Israeli PM Ehud Olmert said he was "very conscious" of the humanitarian needs of Lebanon's civilians, as a Lebanese family of seven in Nabatiyeh was killed when an Israeli missile struck their house.
Some 380 Lebanese and up to 40 Israelis have died in 14 days of conflict, which began after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on 12 July.
The UN's aid chief Jan Egeland has accused Israel of using excessive force, but on Monday he accused of Hezbollah of contributing to the problem by what he called "cowardly blending in among women and children".
"I heard there was a statement they were proud they had lost very few fighters, and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think you want to be proud of having many more children and women than armed men [killed]," Mr Egeland said, speaking in Beirut.
Israel vows to impact Lebanon 10 fold
The Israeli air force has been ordered to hit 10 buildings in south Beirut - where Hezbollah has its headquarters - for every rocket the group fires at the Israeli port of Haifa.
"Army chief of staff Dan Halutz has given the order to the air force to destroy 10 multi-storey buildings in the Dahaya district (of Beirut) in response to every rocket fired on Haifa," a senior air force officer told army radio on Monday.
The death toll in Lebanon is 10 times that of Israel.
The Israeli army said Tuesday that its forces have seized the strategic town of Bint Jbeil after ferocious battles with Hizbullah fighters as its airforce continued strikes on other towns in the south killing seven members of one family in their house.
"Beit Jbeil is in our hands," General Alon Friedman, one of Israel's top commanders for its northern region, told Israeli army radio.
Hizbullah quickly issued a denial, "The Islamic resistance denies this claim and emphasizes that the town is still outside the control of the occupation forces and that battles are still raging around it. Our Mujahedeen are engaged in fierce confrontations with the occupation forces," said Hizbullah in a statement.
Israeli jets fired a missile at a house in the southern town of Nabatiyeh destroying it and killing its owner, Mohammed Ghandour, along with six other people including his son Hassan. His wife was still buried under the rubble, security officials said.
Lebanese civilian Saad Hamza, his wife, an unidentified man and two children were also killed, according to the officials.
Human Rights Violations
Human Rights Watch on Monday charged that Israel used artillery-fired cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon. Cluster bombs are explosives that disperse after impact.
The human rights organization's researchers said cluster munitions were used in an attack on the village of Blida in southern Lebanon on July 19, killing one and wounding at least 12 civilians, including seven children. Human Rights Watch said its researchers photographed cluster munitions in the arsenal of Israeli artillery teams on the Israel-Lebanon border.
"Cluster munitions are unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable weapons when used around civilians," Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "They should never be used in populated areas."
The alleged cluster attack killed 60-year-old Maryam Ibrahim inside her home and seriously injured Ahmed Ali, a 45-year-old taxi driver, who lost both his legs, the group said. Five of his children were wounded.
"Our research in Iraq and Kosovo shows that cluster munitions cannot be used in populated areas without huge loss of civilian life," Roth said. "Israel must stop using cluster bombs in Lebanon at once."
On Tuesday, Saudi King Abdullah announced that his country will grant Lebanon $500 million dollars in aid to help rebuild the country. The kingdom also decided to deposit $1 billion in the Beirut Central Bank to help stabilize Lebanese Lira.
The UN has launched a $150m (£81m) aid appeal for Lebanon and the US has announced its own $30m package to ease the suffering of civilians.
Mr Egeland said the money was needed to help feed and shelter about 800,000 civilians caught up in the conflict.
About $24m was on behalf on Unicef for children who have been displaced inside Lebanon or who have fled to Syria.
The EU has already pledged $12.6m in aid while on Monday the UK increased its pledge to £5m.
Condoleezza Rice does lunch in Beirut
Following her surprise trip to Beirut on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Israel to push a blanket plan that would call for a ceasefire simultaneous with the deployment of international and Lebanese troops into southern Lebanon to prevent Hizbullah attacks on Israel.
After her first stop in Beirut on Monday, Speaker Nabih Berri, who is negotiating on behalf of Hizbullah, rejected the idea and said a ceasefire should be immediate, leaving the other issues for much later. Prime Minister Fouad Saniora took a similar stance and complained bitterly to Rice about the destruction wreaked by U.S. ally Israel.
Israel "is taking Lebanon backward 50 years and the result will be Lebanon's destruction," he told Rice, the prime minister's office said.
After arriving in Israel, Rice defended the need to ensure Hizbullah is dislodged from the border before any ceasefire is reached.
"Every peace has to be based on enduring principles," she said.
Despite the diplomatic deadlock, the Washington Post reported that premier Saniora promised to consider Rice's plan with other members of the government.
Lebanese and U.S. officials quoted by the daily said Rice's plan called for the deployment of an international force, possibly led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in a buffer zone inside Lebanon for 60 to 90 days.
"He was receptive to our ideas. He gave us enough to keep going. There were no show-stoppers," said a U.S. official traveling with Rice in reference to the prime minister.
"We came away convinced that Saniora and the U.S. are on the same page, working toward the same ends," he added.
U.S. President George Bush ordered U.S. Navy ships that have ferried nearly 12,000 Americans out of the country the past week to start on Tuesday taking in humanitarian aid for Lebanon. Tens of thousands of refugees are in temporary shelters, supplies of medicine are tight at many hospitals and fuel is slowly running out under Israel's blockade of Lebanon's ports.
Persistent bombardment of southern Beirut has made three hospitals there unusable because staff and supply can't reach them, forcing the evacuation of more than 50 patients. Hospitals in Tyre in Nabatiyeh are forced to only take emergency cases to preserve supplies.
"Our situation is tragic. Hospitals across Lebanon are suffering medicine and fuel shortages," Lebanese Health Minister Jawad Khalife said.
Sources: AP, Naharnet, BBC, Al Jazeera
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