July 29, 2006

Israel rejects plea for pause in fighting

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Saturday rejected U.N.
calls for a 72-hour pause in fighting to enable relief workers
to evacuate elderly, young and wounded people from south
Lebanon and to bring in emergency aid.

"There is no need for a 72-hour temporary cease-fire
because Israel has opened a humanitarian corridor to-and-from
Lebanon," said Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner.

U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland asked on
Friday for the 72-hour cessation of hostilities to facilitate
aid efforts.

Pazner said Israel was not blocking aid from reaching south

"The problem is completely different," he said. "It is
Hizbollah, which is deliberately preventing the transfer of
medical aid and food to the population of southern Lebanon in
order to create a humanitarian crisis, which they want to blame
Israel for."