|Abstract||Journalists in Lebanon reported that 90 percent of the 80,000 inhabitants of Tyre joined the flood of refugees northwards. Villages were deserted, with many casualties and destruction of civilian dwellings by intensive bombardment. Nabatiye, with a population of 60,000, was described as "a ghost town" by a Lebanese reporter a day after the attack was launched. Inhabitants described the bombings as even more intense and destructive than during the Israeli invasions of 1978 and 1982. Those who had not fled were running out of food and water but were trapped in their villages, Mark Nicolson reported from Nabatiye in the Financial Times, because "any visible movement inside or outside their houses is likely to attract the attention of Israeli artillery spotters, who...were pounding shells repeatedly and devastatingly into selected houses." Artillery shells were hitting some villages at a rate of more than 10 rounds a minute at times, he reported, while Israeli jets roared overhead, and in nearby Sidon, "the main Hammoud hospital was admitting new casualties every 15 minutes by late afternoon" of July 27. An Israeli Army spokesperson said that "70 percent of the village of Jibshit is totally destroyed, its inhabitants will not recognize it." The goal is "to wipe the villages from the face of the earth," a senior officer added. In Tripoli, 40 miles north of Beirut, a Palestinian refugee camp was attacked by Israeli planes firing missiles. Israeli naval forces bombarded coastal areas near Beirut and intercepted vessels approaching Lebanese ports, though whether they also resumed their long-term practice of kidnapping and killing passengers on the high seas is not reported.|
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