PZN: "perhaps this war is about to evolve."

Click photo to play
Length: 4:34

PAULA ZAHN: We have correspondents standing by in Beirut and all along the Israeli-Lebanese border. In our control room we’re also bringing in live shots from Havana, Cuba and Miami; we’ll get to them in just a little bit.

In Lebanon, there was hope that the 48-hour halt in Israeli airstrikes would be a chance for people to finally get out of southern Lebanon, those that have been trapped there for weeks, and for food and medicine to finally get in to them. Well, it really hasn't worked out that way.

Michael Ware has that part of the story from Beirut tonight.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There was hope the guns would be silent, but it still felt like war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's be very clear. We did not have a cease-fire. We did not even have a cessation of hostilities. There was aerial bombardment by Israel yesterday. There were rockets fired by Hezbollah. There are ground troops' offensive today.

WARE: Israel's partial suspension of air attacks for 48 hours was meant to allow aid in and evacuees out of battered villages in southern Lebanon. It didn't entirely work out that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israel did not concur with our requests. So, two of three convoys heading south, two-thirds of our supplies -- and they are not a lot, really, compared to the needs down there -- did not proceed from Beirut.

WARE: Though airstrikes were minimal, fierce infantry assaults continued. Israeli troops probed forward on two fronts, covered by artillery and tank fire. Amid the fighting, a few aid convoys still braved the journey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had to literally go off-road and drive through orchards, because there, you know, were massive craters where the bombs have fallen in on the roads. We heard a lot of incoming rounds. But we certainly didn't hear any outgoing. So, we don't know what it is -- you know, why they're being targeted there. But they are definitely being hit.

WARE: Some people could not bear to abandon their homes near the front lines, preferring to risk death, rather than face life as refugees. Others took their moment to flee.

(on camera): Well beyond the front lines here in Beirut, the sense of a city under siege is growing. People are stocking up on medicines and petrol, amid fears Lebanon may soon be cut off from the rest of the world completely.

WARE (voice-over): This pharmacy is rationing drugs. Hospitals are running out of some medicines, so demand here is high. But the pharmacist worries most about those on dialysis or chemotherapy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot stay more than two weeks in that situation. We are facing true problems with patients that the medication is a must for them. So, this is my fear.

WARE: With daily flour deliveries meager, these bakery shelves are like this most of the day. The government is trying to maintain fuel supplies, taking steps to ration gas. Some pumps have already run out.

But frustration is abundant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's all children. They're killing children. They're killing old people. We are Christians. We didn't kill anyone.

That Bush, Bush, that -- that Bush man.


ZAHN: So, Michael, you have shown us some of the many victims that are now caught up in this humanitary -- humanitarian crisis. And we know that U.N. officials are outraged they haven't been able to get more supplies into these folks who need it.

Do they have any faith at all that this will change in the days to come, with more Israeli cooperation?

WARE: Not at all, I'm afraid, Paula.

And, in fact, I suspect that people believe that things are only going to get worse from here. I mean, you have heard all the talk about an impending buildup and greater offensive operations by the Israeli Defense Force. There's no reason to disbelieve that. And the people of Beirut, much too accustomed to war themselves, you can really feel, among them, that they can sense that something is changing, that perhaps this war is about to evolve.

We have seen the Israelis conducting reconnaissance probes, movements in force, raiding parties. We are now seeing them strike deep within Lebanese soil. This very much is a deep-strike operation, 90 miles from their own border. So, perhaps, this is the prelude to something bigger -- Paula.

ZAHN: Michael Ware, thanks so much.

And once again we need to point out the Israelis say this war is not against the Lebanese people but that when Hezbollah chooses to hide in the civilian population these are the kinds of problems you end up with.