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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Lebanese Seething Over Civilians Killed in Airstrike; Condoleezza Rice's Scheduled Visit to Beirut Canceled; Hundreds of Protesters Storm United Nations Compound in Beirut
Aired July 30, 2006 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news to tell you about this morning. Outrage in the Middle East.
An angry mob storms the U.N. building in Beirut after an Israeli airstrike kills dozens of people. Many of them are children and women that are in the rubble dead.
From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
What a day it has been so far. It is July 30th, everybody.
Good morning. I'm Betty Nguyen.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. I'm Tony Harris. 7:00 a.m. here in the east, 2:00 p.m. in Beirut and Jerusalem.
Thank you for being with us.
Rapidly breaking news out of Lebanon this morning. Here is what we know at this moment. And stay with us, there is a lot to tell you.
Mobs of angry Lebanese protesters have stormed the U.N. building in Beirut. U.N. officials inside the building say there is deep concern over the safety of the staffers who have taken refuge in the basement.
The unrest in Beirut was provoked by an Israeli airstrike about six hours ago in the town of Qana. Dozens of women, children and elderly were killed in a building believed to shelter up to 60 civilians.
Israel says the site was used by Hezbollah to launch rockets into Israel. An Israeli spokesman called the area a war zone and said Lebanese civilians were warned to leave. Even so, the Israeli defense minister has ordered an investigation.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's scheduled visit today to Beirut was abruptly cancelled.
We're all over this story with CNN reporters across the region. We will take you live to Qana and Beirut, Lebanon. Also, northern Israel, and we'll get to our John King in Jerusalem in just a moment.
NGUYEN: We are also keeping an eye on the coverage from the Mideast in all the many television networks. Here is a look at some of them. We have Al Arabiya; Al Jazeera; also CNN live pictures from Beirut; LBC, the Lebanon Broadcasting Company; and NBN, which his a private Lebanese network.
So we are monitoring all the developments and, of course, we will bring it to you live when it happens. But let's start in Qana, near the Lebanese city of Tyre, which has been subject to heavy Israeli bombardment in the past two weeks.
For more on the Qana tragedy, CNN's Karl Penhaul joins us from Tyre.
And Karl, as we've been mentioning, we understand dozens of women and children killed when an Israeli airstrike just flattened a residential building there.
Tell us more.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. The town of Qana is, in fact, about eight miles just southeast of Tyre, so not very far at all.
Now, that airstrike took -- took place overnight and in the course of the morning. In fact, residents say the whole town, which is not very big, was bombarded by more than 80 shells and bombs from Israeli warplanes and artillery positions.
Now, according to Ben Wedeman, my colleague who is down there this morning, what seems to have happened is a bomb fell alongside this four-story building, causing the building to collapse. So far, the Lebanese Red Cross have told us that they have pulled 25 bodies out of those ruins. Eight other people wounded.
But the biggest unknown right now is that local residents and the Red Cross say between 35 and 60 other people were sheltering in that building because it was the only safe place. They were in the basement at the time of that attack when that building collapsed. Local residents say everybody inside were civilians, and certainly this morning, Betty, we've seen some horrific pictures out of there. We've seen mothers clutching the dead bodies of their children. We've seen husbands clutching the dead bodies of their wives -- Betty.
NGUYEN: It is just hard to stomach this morning. We've seen the protests as well.
But, on the flip side, Israel says that it has sent out warnings. It dropped flyers. It also made a radio announcement telling people to get out of the area.
Is that true? Have you seen that?
PENHAUL: That is correct. The Israelis have constantly been bombarding the area with flyers, but the residents here really needed no more invitation than the bombs and the artillery shells that have constantly been falling on southern Lebanon for more than two weeks now. But the problem here is not that people don't want to leave. In some cases, they literally can't leave because fuel has run short. In many cases, gas stations have been bombed.
So there is no fuel. And so people can't power their cars to get out. And also, even those who have taken the chance to make a run for it in their vehicles, we've repeatedly seen in the course of this last two weeks civilian vehicles and convoys of civilian vehicles hit by Israeli warplanes and rockets as they try to leave.
So it's dangerous to stay behind, but it's also dangerous to try and leave -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Karl, let's get back to the help at hand, if there is any that's coming in. I know a lot of the roads are blocked. You just talked about the difficulty of getting out of the area. But as many remain nineteenth this rubble, what kind of help is coming in to dig them out?
PENHAUL: Underneath the rubble, well, initially in Qana what we saw were civilians there clawing away at concrete slabs and cement with their bare hands. Later on, we did see a backhoe move in and start to dig it out. But even that kind of thing, there isn't a lot of heavy lifting equipment here. It was one backhoe for the ruins of a four-story building. And, of course, the additional problems already said is the problem with fuel.
So these heavy lifting equipment can't be run indefinitely -- Betty.
NGUYEN: CNN's Karl Penhaul with the latest on the situation in Qana from nearby Tyre.
Karl, thank you for that. We'll be checking in shortly -- Tony.
HARRIS: As we reported, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was supposed to travel to Beirut today to meet with Lebanon's prime minister, but those plans are on hold in light of the Qana attack. Rice is still in Jerusalem.
That's where CNN's John King is now.
And John, I'm struck by a couple of pictures here. First of all, there is the secretary of state, who is in the region to broker an agreement, and on the other hand, there is this attack and these deaths in Qana.
When did the secretary of state learn this news?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, consider the irony, Tony. The secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, was in a meeting with the Israeli defense minister when an Israeli aide came into the room to tell her and tell all involved in the meetings about this tragedy in Qana.
Condoleezza Rice telling reporters a short time ago that she was actually in that meeting raising U.S. concerns that Israel needs to be very careful in selecting its targets to try to limit the international outrage about the deaths of civilians. So consider that irony as you now consider how much more difficult this makes what was already extraordinarily difficult diplomacy for Secretary of State Rice.
As you noted, she will not go to Beirut. She had planned to have conversations here with Israeli officials, then shuttle up to Beirut, hoping to reach an agreement of consensus on a U.N. Security Council resolution that could bring about a cease-fire, the end of these hostilities.
She will not go to Beirut now. She says it was her idea, but it is clear she is not welcome at this time when there is so much outrage across Lebanon because of the Israeli bombing earlier today. Instead, Secretary Rice said she will stay here in Israel trying to broker, trying to get the necessary agreement on a Security Council resolution.
I want you to listen to a snippet of what she said today. And it's interesting. When she's talking about what needs to be done, she emphasizes that her work needs to be here in Israel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: In the wake of the tragedy of the people -- that the people and the government of Lebanon are dealing with today, I have decided to postpone my discussions in Beirut. In any case, my work today is here. I will continue to meet with Israeli officials as we work to put in place the elements necessary to bring an end to this conflict.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now, the "My work today is here" is quite interesting. In part, U.S. officials say that is because they are trying to agree with Israel on the arcane, some would say obscure legal language in a U.N. Council resolution, the assurances Israel wants and says it needs before it will stop the fighting that Hezbollah will be contained in any cease-fire deal. But it's also interesting politically, Tony, saying, "My work is here," the first implication, the first inference from a U.S. official that they need to be perhaps a little tougher on Israel to get the language necessary to bring about a cease-fire.
As you know, there already was outrage in the Arab world, in many European capitals, people privately mumbling, some even publicly saying the United States is an obstacle to peace here because it is too outright in its favoritism of Israel. So it seemed, at least rhetorically, a bit of a shift from the secretary of state today. And we're also told this, quite interestingly -- after that event, which is shot by a U.S. television network, a pool, the State Department asked as quickly as possible for Secretary Rice's remarks to be distributed to the Arab news network.
So the State Department clearly very sensitive about the outrage we are seeing not only in Lebanon, but on the Arab and Muslim street around the world -- Tony.
HARRIS: OK. John, just a couple of quick questions. I know you've got to go. But let me -- let me sort of clear this up with you.
Was the secretary of state asked not to make the trip to Lebanon, or did she decide not to make the trip?
KING: Well, we're having a bit of who's on first argument about that.
KING: She says it was her idea, that she told the Lebanese prime minister no. It was also clear the Lebanese government had already decided she was not welcome. So, whoever made the decision, it was clear that it was just not the day to go to Beirut.
HARRIS: And the symbolism of this attack, happening on a day when she is in the region trying to broker a deal, will feed the criticism she's gotten from some that she just does not have the stature to make -- to broker this deal.
KING: It certainly will. It will feed the perception that she's not willing to stand up to Israel, number one, that the United States is not willing to pick up the phone or face to face as she is here in the region, simply say, stop. But what Secretary Rice said again today, even after this, is, what good is a cease-fire if it stops the violence tomorrow, but Hezbollah still has its rockets, there's no international force in place to prohibit it from happening again? What good is a cease-fire today if a week or a month from now, we're all at this again.
That is her position, but you can be sure there is more urgency now. She understands, and you can see it in her face, Tony, more urgency now to bring about the agreement, the consensus on the language for a U.N. Security Council resolution. But, look, even if they got it today, Tony...
KING: ... you wouldn't have a Security Council resolution until the end of the week, perhaps longer. So this fighting will continue, unless there is some dramatic change in the U.S. position.
HARRIS: You are absolutely right about that.
John King for us in Jerusalem.
John, we appreciate it. Thank you.
NGUYEN: Well, anger over the Qana attack is spilling over into Beirut at this hour. Hundreds of protesters stormed the United Nations compound, smashing windows, ransacking offices. The situation is still unfolding, and our Beirut bureau chief, Brent Sadler, joins us live. And we're looking at some live pictures now, Brent. Has all of this calmed a little bit?
BRENT SADLER, CNN BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF: Yes, it has in the past hour or so, Betty. Good morning.
In the beginning, there was a spontaneous reaction as Lebanese watched the Qana attack unfold on their television screens. Now, unlike CNN, we take a view that not all the most graphic and horrific pictures from such an attack are shown on our screens, but in Lebanese homes and across the Arab world, uncensored pictures of the aftermath of the Israeli airstrike had been broadcast, and that has hit home deeply in the psyche of the Lebanese.
And that brought about this protest, targeting the United Nations building in downtown Beirut. And we saw protesters with rocks and iron bars break through the security perimeter and attack the building.
Pretty soon after that, though, Hezbollah marshals came in, along with some of their supporters, to control the crowds. And then we saw a series of speakers, mostly allied with Hezbollah's political viewpoint, but many others who expressed a neutrality politically but utter condemnation and revulsion at the casualties as a result of the Qana incident, displaying their anger against U.S. and Israeli policy -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Brent, as we watch pictures of the protesters and then other pictures of them storming the U.N. building, also got to think about the workers inside. Where are those workers? I understand at one point they were in the basement.
SADLER: At one point there was very serious concern that once the building actually came under preliminary attack with stones and iron bars that this could develop into a very serious incident indeed, but we saw the Lebanese security forces deploy. They came in with troops and some armored vehicles. And then, with the addition of Hezbollah marshals trying to calm down the situation, it eased noticeably, and then there was a rally, a protest rally, political speeches, but all the while, there was serious concern inside the United Nations building.
Some people making contact to people outside from inside the building wanting to know if there was any way of escaping, perhaps through the roof. So that gave you some idea of how serious it was for those trapped inside at that time.
Since then, however, the crowds have mostly dispersed amid calls that another protest should be set up close to the U.S. Embassy in another part, several miles away, from where this demonstration was taking place -- Betty.
NGUYEN: So, we could see more of this a little bit later today at the U.S. Embassy, is that what you're saying?
SADLER: That's correct. The U.S. Embassy is a very well- protected area. It's a huge compound. Lebanese security forces have often dealt with protests. They're kept several hundred yards away under normal circumstances.
They expect the same thing would happen today, but certainly calls for these protesters to vent their anger at the Qana attack to the very heart of the embassy, if they could get there, at least as close as they can get. And in the past we've seen disturbances there. Lebanese security forces had to use tear gas and riot squads to put down angry demonstrations.
NGUYEN: Well, I know you will be watching it closely, Brent. And should anything occur, do -- do let us know and we will take it live.
Brent Sadler joining us from Beirut.
HARRIS: We are on top of the latest developments in the Middle East. CNN reporters are stationed all across the region covering this for us.
NGUYEN: And in just minutes we're going to take you live to northern Israel and CNN's Matthew Chance.
But first, Reynolds Wolf is in the weather center with the latest on what it's like outside today in the U.S.
All right, having some audio difficulties. We'll get with Reynolds on the flip side of this break, at least throughout the show.
Stay with us. There's more CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
HARRIS: Updating the crisis in the Middle East, here's what we know right now.
Dozens are dead, including women and children, after an Israeli airstrike in Qana, Lebanon. The airstrike leveled a building where as many as 60 refugees had taken shelter. Israel says it was responding to Hezbollah missiles fired from Qana, and civilians had been warned to leave.
Protesters angry over the Qana airstrike have stormed the main U.N. building in Beirut. They smashed windows and ransacked offices.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice canceled her plans to travel to Beirut. That, after the Lebanese prime minister suspended talks following the Qana attack. He also called for an immediate unconditional cease-fire and an international investigation.
As we mentioned a few moments ago, the Israeli defense minister has ordered an investigation into the Qana attack. Miri Eisin from the Israeli Foreign Ministry joins us from Jerusalem to provide some Israeli perspective on this incident.
And Miri, good to see you.
First of all, let me ask you for your thoughts, your comments on the Israeli airstrike in Qana.
OK. All right. We're having a bit of a problem connecting with Miri in Jerusalem. We will take a quick break and come back, and we will come back with more of our coverage of the Middle East crisis right after this.
You're watching CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: All right. Israeli ground troops continue to conduct military operations against Hezbollah across southern Lebanon. CNN's Matthew Chance is in northern Israel. He joins us live.
Matthew, what's the latest on any movement by those ground troops?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, throughout the course of the past several hours, Betty, the Israeli military say that after a brief lull, they have redeployed their -- their soldiers, their ground forces into southern Lebanon, and are currently battling around the village of Tyber (ph), which is about five kilometers, about three miles or so just across the border area right behind me into southern Lebanon. They say it's a place where Hezbollah has been firing rockets into Israel. Those are the places they have been targeting for the past several weeks.
They say there have been fierce clashes between Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters. A number of people have been killed. We understand it's on the Hezbollah side that there have been the losses of life.
The Israelis are saying they do have some casualties on their side as well, but just injuries at this stage. They also say they've -- they've managed to take hold of some arms caches as well, depriving the Hezbollah of some of their weapons that they've been using to attack Israeli soldiers and to fire these rockets into -- into Israel -- Betty.
NGUYEN: About this time yesterday, Matthew, we were hearing that Israel was pulling some of the troops out of the Bint Jbeil area, and it was sending in other troops to determine if there were any landmines, any other kinds of traps that they could fall in.
What do you know about that area?
CHANCE: Well, the fighting around Bint Jbeil is still continuing, but it's not being done with ground forces. There's been ferocious artillery barrage and airstrikes that have been continuing around that area. And what Israel says is that it doesn't intend to take any of these villages, these Hezbollah strongholds, and then stay there. It merely intends to go in, inflict some punishing damage on Hezbollah, and perhaps neutralize their ability to strike at Israel from there, and then to pull out again. They don't want to be a static target to these very well-trained, very well dug-in Hezbollah guerrillas.
At the same time, there is a sense in which people here are very concerned that after two weeks of heavy bombardment of artillery strikes and of airstrikes really cracking down on Hezbollah, that militia is still very able to fire its rockets, its tanks in cities across northern Israel, and indeed is doing so at a rate of about 100 a day still -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Yes, and the world is taking note.
Matthew Chance joining us from northern Israel.
Matthew, thank you for that. We'll be checking in with you.
HARRIS: And Betty, let's take you back now to Beirut, Lebanon, and CNN's Michael Weir has been outside the U.N. compound which was stormed this morning.
Michael, give us a sense of the scene on the ground now, and then take us back to that scene, oh, about 45 minutes ago, far different.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Tony. The crowd that was here has now started to disperse. It's effectively drained away. And we're just left with a few die-hard protesters lingering around what is now a heavily-defended U.N. headquarters with rows of Lebanese army troops standing in front of it to protect it.
Just a couple of hours ago, we had a small gaggle of demonstrators show up here near the U.N. headquarters. Word rapidly spread, and thousands appeared. It was just a very popular outpouring of rage and anger that I suspect is being pent up for the weeks that this conflict has drawn out.
Very, very quickly, we saw a Hezbollah PR machine step into gear and fill the bridge. A public address system was set up, and speakers took a makeshift podium to address the crowd.
It was a very volatile and angry scene. At one point, they turned on the U.N. headquarters, pressing against it, then smashing its windows, throwing rocks, hitting it with steel bars, and tearing up parts of the lobby.
Now they have dispersed. They have vented their rage and drift away.
We're now waiting to see, as a Lebanese security official who was here suggested to me, that this may continue in coming days as it did last year during what is now known as the Cedar Revolution. But only time will tell -- Tony. HARRIS: OK. Michael, just very quickly, would you describe this as a kind of spontaneous reaction to the airing of the video of the Qana attack, uncut, into Lebanese homes?
WARE: Well, clearly, that's something that will tend to inflame. However, the mood was set already.
I mean, these people are already tired of their city, their villages, the southern part of the country being bombed. So there's a lot of frustration here. Just the mere news breaking of the fact that the bombing had taken place here today, that there was so many civilian casualties, almost certainly would have been enough alone. Seeing the footage clearly would have just sent tempers even further -- Tony.
HARRIS: OK. CNN's Michael Ware for us outside of the U.N. compound in Beirut, Lebanon.
Michael, thank you.
NGUYEN: As you look at video on the screens there, you saw the video of the rioting earlier, and then you see the scene behind him, very different.
NGUYEN: We're going to speak with our senior Arab Affairs editor, Octavia Nasr, to put all of this in perspective for us. She's been monitoring many of the Arab networks. We'll hear what they're saying as well on their television screens.
Still ahead here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, more on the outrage in Lebanon. Thousands of demonstrators storm a U.N. building as we've been watching in Beirut over the latest Israeli airstrike.
HARRIS: Dozens of civilians, including women and children, are killed in Qana, Lebanon.
More on this developing story on CNN, the most trusted name in news.
HARRIS: If you are just joining us, a lot of breaking news out of Lebanon today. Here's what we know at the moment.
Angry Lebanese protesters stormed the U.N. building in Beirut a couple of hours ago. Lebanese security forces arrived soon afterward and have since restored calm to the downtown area. The Lebanese are furious over the dozens of Lebanese civilians killed earlier today in the town of Qana by an Israeli airstrike. Most of the victims in the Qana tragedy were women, children, and the elderly. The shattered building was believed to shelter up to 60 civilians, an Israeli military spokesman says Hezbollah had been launching rockets into Israel from the site. Even so, the Israeli defense minister has ordered an immediate investigation. Israel says the attack on Qana served a military purpose and that civilians were not deliberately targeted. Clearly, many people in Lebanon feel otherwise.
Jacob Dalal is a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Force, and he joins us now from Jerusalem. Good to talk to you, sir, thanks for your time.
JACOB DALAL, IDF SPOKESMAN: Good morning.
HARRIS: Good morning. First of all, let me ask you, what is it that you would like to say about the air strike in Qana?
DALAL: Well, I think it's very important to understand the context of what's happening. This village, like other villages in the south of Lebanon, have been turned into a war zone by the Hezbollah. They have used this village and other villages to shoot missiles at Israel. They do it from inside the village, from near this very building. We have footage showing missiles being launched yards away from this building. So we're dealing with a war zone, and the Hezbollah has turned this village, as it has turned most of southern Lebanon, into a war zone. Now we have been --
HARRIS: Well can I stop you for just a second there.
HARRIS: Well can I stop you for just a second there. You mentioned your intelligence shows rockets firing from near the building. So I have to ask you, did you hit your intended target, or was this a mistake?
DALAL: Our target was a Hezbollah asset. The issue is, we did not know that there were people in the building, or clearly, we would have not ever attacked an area where there were people, uninvolved civilians inside. We're doing our best under very, very difficult circumstances. Hezbollah is trying to bring the war as close as it can to Lebanese civilians, inside Lebanese villages. So when we attack Hezbollah targets, as we did this morning, they're trying to lure us as closely as possible to civilians. We're doing everything we can to avoid something that happened this morning, but this is a war. And in war, when we are being attacked from within a village and we return fire to within a village, unfortunately, occasionally, sometimes civilians get in harm's way, and that's of course regrettable.
HARRIS: OK, I have to -- let's clear this point up because it's probably an important point to make from the Israeli perspective on this, is that this building, this four-story building, was not necessarily the intended target?
DALAL: Well, what we can say is that we were attacking a Hezbollah asset and that we did not know that in this building there was a large group of people, or we would never have targeted that building or its proximity. But the context here is of on-going sorts, of really a full combat zone, this has been going on for several days in this specific village. From this specific village, dozens of missiles have been launched at the city of Nahariya and the western Galilee. So this is a war zone, this village has been turned into a war zone by the Hezbollah. We're trying to operate as best we can. Most of the villagers, after our calls had left the village, most of the people had left several days ago. We've been asking them for several days already, and unfortunately, this occurrence happened. But we have to understand, this village has been turned into a combat zone by this terrorist organization.
HARRIS: I got you. Jacob, let me ask one more question. Give us some insight, if you would, help us understand the IDF's strategic approach to this conflict right now. On the one hand, you clearly are trying to wipe out Hezbollah, which is your stated objective, but on the other hand, you have to balance that against the possibility of killing civilians. So help us understand strategically how you're approaching this conflict right now.
DALAL: That's an excellent question and that indeed is the dilemma. That's the dilemma of the war on terror. How, on the one hand, you attack terrorists and terrorist targets, and on the other hand, you spare civilian lives, because terrorists operate from within the civilian environment. Now, this balancing act is a very difficult balancing act for any army, and we're trying to do the best we can. That's why in our land incursions, they are limited and focused land incursions. Our air targets are specific Hezbollah asset targets. But in every target, in every action, we try to weigh the target versus not harming civilians. And in the hundreds of sorties that we have done in the past several days, we have weighed that every time. And I have to say under the circumstances, with reasonable success. Today was a tragedy. What happened today, we never want to see. No Israeli wants to see the pictures that we're seeing on television. This is the war on terror. We've got to do the best job we can, but you've got to understand the context. They're firing from this village.
HARRIS: OK. Jacob Dalal is a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Force, and he joins us this morning from Jerusalem. Jacob, thank you.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's find out how this is playing out in Arab media. CNN's Octavia Nasr, our Arab editor, senior affairs editor, we appreciate your time with us this morning. OK, so that's the Israeli side of the situation. It's a difficult balancing act, trying to hit these precise targets, Hezbollah targets, in the midst of civilian areas. How is that playing out on television?
OCTAVIA NASR, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, ARAB AFFAIRS: Not well. No one is buying this line on Arab television. You watch Arab TV and all you see, actually, we've been watching since 3:00 a.m., since the strike and the images started pouring in. All you see are those images here, and a lot more graphic images of bodies being pulled from under the rubble. A lot of children in pajamas, families being pulled and then later on you see them at the Tyre hospital in plastic bags. The talk is all about Qana. This is not, as you know, this is not the first time that Qana has been hit. Back in 1996, a similar strike targeted a U.N. building back then that was housing several civilians. And basically, these images are just reminders to Lebanon and the Arab world of that massacre, as they call it. So they are reporting, you hear -- as a matter of fact, this morning on LBC, it's a Christian television station in Lebanon, the anchorwoman said that according to the Israeli prime minister, this building was targeted because Israel was taking fire from that building and then immediately after that, she commented, she said I wonder if those children were firing at Israel. So in the Arab world, emotions are running high, anchors take part --
NGUYEN: But at the same time, is there any acknowledgement -- and there was a little bit of it there that you were speaking of, that Hezbollah is truly operating within the midst of civilians, using them as shields?
NASR: You know, there is, but it's not something that they discuss on air. It's not something that they go, you have to understand, it's not easy for anyone in Lebanon or the Arab world to criticize Hezbollah. You have to understand the place that Hezbollah has in the Arab society and the Lebanese society and Arab society. Basically, they are seen as the only force that was able to stand in the face of Israel, and the only force that was able to pull, to push Israel out of Lebanon. So it's not easy to criticize Hezbollah, although they all understand that that could be true. But you don't hear it on television.
NGUYEN: I want to talk to you within the next hour or so about the rioting in Beirut and how that could spill over to the U.S. embassy, perhaps, a little bit later today and what you're learning about that. We'll speak with you shortly. Octavia Nasr, thank you for your time.
NASR: Sure thing.
HARRIS: OK let's get you to -- I believe John Roberts is in northern Israel right now. John, there you are. Good to see you. Give us a sense of the state of play where you are today.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Tony. We're in the town of Metula, which is a resort town. It's the northern most population center in Israel. It's up in that very top end, the top tip of the Galilee peninsula, right next to the Golan Heights, you can sort of see the Golan Heights behind me. Israel is right down here and then just beyond that is Lebanon. This has been the scene of intense shelling over the last week or so. Last night, the Israeli army launched a new offensive, opened up a new front in this war, going into the Arab town of Aladisa, which is sort of a little bit this way with ground forces, the elite Nihal (ph) brigade going in there, trying to clear out Hezbollah positions, which they say Hezbollah has been using to fire Katyusha rockets into Kiryat Shmona.
Metula, up until now, has remained relatively untouched by Katyusha rockets. There is a couple that fell into an open area, but today for the first time, Katyusha rockets fell inside the perimeter of the town. We counted three of them. One landed about 200 yards away from where we were. You hear that sort of -- it's kind of a hissing sound that lasts for about a second and a half, it just tells you something is coming in, followed immediately by that explosion. One hit harmlessly on a hillside, another buried itself in a street, caused a fire, and took out a vehicle, but as far as we know, there have been no injuries today. But it would seem to indicate that as Israel starts to push into new Hezbollah territory, Hezbollah is determined to fight back, Tony.
HARRIS: OK. And John, I think the important -- another important point to make here is that even as we do the reporting that we are on the situation in Qana, Lebanon, the Israeli Defense Forces are continuing to push forward with their offensive. John Roberts for us in northern Israel. John, we appreciate it. Thank you.
NGUYEN: Well, our breaking news coverage on the latest developments in the Middle East crisis does continue. Stay with us. We're going to take a short break, but CNN is your most trusted name in news. We'll be right back.
NGUYEN: We have heard from reporters, the U.S. government, Israeli officials, the Lebanese government, and Hezbollah representatives about the conflict in the Mideast, but we haven't heard as much from people who are having their lives turned upside down in the midst of all of this. Many of them have begun blogging their raw, unfiltered, personal experiences and views about the conflict online for all of us to see. And David Lisbona is an Israeli blogger joining us from Tel Aviv.
David, first thing I want to ask you about this morning, on your blog are you talking about the situation in Qana? Actually, I'm just being told that we have lost audio with David, but we are going to try to get that back for you, because this is a really interesting perspective that we want to put out, and not only are we going to be speaking with David, an Israeli blogger, but also a Lebanese blogger. So we're going to take a quick break and be right back after this.
NGUYEN: We are continuing to follow the crisis in the Mideast. You're looking at pictures coming in from Qana, Lebanon, an area of major contention today as dozens of women and children were killed in an Israeli air strike there. We want to talk now live to people who are experiencing this conflict as part of their daily lives, and many of them are expressing their feelings through blogs. David Lisbona is an Israeli blogger and he joins us from Tel Aviv. David I want to get straight to the situation in Qana, because I'm sure you're talking about that. What are you saying on the blog today about what has happened in Qana?
DAVID LISBONA, ISRAELI BLOGGER: Well, we've just heard about what has happened in Qana in the last couple of hours, and it is really tragic, it's really terrible. Of course, my blog concentrates more on what we, the Israeli public, and especially the Israeli public in the north of the country and in Haifa is feeling. NGUYEN: What are they feeling? What are they saying? What kinds of, I guess responses, are you getting to your blog?
LISBONA: I'm getting very varied responses, but I must say mostly encouragement. A lot of people in the states, in Europe, are very interested to know, to have really the kind of feeling on the ground from ordinary people, what it feels like to be in an air raid, to have air raid sirens going off several times a day, of hearing the rockets drop, maybe only half a mile away or so from one's home. There's a lot of encouragement, a lot of concern. I think that there are a lot of people out in the world who want to have this kind of direct contact through blogs with ordinary people and not just to see all the terrible things that are presented in the news headlines on TV.
NGUYEN: Well, I want to get to what it is like. That's what your blog does. That's what you say the interest is about. So tell us, what are you feeling? What are you seeing? What is it like to be living in the midst of a crisis like this?
LISBONA: I mean, for instance, yesterday evening, my significant other and myself went to a cinema in Tel Aviv. We came down to Tel Aviv to get a little break from the rockets and the air raid sirens, and we saw thousands of young people having a great time in an entertainment center in Tel Aviv, and that was really strange for us, because we feel as if we're living in Haifa in a kind of war zone, and suddenly, we come down to the center of Israel, and we see that to our great satisfaction, the vast number of people are able to lead regular lives. This whole war is hanging like a heavy, heavy cloud over all of us.
NGUYEN: Well quickly, though, you have said that you are hesitant to express your doubts about the situation on the blog. Why is that? And what are the doubts that you have?
LISBONA: Well, I mean, I happen to be a peace activist. I happen to be somebody who believes very strongly in dialogue between Jews and Arabs, between Israelis and Palestinians, and what is happening now is, frankly, heart-breaking. It's heart-breaking for people on both sides and throughout the world. But you know, unfortunately, in times of war, you have to remember who you are and who your identity is and who our people are and the 7 million Jews who live in Israel are not going to go anywhere. And you know, so we're very concentrated right now in the suffering and the anguish we're feeling, although you know, I'm well aware of the terrible suffering on the other side in Lebanon.
NGUYEN: And speaking of the other side, we'll be speaking shortly with a Lebanese blogger, but in the meantime, David Lisbona, we appreciate your time today with us.
HARRIS: And now let's get a different view. Zena El-Khalil is a Lebanese blogger, she joins us by phone in Beirut. And Zena, good to talk to you. First of all, are you writing about Qana today?
ZENA EL-KHALIL, LEBANESE BLOGGER: Yes, actually. First of all, thank you for having me on. I just got back from a demonstration that is currently being held downtown by the U.N. building. I went, as -- I went as a peace activist to condemn the massacre on Qana. And I just got back home and I'm actually just writing about it right now in my blog. I got some more information --
HARRIS: You have some more information?
EL-KHALIL: No, while I was at the protest, I asked people how they were feeling. I got some more accurate information about what actually occurred this morning.
HARRIS: OK, what did you learn?
EL-KHALIL: Well, it's -- the building was housing refugees, mostly women and children, and most of the people who were killed this morning were women and children who were hiding, escaping from the bomb. They still, the number of people confirmed who have been killed are around 55 to 60, but the building was so completely demolished that they're not able to pull out the bodies. They can't find all the bodies because the building is completely shattered.
HARRIS: Zena, if you could, describe the tone and try to put that outpouring of anger, it was a mix of anger and, well, high emotions. Put that into context for us watching here in America, what was going on at the U.N. today.
EL-KHALIL: Well, let me see. I was in New York during 9/11, and I watched the first tower fall. And I think we all remember how scary it was and how everyone was so angry and so upset, so worried, unable to reach loved ones, you know. Nobody knew what was going on. Everybody was trying to get home, trying to get in touch with loved ones, you know, watching TV, wanting to know what's going to happen next, what's going to happen next. You know, it's a very similar feeling here in Beirut today. And we've been under siege for the last almost three weeks now. So what I saw today at the demonstration were people from all walks of life, from different political affiliations. Everyone coming down to speak out against the massacre, and yes, there are a lot of angry people now because it's been three weeks of pounding and pounding on the Lebanese, dropping missiles. So people are upset. They are very upset now.
HARRIS: Zena, one last question. On your blog, the people who are writing to you, who gets the blame for this recent round of hostilities? Is it all Israel? Does some of the blame go to Hezbollah?
EL-KHALIL: No, I'm sorry, but I feel this question is a bit irrelevant. I am not a political analyst. I am an artist and my blog is about my experience with this war as an artist. So I am not speaking on behalf of anyone with my blog. It's not a news journal, it's a personal journal of my experience, the experience that my friends are going through, you know, the day-to-day life under war. At this point, it's so irrelevant to be talking about blame. What we need is immediate cease-fire. We have to talk about humanity right now. We have to rise above the hate and talk about humanity.
HARRIS: I absolutely agree with that, but you have -- do you have a personal view of this current conflict?
EL-KHALIL: Violence begets violence, period.
HARRIS: All right. We'll leave it there. Zena, we appreciate your time, thank you.
NGUYEN: And in an effort to be transparent with you, the viewer, we want to let you know that we would have liked to have them both on together, but according to Lebanese law, you cannot have an Israeli speak directly with a Lebanese person in any broadcast, so we had to do them back-to-back, but it does give you a perspective on how people in the different areas are feeling as this conflict grows. And speaking of the conflict, let's bring some new pictures in now from Al Arabiya. This is of Qana, the very area in question today where an air strike occurred, an Israeli air strike, and took down a four-story building housing dozens of women and children. Many of them are dead. And the rubble, as you see, still there, people trying to dig through that rubble to find any survivors from that air strike. We'll have much more on this conflict right after the break.
HARRIS: Let's show you these pictures once again from Qana, an Israeli air strike has leveled a four-story residential building used as a shelter by Lebanese refugees in southern Lebanon. This is the town of Qana. Anywhere from 20 to 40 are known dead, mostly women, children, the elderly. More on the crisis in the Middle East in the next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING, coming up in just a few moments, we'll be right back.
NGUYEN: We want to draw your attention to the television screen. These are pictures coming out of Qana, Lebanon, where major developments out of the Middle East have occurred this morning. An Israeli air strike has leveled a four-story building used as shelter in southern Lebanon killing dozens of people, many of them women, children and the elderly. Now Hezbollah is vowing retaliation. We have a live report in just minutes.
HARRIS: The death sparked a large protest in Beirut. Hundreds of protestors broke into the U.N. compound in the Lebanese capital. A U.N. spokesman says none of its staff was injured.
NGUYEN: Hours after the strike, Lebanon's government put Condoleezza Rice's scheduled visit to Beirut hold. The secretary of state arrived in the Middle East yesterday and has already met with Israeli officials.
HARRIS: As the fallout from the Qana air strike grows, Israeli incursion into the southern Lebanese town of Hieba continues. Israel says at least three Hezbollah militants have been killed. CNN has reporters stationed through out the region following all of the breaking developments from Jerusalem to Beirut, we'll bring you live reports throughout the morning. From the CNN Center in Atlanta. This is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is July 30th, 8:00 a.m. at the CNN Headquarters, 3:00 p.m. in Beirut. Good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris.
NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. We want to thank you for being with us today. Lets get right to it.
The Israel military says today's strikes on the village of Qana were aimed at Hezbollah fighters launching rockets into Israel from that location. CNN's Karl Penhaul is near by in the city of Tyre. Karl here is the big question. Is there any evidence that this site had been used by Hezbollah to fire rockets and we're talking about this four-story building in particular?
PENHAUL: We haven't seen any factual evidence that that has been the case, Betty. We have heard, in the past few days' similar allegations from the Israeli military that when they do target civilian areas that they also claim that Hezbollah militia fighters have been using that area. The horrific pictures that we have seen from that area and also the account from my colleague Ben Wedeman who is down there has given me. There is nothing there to suggest that that position had been used as a Hezbollah fighting position.
What we did see from those pictures is the bodies of what appeared to be civilians being hauled from the rubble. We've seen many, many pictures, horrific images, some of the most horrific of this war so far about women holding up the bodies of dead children. Of husbands clutching the bodies of dead wives, Betty.
NGUYEN: In the meantime, Hezbollah says it vows to retaliate. What kind of action have you seen so far from where you are?
PENHAUL: So far from the position where we are we haven't seen any further outgoing Hezbollah rocket fire or missile fire. Again, though, across southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has been building up its fighting positions. We understand in certain areas there are systems of caves, bunkers and underground tunnels that they've dug to resist air strikes from the Israelis. So if there were going to be retaliation we'd expect it from one of those four to five positions since the Israeli warplanes are constantly in the air trying to detect any sign of Hezbollah movement on the ground.
NGUYEN: That's the latest on the activity, but let's talk about the humanitarian situation, an entire area where a lot of refugees have fled to, many as we have heard, simply cannot get out simply because of the situation. Bring us up to speed on what kind of aid is getting in, if any is getting in.
PENHAUL: The humanitarian crises really is exemplified by what happened in Qana this morning because residence and also the Lebanese Red Cross are telling us that in the ruins of those buildings there could be up to 60 people there, most of whom one can suspect are dead. So far 25 bodies have been pulled out. This picture is repeated across villages and across southern Lebanon. The fuel has run out. There are no vehicles to take people to safety. They were too poor to leave or essentially they missed the boat so they have to stay there.
We have seen the impact and the effect of some people who did decide to take their own vehicles to try and leave the battle zone and we've seen on the highways and byways of southern Lebanon, civilian cars that have been hit by Israeli air strikes so it's very dangerous for them to stay, but it is equally as dangerous for them to try to leave.
NGUYEN: The situation is so dire. Karl Penhaul joining us from Tyre, Lebanon. Karl thank you.
Well Qana, Lebanon, the site of the Israeli attack now seven hours ago is ten miles east of the coastal city of Tyre where we just saw Karl. Qana was the location of an attack by Israeli forces ten years ago. Here's the history on that. On April 18, 1996, Israeli artillery pounded a U.N. Center crowded with civilians. More than 100 Lebanese refugees were killed. At that time Israel accused Hezbollah militants of hiding behind civilians. Israel said later that the attack was a mistake.
HARRIS: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was supposed to be in Beirut today to meet with Lebanon's Prime Minister. Attacks in Qana put those plans on hold for now. CNN's John King joins us from Jerusalem with more.
John I'm just struck by these pictures today. The Bush administration certainly had hoped that the pictures of the morning would be of Condoleezza Rice meeting with both sides in this conflict and working out a deal. Instead what we have are pictures out of Qana that in many cases are so horrific we can't even show them on the air.
KING: And not only that Tony, consider this as well, on Arab television in Lebanon and around the Arab world you are seeing pictures of Qana followed soon there after by pictures of Condoleezza Rice here in Jerusalem shaking the hands of Israeli officials. So this has complicated the already, you would have thought has complicated as it can get diplomacy. Secretary of State Rice as you noted deciding not go on to Beirut because of this. The anger and tension simply too high right now. The Lebanese government saying it is in no mood to talk to her unless she is willing to push for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire.
Secretary Rice again indicating today here in Jerusalem despite all the pressure around the world that the United States should demand an immediate cessation to the violence, but she is not prepared to do that, but she did say she would stay right here in Jerusalem trying to work out the final few hurdles in her view to getting the language so that the United Nations can embrace a cease-fire hopefully some time in the week ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: In the wake of the tragedy of the people and the government of Lebanon are dealing with today, I've decided to postpone my discussions in Beirut. In any case, my work today is here. I will continue to meet with Israeli officials as we work to put in place the elements necessary to bring an end to this conflict.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You could see the strain on the secretary's face as she had that meeting with us here in Jerusalem earlier this morning. She's back to conversations with Israeli officials. The great irony U.S. officials say is that significant progress is being made and they believe they're almost ready to wrap up their work here in Israel. She had hoped to go on to Beirut. That now will not happen, but Secretary Rice does plan to go back to the United States most likely tomorrow, although her schedule is still in influx because of this sensitive diplomacy, and again they say they're making progress with the Israelis on what Israel says is necessary to get the United Nations Security Council resolution that it will accept that resolution would call for a cease-fire and also call for a new international peace keeping force.
One last point, Tony on the issue Betty was just discussing with Karl Penhaul. The Israeli defense forces tell me they have conclusive proof that a site right next to that building, 20 to 30 yards away a source says was being used for Hezbollah rocket launches. They say later today they will release images taken from an aerial drone used for surveillance. Israel says it will present proof that that was a site used by Hezbollah. We will wait and see.
HARRIS: So are they saying that this building was used or a site near the building was used?
KING: They are saying a site 20 to 30 yards away from the building and that is site they were targeting and unfortunately as you had Israeli officials on the air through out the morning they were saying they made a mistake.
HARRIS: Yes, OK. John King for us in Jerusalem. John thanks for that news and clarification, thanks.
NGUYEN: Which just leads into anger. It's erupted in Beirut today over the Israeli air strike in Qana that we've been talking about. Demonstrators stormed the U. N. compound there and our Beirut bureau chief Brent Sadler joins us live with an update. We're hearing all of the developments in this Brent, but the video that played on the many different stations there is that what caused this angry outrage, that raw video of people being killed in that Qana air strike?
SADLER: Betty, yes, indeed. There was violence, spontaneous backlash that blew up in downtown Beirut outside the headquarters of the United Nations and that followed several hours of repeated shelling, first of all that destroyed buildings and then as it became clear, the loss of life particularly amongst children in there. Pictures began to pour out on Lebanese television and also broadcasts uncensored throughout the Arab world of horrendous pictures of human carnage. It was a result of those pictures spewing out of the televisions and locally in the region that then saw come into place this protest. We saw at the beginning protestors using rocks and iron bars and storming through a perimeter around the United Nations Headquarters. Smashing glass walls. Guards who were outside the building unable to stop it until there was a security presence by the Lebanese army that came in with some armored vehicles and also religious leaders appealed for calm, appealed for the crowds to back off.
Then things calmed down and the violence protest turned into a more controlled political rally. A rally that called for more protests to the U.S. Embassy several miles away. One final point, an important Muslim Shia leader Nabi Berri, who has been very much speaking on behalf of Hezbollah during this crises pointedly said that he thought this sort of reaction backlash really distracted attention from what he said was the tragedy, the massacre at Qana.
NGUYEN: Well speaking of backlash, though and speaking with you a little bit earlier, Brent, there is mention of possibly this kind of violence spilling over to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. What are you hearing about that?
SADLER: Well, we're waiting on it. Nic Robertson is on the ground over there but it would take some time for these protestors to gather if they heed calls to follow up with the second demonstration. The call to really stop these demonstrations because it might distract away from the tragedy of Qana and really might adversely affect a collection of another large number of people, but certainly it's not unusual for demonstrations expressing anti-U.S. policy to gather outside the Embassy, but the Embassy is a vast area, it's very well secured and it's very unlikely given past protests that they'll be able to break through that perimeter.
NGUYEN: Brent Sadler, our Beirut bureau chief. Thank you Brent.
HARRIS: OK, as you know, it's been a busy morning in the Middle East. So let's recap today's top developments. An Israeli air strike hits a building used as a shelter in southern Lebanon, killing dozens of people. Hours later hundreds of protestors stormed the United Nations compound in Beirut.
Also this morning, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who was supposed to visit Beirut today cancels that trip. She is currently in Israel where she has met with Israeli officials.
NGUYEN: Time now to check out other stories making news at this hour. The U.N. is giving Iran a deadline to halt its nuclear activities or face possible sanctions. The Security Council draft resolution puts the deadline at August 31st. Now Iran's reply, if that happens Iran says the foreign ministry Tehran will revise its nuclear policy.
Bail is set at $50 million for the suspect in a Seattle shooting rampage, one woman was killed and five others wounded at a Jewish Center on Friday. Police say the suspect is a Muslim who said he is angered by the war in Iraq and U.S. support of Israel. Well Mel Gibson is apologizing. The cops say he was doing 87 in a 45 miles per hour zone when they pulled him over. The 50-year-old actor-director was booked on suspicion of drunken driving. An entertainment news Website reports Gibson launched into an anti- Semitic tirade and in a statement Gibson says he is sorry and he has disgraced himself as well as his family.
There was a very close call in California. Just as a driver -- OK, look, we're going to replay that for you, because just as the driver gets back into his car after pumping some gas. Here is goes another car, we will see it come up shortly, careens out of control and smashes into him at the gas pump. We'll try to get that video for you. The other car as you saw a little while ago burst into flames. The woman in the first car was rescued and all three people appeared to be OK. That's the good news on that.
HARRIS: I wouldn't expect it. That's a pretty tough video.
The air strike in Lebanon isn't the only development out of the Middle East today. Israel also launched a ground defense across the border. We will have a life report from that region next. Your watching CNN the most trusted name in news.
HARRIS: You see him all the time on "CNN Headline News." It is great to have him with us this morning. Thomas Roberts joins us now with a look at developments in the Middle East with the international desk right behind him there. Thomas good to see you this morning.
THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tony good morning to you, nice to see you as well. I want to get everyone up to speed on the latest, as we know it; it's what is taking place in Qana right now.
Let's start with the death toll. So far it has been reported that 54 have died in that strike on what was believed to be a Hezbollah target near this building. We continue to monitor five different Arab networks including al Jazeera and al Arabiya, lets show you some of the live pictures as al Jazeera and al Arabiya continue to cover as they show Red Cross workers and different men and women on the scene trying to rescue and save as many people.
Sixty-three people believed to have been taking shelter in that basement. We do now have confirmed 54 deaths, 37 of which are children. Jerusalem, though is talking about the fact that they had some type of proof that Hezbollah was using this area to target their places in and around Israel. The IDF, that is the Israeli defense force, plans to release some kind of images soon, but they did make a comment this morning to CNN saying the building itself where this happened was not targeted.
The Israeli government spokeswoman told CNN the building itself was next to the rocket launcher sites and we're targeting all of those rocket launcher sites. This was a mistake and we will have a full investigation. So the IDF coming out now to say this was a mistake. Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel is saying humanitarian aid will be able to get through to this small village, Qana before there was a discrepancy. Some is saying that humanitarian aid will not get through. But now Ehud Olmert saying that there will be humanitarian aid getting straight to that village. And of course we'll continue to monitor exactly what's coming out of there. So far though 54 confirmed dead.
Tony back to you.
HARRIS: Thomas Roberts following the latest developments for us. Thomas we appreciate it. Thank you.
NGUYEN: Israeli ground troops continue to conduct military operations against Hezbollah across southern Lebanon. CNN's Matthew Chance is live in northern Israel with the latest. Bring us up to speed, Matthew, what's developing?
CHANCE: Thanks very much. Well, as you say, Israeli ground troops are still fighting very close quarter battles with Hezbollah fighters and they have been over the course of this day. Significant incursion, they're telling us around the village of Taiyba which is three miles into southern Lebanon. They've sent ground forces there because Taiyba, like many of the other areas across southern Lebanon, they say are being used by Hezbollah to fire rockets into northern Israel.
They say that there have been fierce clashes with Hezbollah militants, they have killed a number of them and they've incurred a number of injuries themselves as well. Even as we speak, Hezbollah militia fighters are still throwing more than a hundred rockets into Israel over the course of this day. So no matter how Israel strikes, it seems Hezbollah's ability to strike back at Israel has seemed undiminished.
NGUYEN: Matthew is there any chance in light of what's happening, Qana, of Israel talking about sending in more ground troops so they can pinpoint Hezbollah and reduce the amount of collateral damage that's being done?
CHANCE: That may be one solution, certainly, and I expect that it is being discussed but they're not talking about it publicly. What they're saying is they will continue these ground operations. They will try to carry out what they call pinpoint strikes of using their ground forces. Obviously it's a much more accurate and efficient way in some ways of stopping the rockets being fired, but I have to say there's a good deal of frustration amongst many in the Israeli public as well because Israel sets such high expectations for this conflict with Hezbollah. It said it was setting out to crush that Lebanese militia but after so many days now of heavy air strikes and artillery fire and ground operations as well, as I say, that Hezbollah is still able to strike at these cities across northern Israel.
Betty. NGUYEN: CNN's Matthew Chance in northern Israel for us today. Thank you, Matthew.
HARRIS: Once again, let's show you the latest pictures we have coming out of Qana, Lebanon, once again. An Israeli air strike leveling a four-story building in that region. As Thomas Roberts reported just a moment ago, 54 confirmed deaths now, 37 children killed in that air strike, and we're getting confirmation that it was a mistake.
The Israeli, the IDF, saying that it was a mistake. That the air strike was intended for an area very close to this building. That building itself was not the intended target, but at least we can end this discussion of smart bombs now, 54 dead, and 37 children among the dead.
Still to come, treating the wounded in a war zone. Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes you on the medical front lines in Israel at the bottom of the hour. We'll be right back. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Your best workout partner may be the one with four legs, your dog. Tiffany combines her cardio workout with some canine companionship. She runs with Reno, her Labrador.
TIFFANY CARRINGTON, OWNER, DOG RENO: She loves it. It gets her exercise and it makes her more relaxed and she likes to be out here in nature and it is a good chance for me and it gives us to bond and be together.
COSTELLO: The border collie mix as Haley and Conner motivate their mom Robyn to exercise outdoors.
ROBYN HORTON, OWNER, DOGS HALEY & CONNOR: When I first got Hally I lost automatically like five pounds because I was hiking and walking all of the time. So it really forced me to get out and be more active.
COSTELLO: The Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Pet Nutrition Company conduct the people and pets exercising together study and found that after one year of exercising and watching their diets, dogs shed an average of 15 percent of their body weight and their owners shed 5 percent of theirs.
DR. JOAN BEAULIEU, VETERAN: The exercise which they need to keep them healthy physically, but also mentally, so I think it's real healthy for people and their animals to run together.
COSTELLO: But for some people keeping fit with Fido involves a bit of multitasking.
Carol Costello, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
NGUYEN: Updating the crises for you now in the Middle East. Here is what we know, 54 dead including 37 children after an Israeli air strike in Qana, Lebanon. That air strike leveled a building where as many as 60 refugee his taken shelter. Israel says it was responding to a Hezbollah missile fired from Qana and civilians had been warned to leave.
Protestors angry over the Qana air strike have stormed the main U.N. building in Beirut. They smashed windows and ransacked offices. The demonstration is still going on, though it has calmed a lot.
The Lebanese prime minister cancelled talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after that Qana attack. He also called for an immediate unconditional cease-fire and an international investigation.
HARRIS: The world is reacting to Israel's air strike on that shelter in Lebanon. We will have a live report from the Middle East at the top of the hour.
And Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes you inside a hospital on the front lines in the Middle East crisis. A very special "House Call" when we return. You are watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
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