BIRRI REJECTS UN DRAFT – as 11 Israeli soldiers killed, many injured in Katyusha attack

Young people condemn Israel in last Saturday’s 100,000-strong march in London
Young people condemn Israel in last Saturday’s 100,000-strong march in London

At least eleven Israeli soldiers were killed and dozens more were injured, some seriously, yesterday when a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket scored a direct hit on the entrance to the Kfar Giladi kibbutz near Kiryat Shmona.

The rocket was part of a barrage of 80 missiles fired in 15 minutes and caused panic among the Israeli troops and local police as they frantically removed the wounded by helicopter.

Elsewhere, Hezbollah fighters targeted Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles in Wadi Honeen on the border and an armoured Israeli unit attempting to advance towards Adayseh village, killing or wounding several soldiers.

Fighters said two tanks and two bulldozers were destroyed in the fierce battles. Two more tanks were badly damaged when Israeli forces tried to advance north near Biyada village.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Social Affairs minister, Nayla Moawad, said the UN draft resolution was not acceptable as it did not meet the seven points outlined by the Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora.

She said the resolution ‘will not ensure a comprehensive ceasefire.’

She stressed ‘the seven points require the return of Lebanese authority over the whole of Lebanese territory’.

She demanded ‘the return of the Shabaa Farms or at least the Israeli withdrawal from the Shabaa Farms and the release of political prisoners.’

Moawad stressed that ‘only the seven points will ensure a ceasefire that will not put Lebanon back in a fragile situation where it can be violated at any moment’.

She said the humanitarian situation was worse, with many villages in the south ‘unable to get medicines, or to get bread’ since the beginning of the Israeli invasion.

The Speaker of the Lebanese parliament Nabih Birri told a news conference in Beirut: ‘Lebanon rejects the draft UN resolution because it allows Israeli troops to remain on Lebanese soil.’

He stressed: ‘Lebanon, all of Lebanon, rejects any talks or any draft resolution that does not include the seven-point government framework.’

Eight more Lebanese civilians were killed yesterday as Israel continued air and artillery strikes across south Lebanon.

Five died when Israeli warplanes bombed a house in the village of Ansar and three others were killed in Naqoura, on the Mediterranean coast side of Lebanon/Israel border.

Three Chinese UN peacekeepers were injured in crossfire between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters.

• Three women and a man were arrested at Prestwick Airport yesterday after breaking through security fencing and getting onto the main runway.

A spokesman for the four protesters said they described themselves as ‘citizen weapons inspectors’ and were investigating reports that Prestwick was still being used as a refuelling stop for US aircraft carrying bombs and missiles to Israel.

• The senior nuclear negotiator for Iran said yesterday his country will not suspend uranium enrichment.