domingo, julio 30, 2006

Israel's Murderous Revenge

Incensed after their highly publicized military defeat at Bint Jbail by the resistance fighters from Hezbolla:

Israel pulls out of Hezbolla stronghold

By LEE KEATH, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jul 30, 2:31 AM ET

Israeli troops pulled back from a Lebanese border town Saturday after a week of heavy fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas who hailed the retreat as a victory. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returned to the Middle East to push a refined U.S. peace plan.

The Israeli pullback from the town of Bint Jbail appeared to be in preparation for a new incursion along a different part of the border zone. Hours later, troops and tanks massed farther to the east on the Israeli side of the frontier, Lebanese security officials said early Sunday. Hezbollah's TV station said clashes broke out between guerrillas and Israeli troops about 2 miles inside Lebanon, but the Israeli army could not immediately confirm the report.

Lebanese civilians were suffering the most from the fighting, which erupted after Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid July 12. On Sunday, Israeli jets bombed the southern town of Qana, destroying several houses in which dozens of people were trapped, Lebanese media reported.

A day earlier, warplanes struck outside the market town of Nabatiyeh, crushing a house and killing a woman, her five children, and a man in a nearby house, Lebanese security officials said. In the southern port city of Tyre, volunteers buried 31 victims of the bombardment in a mass grave, among them a 1-day-old girl.

Israel made its closest strike to Hezbollah ally Syria yet. Warplanes hit the Lebanese side of a Syrian-Lebanese border crossing, forcing the closure of the main transit point for refugees fleeing and humanitarian aid entering Lebanon. Two more missiles hit the area early Sunday.

The Israeli military retaliated by murdering dozens of innocent civilians, mostly children:

51 minutes ago

Israel's air strike on the Lebanese village of Qana sparked global outrage, with the UN Security Council deploring the deaths and Arab and Muslim leaders and thousands of livid protesters in the Middle East branding the assault a war crime.

Diplomats said the United States again forced the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to water down its statement so that Israel was not openly criticised.

But the statement said: "The Security Council strongly deplores this loss of innocent lives and the killing of all civilians in the present conflict and requests the secretary general to report to it within one week on the circumstances of this tragic incident."

Qatar, which proposed the statement, had wanted to call the attack "deliberate" and to call for a ceasefire.

The statement said: "The Security Council expresses its concern at the threat of escalation of violence with further grave consequences for the humanitarian situation, calls for and end to violence, and underscores the urgency of securing a lasting, permanent and sustainable ceasefire.

The final statement was agreed after the United States announced that Israel has agreed to suspend its air attacks for 48 hours pending an investigation into the Qana bombing.

The 15-nation council met in emergency session at the demand of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora after the Israeli raid left 52 people dead, including at least 30 children.

"We must condemn this action in the strongest possible terms, and I appeal to you to do likewise," Annan told the council.

"I'm deeply dismayed that my earlier calls for immediate cessation of hostilities were not heard, with the result that innocent lives continue to be taken and innocent civilians continue to suffer," he said.

In Lebanon, where the deadlist attack of the 19-day-old conflict killed at least 52 people, more than half of them children, the government accused Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity as thousands of demonstrators attacked the UN headquarters in Beirut.

The response by the USA?

Their total support to Israel's state sponsored terrorism:

Sun Jul 30, 12:53 PM ET

The Bush administration on Sunday urged Israelis to avoid civilian casualties in the fighting in Lebanon and expressed sorrow about the deaths of at least 56 civilians in a village in southern Lebanon.

But the White House reaffirmed the administration's insistence on reaching a sustainable cease-fire. "The key here is that we want a cease-fire that will work," press secretary Tony Snow told reporters. President Bush was told before 7 a.m. about the attack on Qana and had spoken with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was in Jerusalem.

The administration offered condolences to those killed when Israeli missiles hit several buildings as people slept.

"This was a terrible and tragic incident," spokesman Blair Jones said. "We continue to urge the Israeli government to exercise the utmost care so as to avoid any civilian casualties. This tragic incident shows why this is so critical."

The State Department's third-ranking official reaffirmed the White House's position that Israel has the right to defend itself and contended an agreement was near on ending the fighting that has ravaged Lebanon.

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns expressed optimism despite the airstrike. After the attack, Rice canceled a visit to meet with Lebanon's prime minister and, according to a U.S. official, decided to meet with the Israeli prime minister before leaving Jerusalem and returning to Washington on Monday.

Burns said the U.S. was committed to securing a cease-fire between Israelis and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, focusing on a multinational force in the region. Snow said talks at the United Nations about troop contributions would not begin until Tuesday or Wednesday.

"This is a very sad day. We are working toward that cease-fire," Burns said. "We are close to a political agreement between Israel and Lebanon to end this fighting."

Yet he endorsed Israel's military objectives, saying "This has not been a good 2 1/2 weeks for Hezbollah from a military point of view, and they've got to be worried about continued Israeli offensive operations."


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