Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tonight vowed all-out war against Israel, hinting of attacks on Israeli territory shortly after he survived an air raid that destroyed his home.

He also said an Israeli navy vessel was burning off Beirut and would sink. Lebanese security sources said that Hezbollah guerillas had hit the vessel with two rockets fired from the shore. Israel later confirmed the attack.

Earlier today, Lebanon urged the UN Security Council to quickly impose a cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon, but Israel said it was trying to end a terrorist occupation of its neighbor and insisted the Beirut government secretly backed its actions.

Lebanese Foreign Ministry official Nouhad Mahmoud and Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman addressed an emergency session of the 15-nation council as Israel intensified attacks on Hizbollah targets and civilian installations and Hizbollah fighters fired more rockets across the border into Israel.

The council afterward issued only a brief statement welcoming UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's decision to send a team to the region to encourage restraint.

Council members said they would not rule out further action next week.

The United States on Thursday vetoed a resolution drafted by Arab nations calling on Israel to immediately end a separate two-week military incursion in Gaza.

US Ambassador John Bolton called that measure unneeded and biased against Israel.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has said that while he condemns the capture of Israeli citizens, the response from Israel has, so far, been disproportionate.

He also urged any families with concerns about Irish citizens, 40 of whom are believed to be currently in Lebanon, to contact his department.