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-> Greens Press -> UK must ensure an end to the violence in Lebanon
23932006-07-25

Green Party in England & Wales

Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor, UN Peace Messenger for
Brighton & Hove commented: "Of course we condemn the violence on all
sides and call on both Israel and Hezbollah to cease all military
actions, which are indiscriminately killing civilians and as such
clearly breach international law

"Britain and the US are now very much alone in not calling for an
immediate ceasefire. This is a new low, even for British foreign
policy. We have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure an
immediate cessation of hostilities.

"The UK and US government's talk of the need for proportionality
suggests that the bombing of only a few innocent civilians as opposed
to almost 400 would have been justified. But the slaughter of
innocent civilians is not justified on any scale.

"Sadly, civilian suffering is inevitable in such a violent,
comprehensive offensive. At least 362 Lebanese, the great majority
civilians, have been killed during the conflict, which is now into
its 13th day. Thirty-seven Israelis have been killed, about half of
them civilians. (1)

"But it is not only in the here and now that lives are being
devastated - prospects for future stability are daily being further
eroded. Lebanon's infrastructure is also being destroyed, whilst
hundreds of thousands of Lebanese are being driven from their homes
and villages.

"What little credibility the UK might have had as a nation looking
for stability and lasting peace within this desperately troubled
region has been well and truly destroyed by our steadfast refusal to
call for a ceasefire and ask Israel to call off the dogs of war.

The UK and the international community must ensure international law
is fully respected in the Middle East by all players, including not
just Hezbollah and Israel but the US and UK too. As long as our
troops are supporting the unlawful US occupation of Iraq we cant
expect to be treated as impartial peacemakers in the region.

"The US' decision to speed up delivery of the exports of two-tonne
'bunker buster' bombs to Israel, clearly shows that thought they may
claim to recognise the need for an end to violent hosilities, they
are not prepared to stop furnishing Israel with their very tools of
destruction." (2)






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