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Some Key Stories on Lebanon 17 August 2006

Hizbullah fighters go to ground as Lebanese army rolls into the south
The Guardian 8/18/2006
Israel transfers control of half of captured territory · Disarming rebels likely to be sticking point -- Several thousand Lebanese soldiers fanned across the shattered south yesterday in a major step towards cementing the four-day-old ceasefire with Israel. Tanks, troops and armoured vehicles trundled across temporary bridges spanning the Litani River pressing towards territory vacated by the Israeli army. By late afternoon, the United Nations confirmed that more than 1,600 soldiers had deployed along the major eastern and western routes between the Litani and the border. The Israeli army said it had "transferred responsibility" for half the ground it captured during the 34-day conflict. In some places, war weary civilians lined the roads, showering the convoy with rice and roaring encouragement.

U.S. tries to counter Hezbollah rebuilding efforts in s. Lebanon
Ha'aretz 8/18/2006
Concerned that Hezbollah has an early advantage in rebuilding shattered south Lebanon, the Bush administration is trying to speed up aid and encouraging Arab states to step in quickly, United States officials said this week. The White House is "cracking the whip" on rebuilding efforts so Iranian-backed Hezbollah is not seen taking the lead and winning any more support among the local population, said a senior State Department official. "I've said we have got to get with this. These guys [Hezbollah] are out there with their own bulldozers and what are we doing? It takes forever for us to start up rebuilding projects," said the senior official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Al-Hariri: Syria worse than Israel
AlJazeera 8/17/2006
Saad al-Hariri: Lebanese reject Syria's attempt to sow discord -- The leader of Lebanon's largest parliamentary bloc has said the Syrian president's attack on Lebanese politicians is worse than the destruction wreaked by Israel. Saad al-Hariri, the head of the al-Mustaqbal or Future, bloc and son of the slain former prime minister, Rafiq al-Hariri, said on Thursday that Bashar al-Assad had disdained Arab kindness towards Syria and his speech on Tuesday was like a "heavy strike" against Lebanon. Al-Hariri was responding to a speech on Tuesday by al-Assad in which he accused Lebanon's anti-Syrian groups of allying themselves with Israel, which bombarded Lebanon for 34 days. Al-Assad had also accused the anti-Syrian bloc of wanting to sow discord in Lebanon by demanding that Hezbollah, the Syrian-backed Shia resistance group, disarm.

Jumblat Lashes out at Assad, Says Hizbullah Should be Integrated into the Regular Army
An Nahar 8/17/2006
Druze leader Walid Jumblat lashed out at Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday for failing to open the front in the occupied Golan Heights and said the Lebanese army is deploying in the south in line with an "ambiguous" formula. "Did anyone prevent you from opening the front on the Golan? No, but it is easier to use the Lebanese front," he told a press conference. Jumblat hailed the unprecedented army deployment in southern Lebanon, but warned that "dangers could be looming... and Lebanon will remain a battleground" for regional conflicts unless Hizbullah is integrated into the regular army and respects the 1949 armistice agreement with Israel. "Why can't instead the army be responsible for holding the balance of power? Why can't the rockets be under the command of the army? " he said.

Israeli FM: Not releasing the captured Israeli soldiers is a violation of UN resolution 1701
Ma'an News 8/17/2006
Ma'an -- General Kofi Annan and promote the Israeli interpretation of resolution 1701. She explained that "she wanted to make sure that the decision will be applied in accordance with what had been hoped for". Livni added, "I think that it is the moment of truth for the international community, where the full implementation of resolution 1701 could lead to a change in the region and in Lebanon, leading to a better future for all, and for Israel too". Livni stressed the need to address the real causes of violence, saying "Hezbollah is causing the violence". She blamed Hezbollah for dragging Lebanon into a war with Israel. Livni also said on Wednesday that "the non-release of the Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1701".

Peacekeeper deployment in the balance
The Guardian 8/18/2006
A plan to send thousands of UN peacekeeping troops to Lebanon within days hung in the balance last night after France said it would send only a token force, and other countries proved unwilling to commit to sending soldiers immediately. At a meeting of nearly 50 countries in New York, the UN's deputy secretary general, Mark Malloch Brown, said countries should make firm commitments "in the next few days at the most", because every moment of delay posed the risk that the ceasefire might crumble. The UN wants 3,500 troops to arrive within 10 days to supplement the existing Unifil force, to be followed eventually by 11,500 more. But Jacques Chirac, France's president, set a disappointing tone for the day when he said France would only be sending an extra 200 troops to southern Lebanon.

More states pledge troops for Lebanon
AlJazeera 8/18/2006
At least seven countries have given firm pledges of troops to a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, but other nations are studying the plans before committing, diplomatic sources said on Thursday. Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal had each offered at least one battalion, and Denmark two warships, one official said, asking not to be named, while the German ambassador said that Berlin would also make a contribution. "I think we are almost there," Thomas Matussek, Germany's UN ambassador, told reporters during talks to thrash out the rules of engagement and composition of the 15,000 strong force. "In a very encouraging way, there were many of us, many countries, (willing) to contribute to this armed force... I was very encouraged by the general spirit of active contributions shown by so many countries," he said.

UN official warns of renewed bloodshed in Lebanon
Ha'aretz 8/18/2006
A top UN official pressed governments on Thursday for quick commitments of troops to a beefed-up peacekeeping force for southern Lebanon, warning that delays could lead to renewed Middle East bloodshed. UN Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown pressed ambassadors from dozens of countries to tell the world body "in the next few days at most" how many soldiers they would contribute and when, after France sent planners into a tailspin by offering only a token number of soldiers. "We must convert promises into firm commitments, and commitments into rapid deployments on the ground. Every moment we delay is a moment of risk that the fighting could re-erupt," Malloch Brown told the closed-door meeting, according to a text of his remarks.

VIDEO - Progress made on multi-national force
YNet News 8/18/2006
Following 3 hour meeting in New York, some countries commit to deploying soldiers to initial force in Lebanon, consisting of 3,500 troops. Counties to take part in mission: Italy, Belgium, and Bangladesh. Germany, if it will part, will do so though a patrol force, will not enter territory itself. Force will be deployed by November 4 -- VIDEO - The United Nations received commitments from a number of states which have agreed to take part in the multi-national force that will deploy in south Lebanon, according to UN Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch. Malloch made the statements at the end of night-time meeting between representatives of 40 countries. According to a UN Security Council meeting, an initial force of 3,500 soldiers is supposed to arrive in the area within 15 days of the ceasefire...

Businessmen to Sue Israel Over Losses in Lebanon
Arab News 8/18/2006
RIYADH, 18 August 2006 — Saudi businessmen, who have incurred a loss of over $14 billion in Lebanon as a result of Israeli bombardment, are considering legal action against Israel for war damages. Dr. Abdullah Al-Maglouth, one of the businessmen who lost his property during Israel’s war with Hezbollah, told Arab News that a group of 20 Saudi investors, including himself, would be leaving for Beirut as soon as the situation there returns to normal. “One of the problems which we are facing is that our property in Lebanon had not been insured. So we are now asking all Saudi investors that they should in future seek insurance cover for their overseas investments, especially those relating to real estate. ” Saudi investment in Lebanon was valued at $14 billion...

Army Begins Deploying South of the Litani River, First MEA Flight Arrives in Beirut
An Nahar 8/17/2006
Lebanese troops, tanks and armored vehicles deployed south of the Litani River on Thursday, a key provision of the U. N. cease-fire plan that ended fighting between Israel and Hizbullah. The deployment marks a first step toward extending government control in a region Lebanese troops have largely kept out of for four decades. In Beirut, the Rafik Hariri International airport reopened to commercial traffic for the first time July 13, when it was attacked by Israeli warplanes and gunboats. A Middle East Airlines passenger jet touched down from Amman, Jordan, ending a 36-day Israeli blockade, and a Royal Jordanian flight was expected later Thursday. MEA Chairman Mohammed Hout said the siege was partially lifted against Beirut airport, allowing flights to and from Amman only for now.

Germany: We won't send troops to Lebanon
YNet News 8/17/2006
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany would not send combat troops as part of contemplated international peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Earlier, French President Jacques Chirac announces his country will immediately double to 400 its contingent in UN peacekeeping force -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Germany would not send combat troops as partof the contemplated international peacekeeping force in Lebanon, but may offer naval forces to help patrol the country's coastline. Merkel said Germany was looking at "naval security" as part of its effort to support the force, after meeting with parliamentary leaders.

Wiesenthal Center Asks Sweden to Address Israelis' Needs in Lebanon Donors Conference
An Nahar 8/16/2006
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an anti-Semitism awareness group, on Wednesday slammed Sweden's plans to host an international aid conference for Lebanon as "discriminatory", saying the meeting should also address the needs of Israeli victims of the conflict. "What we're suggesting is that the point of reference for the conference be expanded to treat all victims and the two parties involved in the conflict," the centre's head of international relations Shimon Samuels told AFP. The centre on Wednesday sent a letter to Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson asking him to change the focus of the August 31 meeting. ... "What we're asking for is even-handedness... We think the conference should be multilateral," Samuels said, stressing "Sweden's tradition of neutrality. "

Lebanon Picking Up the Pieces
Inter Press Service 8/17/2006
BEIRUT, Aug 17 (IPS) - With the fighting over and many displaced Lebanese residents returning home, the focus is turning toward how to rebuild Lebanon's infrastructure and economy. The cost of the war has been estimated at more than 5 billion dollars -- about a quarter of the country's Gross National Income (GNI). The government has estimated the damage to infrastructure alone in this war at more than 2. 5 billion dollars. Many Lebanese say their businesses have suffered drastically, but hope they can rebuild after this war, as they have in the past. Forty-year-old Rima, who preferred not to give her last name, owns a chocolate shop in western Beirut's Hamra district. She saw an 80 percent drop in business during the month-long war, but she refused to close.

Lebanon to Receive 'Urgent' Assistance for Massive Oil Spill
An Nahar 8/17/2006
International experts on Thursday promised Lebanon immediate assistance cleaning up a massive Mediterranean oil spill caused by the recent conflict, slated to cost over 64 million dollars. However the senior officials from the United Nations, European Union and the International Maritime Organization meeting in this Greek port also said the precise threat constituted by the threat remained unknown. That was because, they told a meeting with ministers from Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Cyprus, inspection crews had no access to the affected area prior to this week's ceasefire between Israeli forces and Hizbullah. "To this day, we cannot tell you with any accuracy what amount of oil remains off shore on the sea," United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) executive director Achim Steiner told a news conference.

Rights groups warn of danger of unexploded cluster bombs
The Guardian 8/18/2006
UN explosives experts have identified 10 places where Israeli guns have fired cluster bombs on southern Lebanon and fear there could be many more of the devices, a human rights group said yesterday. As Human Rights Watch warned that the sites could be the "tip of the iceberg", UN officials reported yesterday that two children were killed by a cluster bomb explosion in the town of Naqoura. Two of the sites identified by the UN were in the village of Kfar Roummane. UN officials were quoted as saying that dangerous unexploded submunitions - duds that failed to detonate on impact but were still live and at risk of exploding - were present in Nabatiyeh, Tibnine and Beit Yahoun, as well as areas adjacent to the road connecting the latter two places.

Israel - Lebanon Conflict
Human Rights Watch 8/17/2006
This page pulls together all the work done by Human Rights Watch on the latest conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, including reports, news releases, a Q and A on the hostilities, and opinion articles. Human Rights Watch has an important role to play in meticulously documenting the actions of all parties to the conflict and evaluating them with objectivity under the requirements of international humanitarian law (the laws of war). Human Rights Watch began its investigations shortly after the fighting broke out on July 12. Human Rights Watch has researchers in Lebanon and Israel so as to be able to research and document the conduct of all parties to the conflict.

The Situation of Palestine Refugees in South Lebanon (PDF)
United Nations/UNWRA 8/17/2006
Beirut, 15 August 2006 -- Background: The Palestine Refugees in South Lebanon live in the city of Tyre, villages around the city and towards the Israeli border and in three camps: El-Buss (1. 5km south-east of the city of Tyre), Burj el-Shemali (3km east of Tyre) and Rashidieh (on the seashore 5km south of Tyre). Population Movements: With the outbreak of the conflict on 12-13 July the Palestine refugee camps saw both inflows and outflows of displaced people. A survey conducted two weeks after the outbreak of hostilities estimated the population of the three camps at 25,363, with 2,920 having leftthe camps, and 22,443 left behind. While UNRWA has no precise data on the whereabouts of those who left, the community reports that most have gone to friends and family in the Palestinian camps in Saida.

Mental health and psychosocial protection and support for adults and children affected by the Middle East Crisis: Inter-agency technical advice for the current emergency
ReliefWeb/WHO 8/17/2006
09 Aug 2006 - This statement represent the view of the following agencies: the World health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), CARE International, Terres des Hommes Foundation, Medicos del Mundo (MdM), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), International Rescue Committee (IRC), ActionAid International, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Medical Corps. Organizations working on psychosocial and mental health issues are strongly encouraged to endorse these principles. Impact of the current situation on psychosocial wellbeing and mental health of the population. The recent escalation of the conflict in the Middle East poses serious threats to the mental health and psychological and social wellbeing...

Toxic air a major health hazard in Lebanon
Ma'an News 8/17/2006
BEIRUT, 16 August (IRIN) -- Nahar newspaper. "Even while wearing face masks, my colleague and I struggled to breathe. In fact, she has not stopped coughing since our return to the office several hours ago. "The Israeli military campaign in Lebanon followed the capture on 12 July of two Israeli soldiers by the armed wing of the Lebanese political party Hezbollah. After 34 days of conflict, a United Nations-brokered cessation of hostilities came into effect on Monday morning. During the conflict, Israel's air force carried out approximately 7,000 aerial attacks throughout Lebanon while its navy conducted more than 2,500 bombardments of the Lebanese coast, according to the Israeli military.

Hizbullah encourages Palestinian "terror"
Jerusalem Post 8/17/2006
Palestinian "terror" cells operating in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in conjunction with Hizbullah are under orders by the Lebanese-based "terror" group to escalate their attacks against Israel, a high-ranking IDF officer has told The Jerusalem Post. On Sunday, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two Grad-type Katyusha rockets at Israel, just hours before a UN-brokered cease-fire went into effect bringing 34 days of hostilities between Israel and Hizbullah to an end. Since the cease-fire went into effect in the North, there has been an increase in the number of Kassam rockets fired at Israel. On Thursday, several IDF jeeps were attacked by Palestinian "terrorists" as they patrolled the Gaza Strip security fence. "There is an effort to step up attacks within the Palestinian territories now that there is a cease-fire in the North," the high-ranking officer said.

Palestinians anxiously wait in Damascus to return to Lebanon
Ma'an News 8/17/2006
DAMASCUS, 17 August (IRIN) -- Quds school on the outskirts of Damascus would be empty, its pupils enjoying their summer break. But this year it is playing host to dozens of Palestinian families who fled the conflict in Lebanon. As thousands of Lebanese refugees return home from Syria, the Palestinians here remain cautious. "We will wait a few days to see what the situation is. It's too early to go back yet," said Fadi Hussein Khalil, who is staying at Al-Quds with 22 members of his extended family. The conflict began on 12 July after the armed wing of the political party Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers, and Israel responded a large-scale offensive and a blockade.

Laborites slam Peretz for supporting talks with Syria
Ha'aretz 8/18/2006
Senior Labor members are criticizing their party leader, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, for advocating talks with Syria. Peretz called for negotiations with Syria on Wednesday, the day Syrian President Bashar Assad delivered a belligerent speech against Israel. The officials termed Peretz's call "embarrassing," adding that it was politically unwise and seemed like political spin. According to these critics, "Peretz's statement was interpreted as weakness, and it's a shame that in order to divert attention from the criticism against him, he is making use of political spin without understanding that he thereby causes damage to the State of Israel, and also embarrasses the Americans since Syria is part of the axis of evil and helped arm Hezbollah against Israel... "

Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territory
United Nations 8/8/2006
The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to reflect the situation as of 8 August: Lebanon - Humanitarian Priorities --The United Nations priority concern remains the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and, regular and secure access for humanitarian workers and supplies to those affected by the conflict. --According to the Lebanese Higher Relief Council, 987 Lebanese have been killed and 3 408 wounded in the conflict to date. --The Government of Israel reports that 39 Israeli civilians have been killed. --Approximately 915 000 people have been displaced in Lebanon: 700 000 of them within Lebanon. The rest have sought shelter in Syria and other countries...

Protestors: It's like Yom Kippur War
YNet News 8/18/2006
About 100 people gather in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to protest political echelon's management of war in north; demonstrators call on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign -- About 100 demonstrators arrived Thursday at the Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and called on the political echelon and on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign in light of the "Lebanon war failure. " The demonstration participants held signs reading "Defeatists go home," "Olmert, did your sons fight? " and "Olmert=Chamberlain. " This is one of a series of demonstration being organized in the past few days through talkbacks on the internet. One of the demonstration's organizers, Ariella Miller, spoke of why she decided to protest.

A Critical Battle for New Middle East
By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle 8/17/2006
      Desperate times call for desperate measures cannot be any truer than in Israel's war against Lebanon.
     Using the July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers - whose unit had apparently crossed the Israeli border into Lebanon - as a pretext, the Bush administration quickly sprung into action: imagining yet a new Middle East, where democracy and freedom reigns over militancy and oppression.
     Since the neoconservative takeover of America's foreign policies, it has become apparent that the neocons do not operate with such impulsiveness. The plan for a new Middle East was introduced as early as 1992 by then less influential neoconservative elements. Those ideals were accentuated in 1996 by Richard Pearle and company, then advising Israel's Prime Minister at the time, Benjamin Netanyahu.
     Exploiting the tragedy of the September 11 terrorist attacks to achieve what until then seemed unfeasible, Washington's neocons were hard at work: an invasion of Iraq, then Iran and Syria, which would naturally lead to the plunging of Lebanon into Israel's political sphere. Meanwhile, Israel would be entrusted with the ominous task of imposing whatever solution it finds suitable on defenseless Palestinians. But when it all seemed set for the advent of a new Middle East, Iraqis exhibited stiff resistance that bogged down America's military power and stretched its resources beyond expectations. The tens of billions of initial costs for war led to tens of millions more, with no end in sight.
     It was all but a secret that the neoconservative dream of a new Middle East would once again be postponed. So the debate instead was tilted toward a much more urgent issue: how to escape Iraq with the least political damage possible. Yet, as some Americans wrangled with the quandary, desperate elements with and around the administration insisted that a new Middle East was still possible.

Lessons of the Lebanon war
By Daoud Kuttab, Palestine News Network 8/17/2006
      Ramallah -- Wars are won not only on battlefields, but also in people's minds. So, while Hizbullah has not decisively won its current war with Israel, by maintaining its ability to fight in the face of the might of the Israeli army, it has captured the imagination of Arabs, restoring lost pride in the same way as the Egyptian Army's crossing of the Suez Canal in the war of 1973 did. Restored pride was central to Anwar Sadat's eventual decision to go to Jerusalem and regain the entire Sinai Peninsula for Egypt.
     Although ordinary Lebanese have paid a huge human, economic, and infrastructural price, Hizbullah has made it clear to the Israelis that they can no longer take their military predominance for granted. The limits of military power have been exposed. Moreover, the madness of war has been clearly demonstrated to all, and, once the current fighting is over, both sides are now more likely to be cautious about actions that might push their peoples and countries into war once more.
     How this war is concluded will likely change the ways in which both Israel and the international community deal with the fundamental national aspirations of Arab peoples. Holding Arab land and prisoners indefinitely will no longer be an asset but a terrible burden.
     Conventional thinking in the Middle East has largely been built on Israel's overwhelming military strength, together with the disunity and lack of purpose of Arab leaders. But, in less than two months, the almost mythic power of the region's most powerful army has been dented, and Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah's leader, has come across as a steadfast and determined leader, in sharp contrast to the usual behavior of heads of Arab government.

Lebanon’s pain grows by the hour as death toll hits 1,300 By Robert Fisk

Across Lebanon, they are systematically lifting the tons of rubble of old roofs and apartment blocks and finding families below, their arms wrapped around each other in the moment of death as their homes were beaten down upon them by the Israeli air force.

Compromise Will Allow Hezbollah to Keep Arms:

Breaking an impasse, the Lebanese government on Wednesday ordered army troops to deploy across southern Lebanon under a compromise arrangement that allows the Hezbollah militia to retain some of its arms caches near the border with Israel.

Israel threatens to resume Lebanon operation:

The Israeli warning comes in reaction to reports in the Israeli media that Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Sinora reached a deal with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah allowing the militant group to retain its weapons but to refrain from exhibiting them in public.

Israel: Minister Rafi Eitan: Impossible to Uproot Hizbullah :

He emphasized that Iran is behind Hizbullah and that Tehran wants to provoke an attack on its nuclear facilities so it will have an excuse to try to destroy Israel.

“Look What You’ve Done!”:

AIPAC Congratulates Itself on the Slaughter in Lebanon

The Day After / How we suffered a knockout:

Bint Jbail will turn into a symbol of the second Lebanon war. For the Hezbollah fighters it will be remembered as their Stalingrad, and for us it will be a painful reminder of the IDF’s defeat.

Now recriminations begin in Israel:

The failure of the Lebanon campaign may destroy the Kadima party and its leader,,6-2316298,00.html

World Council of Churches: Israel planned to destroy Lebanon:

Israel’s assault on Lebanon was planned even before Hizbullah attacked and was aimed at driving a wedge between the different faiths that have been living in harmony in the country, a delegation from the World Council of Churches said on their return from a visit to Beirut and Jerusalem.

Hollywood stars blast Nasrallah:

Heads of the film industry in Hollywood and prominent movie stars have signed a statement blaming Hamas and Hizbullah for terror activities in the Middle East, the war in Lebanon, and for harming innocents.

Lebanon: Israeli Cluster Munitions Threaten Civilians
Reuters AlertNet
United Nations deminers beginning emergency survey and clearance work in the south of Lebanon have identified 10 locations where Israel used artillery-delivered cluster munitions during the recent hostilities, Human Rights Watch reported today. Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon have inspected two of those sites in the village of Kfar Roummane. Dangerous unexploded submunitions, duds that fail to detonate on impact but are still live an! d at risk of exploding, are present in areas of Nabatiyeh, Tabnine and Beit Yahoun, as well as areas adjacent to the 3km road connecting Tabnine and Beit Yahoun, U.N. demining officials said. They have been able to visit only a limited region so far, and fear that the 10 sites identified in the first two days could be the “tip of the iceberg.” U.N. teams have received reports of at least 16 casualties from cluster submunitions that exploded well after they had been fired, and they fear many more…

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Is the Lebanon Invasion a Step Toward a Regional War in the Middle East?
The US Anti-War Movement Must Oppose Expanded War in the Middle East
Kevin Zeese
…Israel’s massive attack on Lebanon, resulting in the death of more than 1,100 civilians and destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure, was certainly not about the capture of two soldiers in a cross border incident. Rather, it was a pre-meditated attack about a broader vision of a Middle East dominated by Israel and the United States working togeth! er. Further, it may be part of a plan to attack Iran. The UN Security Council set a deadline of August 31 for Iran to stop its nuclear power program. Iran rejected the resolution saying it was legal for Iran to develop nuclear power. Does the upcoming escalation of the conflict between Iran and Israel/United States explain the timing of the massive attack on Lebanon?…

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Israeli officials blame Bush for war
Lenin’s Tomb
…What a pretty little pass we have come to when Israeli officials can say “Bush is crazier than us!” The articles goes on to describe how Israel, as part of this agreement, initiated a series of low-key attacks in Gaza and Lebanon to provoke reactions from Hezbollah and Hamas. Of course, the protestations of innocence from Israeli officials cannot be taken in all earnestness: it has been known for some time that Israel was planning such an attack for years. Some! Israeli officials may have worried about the timing and strategy, and may have balked at a direct and immediate attack on Syria. But the plans were devised both by Tel Aviv and Washington. Bush may be the boss of his international crime syndicate, but the Israelis are made guys…

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Why do the Israelis Continue its Crimes of Destruction Murder and Robbery
Hayam Noir /PalestineFreeVoice
During the past five weeks the world have been able to watch the full scale of Israeli capabilties of criminal terrorism – their havok of Lebanons fragile infrastructure – Television teams from every corner of the world have exposed from the frontlines every minute of the day. On the contrary the Palestinians on Palestine territories have suffered under decades, from Israeli terror under exactely the same cond! itions and even so much worse – with a few exeptions no TV teams have been reporting what the the Zionists are capable of to the outside world…

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Video: To Lebanon with love
Israeli Watch
Or how Israel’s paper trail of mass destruction, annihilation, chaos and leaving civillians with no basic infrastructure in Beirut, since everything decent has actually gone up in smoke…

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“Look What You’ve Done!”
AIPAC Congratulates Itself on the Slaughter in Lebanon
“My fellow American,” Howard Friedman, President of AIPAC, begins his letter of July 30 to friends and supporters of AIPAC, “Look what you’ve done”! After warning that “Israel is fighting a pivotal war for its life,” by which he means Israel’s wanton slaughter and all-out destruction in Lebanon, Freiedman condemns “the expected chorus of international condemnation of Israel’s actions” and Europe’s call for “a cea! se-fire immediately.” Then he exults: “only ONE nation in the world came out and flatly declared: Let Israel finish the job. . That nation is the United States of America—and the reason it had such a clear, unambiguous view of the situation is YOU and the rest of America Jewry.” (All emphases in the original here and below.) Here I must take issue with President Friedman since I bet that most Jewish Americans, in contrast to the AIPAC crowd, were horrified by the slaughter in Lebanon. In fact if anyone other than President Friedman wrote this, he would be accused of fabricating a Jewish plot and labeled a nutty conspiracy theorist and scurrilous anti-semite.)…

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Speech of President Bashar al-Assad at Journalists Union 4th Conference
…We meet today when the Middle East they aspire to and which is based on submission, humiliation and on depriving peoples of their identities and their rights, has become an illusion. It has actually turned into a popular uprising throughout the Arab world, an uprising which is pan-Arab by nature, characterized by dignity and the rejection of all pretexts and excuses for keeping us submissive so that we are killed in silence in the same w! ay that sacrifices used to be offered in the past to avoid the wrath of the gods. But offering sacrifices in the past was considered a form of wisdom. So, are we supposed to adhere to that wisdom today? And does wisdom have a meaning if it was separated from courage?…

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Lebanese deaths, and Israeli war crimes, kept off the balance sheet Jonathan Cook
During Israel’s war against the people of Lebanon, our media, politicians and diplomats have colluded with the aggressors by distracting us with irrelevancies, by concocting controversies, and by framing the language of diplomacy. In the fragile truce that is currently holding while Lebanon waits for Israel to withdraw, we are simply getting more of the same. One example of the many distractions during the war that neatly reveals th! eir true purpose is the “faked Reuters photograph” affair. The supposed scandal of a Lebanese photographer tampering with a picture to add and darken smoke from an Israeli missile attack — to little or no effect, it should be noted — has not only been decried by activists on Zionist websites but amplified by mainstream commentators into a debate about whether we can trust the images of this war…

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Israel threatens to resume Lebanon operation
Independent Online
Israel will resume operations in Lebanon if a United Nations force being assembled to deploy in the south of that country does not disarm Hezbollah fighters, the Jerusalem Post daily reported Wednesday, quoting “an official in the prime minister’s office.” The Israeli warning comes in reaction to reports in the Israeli media that Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Sinora reached a deal with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah allowing the militant group to ! retain its weapons but to refrain from exhibiting them in public…

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Israeli Chief of Staff involved in Insider Trading prior to ordering War on Lebanon
This Report from Israel suggests that there was Insider Trading prior to the aerial bomb attacks on Lebanon. Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, however, was not the only person who had prior knowledge of the war on Lebanon. The war on Lebanon was part of a broader US sponsored military agenda. Further investigation into this matter is required…

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