Montreal, Canada - August 20, 2006

RCPL asks the United Nations to conduct an investigation

On July 12, 2006 Israel launched a military operation against Lebanon after Hezbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers and killed eight. This operation took end on August 14, 2006 when the United Nation adopted a new resolution 1701. The UNSCR has been anonymously adopted in the UN and was accepted by the Lebanese and Israeli governments.

The result of this massive operation, after 34 days of massive attack, was catastrophic:
- More than 1100 civilian dead, about 4000 injured and about one million displaced
- Israel's air force carried out approximately 7,000 aerial attacks throughout Lebanon while its navy conducted more than 2,500 bombardments of the Lebanese coast
- the bombing of some 15,000 houses and 900 other private buildings in addition to airports (four), ports, roads, bridges (about 100), fuel tanks, electricity transformers, telecoms network, schools, hospitals, factories and other infrastructure

According to experts, the explosions and the subsequent wide scale destruction have released large amounts of chemical and dust particles into the atmosphere, while the targeting of fuel reservoirs have resulted in a 140 km long oil spill which inflicted serious environmental damage to the Lebanese coast as well as to its archeological sites. These chemicals cause long-term health issues such as respiratory problems and cancer.

The Center for Economic Research in Beirut predicted repair and reconstruction costs will rise above US$7 billion, which could take years to complete.

On August 15, 2006, thousands of Lebanese, displaced by Israel's war with Hezbollah, returned back to find their village devastated by Israeli bombing and their home in ruins.

On August 16, 2006, Israel and Hezbollah both loudly proclaimed victory, with leaders on both sides of the bloody 34 days war seeking to justify the conflict's heavy costs.

RCPL is deeply concerned about this catastrophic humanitarian situation that affects the Lebanese civilians, and calls on the Lebanese government and the international community to conduct a transparent investigation in order to determine the direct and indirect responsibilities of both sides involved in this war. Such investigation is essential to avoid similar catastrophes in the future and to save civilian lives.

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