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Arab League head: Mideast peace process 'dead'

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CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- The Middle East peace process is "dead," Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said on Saturday.

"Certain powers have given Israel every capacity to do whatever it wishes," and that had hit hopes for peace, he told a news conference after a heated meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo, Egypt.

Only the United Nations Security Council had the power to do anything about the crisis now, he said.

"The council of ministers invites the Security Council to meet to study the Arab-Israeli conflict in all its aspects because of the failure of all efforts related to the peace process," Reuters quoted Moussa as saying.

Foreign ministers from 18 Arab League nations held the emergency, closed-door meeting to address Israel's attacks on Lebanon and on the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Israel's campaign in Lebanon began when Hezbollah militants based there abducted two Israeli soldiers and killed three others during a raid into Israel Wednesday. Israel vowed to free the soldiers.

Gaza is Israel's second front in its operation to rout what it sees as terror groups. On Saturday, its forces pushed deeper into Gaza in retaliation for Hamas' kidnapping of an Israeli soldier last month.

On the Lebanese front, Israeli warplanes struck key ports, the capital Beirut and the border area near Syria to cut off all routes in and out of the nation. Hezbollah launched scores of rockets from Lebanon into Israel on Saturday, the fourth day of violence.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Saturday declared the attacks had had turned his country into a "disaster zone".

Siniora calling for an immediate cease-fire and international help to stop attacks from what he called Israel's "war machine," according to CNN's translation.

He said Israel was "punishing all Lebanese collectively, with their actions lacking any moral or legal legitimacy."

U.S. President George W. Bush, speaking from St. Petersburg, Russia, as he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, blamed Hezbollah for the violence and called on Syria to exert its influence to persuade the Shiite group to stop attacks on Israel.

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