The UN’s emergency relief coordinator has accused Israel of breaking humanitarian law with its bombing of Lebanon. Touring the devastated capital, Beirut, Jan Egeland, said half a million people are now in need of help which cannot reach them because of the Israeli strikes.
“There’s no military solution to these things, there’s only a political solution,” he said. “In the next few days, the UN will have a large trucking fleet come in to the country. We will have boats calling up the ports with regular supplies for the civilian population, but we need access. We do not have free access at the moment,” he added.
Egeland plans to travel to Israel on Tuesday to negotiate safe corridors for humanitarian aid. Earlier the French Foreign Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, met Israeli officials in Haifa to discuss the crisis and give support to the many French who live in the city.
France has been critical of Israel’s offensive and Douste-Blazy said his thoughts were first and foremost with the civilian victims of unjustified violence. Meanwhile, after talks with Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier, Israel’s Defence Minister, Amir Peretz, has announced that Israel is ready to accept the deployment of an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.