Arab MKs slam Israeli 'war crimes'

Tibi: Rice's smart bombs, Halutz's praised pilots at fault for Qana attack.

tibi mahoul 298.88 (photo credit: )
tibi mahoul 298.88
(photo credit: )
"(Condoleezza) Rice's smart bombs and (Dan) Halutz's praised pilots brought about an additional war crime," MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL) said on Sunday in response to the IDF attack in the southern Lebanese village of Qana. He added that Ehud Olmert, Amir Peretz and George W. Bush were all responsible for the amount of dead left in Lebanon. MK Taleb A-Sanaa (Ra'am-Ta'al) called for a state inquiry into "this useless war". He demanded that all those responsible for the Qana incident's "tragic outcome" stand trial. A-Sanaa insisted that the ongoing violence was not a war, but had been a string of "ongoing war crimes" since the beginning which were initiated by "the bombing of residential neighborhoods in Beirut, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians and end today in Qana." According to Balad lawmaker Jamal Zahalka, "Israel has declared war on the citizens of Lebanon and the massacre in Qana is part of that. Those responsible have committed a war crime and should be tried in The Hague. The world must act quickly to stop the Olmert-Peretz-Halutz war machine." NRP Chairman Zevulun Orlev accused the Arab MKs of being "Nasrallah's spokesmen." According to Orlev, "I expect every Israeli MK to regret the loss of innocent life and condemn Nasrallah for using civilians as a human shield." MK Effi Eitam said Hizbullah was preventing citizens from fleeing north and was "cynically" using them as a human shield. Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu said, "Civilians were given enough time to leave." "Israel is trying to minimize civilian casualties," he insisted, "otherwise the number of casualties would be in the tens of thousands." Meretz's Yossi Beilin said that no explanation on behalf of the IDF Spokesman could justify the harming of the innocent. He even predicted that this act may be repeated more than once as the operations continue. The leader of Meretz, which so far did not officially take part in left-wing demonstrations against the war, stated that "the severe hit on civilians in Qana proves that the only way to end the ongoing violence was through negotiations." Beilin called on the government to make efforts to arrange for a conditional cease-fire, which would include the return of IDF soldiers and the deployment of an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. Labor Minister Issac Herzog spoke of Israel's efforts to deter Qana's residents from staying. He mentioned a similar attempt ten years ago made by the IDF to remove civilians from the same location. Herzog described the village as a "civilian target from which rockets were being launched." He recognized the pain of involving civilians into operation, but justified this action as consequential. In the end, the government's goal is to protect its citizens: "One million of these citizens are now living in bomb shelters," he said.