‘THE position of Israel and its heinous crimes against our civilians will not break the will of the Lebanese people. There is no place on this sad morning for any discussion other than an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.’
These were the angry words of the Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora yesterday morning as he spoke after the Israeli air force massacre of more than 60 civilians, 37 of them children, bombed to death while they slept in the southern city of Qana.
Siniora also demanded an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council to deal with the situation and impose a ceasefire on Israel.
The Lebanese masses reacted to the atrocity by attacking and entering the UN building in Beirut, ransacking it.
It was then announced that the UN Security Council would begin a special meeting at 4pm GMT yesterday.
The US Secretary of State Rice, speaking from Jerusalem, postponed her visit to Beirut which was due to take place yesterday.
Rice said: ‘In the wake of the tragedy of the people and the government of the Lebanon I have decided to postpone my discussions in Beirut. In any case my work today is here.
‘I will continue to meet with Israeli officials as we work to put in place all that is necessary to bring an end to this conflict.’
She did not call for an immediate ceasefire, while Israeli Prime Minister Olmert said that the bombing campaign would continue.
Olmert added that Israel was not in a hurry to agree to a ceasefire until it achieved its goals in the area. Later he said that Israel required ten more days.
Israel’s military said it had warned residents of Qana to leave.
In fact, yesterday the bombing was intensified with the strike at Qana and a very provocative attack on the Syria-Lebanon border crossing at Masnaa.
Before Sunday’s attack, the UN said some 600 people – about a third of them children – had been killed by Israeli action in Lebanon since their operations began 19 days ago.
British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett refused to call for an immediate ceasefire while Labour left Tony Benn told a rally in Trafalgar Square that the ‘British government is now a party to the murder of civilians’.
At the rally for Lebanon and Palestine, Lebanese man Issam Fayed told News Line: ‘This is Bush’s democracy they give to the world.
‘America sent in Israel to bomb innocent people in the middle of the night.
‘The bombing of civilians is cowardly, they can’t defeat the resistance of Lebanon.’
Julie Stagg added: ‘The Israelis are cowards.
‘They can’t get to Hezbollah so they are taking out their anger on the Lebanese civilians.’
Dr Daoud Abdullah from the Muslim Council of Britain told the rally: ‘Today we see the Israeli Army has been defeated in Lebanon.
‘This is why they have resorted to the desperate bombing of civilians at Qana.
‘The US and UK support the Israeli bombing or they would have stopped it.’
In a message to Bush and Blair he said: ‘History will judge you – you participated in the bombing of women and children.’
Labour MP John Austin condemned the British government: ‘Failing to condemn Israel is to be complicit in their war crimes.’
‘We demand an immediate ceasefire.’
He condemned foreign secretary Beckett’s mild protest over the US bomb transports using British airports.
Austin said: ‘Damn the procedure, what about the principles? British bases should not be used to send precision guided missiles to Israel.’