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Home >> World
UPDATED: 18:03, July 29, 2006
Israel rejects UN call for 72-hour ceasefire for humanitarian aid
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Israel rejected Saturday the United Nations' call for a 72-hour pause in fighting, during which the elderly, young and wounded people in southern Lebanon can be evacuated and emergency aid can be dispatched, local newspaper Ha' aretz reported.

The report quoted government spokesman Avi Pazner as saying that "There is no need for a 72-hour truce, as Israel has opened a humanitarian corridor to-and-from Israel."

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also said that she was favorable to a French proposal to open humanitarian corridors in Lebanon.

"We accept (the proposal) because we are not making war on Lebanon, nor on its government, nor on its civilian population," Livni was quoted as saying in an interview with France's leading newspaper Le Figaro.

"We are making war on Hezbollah," she added.

France has pushed for corridors to be set up on both land and maritime routes to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches civilians in Lebanon.

France, which has long-standing historic links to its former colony, Lebanon, helped broker the UN Security Council Resolution 1559 in September 2004 and has taken a leading role in working to resolve the current crisis.

On Friday, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland asked for a 72-hour truce in Lebanon to facilitate the evacuation of wounded Lebanese civilians and the delivery of the urgent humanitarian aid in southern Lebanon.

Israel continued its bombardments on Lebanon as its massive assault in the country entered the 18th day.

Some 600 Lebanese civilians had been killed in Israeli attacks, according to Lebanese official count.

Over 50 Israelis including 18 civilians have also been killed in the conflict which erupted on July 12 following the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah guerillas during cross-border attacks.

Source: Xinhua

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