The Israeli military said it attacked more than 40 targets in Lebanon overnight, including five Hezbollah structures and eight vehicles suspected to being used by the militia to transfer weapons.
Artillery units pounded “missile launching sites” along the volatile border and access routes used by Hezbollah fighters to reach the sites, the army said.
Earlier, Israel warned Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip that homes storing weapons were now a target.
“The life of all those who are holding military equipment and ammunition in their homes is in danger and they should leave the premises for their safety and that of their families,” Israeli leaflets dropped on Gaza warned.
“The Israeli defence force will strike and destroy all sites and buildings housing ammunition and military materiel.”
Southern Lebanon has borne the brunt of Israel’s now 10-day offensive, launched on July 12th after the militia of Shiite fundamentalist group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a border raid.
Tens of thousands of people have fled the southern border area, a Hezbollah stronghold with no Lebanese army presence, as fears grow of a humanitarian crisis.
Israeli soldiers killed
Overnight four more Israeli soldiers were killed were killed in fighting in southern Lebanon.
In a separate incident, a soldier was killed when two helicopters collided over Israel near the Lebanese border late Thursday.
The accident left another three soldiers wounded, one critically.
The latest deaths bring to 18 the number of servicemen killed since the flare-up in cross-border violence on July 12th when Hezbollah snatched two soldiers in a deadly border raid.
Another 15 civilians have been killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks, bringing the total dead to 33.
Hezbollah said it had lost two fighters in the recent clashes, but some Israeli military sources suggest up to 40 gunmen have been killed in the ground and air assaults.
The Israeli Government believes its sustained aerial bombardment has destroyed up to 50 per cent of Hezbollah’s weapons, but it hasn’t stopped their rockets from raining down on Israel.
At the same time, at least four Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip as Israeli forces pulled out of the Maghazi refugee camp.
Hospital officials told the Associated Press the Palestinians, including an official of the armed wing of Hamas, were killed in the explosion after dawn in an area close to the Israel border.
Three people were seriously wounded in the blast, hospital officials said, while residents claimed the house belonged to a family of Hamas activists.
After two days of battles destruction at the refugee camp is extensive.
Residents said people in the camp of 22,000 were trapped in their houses by embankments the Israelis built as tank emplacements.
The United Nations says more 100 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have now been killed.
The Reuters newsagency reports that at least half those killed were militants.