Carter blasts Lebanon offensive

Former US president Jimmy Carter criticized Israel's military operation in Lebanon on Tuesday, calling on Israel to halt the offensive. In an opinion column published in The Washington Post, Carter said that the first step in ending the conflict was for Israel to stop its attacks and "withdraw from all Lebanese territory, including Shebaa Farms." "It is inarguable," Carter added, "that Israel has a right to defend itself against attacks on its citizens, but it is inhumane and counter-productive to punish civilian populations in the illogical hope that somehow they will blame Hamas and Hizbullah for provoking the devastating response."