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Israel enters into Lebanon and authorizes ‘severe’ response to abductions…………… (Human Rights Watch) July 13, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Conflict, Gaza, Hezbollah, Human Rights, Israel, Lebanon, Palestinian, Politics, Religion, UN.
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UN rights council condemns Israel

THE United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday voted to condemn Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip and called for the release of Palestinian officials and civilians arrested during the offensive.
In a resolution adopted by 29 votes to 11, the 47-member Council demanded a halt to Israel’s military operation and decided to “dispatch an urgent fact-finding mission by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

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JERUSALEM (CNN) — The Israeli Cabinet authorized “severe and harsh” retaliation on Lebanon after Hezbollah guerillas kidnapped two soldiers and killed three others in a cross-border raid Wednesday.

Israel quickly blamed the Lebanese government for the raid — and charged it with the soldiers’ safe release — and the Israel Defense Forces began hammering Lebanon with artillery and airstrikes hours before the Cabinet met to discuss a response.

It is the second time in three weeks that an Israeli soldier has been abducted. Concerns abound that the situation on Israel’s northern border will escalate to the level it has reached in Gaza, where the IDF launched an ongoing offensive June 28 after the abduction of Army Cpl. Gilad Shalit three days prior.

At least 19 Palestinians were reported dead in Gaza in Wednesday’s fighting, according to Palestinian sources.

Israel called Wednesday’s abductions an act of war, and Maj. Gen. Udi Adam, head of Israel’s Northern Command, said he has “comprehensive plans” to battle Hezbollah throughout Lebanon, not just in its southern stronghold.

“This affair is between Israel and the state of Lebanon,” Adam said. “Where to attack? Once it is inside Lebanon, everything is legitimate — not just southern Lebanon, not just the line of Hezbollah posts.”

Earlier, Israel’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, told Israel’s Channel 10, “If the soldiers are not returned, we will turn Lebanon’s clock back 20 years.”

Five more Israeli soldiers died in fighting following the raid. Four died in an attack on their tank, and another died as soldiers tried to help them, the IDF reported.

Four Israel civilians and six soldiers have been wounded so far in the fighting, which has included more than 100 airstrikes on what Israel says are Hezbollah bases, and road and bridges that could be used in transporting the kidnapped soldiers.

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