Monday, July 31, 2006

World condemns Israeli attacks on civilians 2006-07-30 23:57:05
Special report: Israel-Lebanon conflicts

BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The international community on Sunday reacted with shock over the Israeli assault on civilians in the southern Lebanese village of Qana, which killed at least 57 Lebanese, including 37 children.

The UN Security Council, in a presidential statement, expressed "extreme shock and distress" over Israel's bombing of civilians in Lebanon.

The statement "strongly deplores this loss of innocent life and the killing of civilians in the present conflict."

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the Israel's attack.

The United States urged Israel to show restraint after more than 50 civilians were killed in Israeli air raids.

"This was a horrible event. We continue to counsel the Israelis on the importance of restraint," White House spokesman Tony Snow said at a briefing.

U.S. President George W. Bush also called for a "sustainable peace" after Israeli air strikes.

The United States has refused to condemn the military action by Israel against Lebanon since July 12 by claiming that Israel is defending itself against Hezbollah.

Moreover, the United States has resisted international calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement that he was "shocked" by the fact that so many civilians were killed in the attack and expressed deep sorrow and sympathy to the victims and their families.

South African President Thabo Mbeki on Sunday joined world leaders in expressing South Africa's outrage and condemnation on the bombings.

The South African government said there would be no "military solution" to the problem in the Middle East and called on the international community to do everything in their power to stop the fighting in the region.

In a statement issued by Brazil's Foreign Ministry, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he rejected "the acts of indiscriminate violence and the use of military force against civilian targets by all parties" in the conflict.

He also stressed Brazil's call for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it condemned the tactics used by Hezbollah, and supported a call made by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to end hostilities in southern Lebanon.

In Venezuela, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said the government joined the worldwide rejection of Israel's attack, adding that "this murder of dozens of women and children has no justification whatsoever."

China strongly condemned the Israeli attack and urged the two sides involved in the conflict to cease fire immediately to avoid further disaster, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.

"The Lebanon-Israel conflict has caused grave humanitarian damage," he noted.

In Brussels, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for external relations and European neighborhood policy, said in a statement that Israel's attack on Qana means an escalation of violence that is unjustifiable at a time when the international community is jointly working to find a solution to the conflict.

The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) said it strongly denounced the "barbaric" Israeli attack on the southern Lebanese village of Qana and the unabated Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

In the statement, AL Secretary-General Amr Moussa called for "an open international investigation into the Qana massacre along with other war crimes committed by Israel in Lebanon, especially those against civilians."

Finland, holding the current rotating presidency of the European Union, said in a statement that Finland is shocked and dismayed by the Israeli air strikes on Qana and there is no justification for attacks causing casualties among innocent civilians.

Egypt issued a presidential statement and condemned Israel's attack on Qana as "irresponsible," saying "the dire need of issuing an international resolution on immediately halting military operations."

Egypt also urged the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility and work on bringing about a halt to Israel's onslaught on the Lebanese people and infrastructure.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya told reporters before his weekly cabinet meeting that the latest Israeli air raid on Qana was a big shock for the Palestinian government and people.

Syria's official SANA news agency reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad condemned the Israeli attack on the village of Qana as "state terrorism."

In a statement, Jordanian King Abdullah II strongly condemned the Israeli air strike in Qana, saying "this criminal aggression forms a strong violation of the international law." He also called for an immediate ceasefire and a solution to the crisis.

Kuwaiti parliament speaker Jassem al Kharafi said the Israeli "savage and barbaric" aggression against Lebanon surpassed all moral and humanitarian limits, disregarding international law, human rights and the world community.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Sunday urged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan by telephone to convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council to arrange an immediate cease-fire.

Before the government's weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed regret for the civilian deaths in Qana but said Israel would not rush into a ceasefire.

A Lebanese official said around 750 people have been dead there since July 12, when Israel started a campaign of airstrikes after the Lebanon-based guerilla group, Hezbollah, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others. (Editor: Luan Shanglin)


Xinhua Special Report on Israel-Lebanon Conflicts

People's Daily News Feature on Israel-Lebanon Conflicts

Latin American nations condemn Israeli attack on Lebanon

Worldwide communist solidarity with Palestinian and Lebanese people


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