Aram I Says Israel Must Stop Massacre of Lebanese People

ANTELLIAS–Lebanon–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia tersely condemned the bombing of a building in the southern Lebanese city of Qana–calling it a massacre.

"What has happened in Qana–South Lebanon by Israel–is outrageous–inhumane and against all international laws and conventions," the Catholicos said in a statement to the international press.

"I simply do not understand how Israel describes as ‘a technical error’ the shelling with his advanced and sophisticated war machine a building where children–women–sick and disabled people have taken refuge. All sorts of justifications or clarifications provided by Israel are unacceptable in the face of this human tragedy," said Aram I.

Speaking about the continuing attacks–Aram I said: "Was the shelling by Israel of a UN observer post in South Lebanon–which took the lives of four UN observers a `technical error’? Was the pounding of civilian cars–ambulances and trucks carrying humanitarian aid to the refugees ‘a technical error’? Was the destruction of roads–bridges–electricity supplying centers and infrastructures it ‘a technical error’? Was the bombing of building housing hundreds of families ‘a technical error’?"

Aram I emphatically added that "This war must end. It must stop immediately and without any condition. Innocent people are being killed–families are being destroyed; Lebanon is on the brink of collapse and people are still dealing with diplomacy. One cannot remain indifferent before human’slaughter… We must protect human life by all means. The UN and the powers of this world must act firmly on this basis. This is the realistic way of dealing responsibly with this complex and critical situation. First protection of life and only then creation of proper conditions for diplomacy and for the settlement of the conflict. Therefore–I add my voice to the Spiritual Leaders–both Muslem and Christian–of Lebanon–to appeal to the international community–for an immediate cease-fire."

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