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'Intentional massacre'
Photo: AP
צילום: רויטרס
Evacuating wounded
Photo: Reuters
Lebanese PM: This is deliberate Israeli operation
Fouad Siniora explains in press conference following IAF air strike on village of Qana: 'This was no mistake, this is event that repeats itself.' He calls for immediate ceasefire and international inquiry into events

Referring to the bombing of Qana village, which caused the death of 50 people, most of them children, sources in the Lebanese government said: "This is a deliberate operation of Israel."  

 

The Air Force attacked the village, during which time a three-story building being used as a shelter for refugees from southern Lebanon collapsed. A senior officer in the air force said that the IDF has been attacking the area three days already following tens of Katyushas launched from the village and the surrounding area, adding that the civilians were warned and instructed to leave.

 

Like other IDF operations in which innocent civilians were hit, the incident in the village of Qana also plays into the hands of Hizbullah, at least in the domestic sphere of Lebanon. Prime Minister of Lebanon, Fouad Siniora, condemned "the Israel's war crimes." In a press conference held in Beirut with the Chairman of Parliament, Nabia Beri, the prime minister said, "This is no mistake. This is an event that repeats itself." He also referred to the air force attack on the village in April, 1996, in which more than 100 Lebanese, mostly children, were killed by the shelling.

 

Siniora added: "On this sad morning, there is no room to discuss anything except an unconditional ceasefire, and to establish an international inquiry committee to investigate the massacres the Israelis carried out in Lebanon." Official sources in Lebanon informed US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who is staying in the region, that he would not be able to meet with her until a ceasefire is achieved. Siniora refused to refer to reports that Condoleeza cancelled her visit to Lebanon following the event.

 

"In honor of the memory of those killed and of the corpses of children under the rubble, I call the world to stand by our side against the Israeli war criminals. Israel and her crimes will not break our spirit and will not bring us to forego our rights and surrender," said the Lebanese prime minister.

 

He demanded an inquiry into the events of Qana, emphasizing: "All talk right now that is not directed at an immediate ceasefire is unacceptable."

 

The chairman of the Parliament, ordained by Hizbullah as their political and diplomatic representative, said that he completely supports the position of Prime Minister Siniora.

 

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