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Author Topic: Israel, the mid-east, and Russia - Part 2  (Read 23751 times)
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« Reply #195 on: July 19, 2006, 03:57:23 PM »

Thousands head for Cyprus and Syria in Lebanon exodus

LIMASSOL, Cyprus 19/07/2006 23:11

Thousands of evacuees fleeing Israel's bombing of Beirut poured into Cyprus and Syria saying they were escaping from hell, as over 50,000 more waited for a berth to safety.

 The US military said Wednesday it was stepping up the evacuation of American citizens by bringing out more than 6,000 people from war-ravaged Lebanon to the safe haven of nearby Cyprus.

"If all goes well ... we hope by this Friday we would have moved in excess of 6,000 from Lebanon, all who wanted to go out voluntarily," US evacuation task force commander Brigadier General Carl Jensen told reporters.

Some 1,059 Americans were expected to arrive in Cyprus on the cruise ship Orient Queen shortly after midnight Wednesday. An additional 3,000 were expected to follow later on Thursday.

"There are ferry vessels, US navy ships and military aircraft in the east Mediterranean to ferry citizens who want to leave," said Jensen. He stressed this was an "assisted departure" rather than an evacuation.

"Many are remaining in Lebanon and the US embassy there will remain open," he added.

But the United States, which has some 25,000 nationals in Lebanon, is likely to send troops to the country to protect its citizens who are being evacuated, US President George W. Bush said in a letter to Congress on Wednesday.

US marines have already helicoptered several dozen priority cases to Cyprus to escape the week-long Israeli onslaught against Lebanon.

A growing flotilla of evacuation ships is shuttling back and forth to the island of Cyprus some 160 kilometres (100 miles) away, but there are still not enough places for the thousands clamouring to leave.

Rough figures suggested as many as 13,000 people had already escaped or would be brought to safety by the end of Wednesday, travelling by boat to Cyprus or by the dangerous highway to the Syrian capital, Damascus, which is being bombed by Israel.

But according to figures provided by embassies and governments, up to 57,000 more foreign and dual nationals could be aiming to flee the country.

Apart from the sea exodus, hundreds more were fleeing in buses and cars overland to the Syrian capital of Damascus, braving Israeli bombings of the roads.

A British destroyer, the HMS York, was to dock in Limassol with up to 300 evacuees on board, after HMS Gloucester arrived earlier Wednesday carrying 170 people, mainly priority medical cases.

The Gloucester has already returned to Beirut as part of the shuttle to evacuate around 5,000 of some British 22,000 nationals.

The French warship Jean de Vienne also docked in Beirut early Wednesday as Paris stepped up efforts to extricate some 8,000 of its 20,000 citizens who have said they want to leave.

On Monday nearly 1,000 people, mostly French, fled on board a chartered cruise ship. Several hundred have already arrived back in France on flights from Cyprus.

Three other French vessels, capable of transporting 4,000 people, are on their way to Lebanon, with which Paris has retained close ties after administering the country under a League of Nations mandate.

Egypt has organized 2,300 evacuations since Monday. Hundreds were taken by bus to Damascus and flown home.

Bangladesh has asked for help to evacuate all its 10,000 workers in Lebanon, while Canada estimates some 8,000 of its 40,000 nationals want to leave aboard some six ships already chartered for the occasion.

Australia has 25,000 citizens living in Lebanon and the Philippines has 30,000, but it is not known how many of them want to leave.

Amid the confusion, charter companies were beginning to hike prices and inevitably there have been chaotic scenes.

Hundreds of Canadians clamoured at the gates of a Beirut exhibition centre being used as an evacuation staging area, furious at the slow pace of their rescue.

Other nations continued to rescue their nationals by chartered boats and planes. Denmark said 3,000 nationals had already been brought home.

A Greek ship carrying some 1,250 Swedes, the Kriti II, left Beirut for Larnaca on Wednesday afternoon and was due to arrive in Cyprus on Wednesday at 9:30 pm (1830GMT) local time, the Swedish foreign ministry told АFР.

The Kriti II is expected to return to Beirut after the passengers have disembarked and will make at least one more crossing, the ministry said.

A Turkish ship carrying several hundred Swedes also left Beirut for Mersin, Turkey on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, almost 500 Norwegians have been repatriated since Monday but some 100 remain stranded in southern Lebanon, where Israeli bombings have rendered their evacuation difficult.

"We're working on several options to get them out of there," a Norwegian foreign ministry spokesman told АFР.

The German foreign ministry said it hoped to have evacuated some 3,000 nationals from Lebanon by the end of Wednesday, after chartering 50 buses to take them to Damascus.

Thousands head for Cyprus and Syria in Lebanon exodus
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« Reply #196 on: July 19, 2006, 03:59:03 PM »

 Egyptian press council condemns Israel's military attacks on Lebanon

CAIRO, July 19 (KUNA) -- The Higher council for Egyptian Press condemned Wednesday the inhumane Israeli attacks against the Lebanese and Palestinian people.

The Israeli attacks reflect the Jewish state's mockery of international and humanitarian law, said a statement by the council.

The statement added that Israel has no right in targeting their rockets on innocent civilians on the claim of protecting their country's sovereignty.

The council called the international press federations and societies to try and put a stop to the Israeli attacks on innocent people in the two Arab countries.

Egyptian press council condemns Israel's military attacks on Lebanon
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« Reply #197 on: July 19, 2006, 04:02:31 PM »

 Ma'an: Nasrallah Will Give Tel Aviv Residents One Hour to Flee
01:00 Jul 19, '06 / 23 Tammuz 5766
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Arab press sources close to the Hizbullah say that residents of Tel Aviv will be given one hour to flee before the terrorist group launches a barrage of missiles at the city.


The unnamed sources are quoted by the Palestinian Authority-based news agency Ma'an as saying:

"The Lebanese resistance is preparing a retaliation parallel to Israel's military actions. Hassan Nasrallah will address the people of Tel Aviv and warn them to evacuate the city within one hour. As soon as the delay ends, hundreds of heavy missiles will start landing in the city, which has been divided into squares in order to let damage reach every inch of the city. An estimated 500 missiles are expected to land in Tel Aviv in a short period of time."

The Arab sources further said that the Hizbullah has been very careful in cultivating its public image, in order to increase the surprise effect of the planned barrage on Tel Aviv.

The war, from the perspective of Nasrallah, has not yet begun, the sources said, adding that other "surprises" planned by the Hizbullah include more kidnappings of Israeli soldiers from along the Lebanese border.

Also claiming to have "surprises" in store for Israel is the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad. On Tuesday night, the terrorist organization claimed to have fired a Katyusha rocket at Sderot. The Katyusha is a more deadly rocket than the Kassam, and is being deployed against Israel in the north of the country by the Hizbullah.

Ma'an: Nasrallah Will Give Tel Aviv Residents One Hour to Flee
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« Reply #198 on: July 19, 2006, 04:06:12 PM »

Hizbullah firing on Christian holy city

Foreign Ministry orders ambassadors around the world to point out: 'Hizbullah directing missiles on Christian holy city'
Ronny Sofer

Israel is planning on citing the lethal rocket attack on Nazareth as part of its public relations campaign.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem ordered its ambassadors Wednesday to transfer a message to the nations of the world that "Hizbullah is directing its missiles also against a Christian holy city – Nazareth, out of an intention to strike their holy symbols." Two children, aged three and nine, were killed by the Hizbullah rockets while playing outside their Nazareth home.

A short time after the strike on Nazareth, the Foreign Ministry's senior officials held a meeting.

"They do not distinguish between Jews and Arabs and Christians. These rockets strike out of intention a holy city to Christianity, to send a message. Their ability to direct these rockets have been proven. There's no doubt that they planned to hit one of the central places of faith for Christians, a symbol of hundreds of millions around the world," a Foreign Ministry official said.

Ambassadors were told that it "it is just a coincidence that an ancient church was not struck there, a center for many Christian pilgrims."

A source in the Foreign Ministry stressed to Ynet that up to now the world believed that the Hizbullah attack was on Jews alone. "In actuality, as can be seen on strikes on Nazareth and other Arab communities, the terror is not directly only at Jews, and all Israeli citizens are exposed to it. There here is a message to the world, as to the true face of terror in general and the terror of Hizbullah specifically."

Hizbullah firing on Christian holy city
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« Reply #199 on: July 19, 2006, 04:08:37 PM »

IAF: 8 gunmen killed in central Gaza

Conflicting reports: Palestinians claim 2 unarmed Palestinians killed, numerous children wounded when helicopter gunship fires four missiles in al-Maghazi area
Ali Waked

Eight Palestinians were killed Wednesday evening in an Air Force strike in central Gaza, the IDF said. Palestinians sources reported two unarmed Palestinians were killed and a number of children were wounded when an IAF helicopter gunship fired four missiles towards a group of people in the area of al-Maghazi.

The IDF said soldiers identified a cell of gunmen armed with antitank missiles and opened fire on them.

The operation was part of an ongoing IDF operation in Gaza, which was launched Tuesday night in the al-Muazi refugee camp and has thus far killed 17 gunmen.

Earlier Wednesday, in the framework of the same operation, five Israeli troops were wounded when Palestinians hurled a grenade towards them. Forces opened fire in response, hitting and killed two of the gunmen.

The wounded soldiers were evacuated to Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva to be treated for shrapnel wounds. Two were in moderate condition and the rest were in light condition. Palestinian sources reported seven Palestinians were killed in the battle.

Rockets still hit Israel

Despite the IDF ground operation, Qassam crews in north Gaza fired two rockets at Israel in the early morning hours. A rocket that landed in kibbutz Nahal Oz damaged a building, and a second rocket hit an open area.

“The motivation of terror organizations is high right now, especially since over 100 gunmen were killed in the past three weeks in Gaza in IDF operations. We will continue until they rethink their actions and understand terror is not worthwhile,” the army said in a statement, after it was discovered that a rocket that hit north of Sderot yesterday was a 122-mm diameter Grad rocket, a more sophisticated rocket than the ordinary Qassam.

The first time such a rocket was used was on Election Day in March, when the Russian-made rocke t hit south of Ashkelon. The IDF was examining the rocket fired Tuesday. IDF officials noted that terror organizations in Gaza were in possession of only a few dozen such rockets, some of which were upgraded in various methods.

IAF: 8 gunmen killed in central Gaza
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« Reply #200 on: July 19, 2006, 04:11:01 PM »

Nazareth: No one told us, the Arabs, to take shelter

Residents of predominantly Muslim and Christian town accuse government of failing to sufficiently instruct residents on what to do when rockets hit; ‘If they had instructed us to take cover, as in Jewish towns, death of two children might have been prevented,’ Nazareth man says
Sharon Roffe-Ofir

Following the fatal rocket barrage that struck Nazareth Monday, residents accused the government of failing to warn the mostly Arab population to take cover in bomb shelters when the Katyushas started flying. “If they had instructed us to enter protected areas, as they did in the Jewish towns, the tragedy might have been prevented,” Nazareth resident Tarek Kubati told Ynet, referring to the deaths of two brothers , 3 and 9, who were playing outside when the rockets hit Wednesday.

The rockets caught local residents unprepared, they related. “We knew it could happen to us too, but when no one is sounding the alarms or distributing instruction flyers, we just continued life as usual,” Kubati said.

Katyushas hit a number of locations in the town. The children’s home suffered a direct hit, and a garage in the town was also extensively damaged. A Magen David Adom spokesperson reported 12 wounded in the attacks on the area. The tragic deaths of the two children brought the civilian death toll since the beginning of fighting in the north to 16.

Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jaraisi told Ynet shortly after the fatal attack that the Home Front Command warned caution and gave the same general directives it gives to all threatened locales. “We held children’s day camps indoors today,” Jaraisi said. He noted the lethal rocket hit a very crowded area.

Barhoum Jaraisi, who lives in the neighborhood, agreed with Kubati. “When dealing with Arabs, the establishment doesn’t care if we get hit. We’re used to this. It’s nothing new,” he said. “When there were rocket strikes on Monday in Nazareth Illit nearby, their siren went off. But here no one was told to enter shelters. I called the police and asked why, and they said they’d get back to me.”

“No one has gotten back to me back yet,” he added.

In any case, Jaraisi said he had no plans to leave the town due to the situation. “I have a protected area in my house. I’ve instructed my family to use it, and that’s what we’ll do from now on,” he said.

‘Hizbullah doesn’t distinguish Jews, Arabs’

Kubati said he was at home when the Katyushas landed. “We heard a loud blast, and then another one, and I immediately understood these were Katyushas. Just two days ago Katyushas landed not far from here, and it was clear they could reach us too. Hizbullah fires without distinction, they don’t care whether we’re Arab or Jewish. For them the main goal is to cause damage, and today they did and caused a catastrophe.”

Kubati said that even after the rocket strikes, no one passed through the town telling residents to take shelter. “It doesn’t work here like in Haifa or any other Jewish town. No one tells us anything,” he reiterated.

Wednesday evening the streets of Nazareth did not empty of people, despite the fatal attack, and dozens of vehicles and hundreds of residents came out to check what happened.

“This is something new, people don’t know what a Katyusha looks like, what a missile looks like. No one thought it could happen to us too,” Kubati explained.

Police: We instructed local leaders

Amakim District Police chief Commander Yaakov Zigdon told Ynet that in recent days he and the regional police commander met with public leaders from the area.

He said in meetings with local council heads and mayors, police directed them in how residents should act in accordance with Home Front Command instructions.

“It is important the Nazareth residents understand that the rockets don’t distinguish ethnicity and religion. I call on everyone to listen to police directives. Stay near protected sites. We will continue to aid everyone,” he said.

Nazareth: No one told us, the Arabs, to take shelter
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« Reply #201 on: July 19, 2006, 04:13:52 PM »

 IDF Wages Ground-Battles on Three Fronts
20:35 Jul 19, '06 / 23 Tammuz 5766
by Ezra HaLevi

The IDF fought fierce ground battles on three fronts Wednesday, chalking up many operational successes. Two soldiers fell in the line of duty battling Hizbullah forces.



Staff Sergeant Yonatan Hadassi, 21, of Kibbutz Merchavya was one of the two fallen soldiers. The name of the second soldier has not yet been released as his family has not yet been informed. Nine others were wounded in the battle, two moderately.

The fighting with Hizbullah forces went on for several hours at the Israel-Lebanon border, near the Israeli town of Avivim - opposite the Lebanese village of Marun A-Ras, which was turned into a Hizbullah stronghold after Israel's hasty withdrawal from the region in 2000.

IDF Special Forces entered the area late Tuesday night and found a large stockpile of Hizbullah weapons and munitions. Hizbullah geurrillas had been hiding out and opened fire on the troops, killing the two soldiers moments before they themselves were killed. Their comrades then began shooting mortar shells at the area, making evacuation of the wounded and fallen soldiers difficult.

Small groups of IDF soldiers have been entering Lebanon for special "pin-point" operations in recent days and continued to do so throughout Wednesday.

More than 60,000 Lebanese have fled southern Lebanon and the IDF issued an order Wednesday evening calling on all 300,000 Lebanese living south of the Litani River to evacuate their homes.

The IDF has been putting special efforts into destroying long-range Zilzal missiles and launchers, capable of striking Tel Aviv with much larger missiles than have struck Israel so far. Many of the launchers are hidden in densely-populated areas.

In air strikes on targets in Lebanon, Lebanese media reported more than 50 people killed in the cities of Balbek, Sidon, Chuweifat, Hadath and Nabatiya.

Overall, the IDF says more than 1,000 terrorist targets have been hit so far, including 180 Katyusha and long-range rocket launch-sites.

The Samarian Front
In Shechem, the largest PA-controlled city in northern Samaria, more than 200 Arab terrorists were apprehended and an office of the PA was demolished. Three Arabs were killed in exchanges of fire with IDF forces surrounding the terrorist compound in the heart of the city. The compound belongs to the Palestinian Authority's Preventative Security Service.

The IDF siege on the compound began in the early morning hours and lasted until Wednesday afternoon, when its inhabitants were forced to surrender as parts of the building were systematically bulldozed. One soldier was wounded by a firebomb and treated on the scene.

Before dawn Wednesday, five wanted terrorists were apprehended in other areas of Judea and Samaria by security forces.

Gaza
In a development that could place Tel Aviv within the sites of Arab missile-launchers from the couth, a Katyusha rocket was fired from Gaza toward the western Negev. The rocket landed in Kibbutz Bror Hayil.

The IDF continues to carry out operations in Gaza aimed at locating kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and preventing the launching of rockets at Israel's southern towns. Six Arabs were killed in clashes as the IDF entered the Mughazi slums coastal region. Five IDF soldiers were wounded.

Air force planes attacked three groups of terrorists in central Gaza overnight and destroyed a tunnel being constructed beneath the Karni Crossing.

IDF Wages Ground-Battles on Three Fronts
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« Reply #202 on: July 19, 2006, 04:18:31 PM »

Peretz orders closure of W. Bank, Gaza
associated press and jpost staff, THE JERUSALEM POST    Jul. 19, 2006

Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered a general closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza Strip due to intelligence alerts indicating that many suicide attacks were being planned against Israeli civilians.

The closure was ordered until Saturday night.

On Wednesday evening, the Air Force resumed its attacks on the Mughazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, killing one Palestinian and injuring 20 others, the IDF said.

In Nablus, three Palestinians were killed earlier Wednesday during an IDF operation.

The three were killed in an exchange of fire in a Palestinian prison between Palestinian operatives and IDF troops, said a spokeswoman for Nablus Governor Said Abu Ali. The spokeswoman, Anan Atiri, said she had seen the bodies herself but did not know the identity of the men.

Peretz orders closure of W. Bank, Gaza
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« Reply #203 on: July 19, 2006, 04:20:15 PM »

Palestinians demand Arab involvement
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST    Jul. 18, 2006

Enraged by the failure of the Arab countries to help Hizbullah and Hamas in their confrontation with Israel, one of the major Palestinian militias announced on Tuesday that it had recruited dozens of women to join the fight against Israel.

Dressed in military fatigue and armed with rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikov rifles, the women were sent to march in the streets of Gaza City, chanting slogans in support of Hizbullah and Hamas and calling on all Arabs and Muslims to launch a war against Israel. Some of the women fired into the air as they passed near the offices of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

This was the first time that armed Palestinian women held a paramilitary march in the Gaza Strip. The women, some under the age of 20, belong to a new force that was revealed by the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of various militias that has been operating in the Gaza Strip over the past five years.

The decision to establish the new force comes one week after the armed wing of Fatah announced the formation of a female suicide bomber unit to launch attacks against Israel. Um al-Abed, a spokeswoman for the group, said last week that over 100 women from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had signed up to carry out suicide attacks.

"Today we have established an army of women to defend the Arabs and Muslims," said Shayma al-Koka, one of the leaders of the force whose members marched in Gaza City on Tuesday. "If Arab men can't defend the honor of the Arabs and Muslims, then the women will fulfill their duty. Arab men and armies have failed in carrying out their moral and religious duties."

She added: "We are sick and tired of waiting for the Arab leaders and governments to defend the people of Palestine and Lebanon. The Arab leaders and armies are sleeping and therefore we, the women of Palestine, will join the jihad against the Jews. I advise the Arab leaders to go underground because we and all the honorable Arabs and Muslims will prevail."

Chanting Allahu Akbar [God is great], the women also burned flags of some Arab and European countries, as well as Israel and the US.

Echoing frustration with what is described as the "impotence" of the Arab world, the Palestine National Council, the PLO's parliament-in-exile, urged all Arabs and Muslims to side with Lebanon in the current confrontation with Israel. The council expressed deep concern at the failure of the Arab countries to assist the Palestinians and Lebanese who are "facing physical elimination and the destruction of their infrastructure."

Hamas, meanwhile, is seeking to distance itself from Hizbullah and most of its top leaders have refrained thus far from embracing the Shi'ite organization in public. Salah Bardaweel, a Hamas representative in the Gaza Strip, denied reports in the Arab media that his movement was working closely with Hizbullah.

"There is no organizational relation between Hamas and Hizbullah," he said. "As resistance groups, we share the same goals and strategies in facing the Israeli occupation."

He too criticized the Arab countries for failing to come to the aid of their brothers in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. "When will the Arab leaders finally wake up?" Bardaweel asked.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday that Israel's recent air raids on a number of PA ministries reflected the "mentality of insanity that characterizes Israeli leaders." Israel, he added, has embarked on "crazy adventures in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Lebanon." Haniyeh was speaking after chairing a meeting of his cabinet in Gaza City to discuss the latest developments on the Palestinian arena and the ongoing Israeli crackdown on Hamas.

In another development, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to arrive in Gaza City on Tuesday night for talks with Hamas leaders about kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was being held by Hamas members. Abbas was also expected to meet with United Nations envoy Terje Roed Larsen to discuss ways of ending the crisis and securing the release of Shalit.

Abbas's visit to the Gaza Strip comes amid renewed tensions between his Fatah party and Hamas. Earlier this week, Hamas gunmen killed a senior officer belonging to the Preventative Security Service in Khan Younis. The victim, Zaki Dahlan, is a relative of former PA security chief Muhammed Dahlan.

On Tuesday, Hamas gunmen launched a rocket attack at the home of Nabil Tamous, another senior Preventative Security Service officer, killing one of his guards and kidnapping three others. Tamous himself was not hurt in the attack, but his house was completely destroyed. Tamous, who is a close ally of Dahlan, heads the "Death Squad" of the Preventative Security and is said to be responsible for a series of attacks on Hamas activists and leaders over the past few years.

Palestinians demand Arab involvement
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« Reply #204 on: July 19, 2006, 04:25:52 PM »

 Iran condemns Egypt's stand on its islands as interference in internal affairs
Tehran, July 19, IRNA

Iran-Islands-Egypt
Iran here on Wednesday strongly objected to joint communique issued by the UAE and Egypt on three Iranian Islands in Persian Gulf, namely the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mussa, calling it "blatant interference in IRI's internal affairs." The Spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hamid-Reza Assefi emphasized that the islands in question "are inseparable and eternal parts of the Islamic Republic of Iran's soil," according to Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Bureau.

Assefi added, "Third parties' biased taking side in certain misunderstandings between Iran and Emirates under such conditions that bilateral contacts and talks at various levels do exist, by no means help resolve these misunderstandings.

He reiterated, "Under such conditions that the Zionist regime attacks the defenseless Lebanese civilians like a wild beast, the Islamic countries should spend efforts aimed at ever stronger internal solidarity and closer than ever cooperation in order to make the Zionists halt their barbarian criminal acts in Lebanon and Palestine."

Iran condemns Egypt's stand on its islands as interference in internal affairs
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« Reply #205 on: July 19, 2006, 04:29:44 PM »

America must quit support to Zionists
12:43:25 È.Ù
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi Wednesday urged America and Britain to abandon their blind support for the Zionist regime instead of continually accusing Iran of interfering in the domestic affairs of Lebanon.

Asefi was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an open Majlis session.

"The US and Britain should explain their blind support for the Zionist regime," he urged.

He said there can be no doubt the killing of defenseless Lebanese people is a clear violation of human rights, and asked why "those who make decisions in the farthest ends of the world behave this way and veto resolutions of the UN Security Council" that would address these violations.

He said Tel Aviv is emboldened in committing crimes in the Middle East because of the support that it gets from Washington.

Asefi then urged London and Washington to open their eyes to the situation that the Zionist regime has created in Lebanon. He said Iran extends spiritual support to Lebanon and Syria and that this support "differs from the kind of support the America gives to the Zionist regime."

Asked about the possibility of the Zionist regime attack on Syria, the Spokesman said: "If the Zionist regime attacks Syria it will sustain the greatest damage. Undoubtedly, the Islamic world will never accept any such attack."

He said an attack on an Islamic state is an attack on the whole Islamic world, and warned countries not to confuse issues.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has never meddled in the domestic affairs of Lebanon and Syria," Asefi said.

America must quit support to Zionists
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« Reply #206 on: July 19, 2006, 04:31:09 PM »

Hezbollah ready to hit Zionists for months
10:14:17 Þ.Ù
Hezbollah has enough rockets to continue hitting the occupied Palestine "for months" whatever the Zionist regime's warplanes do to its supply lines, a senior official of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance Movement said Wednesday.

Hezbollah can continue to strike the occupied territories with an arsenal of rockets for long months, and not just days or weeks, Mahmud Qomati, a member of he Hezbollah's political council, told AFP.

Hezbollah ready to hit Zionists for months
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« Reply #207 on: July 19, 2006, 04:33:03 PM »

Iran, Syria agree to protect Hezbollah

Jul. 19, 2006 at 9:54AM

Iran and Syria have agreed to work together to keep Hezbollah from being destroyed in its fight against Israel, Syria sources have said.

      The sources, quoted in the Qatar newspaper Al-Watan, said the two governments have agreed that Hezbollah must not be defeated politically or militarily and they have agreed to do all they can to prevent such an outcome, ynetnews.com reported Wednesday.

      Israel's failure to defeat Hezbollah thus far is likely to cause the country to turn its sights on Syria, the sources said. They said such a move would cause Iran to get involved militarily, forcing Israel to face a war on multiple fronts.

      Israel sent a message to Syria through Jordan, warning the country against arming and supporting Hezbollah, a diplomatic source in Tel Aviv told ynetnews.com. The warning said Israel was aware of weapons convoys traveling from Syria to Lebanon, and that Damascus is frequently the site of meetings between Hezbollah and Iranian officials. The source did not confirm whether the message included a warning of military action against the country.

Iran, Syria agree to protect Hezbollah
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« Reply #208 on: July 19, 2006, 09:49:54 PM »

Israel bombs Beirut bunker where Hezbollah leaders are believed to hole up

Israeli warplanes dropped bombs late Wednesday on a bunker in southern Beirut where senior Hezbollah leaders were thought to be, the military said.

Israel Defense Force (IDF) officials said that dozens of fighter jets participated in the massive air strike on a south Beirut target, acting on IDF intelligence.

Intelligence stating that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah was staying in the bunker was received Wednesday night, and numerous IDF jets were dispatched to the place shortly after.

Following a brief discussion, IDF officials decided that the information was sufficiently credible to act upon and launch a massive bombardment on the area.

Hezbollah's al-Manar television channel reported that the planes blasted a building that was under construction in the Bourj al-Barajneh quarter where a Palestinian refugee camp is located.

According to army officials, the building itself was completely destroyed and the IDF was checking the results of the strike.

Israel bombs Beirut bunker where Hezbollah leaders are believed to hole up
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« Reply #209 on: July 19, 2006, 09:52:12 PM »

US Lawmakers Prepare for Vote on Resolution Supporting Israel
By Dan Robinson
Washington
20 July 2006

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Thursday on a strong resolution supporting Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah and Hamas. The lawmakers held an extended debate Wednesday on the crisis in the Middle East.

House lawmakers support Israel's right to use appropriate action to defend itself against attacks.

They say such defense includes conducting operations both in Israel and the territory of nations posing a threat to it, under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.

The resolution notes Lebanon's failure to disarm and disband the Hezbollah in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 and it blames Iran and Syria for supporting terrorist activities against Israel.

"Any result of this fighting that leaves Hezbollah in occupation of southern Lebanon will be a victory for Iran and for Syria, for fanaticism and for terror, and a defeat for Lebanon and for Middle East peace," said California Democrat Tom Lantos.

"Any government that would allow terrorists to attack its citizens and do nothing in response but protest or beg for mercy would betray its most sacred trust," said Henry Hyde, Republican Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, in defending Israel's response to Hezbollah and Hamas.

This past Tuesday, the Senate approved a similar resolution.

Democratic Senator Joseph Biden says the Bush administration needs to gather the diplomatic backing it needs to pressure Syria and Iran to end their support for Hezbollah and Hamas. "For the world's own good, now is the time to put the screws on Syria, make the world united in their dissatisfaction and communicate it to the Iranians, build up the Lebanese capability, and focus on Hezbollah as the problem," he said.

As Senator Biden was speaking, White House spokesman Tony Snow was telling reporters the U.S. is stepping up diplomatic efforts.

However, responding to a reporter's question, he said those will not include any direct high-level contacts between President Bush and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "There is absolutely no reason to assume, based on the track record, that negotiations and conversations with the Syrians would yield any fruit," he said.

Syria's State-run News Agency Wednesday said the Syrian leader, in a telephone conversation with Turkey's Prime Minister, discussed the need for the international community to quickly arrange a ceasefire.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and other U.S. officials say a solution is needed that will result in a long-term ceasefire along the Israel-Lebanon border, and enable the Lebanese government to assert control in the area.

US Lawmakers Prepare for Vote on Resolution Supporting Israel
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