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Victims of Israeli Rocket Attacks Need Help

In the past seven days, the Israeli army occupying south Lebanon has raided and bombarded 49 villages in south Lebanon, air-raided civilian neighborhoods in Beirut, destroyed two power plants in Beirut, killed 114 civilians and injured 270, and forced 400,000 civilians - 20 percent of Lebanon's population - out of their homes.

An Israeli army communique states, "Civilians who live next to Hizbollah activist centers and homes may be hurt," but an Israeli military commander was quoted by United Press International as saying, "We are shooting at everything that moves."

Israel is currently occupying a 15-kilometer wide "buffer" in south Lebanon that it claims as a security zone to protect its northern border. The plan behind this is the following: If the Lebanese don't resist this occupation, there will be no fighting and Israel can justify its presence in the so-called security zone as effective. On the other hand, if the Lebanese resist the occupation, Israel can justify its presence as necessary to protect its border. The aim is to permanently and militarily control a part of Lebanon.

But the Lebanese have chosen to resist the military oppression, and the Israeli army is determined to crush their resistance by targeting civilians. The victims are children and farmers. The result is hundreds killed, and hundreds of thousands of refugees losing their homes overnight. More than 10 percent of Lebanon's population was displaced in less than 96 hours. Reuters reported that "an Israeli helicopter rocketed an ambulance fleeing south Lebanon Saturday, killing six passengers including two women and four children." Yesterday, Israel shelled a United Nations peace keepers' base, killing 74 Lebanese and wounding 109. The casualties were among this week's refugees.

Why is it that we ask the resisters to stop resisting but we do not ask the occupier to stop occupying? If I am to speak for the 400,000 direct victims of Israel's blind shelling of Lebanon, two words come to mind: Please help!

Issam A. Lakkis G

Lebanese Club President