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The massacre at Qana will not go unanswered          

 

Israeli air strikes kill 56, destroy homes 34 youths among 56 dead in Israeli attack

 

QANA, Lebanon - An Israeli air strike killed at least 56 people, including at least 34 children, in a southern Lebanese village Sunday, the Lebanese Red Cross said. It was the deadliest attack in 19 days of fighting. Lebanese security officials put the toll at 57 dead. Security officials said the toll rose dramatically after 18 people from two families were found in a single room of the building, where dozens of people had been taking refuge from the fighting. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice postponed a visit to Lebanon in a setback for diplomatic efforts to end hostilities. Infuriated Lebanese officials said they had asked Rice to postpone the visit after Israel's missile strike on Qana. But Rice said she called Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to say she would postpone the trip, and that she had work to do in Jerusalem to end the fighting. The missiles destroyed several homes in the village of Qana as people were sleeping. Israeli said it targeted Qana because it was a base for hundreds of rockets launched at Israeli, including 40 that injured five Israelis on Sunday. Israel said it had warned civilians several days before to leave the village. "One must understand the Hezbollah is using their own civilian population as human shields," said Israeli Foreign Ministry official Gideon Meir. "The Israeli defense forces dropped leaflets and warned the civilian population to leave the place because the Hezbollah turned it into a war zone. Rescuers aided by villagers dug through the rubble by hand. At least 20 bodies wrapped in white sheets were taken away, including 10 children. A row of houses lay in ruins, and an old woman was carried away on a plastic chair. Villagers said many of the dead were from four families who had taken refuge in on the ground floor of a three-story building, believing they would be safe from bombings. We want this to stop!" shouted Mohammed Ismail, a middle-aged man pulling away at the rubble in search for bodies, his brown pants covered in dust. "May God have mercy on the children. They came here to escape the fighting. They are hitting children to bring the fighters to their knees, he said. Rice said she was "deeply saddened by the terrible loss of innocent life" in Israel's attack. But she did not call for an immediate cease-fire in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militias. We all recognize this kind of warfare is extremely difficult," Rice said, noting it comes in areas where civilians live. "It unfortunately has awful consequences sometimes." We want a cease-fire as soon as possible," she added.

 

Rice says "time for ceasefire" after Qana bombing

 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking after the Israeli bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana, said it was time for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas. She said she was saddened by the bombing and confirmed that she had canceled a planned trip to Beirut, but would stay in Israel to try to work out a deal for ending the 19-day-old conflict.

 

Dozens killed, hurt in Israeli airstrike

 

QANA, Lebanon - Israeli missiles destroyed several homes in a southern Lebanese village early Sunday, killing at least 40 people in one building. Fighting between Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah guerrillas broke out along the border. The missiles struck as people slept in the village of Qana, leaving dozens of people trapped beneath flattened homes. Between 40 and 50 people died, said Salam Dayer, a civil defense official at the scene. Rescuers dug through the rubble with their hands and evacuated shell-shocked elderly residents. At least 20 bodies wrapped in white sheets were taken away, including 10 children and elderly residents. The Israeli army said it targeted Qana because rockets have been repeatedly launched from the area into Israel. "We were attacking launchers that were firing missiles," said army spokesman Capt. Jacob Dallal, adding that the army dropped leaflets several days ago telling civilians to leave Qana. Residents said the dead were from four families who had gathered to spend the night on the ground floor of a three-story building, believing they would be safer from bombings. Hezbollah's al-Manar TV station said 21 children were killed." We want this to stop!" shouted Mohammed Ismail, a villager whose brown pants were covered in dust. "May God have mercy on the children. They came here to escape the fighting."They are hitting children to bring the fighters to their knees," he said. Fighting erupted in the Taibeh Project area, about two miles inside Lebanon. The Israeli army said one soldier was moderately wounded. The fighting came a day after Israeli troops pulled back from the Lebanese border town of Bint Jbail after a week of heavy fighting. Hezbollah guerrillas hailed the retreat as a victory, but the pullback appeared to be in preparation for a new incursion along a different part of the border zone.   this war needs to end from david from big 8 at its best news it's vary vary sad poor kids and people god bless theme may there lives never for getten

 

 

    U.S.: Israel OKs 48-hour air activity halt   

The massacre at Qana will not go unanswered JULY.30.2006

 

JERUSALEM - Israel agreed Sunday to halt air attacks on south Lebanon for 48 hours in the face of widespread outrage over an air strike that killed at least 56 Lebanese, mostly women and children, when it leveled a building where they had taken shelter. The announcement of the pause in over flights   made by State Department spokesman Adam Ereli  appeared to reflect American pressure on Israel. Ereli, who was in Israel with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said Israel reserved the right to hit targets if it learns that attacks are being prepared against them. An Israeli government official confirmed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to a 48-hour halt in air strikes on Lebanon. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to talk to reporters, The stunning bloodshed in Lebanon earlier on Sunday prompted Rice to cut short her Mideast mission and intensified world demands on Washington to back an immediate end to the fighting. The attack in the village of Qana brought Lebanon's death toll to more than 510 and pushed American peace efforts to a crucial juncture, as fury at the United States flared in Lebanon. The Beirut government said it would no longer negotiate over a U.S. peace package without an unconditional cease-fire. U.N. chief   Kofi Annan sharply criticized world leaders  implicitly Washington  for ignoring his previous calls for a stop. In Qana, workers pulled dirt covered bodies of young boys and girls dressed in the shorts and T-shirts they had been sleeping in out of the mangled wreckage of the three-story building. Bodies were carried in blankets. Two extended families, the Shalhoubs and the Hashems, had gathered in the house for shelter from another night of Israeli bombardment in the border area when the 1 a.m. strike brought the building down. I was so afraid. There was dirt and rocks and I couldn't see. Everything was black," said 13-year-old Noor Hashem, who survived, although her five siblings did not. She was pulled out of the ruins by her uncle, whose wife and five children also died. Israel apologized for the deaths but blamed Hezbollah guerrillas, saying they had fired rockets into northern Israel from near the building. Before Ereli's announcement, Olmert said the campaign to crush Hezbollah would continue, telling Rice it could last up to two weeks more.  We will not stop this battle, despite the difficult incidents this morning,  he told his Cabinet after the strike, according to a participant. "If necessary, it will be broadened without hesitation. The  U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting to debate a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire a step Washington has stood nearly alone at the council in refusing until the disarmament of Hezbollah is assured. In a jab at the United States, Annan told the council in unusually frank terms that he was  deeply dismayed  his previous calls for a halt were ignored. Action is needed now before many more children, women and men become casualties of a conflict over which they have no control, he said. After news of the deaths emerged, Rice telephoned Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and said she would stay in Jerusalem to continue work on a peace package, rather than make a planned Sunday visit to Beirut. Saniora said he told her not to come. Rice decided to cut her Mideast trip short and return to Washington on Monday morning. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who only days earlier gave his support to the U.S. stance, struck a more urgent note Sunday, saying Washington must work faster to put together the broader deal it seeks. We have to get this now. We have to speed this whole process up, Blair said. This has got to stop and stop on both sides. But Saniora said talk of a larger peace package must wait until the firing stops. We will not negotiate until the Israeli war stops shedding the blood of innocent people," he told a gathering of foreign diplomats. But he underlined that Lebanon stands by ideas for disarming Hezbollah that it put forward earlier this week and that Rice praised. He took a tough line and hinted that any Hezbollah response to the air strike at the village of Qana was justified.  As long as the aggression continues there is response to be exercised, he said, praising Hezbollah's leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah said on its Al-Manar television that it will retaliate. "The massacre at Qana will not go unanswered,  the group said. The largest toll from a single Israeli strike in past weeks was around a dozen   and Sunday's dramatic deaths stunned Lebanese. Heightening the anger were memories of a 1996 Israeli artillery bombardment that hit a U.N. base in Qana, killing more than 100 Lebanese who had taken refuge from fighting. That attack sparked an international outcry that forced a halt to an Israeli offensive. In Beirut, some 5,000 protesters gathered in downtown Beirut, at one point attacking a U.N. building and burning American flags, shouting, "Destroy Tel Aviv, destroy Tel Aviv" and chanting for Hezbollah's ally  Syria to hit Israel. Another protest by about 50 people on a road leading to the U.S. Embassy forced security forces to close the road there. Images of children's bodies tangled in the building's ruins, being carried away on blankets or wrapped in plastic sheeting were aired on Arab news networks. The dead included at least 34 children and 12 women, Lebanese security officials said. In Qana, Khalil Shalhoub was helping pull out the dead until he saw his brother's body taken out on a stretcher. "Why are they killing us? What have we done?" he screamed. Israel said Hezbollah had fired more than 40 rockets from Qana before the airstrike, including several from near the building that was bombed. Foreign Ministry official Gideon Meir accused Hezbollah of "using their own civilian population as human shields.It said residents of the village had been warned to leave, but Shalhoub and others in Qana said residents were too terrified to take the road out of the village. The road to the nearest main city, Tyre, is lined with charred wreckage and smashed buildings from repeated Israeli bombings. More than 750,000 Lebanese have fled their homes in the fighting. But many thousands more are still believed holed up in the south, taking refuge in schools, hospitals or basements of apartment buildings amid the fighting  many of them too afraid to flee on roads heavily hit by Israeli strikes. Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr disputed allegations that Hezbollah was firing missiles from Qana. "What do you expect Israel to say? Will it say that it killed 40 children and women?" he told Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV station. On Thursday, the Israeli military's Al-Mashriq radio that broadcasts into southern Lebanon warned residents that their villages would be "totally destroyed" if missiles were fired from them. Leaflets with similar messages were dropped in some areas Saturday. Israel on Sunday also launched its second significant ground incursion into southern Lebanon. Before dawn, Israeli forces backed by heavy artillery fire crossed the border and clashed with Hezbollah guerrillas in the Taibeh Project area, about two miles inside Lebanon. Hezbollah said two of its fighters were killed and claimed eight Israeli soldiers also died. The Israeli military said only that four soldiers were wounded when guerrillas hit a tank with a missile. Some 460 Lebanese, mostly civilians, had been killed in the campaign through Saturday, according to the Health Ministry  before the attacks on Qana. Thirty-three Israeli soldiers have died, and Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel have killed 18 civilians, Israeli authorities said. The U.N. World Food Program canceled an aid convoy's trip to the embattled south after the Israeli military denied safe passage, the group said in a statement. The six-truck convoy had been scheduled to bring relief supplies to Marjayoun. Many in the Arab world and Europe see the United States as holding the key to the conflict, believing that Israel would have to stop its offensive  sparked by Hezbollah's July 12 abduction of two Israeli soldiers  if its top ally Washington insisted it had to. The United States has balked at doing so, saying any cease-fire must ensure real and lasting peace. Rice had come to the Mideast with a peace package that would call for the disarming of Hezbollah, release of Israel's soldiers, deployment of a U.N.-mandated force in south Lebanon and the establishment of a buffer zone along the border. Hopes had been raised earlier in the week when Hezbollah signed onto a Lebanese government peace plan that contained some similar items  though it left disarmament and deployment of the international force for later and dependent on conditions. Chief among those conditions was that Israel release Lebanese in its jails and agree to resolve a dispute over a piece of land it holds claimed by Lebanon. Lebanese President Emile Lahoud lashed out at the United States, saying that if it was "serious, it can make Israel cease firing  They (BUSH AND RICE) are still giving the green light to Israel to continue its aggression against Lebanon.

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