"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.

Hezbollah rockets killed two people in the northern Israeli city of Haifa on Sunday.

Seventeen Israelis have died in rocket attacks since the beginning of the conflict on July 12.

More than 2,200 Hezbollah rockets had hit northern Israel by Sunday. They have struck as far as Afula, 50km south of the border.

Large areas of predominantly Shia Muslim southern Beirut have been destroyed by Israeli raids. On Wednesday Israeli aircraft dropped 23 tons of explosives on the site of an alleged Hezbollah bunker in the south of the capital.

More than 1,100 Hezbollah
rockets have hit northern Israel

Jan Egeland, the United Nations humanitarian co-ordinator, on Sunday accused Israel of violating humanitarian law as he toured the destroyed suburbs of south Beirut.

"This is destruction of block after block of mainly residential areas. I would say it seems to be an excessive use of force in an area with so many citizens," he said.

Israel's offensive in Lebanon has claimed at least 365 lives, mostly civilians.