Sunday, July 30, 2006

A comment on the C'far Qana deaths

As you may already know, as many as 60 people - about half of them children - died when a building in the Southern Lebanese village of C'far Qana collapsed. It's a horrible tragedy, one which almost everyone wishes hadn't happened.

That said, some things need to be pointed out:

  1. The village of C'far Qana was used by Hezbollah to fire at least 10 rockets at Nahariya, Kiryat Shmona, Afula, and Ma'alot since the start of the current conflict two and a half weeks ago; dozens of rockets were fired from nearby the village with the same targets in mind. As a result of these attacks, 18 Israeli citizens are dead and hundreds of Israelis were wounded.
  2. The building collapsed about eight hours after an IDF strike. So the building did not collapse immediately - why then were people still in the building? Why did the parents keep their children in an unsafe building? What exactly brought the building finally down? It could have been Hezbollah armaments inside the building, or just the building falling over after being damaged eight hours prior to collapse.
  3. Israel repeatedly dropped flyers in the area warning civilians that if they remained, they would be at risk and thus they should head north of the Litani River, about 25 miles north of the Israel/Lebanon border. Why didn't these civilians evacuate? Why didn't Hezbollah evacuate them? Did Hezbollah keep them hostage? Were they willing human shields? Heck, why is Hezbollah firing rockets from inside a civilian village in direct contradiction of international law?
  4. Why the high death toll? According to one Lebanese blogger, Hezbollah wouldn't let in the cranes that could have moved the rubble and permitted people to reach the injured sooner.

Before anyone knee-jerkedly points accusatory fingers at Israel, they might want to know the answers to these questions.

Oh, and one more thing:
Frimet and Arnold Roth, whose then 15-year-old daughter Maliki died during the August 2001 Sbarro restaurant bombing, published a great piece which really lays out the Double Standard of the world when it comes to civilian casualties in this conflict. The point is made especially well here:
However, let's be brutally honest. Many of those who claim to be outraged and distressed today over the unnecessary loss of life are thrilled at the opportunity to join in the bash-Israel free-for-all.

When the innocent women and children are Israelis, the reactions heard 'round the world are few, tempered and carefully "balanced" so that they include rebuke of the victim, Israel, as well.


The Jerusalem Post is now reporting the following:
The IDF on Thursday completed its inquiry into this week's incident in the Lebanese town of Kana, in which 28 Lebanese civilians were killed.

The report, which was submitted to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, stated that intelligence indicated that the building hit in the deadly strike was not occupied by civilians, but was being used by Hizbullah.

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