No letup on 12th day of fighting

story.tyre.flames.afp.gifMore than 60 Hezbollah rockets hit northern Israel on Sunday, killing two civilians and wounding more than 20 others, military officials and police said. CNN witnessed some of these rockets in and around the port city of Haifa.

One rocket hit a house in Haifa Sunday evening, wounding several people inside. At least six Israeli bombs fell on the Lebanese coastal city of Tyre in a 20-minute span Sunday morning, killing one civilian and wounding at least 20 others, officials said.

Israeli airstrikes also hit southern Beirut, and Israel Defense Forces said it struck a building that “serves Hezbollah” in the town of Sidon.

At least 271 Lebanese people have been killed in the fighting, and 711 wounded, according to Lebanese security officials.

Hezbollah attacks have killed seven Israeli civilians and 20 soldiers and wounded more than 300 civilians and more than 60 soldiers, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Israeli officials say Israel does not intend to carry out a full-scale ground invasion in Lebanon, but instead will continue pinpoint attacks on specific targets.

Diplomatic sources told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the operation could last a few more weeks.

Hezbollah officials on Sunday conceded that Israel had taken control of the southern Lebanon village of Maroun al-Ras after days of ground fighting.

The IDF said it was trying to create a security buffer between the Israeli border and Hezbollah militants. Diplomatic efforts

Israel said Sunday that a multinational peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon is acceptable as a solution to the current Mideast crisis.

The idea was broached by Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday, a ministry spokesman said.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prepared to leave for the Middle East later on Sunday.

Rice and President Bush met with Saudi Arabian officials before her departure.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal urged Bush to push for a cease fire, The Associated Press reported.

Rice has said she won’t be pursuing a cease-fire at the moment. Speaking at the State Department last week, she said Hezbollah is the source of the problem in Lebanon and a cease-fire “will be a false promise if it returns us to the status quo.”

A bipartisan U.S. Congressional delegation also expressed support for Israel during a visit to the Middle East.

Rep. Jane Harmon, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, compared Hezbollah to a cancer and said the group’s weapons “have to be destroyed, if possible.”

Israel to distribute relief supplies

The Israeli military announced Sunday it will distribute relief supplies to Lebanese citizens under the supervision of the Red Cross.

The statement from the Israel Defense Forces said the mission was “in accordance with IDF policy to maintain the daily life of Lebanese civilian population not involved in terror activity.”

The humanitarian aid, to arrive on ships into Beirut’s port, will be transferred to aid centers across Lebanon, the IDF said.

Israel has barred the United Nations from sending relief supplies into southern Lebanon, where most of the country’s estimated 500,000 internally displaced people are located, according to U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland.

The United Nations is able to take its convoys of humanitarian relief to Beirut, where some 150,000 people are displaced, Egeland told CNN’s Nic Robertson.

Egeland toured the rubble-littered streets of southern Beirut on Sunday and complained about the lack of safe routes for humanitarian relief supplies.

“We do not have free access at the moment,” he said. “We do not have security for our trucks. We do not have security for our relief people.”

The United Nations has bought 50 trucks and a ship that can travel from Cyprus to Beirut, then to the port city of Tyre, he said.

On Monday, the United Nations will launch a $100 million fundraising campaign to help the Lebanese people, he said.

Egeland will also negotiate the establishment of humanitarian corridors on Monday in hopes that trucks can head south quickly to bring people supplies.

“There are people dying in hospitals because they do not have enough supplies, and it’s our obligation to help now,” he said.

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