Bush Rejects Lebanon's Call for
By Tom Raum
The Associated Press
Friday 14 July 2006
St. Petersburg, Russia - President Bush rejected Lebanon's calls for a cease-fire in escalating Mideast violence on Friday, saying only that Israel should try to limit civilian casualties as it steps up attacks on its neighbor.
"The president is not going to make military decisions for Israel," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
Lebanon's prime minister asked Bush, during a phone call Friday, to pressure Israel for a cease-fire. But Bush told Prime Minister Fuad Saniora that Israelis have a right to protect themselves.
"We think it's important that, in doing that, they try to limit as much as possible the so-called collateral damage, not only on civilians but also on human lives," Snow said.
Israeli war planes have been bombing sites around Lebanon, including the main airport, bridges and power stations, to punish Hezbollah for the capture of two Israeli soldiers. At least 61 people in Lebanon have been killed.
On the other side, Hezbollah militants have fired hundreds of rockets at northern Israel. At least 10 Israelis have been killed.