by Mom Calls Me Slick
Tue Aug 01, 2006 at 06:03:36 AM PDT
The IDF now says "there were no rocket launches from Qana on the day of the strike," according to an article in Ha'aretz today. In my opinion, this is clearly a case of collective punishment for the local populations' support of Hezbollah. Israel is flattening entire villages in their march to the Litani River and will continue to do so when the bombing resumes Wednesday. Peretz took the gloves off after the Rome conference by changing the ROE to disregard the presence of civilians in any attacks on Hezbollah.
As the Israel Air Force continues to investigate the Sunday air strike, questions have been raised over military accounts of the incident.
It now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence there of Hezbollah men at the time.
The Israeli Defense Forces had said after the deadly air-strike that many rockets had been launched from Qana. However, it changed its version on Monday.
The site was included in an IAF plan to strike at several buildings in proximity to a previous launching site. Similar strikes were practiced in the past. But there were no rocket launches from Qana on the day of the strike.
It is especially disturbing that Israeli officials and spokespeople have have pounded the airwaves claiming that there were active rocket launchers in the vacinity at the time of the strike. From the NYT:
Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said the bombing in Qana was aimed at rocket launchers 300 yards from where the civilians were, a distance commanders considered large enough to avoid the risk of hitting them. He said Israel was investigating what had gone wrong.
Can anybody believe that Shimon Peres was purposely given misleading information by his own military intelligence?
But the country's most influential columnist, Nahum Barnea, writing in Yediot Aharonot, raised questions about Israeli tactics and leadership. Mr. Barnea wrote about the government's decision to allow the army to attack civilian houses if Hezbollah rockets and war matériel were stored inside and the population was warned in advance to leave.
In an interview, he said the policy, however justified, courted the Qana bombing, and he criticized Mr. Peretz for being "stupid enough to make it seem like a moral statement."
In his column, he said Israel had to respond to Hezbollah's attack with military action, but added, "The question is how and at what cost." He criticized Mr. Peretz for describing "proudly how he relieved the army of restrictions on harming civilian population that lives alongside Hezbollah operatives."
"I can understand accidentally harming civilians in the course of combat," he wrote. "But a blanket directive regarding the entire civilian population of southern Lebanon and the Shiite neighborhoods of Beirut is a hasty and lightheaded act, which courts disaster. We saw the outcome of this yesterday, in the bodies of the women and children that were taken out of the bombed house in Qana."
It is clear that the disinformation of the last few days was coordinated by the Israeli propaganda machine to obfuscate the moralistically bankrupt intent and strategy of the Israelis. The Qana bombing was no mistake. Period!