Israel’s mighty air force has killed tens of women and children in Qana, the site of a massacre in 1996.
The missiles destroyed several homes in the village of Qana as people were sleeping. Rescue officials said at least 50 people were killed, and the bodies of 27 children were found in the rubble. Israel said it targeted Qana because it was a base for hundreds of rockets launched at Israel, including 40 that injured five Israelis on Sunday. Israel said it had warned civilians several days before to leave the village. (link expired, death toll rose to 56)
The LBC reporter says the targeted building did not appear like a launching site for rockets. The Qana residents reportedly stayed in their village because all roads leading out of the village were being bombed by the Israeli air force.
Siniora asked Rice, expected in Beirut today, not to come. The 7-point plan is dead.
Saniora said Lebanon would be open only to an immediate cease-fire. "There is no place at this sad moment for any discussions other than an immediate and unconditional cease-fire as well as international investigation of the Israeli massacres in Lebanon now," he told reporters Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would not rush into a cease-fire until it achieved its goal of decimating Hezbollah, whose July 12 capture of two Israel soldiers provoked the fighting.
Siniora spoke during a joint press conference with Nabih Berri.
British FM agrees that the strike on Qana has derailed the efforts to reach a ceasefire.
British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said strike on Qana was a "tragedy for the people affected," especially so since negotiators had been close to reaching "the basis for a cease-fire." She said the U.N. resolution was no longer on track to being reached by Monday or Tuesday. "We need to go back and pick up the pieces," Beckett told Sky News. But she stopped short of calling for a cease-fire. "We have repeatedly called on the Israelis to act proportionately," Beckett said. (link to AP story quoted here expired. Try this.)
Refugees are currently storming the UN headquarters in downtown Beirut, taking out their rage on the building. They are reportedly demanding the US ambassador quit the country.
Note: the link to the AP story quoted above expired.