Monday, August 07, 2006

Middle East Crisis: Day 27, Israel murders 40 civilians

In retaliation for 15 dead Israeli civilians and 12 Israeli army reservists at the hands of Hizballah -an Israeli air raid killed more than 40 civilians in a Lebanese village on Monday, Lebanon's prime minister said, and other air strikes killed 19 after diplomatic efforts to end the 27-day-old war stalled.
"An hour ago, a horrific massacre took place in Houla village as a result of the intentional Israeli bombardment that resulted in more than 40 martyrs," Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told an emergency Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut.
Residents of Houla said they feared up to 60 people, including many children, had been killed. They said most of the people were shepherds who had refused to flee the fighting.
Nineteen people were killed in separate strikes on other villages in the south and the eastern Bekaa valley.
Speaking before news of the Houla raid, Lebanese Health Minister Mohammad Khalifeh said the war had killed 925 people, mostly civilians, with 75 missing, presumed dead.
About one-third of the dead were children under the age of 13, he told Reuters. Ninety-four Israelis have also been killed.