Sunday, July 30, 2006

IAF Strike Kills 60

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IAF planes struck the Hezbollah-infiltrated town af Qana killing many including reportedly children:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the area was a focal point for the firing of Katyusha rockets on Kiryat Shmona and Afula. He said that from the outset of the conflict "hundreds of rockets have been fired from the Qana area."

Olmert stressed that there was no IDF policy of targeting innocent civilians, as opposed to Hizbullah that has launched rockets "with the aim of murdering innocent civilians in northern Israel."

..."We warned the residents that we would be attacking there," he said. "We work under the assumption that the villages are empty and that whoever is there is affiliated with the Hizbullah."

The officer estimated that Qana was being used by the Hizbullah to fire rockets at Israel due to the symbolism in the village. In 1996, Israel was forced to suspend Operation Grapes of Wrath against the Hizbullah after artillery shells killed over 100 Lebanese refugees seeking refuge in a UN building in the village.

Hezbollah has made it a policy of firing from residential areas:

THIS is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon's battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.

The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.

Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.

The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.

Jeff Jacoby has some thoughts.

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