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'Israel bombing breaks humanitarian law'

Written by: Staff

Beirut, Jul 23: Israeli bombing of a crowded Beirut neighbourhood where Hizbollah had its headquarters has breached humanitarian law, a senior UN official said today.

''It is horrific. I did not know it was block after block of houses,'' Jan Egeland, the UN emergency relief coordinator, told reporters as he toured the shattered Haret Hreik district. ''It makes it a violation of humanitarian law.'' Egeland was visibly shocked as he witnessed the devastation in the Shi'ite Muslim quarter where repeated air raids have flattened a Hizbollah compound of buildings.

He said it was hard to distinguish between military and civilian targets in the neighbourhood, which had once been teeming with civilians alongside the Hizbollah headquarters.

''We are setting up a major relief operation but the violence has to stop and the enormous bombardment that we have seen here with one block after another being levelled has to stop,'' he said.

''It is costing too many lives and it will not lead to a solution in the south.''


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