Skip to comments.40 killed in strike on Lebanese village
Posted on 08/07/2006 6:00:17 AM PDT by janetjanet998
BEIRUT, Lebanon - An Israeli attack on a Lebanese border village killed more than 40 people Monday, the prime minister said, raising the day's death toll to 55 in heavy fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas despite efforts toward a cease-fire.
Prime Minister Fuad Saniora repeatedly broke into tears as he disclosed the attack during opening remarks at a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Beirut. He appealed to fellow Arab states to help a nation "stunned" by a nearly four-week Israeli onslaught that has devastated Lebanon's infrastructure and left hundreds of civilians dead.
Saniora said the attack occurred in the village of Houla, where heavy ground fighting between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli has been raging in recent days. The Israel army said it is checking the claims about Houla but repeated that residents in villages in southern Lebanon had been warned to leave.
Local TV stations also had reported that about 40 people were buried under the rubble of houses that collapsed after being targeted by Israeli airstrikes.
"An hour ago, there was a horrific massacre in the village of Houla in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing," he said.
Saniora had to interrupt his remarks several times to choke back tears and wipe his eyes. The ministers broke into applause.
Saniora ripped Israel's attacks, saying: "If these horrific actions are not state terrorism then what is state terrorism?"
He said Israel's attacks took "our country back decades. We are still in the middle of the shock."
The announcement came as Israeli warplanes repeatedly bombed Beirut's southern suburbs and pounded other areas of Lebanon, killing at least 15 people earlier Monday. Fierce fighting between Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah guerrillas in south Lebanon also killed one soldier, the Israeli army said.
Both sides appeared to take advantage of the days before a cease-fire resolution, formulated by the U.S. and France, is expected to be put to a vote in the U.N. Security Council. Hezbollah rocket launched its deadliest rocket barrage on Israel on Sunday, killing 12 Israeli soldiers and three civilians.
The Arab foreign ministers were meeting in Beirut to show solidarity with Lebanon's government and its people.
Seven people were killed when a missile hit a house in Qassmieh on the coast north of the port city of Tyre, civil defense official Youssef Khairallah said. A woman and her daughter were killed in an attack near a Lebanese army checkpoint between the villages of Harouf and Dweir, security officials said. Four other people were killed in a raid on that destroyed a house in Kfar Tebnit.
Air raids on the town of Ghaziyeh also destroyed several buildings, killing at least one person and wounding 14, hospital officials said.
A building collapsed on its residents in the village of Ghassaniyeh, and at least one body was retrieved from under the rubble. Witnesses and civil defense workers at the scene said six more people were buried under the rubble but that could not be confirmed.
Five air raids struck the market town of Nabatiyeh, targeting two office buildings, a house and one of the offices of Shiite Muslim Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. No casualties were reported there or in raids on the villages of Jibsheet and Toul.
Attacks also were carried out in Naqoura on the border and Ras al-Biyada, about half way between Naqoura and Tyre.
Meanwhile, one Israeli soldier was killed and four were lightly wounded in fighting in Bint Jbail, the army said. It said five Hezbollah gunmen were killed in the battle.
Hezbollah also claimed to have killed four Israeli soldiers in heavy ground fighting in Houla in southern Lebanon. But the Israeli army said only three were moderately wounded there.
The air raids, which were particularly intense in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs of the capital.
The U.N. plan would call for an immediate halt in the fighting, followed by a second resolution in a week or two that would authorize an international military force and creation of a buffer zone in south Lebanon. It also says the two Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah should be released unconditionally. The soldiers' capture July 12 triggered the war.
Washington and Paris were expected to circulate a new draft of the first resolution at the United Nations on Monday, taking into account some of the amendments proposed by Qatar, the only Arab nation on the Security Council, and other members, diplomats said.
Israel's Justice Minister Haim Ramon the U.S.-French draft was good for Israel but the country still had military goals and would continue its attacks on Hezbollah. While Hezbollah has not issued an outright rejection of the plan, its two main allies Syria and Iran said it was without merit because it did not call for an immediate Israeli withdrawal, among other demands.
Lebanon's parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, also said the plan was unacceptable because it does not deal with Beirut's other key demands a release of prisoners held by Israel and moves to resolve a dispute over a piece of border territory.
In other violence Monday, Israeli warplanes hit roads in the Bekaa Valley, a northeastern region of Lebanon that is a symbol of Hezbollah power. At least four explosions were heard around the city of Baalbek, about 60 miles north of Israel's border, witnesses said. The Israeli military confirmed that it had hit several targets in the area. There was no immediate word on casualties.
Warplanes also struck a large factory for construction materials just south of Baalbek, and several trucks belonging to the plant were destroyed.
Jet fighters attacked the Rashaya region farther south on the corridor linking southern regions with the Bekaa Valley in the country's east, the witnesses said. A road near the Beirut border post at Masnaa on the Beirut-Damascus highway, a frequent target of attack, was hit again early Monday.
In Israel, the Haaretz daily, quoting an unnamed general, reported Monday that Israel might step up attacks on Lebanese infrastructure and target symbols of the government in response to Hezbollah's escalating rocket attacks. Israeli warplanes have repeatedly blasted Palestinian government buildings during a month-long offensive in Gaza that began shortly before the clashes with Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has fired more than 3,000 rockets at Israel since the fighting began, Israeli officials said. Dozens of rockets hit Israel on Sunday, including some that reached Haifa Israel's third-largest city killing three civilians and wounding dozens.
After what was revealed about Reuters' photographer yesterday and the continuing story of the Qana staging, it's hard to believe any of these reports.
Why are deaths in Lebanon reported as "people" and not terrorists?........
I didn't believe them from the beginning............
Another Muslim-directed "massacre". The truth will out.
I won't believe it until I see Green Helmet Guy in an Adnan Hajj photo.
I wonder if it's the same people who were "killed" in Qana?
The deaths of Israeli soldiers rate a few impersonal sentences.
Unfair and unbalanced evil scribes who are writing these reports.
I won't believe it until I see Green Helmet Guy in an Adnan Hajj photo.
Who knows - maybe we'll even see the Luckless Lady mourning her third house.
Also, as terrorist Hassan Nasrallah admitted over televison last month:
"I said that we would abduct Israeli soldiers,
in meetings with some of the main political leaders in the country (Lebanon).
I don't want to mention names now, but when the time comes to settle accounts, I will."
"Why are deaths in Lebanon reported as "people" and not terrorists?........"
Ha! "Martyrs" they're called. And what are Israeli civilians that are being killed by missiles from North Korea from China from Iran from Syria from Lebanon?
Faud, try this.
Israeli's only hope for victory is to level all the Southern Lebanese towns and take out the reporters/photographers.
This loathsome critter isn't agreeing to disarm Hizb'Allah or get back the two Israeli hostages. Screw him. This is a media event. Crying on TV to be transmitted to Muzzies worldwide via Al Jezeera etc
I'm convinced Lebanon is full of villages of the damned. Hizb'Allah villages where the Hezbo guerillas are just part of the family. Pop outside to fire a few rockets at Israel then sit down for supper
Boom, Boom ba Boom, Out go the lights, bitch!
Houla is very near the border. I'm sure it's full of Hizb'Allah and their Shiite friends and families who function as their support column. Guerillas don't exist without support
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