abide by the UN agreement, but said Hezbollah will continue fighting until Israeli troops leave Lebanon.
At least 900 Lebanese - most of them civilians - have been killed since the fighting began. More than 140 Israelis - most of them soldiers - have died since Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, triggering the fighting on July 12th.