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White House: Bush won't press Israel to halt military operation
by Haaretz (reposted)
Friday Jul 14th, 2006 6:43 PM
The White House said Friday that United States President George W. Bush would not press Israel to halt its military operation in Lebanon.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said, when asked whether Bush had agreed to a request from Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora that he rein in the Israelis, "No. The president is not going to make military decisions for Israel."

Snow told reporters that Bush had spoken by telephone to Lebanon's prime minister among other Middle East leaders.

He said Bush believed the Israelis have the right to protect themselves, but should limit "so-called collateral damage not only to facilities but also to human lives".

Snow said Siniora had suggested a cease-fire, which Washington favored, but thought would be hard to pull off.

"It is unlikely that either or both parties are going to agree to that at this juncture," Snow said.

A leading Senate Republican on Friday urged U.S. restraint in supporting Israel's military campaign against Hezbollah, citing the problems it may cause in the war in Iraq and efforts to disarm Iran.

Senator John W. Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, issued a written statement Friday calling on the Bush administration to "think through very carefully how Israel's extraordinary reaction could affect our operations in Iraq and our joint diplomatic efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.

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http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/738183.html
by Daily Star (reposted)
Friday Jul 14th, 2006 9:34 PM
US President George W. Bush said Friday that he would not press Israel to halt its military offensive against Lebanon, but French President Jacques Chirac described the blitz as "totally disproportionate."

The remarks came as European leaders expressed fears of a widening Middle East conflict that could spiral out of control.

Chirac asked aloud whether Lebanon's destruction was not the ultimate goal of the attack.

"One could ask if today there is not a sort of will to destroy Lebanon, its equipment, its roads, its communication," Chirac said during an interview at the Elysee Palace to mark Bastille Day, France's national day.

However, he added that Hizbullah and Hamas rocket attacks on Israel were "inadmissible, unacceptable and irresponsible."

White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters that Bush spoke by telephone with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and other Middle East leaders, including Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Snow said Bush "believes the Israelis have the right to protect themselves and that in doing that they should limit as much as possible so-called collateral damage, not only to facilities but also to human lives."

Asked whether he agreed to Siniora's request to tell the Israelis to limit their military operations, Snow said: "No. The president is not going to make military decisions for Israel."

Asked if he felt the Syrians and Iranians were helping Hamas and Hizbullah, Chirac said the two groups "could not have taken these initiatives alone."

"There is, without any doubt, an action which must be discussed with Syria," the French president said. He also implied that Iran, which backs Hizbullah, may also have had a role.

"In the Middle East region, we have this crisis with Israel and Lebanon, these initiatives taken utterly irresponsibly by Hamas and Hizbullah along with the more-or-less connected affair of Iran," the French president said.

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http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=73991