21 times

Apparently, the Israeli army bombed the UN outpost 21 times over a period of about seven hours, a period during which the peacekeepers called their contact in the Israeli military after each bomb. I guess the military just took that as confirmation they were hitting their target…

I actually had no idea that there was a 2,000 strong UN force in the area, never mind that it’s not the first time they’ve been hit. I’m sorry, does Israel somehow believe the UN is directly supplying Hizbollah as well? When I rule the world, there’s going to be some serious bitchslapping going on.

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12 responses to “21 times

  1. Adie July 27, 2006 at 12:50 am

    The UN have had a presence for a long time, and still no peace.
    Some reports said the four observers moved into the bunker after it had been repeatedly hit (14 times)…very wise.
    Do you really think Israel would deliberatly attack a building with UN observers in it? If so you really are very misguided and maybe should read up a little on the history of the region and the current conflict.
    Let’s remember civilians should not be dying on either side, be it by militants attack or army response.
    But hey it’s going to be ok…one day you’ll rule the world.

  2. Rachel July 27, 2006 at 9:56 am

    Other reports say that the peacekeepers moved into the bunker after a rescue attempt had failed, ie, vehicles had been driven back by the attacks. If I were in an area being repeatedly bombed, I think I’d want to move somewhere with shelter – if it’s a case of being in the open and risk being hit by flying shrapnel or hoping that the building would not be hit directly, I’ll go in the building thanks.
    Until the other day I would not have believed that Israel would hit the UN deliberately; however, as you yourself point out, the UN have been in the area for a long time so the location of the outpost is well known, the Israeli military were aware of the bombing from an early stage so they had plenty of time to call off a ‘mistaken’ hit… it went on for too long and dropped too many bombs for it to be accidental. I’m sorry. It’s a painful conclusion for me to draw that anyone would be callous enough to hit peacekeepers, but on current evidence it looks likely.
    And as for reading up on the region… I don’t know if you’ve been back to Otis Lives recently, but does four years of studying Judaism and Jewish history satisfy you? My background is a History graduate; I’ve been trained to look at evidence and draw conclusions. It’s more difficult to do with current events because not all the evidence is in, but if you continue to read this blog you will see that I’m not wedded to particular beliefs, and I will change my opinions if presented with new satisfactory evidence (ie, actual empirical evidence, not opinion). However! The main point to remember in all analysis is that you need to look at all sides. Why not be willing to accept that Israel could do something appalling if also willing to accept that Hizbollah are willing to do some appalling things?
    And when I rule the world, both bloody sides will have their heads knocked together and told to grow up, not just one.

  3. Adie July 27, 2006 at 10:46 am

    I havent had the chance to see Otis Lives yet, but will check it out now.
    I do my best to look at both sides. Which is what prompted me to post on your blog.
    I read your posts on Israel and all that came out from it was, here is another person who’s seen a headline but does not know what’s going on – the history, who the sides are, what they stand for, why they are fighting…whatever you feel is needed to make an opinion. And
    I do not say that to try and offend. It’s what I originally thought.
    By all means have your opinion but if you see wrong in both sides, say so.
    Where is the post condeming Hizbollah’s timed incursion into Israel that caused this?
    Israel had left Lebanon a long time ago but have you posted anything showing your aoutrage to the continued border incursions that since 2000 the Israeli leaders have mostly ignored or remained very restrained about.
    Where are your posts that talk about how after being democratically elected Hamas should begin rebuilding their land instead of declaring they do not accept Israel or will not disarm?
    Did you post anything on the continued rocket attacks from Gaza after Israel left?
    Have you posted anything against the comments and incitement of hatred coming from Iran aimed at Israel?
    What is happening is a mess and I’d like to see it over with but repeatedly condeming Israel in your posts doesnt show an unbiased and knowledgable opinion that you say you have.

  4. Pete July 27, 2006 at 10:47 am

    Rachel: When are you standing for election? You’re not going to get world presidency by blogging.
    Adie: With the story as we understand it, it’s very hard to put the UN staff at fault. If you’re in a building that’s being constantly shelled, you don’t stick your head outside to see if it’s stopped.
    As they were able to communicate with the Israelis directly, their best bet was to stay put and hope the shelling would stop when their message was passed on. The fact the shelling didn’t stop implies either a failure of communications (ie. military incompetence) or a deliberate attempt to attack the UN position. If you believe the second possibility is unlikely, then the first should be just as chilling. This is evidence that lethal attacks are being orchestrated by Israeli forces against targets containing no Hizbollah combatants.

  5. Adie July 27, 2006 at 11:02 am

    I don’t believe the UN staff were at fault. I wasn’t arguing what happened. I don’t believe it was deliberate though.
    What could Israel possibly have to gain from targetting the UN? They may not be happy with the success, or lack of, of the current force but they have said they will accept a European-led peacekeeping force that can actually make a difference in Southern Lebanon.

  6. Pete July 27, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Unfortunately, the deliberate targetting of observers or journalists seems to be part of modern “high precision” warfare. There were lots of reports of journalists getting “accidentally targetted” in Iraq.
    There are two probably overlapping causes for this. One is that high precision warfare is only as good as your understanding of where the enemy is on the ground. The other is that if you want your dubiously legal actions to go unreported, it’s a great idea to keep any independent plausible witnesses hiding in a bunker, or worse, a coffin.

  7. Rachel July 27, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    The problem with Hizbollah/Hamas and Israel is that, as I’ve been banging on about over at Otis Lives, I frankly don’t expect that much from them, but I expect better from Israel as a proper, decent democratic country. And I admit I pick and choose my current affairs topics, based generally on what’s in the news at the time 🙂 Most of what happens in the Arab-Israeli conflict is tit for tat and if you really wanted to fuck your head up you could trace each cause and effect back to 1948 and probably beyond; the main effect of Will’s posts on Otis Lives is a general howl of dismay at how screwed up the whole thing is. But Israel has the chance to be the bigger person and it threw it away. *sigh* Yes, under provocation, but it’s been under provocation since 1948. Arab leaders signed a statement a few years back acknowledging Israel’s right to exist (like, whoop-di-do), that could have been a great building point. And now everyone’s pissed off again. My posts are starting to get to the point where I’m joining Will in howling in despair.
    Pete – if I world president, when would I get the time to piss about on the internet? Must do some work now…

  8. Will July 27, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    Exactly. Israel could have decided to better it’s relationship with the rest of the Middle East, but instead decided to go the other way.
    This will inevitably lead to more attacks on Israel, and more Israeli casualties. Saying ‘oh, well they started it’ is not the mature response expected of a civilised country. And as Rachel says, you can quite easily go back before the end of June and see plenty of actions by Israel that prompted Hamas and Hezbollah to do what they did.
    eg.”Let’s go on a brief excursion into pre-history. I’m talking about June 20, 2006, when Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.
    Back we go again to June 13, 2006. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in another attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.
    Now we’re really in the dark ages, reaching far, far back to June 9, 2006, when Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians and injuring 32.
    That’s just a brief trip down Memory Lane, and we trip over the bodies of twenty dead and forty-seven wounded, all of them Palestinians, most of them women and children.” From an article here – http://mostlywater.org/node/8420
    The thing is, Hamas and Hezbollah have nothing to gain from stopping the violence, in fact their support will grow while it continues. But Israel have everything to gain, that’s why I just don’t understand why they don’t pursue this. They repeatedly say to the international community that they want peace, but they refuse to reach for it.

  9. Will July 27, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    This just in from the Israeli Justice Minister – “All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah,”
    Is it just me or did 9/11 give everyone the green light to attack whoever they want, so long as they describe them as ‘terrorists’.

  10. Pete July 27, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    Well, since we’ve just witnessed the anniversary celebrations of the King David Hotel bombing, it would be hypocritical in the extreme to claim terrorism as the only justification for the action. I’m not sure anyone is doing that.
    I think this article adds some political context that I was missing. The Israeli policy has been to retreat from settlements, cut down on occupation of Palestine and define a border, while unilaterally defending that border against any incursions that would be recognised by international law.
    The policy makes some sense, but seems more likely to lead to an escalation of violence in the area than a lasting peace. Given the likely presence of nukes on both sides in the near future, further escalation is not what we want to see.

  11. Rachel July 27, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    “All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah”.
    Or: they’re elderly, or too poor to have a car or pay someone to drive them out, or are wounded or ill and can’t walk, or are heavily pregnant, or…

  12. Will July 27, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    Or they’re related to that old guy who just refused to leave his shack on the sides of Mt Helena…

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