Israel Starts 48-hour unilateral cease fire [on Air Strikes]; Hezbollah silent.

Israel has called a 48-hour unilateral cease fire in its air strikes:

The Israeli suspension of air strikes in Lebanon began early Monday and covers the entire country, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said. The suspension of strikes allows for an investigation into Sunday's bombing that killed 56 Lebanese civilians.

Israel will also coordinate with the United Nations to allow a 24-hour window for residents of southern Lebanon to leave the area if they wish, U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told a briefing in Jerusalem.

The pause in overflights began at 2 A.M. Monday (23:00 GMT Sunday) and will last for 48 hours, the IDF spokesman said. An attack on a main highway near Lebanon's border with Syria occurred about two hours before the start of the suspension of air strikes, the IDF said.

Israel reserves the right during the suspension to attack any militants who pose an immediate threat to Israel, like those preparing to launch rockets against Israel or transporting rockets that they are preparing to fire, the IDF said.

Whether Hezbollah will follow suit and also stop shooting rockets into Israel is unknown.

In its Sunday night newscast, the local Chicago NBC news affiliate repeated claims of genocide without the slightest hint that such claims might be unfounded. To the contrary, they followed up these claims by arguing that important targets for airstrikes in Lebanon seemed to be in entirely civilian residential neighborhoods. To be fair, it is true that infrastructure (such as bridges, airports, and power-related facilities) have been struck.

On the other side of the dispute, the Israeli IDF claims that 150 missiles were launched from Qana, before the Israelis sent in air strikes.

UPDATE: Olmert makes clear that the suspension of air strikes is not a general cease fire (tip to an anonymous commenter below).