Left-wing politics from the US to Nepal, via Zimbabwe, South America and Palestine.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Human Rights Watch report on Lebanon

Damn, they're quick. A 51-page report on the war, including Qana, available here.

Some selected quotes:
"The Israeli government claims that it targets only Hezbollah, and that fighters from the group are using civilians as human shields, thereby placing them at risk. Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack. "
Got that? NO HUMAN SHIELDS. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Fuck the Israeli army.
"By consistently failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, Israel has violated one of the most fundamental tenets of the laws of war: the duty to carry out attacks on only military targets. The pattern of attacks during the Israeli offensive in Lebanon suggests that the failures cannot be explained or dismissed as mere accidents; the extent of the pattern and the seriousness of the consequences indicate the commission of war crimes."
Got that? War crimes, no more, no less.
"The report breaks civilian deaths into two categories: attacks on civilian homes and attacks on civilian vehicles. In both categories, victims and witnesses interviewed independently and repeatedly said that neither Hezbollah fighters nor Hezbollah weapons were present in the area during or just before the Israeli attack took place."
No fighters, no weapons. Israel is targetting civilian areas:
"In the cases documented in this report [...] the IDF consistently tolerated a high level of civilian casualties for questionable military gain. "
But they had a chance to run away, right? I mean, they were warned by the generous Israeli Air Force dropping leaflets, rights?
"Others [sic] civilians came under attack in their cars as they attempted to flee the fighting in the South. This report alone documents twenty-seven civilian deaths that resulted from such attacks. The number is surely higher, but at the time the report went to press, ongoing Israeli attacks on the roads made it impossible to retrieve all the bodies. "
"Tens of thousands of Lebanese fled their homes to the city of Tyre (itself south of the Litani and thus within the zone Israel ordered evacuated) or further north to Beirut, many waving white flags. As they left, Israeli forces fired on dozens of vehicles with warplanes and artillery."
But at least they were able to flee the bombing, yes?
"Some chose to stay, but the vast majority, Human Rights Watch found, was unable to flee due to destroyed roads, a lack of gasoline, high taxi fares, sick relatives, or ongoing Israeli attacks. Many of the civilians who remained were elderly, sick, or poor."
But hey, Hizb'Allah is using those roads to transfer arms, right?
"none of the evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch, independent media sources, or Israeli official statements indicate that any of the attacks on vehicles documented in this report resulted in Hezbollah casualties or the destruction of weapons."
Some quotes from the 'most moral army in the world' and some ministers in charge of it:
  • "in the center of Beirut there is an area which only terrorists enter into." - Eliezer Shkedi, the Israeli Air Force Commander
  • "the hits were devastating, and this area, which was a Hezbollah symbol, became deserted rubble." - Moshe Kaplinski, Israeli army deputy chief of staff
  • "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some to Hezbollah" - Haim Ramon, 'Justice' minister
(See original report for attributions)

Enough for now. Go read the report.


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Blogger Natalia said...

I could tell from the beginning that there cannot, will not, be anything remotely justifiable, or even sensible about Qana.

Thursday, August 03, 2006 5:38:00 PM

Blogger Natalia said...

Oh, and from what I understand, something similar happened in Qana some decades ago.

Thursday, August 03, 2006 5:38:00 PM

Blogger Rann said...

One decade ago. See Wikipedia on this here.

More here.

Warning: not pretty.

Thursday, August 03, 2006 5:44:00 PM

Blogger Rann said...

As Tsiper wrote the other day, Israel is not wrong because of Qana. There is nothing remotely justifiable about this war. There is nothing remotely justifiable about the new occupation of S Lebanon Israel is about to start. There is nothing remotely justifiable in any of this.

Qana is a symptom, the disease is apparent to anyone who spends time in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, or anywhere in the Arab Middle East for that matter.

Thursday, August 03, 2006 6:07:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is utter insanity! Rann, what is the level of support for the war within Israel? Saw there was an antiwar demonstration today in Tel-Aviv(?). How are ordinary Israelis responding to these war crimes? It seems, at least from the US media, that there is a whole-hearted support for the war.
You take care of yourself and stay safe.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 8:36:00 PM

Anonymous mathpants said...


go outside and have a smoke.


Rann, if you haven't seen it yet, check out www.billmon.org
for commentary on this delightful little precursor to the apocalypse (in which neither you nor Arya will experience anything but the flames, let me assure you.)

Sunday, August 06, 2006 12:00:00 AM

Blogger Rann said...

Hey Roy,

Most of Israel pretty blindly supports the war, even though it's clear they're not going to 'win'.

There are anti-war demos, but see my post from a few days ago (Kufr Qana as a Kitch of Oy-Oy-Oy) about that.

Israel sucks...

sorry, can't really be more creative with an answer right now. In Haifa, rather alone and a bit down.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 3:36:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell are you doing up in Haifa?? Do take care and stay safe and dive into a bomb shelter, like a bunny, whenever you hear the sirens. And don't try to preach anyone there-- given the present situation they might lynch you or something along those lines. Take care.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 9:29:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site...

Friday, January 26, 2007 8:21:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » » »

Sunday, March 04, 2007 3:57:00 PM


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