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CAPPS BLAMES HEZBOLLAH FOR VIOLENCE


Lois Capps has laid the blame for the current chapter of the Middle East crisis firmly on Hezbollah’s shoulders. Formed in 1982 to fight Israeli Defense Forces who occupied Lebanon until 2000, Hezbollah is the Lebanese Shi’a party with a stated goal of removing Israel from the map and returning the land to Palestine. After Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers, Israel launched air strikes on Lebanon last Wednesday and sent ground troops into Southern Lebanon a few days later; about 230 Lebanese, overwhelmingly civilians, have been killed. Meanwhile, Hezbollah fired rockets on Haifa and other Northern Israeli cities, resulting in the deaths of 25 Israelis as of Wednesday night. Arguing that Israel “has the absolute right to defend itself from the unprovoked cross-border attack by Hezbollah and continuous raining of deadly missiles,” Capps said it is “in the U.S. national interest to force Hezbollah to disarm.” She urged the Bush administration to “engage in immediate, robust, hands-on diplomacy” in order to prevent the “terrifying and ominous” conflict from spreading to Syria and Iran, which have both supported Hezbollah.

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