(CNSNews.com) - An Islamic advocacy group accuses Israel of waging a campaign of terror in southern Lebanon.
Moreover, the Council on American-Islamic Relations says U.S. support for "Israeli terror" is undermining America's credibility and interests worldwide.
"Whenever civilians are attacked to achieve a political goal, the charge of terrorism must be applied, whether the terrorist is an individual, a group or a state," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
"Our government must end its support for Israel's campaign of terror in Lebanon and join an international effort to protect and bring humanitarian aid to the civilian population of that devastated nation."
CAIR issued the press release in reaction to the Israeli air strike that killed 57 civilians, many of them children, in the south Lebanese village of Qana on Sunday.
CAIR said it is accusing Israel of state terrorism based on statements by Israeli officials who have said "they intend to make the civilian population of Lebanon suffer in order to put pressure on Hezbollah." (Israel has said that its quarrel is not with the people of Lebanon, but rather with Hizballah, a terrorist group that hides among the civilian population.)
CAIR noted that Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon declared last week that, "Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hizbollah."
And CAIR also noted that Israel's most popular newspaper has advocated the destruction of Lebanese villages from which Hizballah fires rockets at Israel.
Israel has said it does not target civilians, but Hizballah does -- by hiding among them and storing its weapons in their homes.
Israel noted that it has dropped leaflets throughout southern Lebanon, warning civilians to leave areas where bombs will fall; and Israel also has said anyone remaining in those areas is presumed to be in cahoots with Hizballah.
Israel has said the fighting will end when Hizballah returns the two Israeli soldiers it abducted and is no longer able to fire rockets on civilian populations in Israel.
CAIR's Hooper said President Bush should demand an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, end American arms shipments to Israel and actively support a comprehensive and just resolution to the Middle East conflict.
See Earlier Story:
Israel Giving Up 'Element of Surprise' to Save Civilian Lives (July 20, 2006)
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