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Breaking News: Angry Beirut Protesters Storm U.N. Building

Reported by Marie Therese - July 30, 2006 -

CNN International is reporting that thousands of Lebanese protesters have stormed the U. N. compound in Beirut. The crowd is growing by the minute and includes Christians as well as Muslims, all praising Hezbollah and expressing their hatred of the U. S., Israel and the U. N. CNN reports that earlier today Israel bombed a four-story apartment building in the town of Qana killing between 36 to 51 civilians and this, in turn, impelled Lebanese who were "on the sidelines" to come out into the street. The pictures of the dead and injured are described as "horrific" because most of the victims were women and children. Even though Israel warned the civilians to leave, the CNN reporter explained that due to Israeli air strikes against civilian vehicles, the degraded iroads and the lack of gas, many civilians were too afraid and/or simply unable to leave.

As a result of this Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has said that his country will not engage in talks with the Israelis in light of what he calls a "war crime" against civilians.

"There is no place on this sad morning for any discussion other than an immediate and unconditional ceasefire as well as an international investigation into the Israeli massacres in Lebanon now," Siniora said at a news conference.

Initial news reports said that Siniora canceled Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to Beirut. In a press conference that just ended, Rice denied this, saying that she canceled the visit. Rice will remain in Jerusalem.

Qana was the site of another Israeli shelling in 1996 and, therefore, it is has powerful symbolism in Lebanon.

From Wikipedia:

The Qana shelling took place on April 18, 1996 in Qana, a village located southeast of Tyre, Lebanon. Qana is one possible site for the Biblical Cana, where Jesus is said by John 2 to have turned water into wine. Amid heavy fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah during "Operation Grapes of Wrath", a Fijian UNIFIL compound in the village was shelled by Israeli artillery. Around 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge there to escape the fighting, of whom 106 were killed and around 116 others injured. Four UNIFIL soldiers were also seriously injured. The event has sometimes been referred to as the Qana massacre, for example by Human Rights Watch and the BBC.

An Israeli spokesman who just appeared simply repeated their standard line, i.e., that Israel is not to blame for any civilian deaths because, in order to fight Hezbollah, they have to bomb civilians because Hezbollah hides behind civilians.

FOX News did not begin coverage of this until 6:35 PM EDT, 30 minutes after CNN.