Israel rejects UN request for temporary ceasefire for humanitarian relief

29/07/2006 

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel on Saturday rejected a request by the UN for a three-day ceasefire in Lebanon to deliver humanitarian supplies and allow civilians to leave the war zone.

“There is no need for a temporary, 72-hour ceasefire because Israel has opened humanitarian corridors to and from and Lebanon,” he told reporters.

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

Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian chief, on Friday called for a three-day truce between Israel and Hezbollah to evacuate trapped civilians and replenish supplies to areas cut off by the fighting. He said thousands of children, elderly and disabled had been stranded after more than two weeks of fighting, while supplies of food and medicines were dwindling.

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