CAIRO, (Reuters) – Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa called on Sunday for an international investigation into an Israeli air strike in the village of Qana that killed at least 40 Lebanese civilians, including 23 children.
“The Arab League Secretary General requested an international investigation into this massacre and other Israeli war crimes that were committed in Lebanon, especially those that affected Lebanese civilians,” an Arab League statement said.
The dawn air raid pulverised several buildings in Qana, including a three-storey house in which dozens of civilians were sheltering, killing people in their sleep.
The strike occurred as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Jerusalem on a mission to get Israel and Lebanon to agree on an international force to deploy on the border as part of a ceasefire deal.
The bombing, the single bloodiest attack during Israel’s 19-day-old war on Hezbollah guerrillas, prompted Lebanon to tell Rice she was unwelcome in Beirut before a ceasefire.
Moussa, who characterised Israeli attacks in Lebanon as “savage”, also called on the United Nations Security Council to pressure Israel to stop its military offensive and said the attacks proved Israeli ill-intent.
“The attacks that Israeli forces are launching targeting civilians and the Lebanese infrastructure are another confirmation of Israeli aggressive intentions,” the statement said.
It added Moussa would send a high level envoy to Lebanon on Monday to look into how to get humanitarian aid to the country.