< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Israel Continues Attack on Lebanon, Other Nations Could be Drawn into Conflict

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel Continues Attack on Lebanon, Other Nations Could be Drawn into Conflict

The situation in the Middle East seems to worsen by the day as a recent New York Times article reports:

Israeli warplanes pounded roads in the south, destroying bridges and arteries, dividing large parts of the country from each other.

Warplanes also bombed roads in the north and east, cutting off some of the last remaining routes out of Lebanon and striking closer to the border with Syria. The Israeli military said the strikes were a further warning to Syria, which supports both Hezbollah and Hamas, though no Syrian sites were hit. Three civilians were reported killed in one of the strikes, on the main highway between Beirut and Damascus.

Some 30 Lebanese were killed in various attacks through the day. Over the past four days, more than 85 Lebanese have died, most of them civilians, and more than 200 have been wounded, according to Lebanese officials. Hezbollah rockets have killed four Israeli civilians and wounded more than 150 since the barrage began Wednesday.

Despite talks at the United Nations, the Group of 8 leaders meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Arab League session in Cairo, there were no signs of diplomatic progress. President Bush took his toughest line yet with Syria and Hezbollah during a joint appearance with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, in a suburb outside St. Petersburg, where they were preparing for the Group of 8 meeting. In a break from his past statements, he did not call upon Israel to show restraint.

What is most disturbing to me is the blatant disregard for human rights that people have when they defend either side in this conflict. Yes, the Palestinians have legitimate grievances against Israel due to the years of occupation, but that does not justify attacking innocent civilians in Israel. Yes, Israel has a right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist attacks, but that does not give them the right to collectively punish innocent civilians (which is further detailed in past posts). If human rights mean anything, then the killing or punishment of innocent civilians ANYWHERE and at ANYTIME should be deplored, whether it is carried out by terrorists or a state government. Anything less is pure hypocrisy.

For updated information check out the BBC's Middle East Crisis in Depth

--Tom Hayes


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