Britain dramatically broke ranks with George Bush last night over the Lebanon crisis, publicly criticising Israel's military tactics and urging America to 'understand' the price being paid by ordinary Lebanese civilians.
The remarks, made in Beirut by the Foreign Office minister, Kim Howells, were the first public criticism by this country of Israel's military campaign, and placed it at odds with Washington's strong support. The Observer can also reveal that Tony Blair voiced deep concern about the escalating violence during a private telephone conversation with the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, last week.
Israeli jets have blitzed Lebanon and Hezbollah fired off more deadly rockets in a new bout of tit-for-tat attacks as the conflict continued to spiral despite international efforts for a ceasefire.As a host of top European diplomats descended on the region,Syriafueled fears the fighting could spread, issuing a stark warning that it would intervene if Israel invaded Lebanon.
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