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The Massacre in Qana and its Context

 

 

THE MASSACRE

In Qana Christ turned water into wine

In Qana Israel turned people into meat

"He who dictates heavy automatic fire against the source of Katyusha rockets, although he knows

that Hizbollah are firing from among civilians who cannot do anything about them, is not sinning by

mistake, but acting out a conscious decision: he knows that there is a low likelihood of hitting the

Katyushas or its operators, but a big probability of hitting civilians.

 

Even if one disregards Qana as a regrettable error, though, there is still the principle of "moving the

population" and turning them into refugees in order to produce "political pressure." Only people

lacking any moral standards could think up and execute such a policy. It is the kind of policy

resorted to by the world's most evil regimes."

 

Baruch Kimmerling in Ha'aretz of 26 April 1996.

 

$ "We saw dead people, we could not count. I did not carry any complete bodies- I carried only

pieces." Fijian soldier with UNIFIL.

$ "I couldn't count the bodies. There were babies without heads. there were people without arms

and legs." Swedish UN Capt. Michael Lindvall.

$ "It was a massacre. Not since Sabra and Chatila had I seen the innocent slaughtered like

this. The Lebanese refugee women and children and men lay in heaps, their heads or arms or legs

missing, beheaded or disemboweled. there were well over a hundred of them. A baby lay without

a head. The Israeli shells had scythed through them as they lay in the United Nations shelter,

believing that they were safe under the world's protection. Like the Muslims of Srebrenica, the

Muslims of Qana were wrong." Robert Fisk, veteran correspondent of The Independent

(London).

$ "My misery is not only that I lost my hand and my foot, but the loss of all my family, 23 of them."

Hamida Diib 32 years-old.

$ "These scenes make hearts shiver, even stones shudder ... when you see civilians and

babies shredded to pieces." Muhammad Sa'id, 40 year-old Muslim.

$ "This is a shame for humanity ... It was disgusting, something that makes you throw up." Violete

Smith.

$ "When we saw the pictures on television, everyone at the house began crying. I could not sleep

since last night." Um Walid, 32 year-old Muslim housewife.

$ "It's a cry we want the whole world to hear. Innocent children, women and old people were

killed. The whole world is responsible." Agnes, 30 year-old Christian.

$ "This should not be allowed to happen, They were hitting civilians not armed fighters."

$ "The Israelis have no shame, mercy or morals left. These were people who were killed, not

animals. You don't even kill an animal for no reason. They were not afraid of any global reaction.

They don't care if it is said that they are beasts or have no religion ... If this sort of might will

prevail in the world, then I spit on this world." Shami, 70 year-old Christian.

$ Placards at a vigil with photos of mutilated children: "Barbaric Israel;" "Look World;" "Who Are

The Terrorists?"

$ "You are Americans. Americans are dogs. You did this. Americans are dogs." Screamed at UN

troops and western journalists in Qana.

$ "I would like to be made into a bomb and blow myself up amid the Israelis." An old man.

 

Time Beirut bureau chief Lara Marlowe, traveling in the area with a UN Interim Force in Lebanon

(UNIFIL) convoy when Israeli artillery struck reports that when they reached the Fijian

compound they saw "bodies of Lebanese refugees lying in heaps two or three deep, burned hands

and feet protruding from under blankets that dazed U.N. soldiers had tossed over them. Soldiers

sprayed water on the smoking ruins of a conference hall where corpses were indistinguishable

among the charcoal and ashes. In what was left of the officers' mess, only the lower walls and part

of the roof survived. Most of the men, women, and children who had been huddled in this room

did not. There was blood everywhere. It spattered the edges of the ceiling. It dripped down the

steps, gathering in puddles. It coated the boots of the peacekeepers ... A horrified Lebanese

UNIFIL official, sobbing on the shoulder of a Swedish colleague: "Look at my shoes! I am

standing in meat."

 

"UN soldiers paced the parking lot collecting scraps of flesh in black plastic trash bags, In

disbelief, one stunned peacekeeper hoisted the body of an infant: the child's head had been blown

off.

"And along the white tiles of the walkway where rescue workers were caring out the bodies, there

was a trail of scarlet footprints. a new memorial for Qana- no longer inscribed with water and

wine but stained instead with blood.

 

At the top of his lungs, a Lebanese man cursed America for giving Israel the money and weapons

to attack his country.

 

Time 29 April, 1996.

 

$ "It was not an unavoidable tragedy. I prefer to call it a crime." Vivian Stromberg, executive

director of MADRE (NY based women's group that aids women and children on an international

level) and leader of a 10-member mission to Qana.

$ "What happened ... was presented to us as an act of self-defense by Israel which is already an

aggressor and already an international outlaw." June Jordan (writer) with MADRE's fact-finding

mission.

$ "We know the Israelis are perfect in their accuracy. The previous day, when Katyushas had

been fired a couple of miles away, we saw the Israeli return fire come back on the launch site with

complete accuracy." UN soldier.

$ "We asked Israel several times to stop firing on the Fijian headquarters, telling them that we had

civilian victims, but in vain." Timor Goksel, UN spokesman.

$ "The UN camp has been in Qana for 18 years. They have pictures of every village in southern

Lebanon and know who lives in every house there. Once again, the Israelis are insulting out

intelligence. They had been flying drones over Qana for a week before the massacre. And even if

they thought there were no civilians in the camp- which we had told them there were- does that

mean they thought it was legitimate to shell a UN military headquarters? UN source.

$ Lt. Col. Frank van Kappen, Dutch military advisor to Boutrus-Ghali, told reporters, "It was

irrelevant whether there were or not (refugees on the Qana base). You don't fire on a UN base."

$ "They knew we were here and so they never hit us. So we didn't even wear flak jackets when

there were shelling warnings. The Israelis knew what they were doing. And when we saw Qana

and by the end, none of us believed it was an accident, Yes, the Israelis knew what they were

doing. What do you think the drone was for?" A UN soldier.

$ "But even if it means the end of my military career, I'll never say this was an accident. The

Israelis knew they were firing at innocent people." UN officer who had observed the attack

on Qana.

$ Anyone remaining in the area was defined as a terrorist

Peres- Address to the Knesset on 22 April 1996

$ The Qana massacre "was not intentional." "One of our units was attacked from all sides, and

they fired in self-defense."

 

The Israeli "patrol" which came under mortar fire from Hizbollah guerrillas on 18 April was tasked

to leave plastic explosives and mines near the village of Henniyeh, about 5 miles from Qana. A

similar field of plastic mines and booby traps were left by Israeli soldiers close to the village of

Bradchit in the UN's Irish battalion area about the same time. Shortly after the Israeli

bombardment ended, Israeli officers met UN ordnance officers and gave them detailed maps of

the booby traps and mines they had planted.

 

It was a roadside bomb in the village of Bradchit that killed a teenager in March which prompted

Hizbollah to blame Israel and fire Katyusha rockets into Israel. Shimon Peres's denial of Israeli

responsibility seems to be another of his lies.

 

Based on the reporting of Robert Fisk in The Independent of London.

 

$ "Operation Grapes of Wrath" . . . "is the fulfillment of a national duty of clear self-defense."

$ "It accords expression to the IDF's [Israel Defense Force] advantage in human and technological

quality, in mobility, and intelligence, and in precise and accurate hits."

$ The government in its instructions to the IDF on the operation, ordered it not to harm civilians or

civilian targets, and to concentrate solely on Hizbollah institutions and on the terrorists themselves.

Overall, this instruction was carried out with great meticulousness. However, in a military

operation, as hard as one tries to maintain purity of arms, mishaps may occur and innocent civilians

may be injured. This was not our intention."

$ "We do not destroy villages in southern Lebanon, despite the fact that there was a real need to

distance the civilian population from them, in order not to harm them when we fired on terrorist

targets within the villages.

 

$ "How easily we killed them- without shedding a tear, without establishing a commission of

inquiry, without filling the streets with protest demonstrations. And without the carnage claiming a

place as an election issue.

 

What allowed us to make such cruel decisions without perceiving ourselves as scoundrels was

their anonymous, statistical character.

 

We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the

White House, the Senate and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not

count as much as our own.

 

And just as the Baruch Goldstein massacre of praying Muslims in Hebron and the murder of

Yitzhak Rabin were extreme manifestations of some rotten seed planted in the religious-nationalist

culture, it now seems that the massacre at Qana was an extreme manifestation of rotten seeds

dormant in our secular Israeli culture: Cynicism, Arrogance, Egocentrism of the strong."

 

Avi Shavit, correspondent for Ha'aretz.

 

THE BARRAGE

Timing of the barrage-

$ Between noon & 2 PM 18 April Hizbollah fired 2 or 3 rockets from a site about 385 yards

southeast of the UN compound

$ Between 12:20 & 1 PM 4 or 5 rockets were fired from a spot about 650 yards southeast of the

UN compound

$ Just before 2 PM between 5 and 8 rounds of 120 millimeter mortar were fired from 250 yards

southeast of the UN compound (15 minutes before the shelling starts)

Target of the barrage-

$ Israelis said after the shelling that the guerrillas had detected and were firing at an Israeli

commando unit when the artillery tried to cover its withdrawal with the shelling. The army

acknowledged a targeting pause of 15 minutes between the start of the Hizbollah fire and the

barrage.

$ A Western artillery officer said that what he saw in the video "was not rescue fire, which in

wartime simply pours down without warning. That was specific, patterned, spaced firing that took

15 minutes to prepare."

$ UN report found that over time the shelling moved from outside to inside the base- incompatible

with the Israeli description of its firing sequence.

Uri Dromi, Israeli government spokesman: "We were not aiming at the camp." We knew we were

firing near a UN base but we were aiming a couple of hundred meters away, precisely where

Katyushas and mortars were fired from just minutes before." "Unfortunately two of the shells

overshot and hit the civilians." "Peace keepers knew that if Katyushas were fired from near UN

posts they should take cover immediately because we would fire back."

$ Matan Vilnai, Israeli deputy chief of staff said the target of the shelling was a Hizbollah mortar

firing on Israeli forces, but map errors misled Israeli artillery.

What the barrage hit-

$ According to the Israelis the first round hit a cemetery where Hizbollah was dug in, then 2

rounds missed the target and hit the UN compound.

$ The UN report says the artillery hit the cemetery long after the guerrillas had fled, then the

Israelis switched their targeting to the base which was hit by at least 6 rounds.

$ UN investigators did not find a single Israeli shell impact at the site in the cemetery southwest of

the compound from where the rockets were fired.

$ UN investigators found 36 impact sites where Israeli shells had landed around the UN camp.

$ Israeli shells concentrated on two areas: 1) just 100 yards to the south of the compound on a

group of houses near the site where a mortar had been fired; 2) in the middle of the UN base.

$ UN report: "Evidence was found of 13 detonations inside or directly above the compound and

four very close to it."

$ According to the UN report shells fell in two distinct areas: 1) in the middle of the base- a

pattern inconsistent with accidental overshooting of a nearby target; 2) 'proximity-fused' rounds

(antipersonnel weapons) were concentrated on the base while the impact-fused rounds (better for

destroying equipment) were concentrated on a nearby site from which mortars had been fired.

This makes it "improbable" that the two types of rounds were fired in random order as Israel

claims.

 

UN Report

 

"While the possibility can not be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United

Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors."

 

The US effort has been to ignore the facts

 

US reaction to the UN report by State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns.: "We are

disturbed that the secretary general chose to draw unjustified conclusions about this incident that

can only polarize the situation rather than to draw practical lessons to prevent its recurrence." "It's

like we've had to go back into a time tunnel and re-debate those issues at a time when we can't

afford polarization. We don't have the luxury of sitting in a debating society and reviewing every

problem that occurred in the past. We've got to move forward."

 

The Question of the Israeli Maps

UN source: "They have pictures of every village in southern Lebanon and know who lives in every

house ... They had been flying drones over Qana for a week before the massacre."

Maj. Gen. Matan Vilnai, Israeli deputy chief of staff, said map errors misled Israeli artillery into

firing into the camp. Vilnai said the map error placed the camp some 100 yards from its actual

location and it was compounded by an inaccurate representation of the size and nature of the

base.

UN officers said this was implausible as Israeli shelling was normally pinpoint accurate.

The UN compound at Qana-

$ Hizbollah guerrillas had been sheltering their families among the other refugees in the compound.

$ No rounds were fired from inside the compound.

$ after Hizbollah guerrillas fired at Israel two ran into the camp. Three fired at an IDF unit while

others launched rockets from nearby locations.

$ At some point (it is not completely clear whether before of after the shelling) two or three

Hizbollah fighters entered the United Nations compound where their families were, report says.

$ The UN report states that there were about 800 civilians in the Qana base on 18 April.

$ Israel had told the UN its troops had strict orders to avoid any casualties to UNIFIL and that

they had been using precision weapons to hunt Hizbollah when guerrillas were believed firing from

locations near UNIFIL positions.

$ van Kappen, military advisor to the UN Secretary General, said there were conflicting accounts

from UN troops as to whether Hizbollah fighters had rushed into the camp before or after the UN

shelling.

Israeli observation at Qana-

Drone

Brig. Gen. Dan Harel, Israeli army's artillery chief, denies the drone at Qana was there to observe

the camp.

Lt. Col. Frank van Kappen, Dutch military advisor to Boutrus-Ghali, contends the UN had

"persistent" eyewitness reports as well as a video of a drone over the Qana area during the shelling

and of helicopters nearby.

6 May confronted with videotape of the drone over Qana Israel suddenly changes its story and

admitted there was a drone over Qana but say it was on "a different mission" and was not sending

pictures.

van Kappen reported that he was told by Israeli generals that no drones were in the area at the

time.

For two weeks Israel said no such "spotter" drone was over Qana.

Amateur videotape clearly shows an Israeli pilotless reconnaissance aircraft (used by artillery

spotters to perfect their aim) flying over Qana at the height of the shelling. In two sequences the

drone is seen flying low over Qana as shells fall on UNFIL battalion headquarters. The tape was

made by a UN soldier about 1 mile from Qana.

Refugees and UN officers had all talked about hearing the Israeli "spotter" drone before and

during the Israeli attack.

Helicopters

$ Two helicopters were seen two kilometers southeast of the UN compound during the shelling

and one was observed close to the compound after the shelling had finished.

Israel Knew the Refugees were there-

Major General Moshe Yaalon, Israeli army chief of intelligence, stated on the day of the massacre

that the Israeli Defense Forces knew of the civilian presence at Qana and that it was the Israeli

army's Northern Command under Gen. Amiram Levine which ignored the intelligence information.

UNIFIL says it told Israel that the compound had refugees.

Brig. Gen. Amiram Lavin, Israeli army commander on the Lebanese border, said that two days

before the shelling, Israel photographed the site, "and there was no signs of civilians there."

CIVILIAN TARGETS

Heeding Israel's warning, 400,000 to 500,000 fled- often the oldest and poorest remain trapped.

Some 5200 people had taken refuge in various UNIFIL posts in southern Lebanon.

The coast road is Beirut's only link with south Lebanon. "Israel is cutting the road to prevent

humanitarian aid and food supplies from reaching our people trapped in the south." said Habib

Saadek, parliamentary deputy.

Israeli tactic is to isolate villages and includes aerial bombing of roads and in one case severing a

pipe bringing water to about 6000 people.

Shelling of the highway starts almost immediately. Air raids around 20 April

Several raids on Tyre consisted of only sonic booms that deafen like exploding shells and shatter

windows. A UN peacekeeping officer: "Such crude tactics... It's just to frighten the people."

Israeli forces watching continually from the sky, threaten any private vehicle moving in the region,

leaving those trapped dependent on the limited aid brought by UNIFIL.

Israeli bombardment has paralyzed traffic on the coast highway, blocking the way for refugees

attempting to escape and relief supplies trying to reach the south.

Israeli warships fire on a 30-car caravan trying to reach Qana to show solidarity with the

bereaved.

UN Coordinator in Lebanon, Ross Mountain, along with an official UN delegation including the

visiting Fijian defense minister, were fired on by the Israelis as they were crossing the Awali River

bridge north of Sidon.

UNIFIL says Israeli forces drop shells or bombs around 60%-70% on all aid convoys in a

deliberate effort to prevent them reaching villages.

"Despite the Israeli attacks, UN convoys continued winding into the hills, bringing food to those

Lebanese staying there and carrying out those who no longer can take the round-the-clock

explosions."

Shimon Peres: "We have worked effectively and smoothly with the United Nations to relieve the

suffering of Lebanese civilians."

 

Civilians were targeted by Israeli warships. Had the Syrians shelled Israeli civilians on the

Haifa-Tel Aviv road Clinton would have called it "international terrorism" and rightly so. But here

not a word of criticism-- not from Clinton or his ministers; not from Russia; not from France; not

from Italy!!

 

Israeli commentators prior to the massacre at Qana

 

1. "In this war, the army does not feel any compulsion to end it rapidly."

 

2. "We are using a strong hand, but thanks to the clever preparations of our Prime Minister, we

will not be entangled in any untoward incident."

 

3. "We are successfully solving a small crisis by creating a great one. Nevertheless, the crisis we

create will remain firmly under our control."

4. "We should allow the Israeli army to hit the Hizbollah fighters under any conditions since the

army is seen not to hit the civilian population."

5. "Syria will not be able to suffer for a prolonged time a public deterioration of its supposed rule

over Lebanon."

 

6. "The heads of the Labor party will not admit this publicly but they would like the war in the

north to continue until the very day of the elections because the war helps them so much."

 

7. "We are waging this war in order to demonstrate the power of the Israeli army and bring back

its ability to deter. We are doing this for the sake of bringing the peace process back. The army is

the best lever for the peace process."

 

8. "Many statements described the army or Peres as clever "surgeons" doing "delicate surgery" on

Lebanon.

9. Uzi Benziman, chief political correspondent of Haaretz, described the mass expulsions of the

Lebanese from their homes as "proof" how much Peres and his advisors are "humane and

considerate" men!

 

DID ISRAEL KILL WITH INTENT?

THERE IS A PATTERN

THE PATTERN IN WORDS

Peres-- "I am surprised to hear that people remain in those houses in Nabatiyeh. From Nabatiyeh

there were no few firings at Israel."

Peres-- "Unfortunately Hizbollah hides in Lebanese population areas and close to United Nation

camps. If we are fired upon, we will shoot back."

Rabin, quoted in The New York Times,, says the purpose of the July 1993 attack on Lebanese

villages and towns was "to flood Beirut with refugees to press the Lebanese government to end the

attacks ... Israel will continue to blast villages as long as Katyusha rockets slam into Israeli

settlements in Galilee."

David Ben Gurion in his Independence War Diary:

"There is no question as to whether a reaction is necessary or not. The question is only time and

place. Blowing up a house is not enough. What is necessary is cruel and strong reaction. We need

precision in time, place and casualties. If we know the family- [we must] strike mercilessly, women

and children included. Otherwise the reaction is inefficient. At the place of action there is no

need to distinguish between guilty and innocent."

Abba Eban on the 1978 attack on civilian population:

"... there was a rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that affected populations would exert pressure

for the cessation of hostilities,"

Shimon Peres, 28 April:

"The Lebanese government has expressed a clear will to bring an end to these attacks, because,

finally, the real victims are the Lebanese."

THE PATTERN IN DEEDS

Deir Yasin, 10 April 1948

$ Deir Yasin was a village near Jerusalem of about 400 Arabs surrounded by Jewish settlements

but living in harmony with them.

$ The Jewish fighters, upon arriving, ordered the Arab inhabitants by loudspeaker to evacuate all

houses and surrender. They were given 15 minutes. those who were found after the deadline had

passed were killed. This "cleaning-up as the Jewish killers referred to it was done by

machine-guns, hand grenades and knives. "This gang was admirably disciplined and only acted

under orders."

$ About 50 escaped.

$ "The affair of Deir Yasin had immense repercussions. The press and radio spread the news

everywhere among the Arabs as well as the Jews. In this way a general terror was built up among

the Arabs, a terror astutely fostered by the Jews. Driven by fear, the Arabs left their homes to find

shelter among their kindred."

$ "The Jewish authorities were terribly shocked by the affair, which took place four days after they

had signed the Geneva Convention. They begged me to use my good offices with the Arabs to

persuade them that it was an isolated incident. I replied that I would try, but did not hide my

displeasure nor my fears for the future. The Arabs are absolutely furious and totally discouraged.

for their part, they had no further hopes of anything good coming from the Jewish side, and could

not help wondering whether it would not be better to abandon such humanitarian ideas as they had

concerning the Jews. It was not easy to persuade them, or to persuade them that the mistakes of

one people can in no way excuse those of another. On the contrary, we said, the fact that the

Arabs had kept their promise would prove to the world their honesty and faithfulness to their word

of honor."

Based on, and quoted from the report of Jacques de Reynier, head of the delegation in Palestine

of the International Red Cross and translated in Walid Khalidi- From Haven to Conquest.

Killing of Prisoners of War-

In the Suez War of 1956

Battalion 890 (Then the best unit in the Israeli army, composed mostly of soldiers from kibbutzim

and moshavim, firm supporters of Labor-- Israel Shahak, Israeli professor and Holocaust

survivor.)

Israel began the war on 1956 by dropping 395 paratroopers on the east side of the Mitla Pass

under the command of Raphael Eitan (Minister of Agriculture and Environment in the Likud

government of Netanyahu). They encountered 49 Egyptian road workers and took them prisoner.

On the next day Gen. Biro states that they were taken [with their hands tied] to a quarry and

murdered.

$ Note that Biro claims the POWs were murdered after the Mitla battle, when the immediate risk

of annihilation had passed.

Question of an Israeli reporter-- Who shot the POWs at the Mitla?

Gen. (reserves) Aryeh Biro-- "One of the commanders and myself. That was no job for soldiers."

At Ras Sudar on 1 November a truck carrying 56 Fedayin (Palestinian irregulars) came upon the

890th. A hit in the driver's cab by an anti-tank grenade caused it to veer to the side of the road

and stop. The occupants were dazed. The Israeli soldiers opened fire from all sides. When they

stopped shooting the truck was dripping blood from every side and every crack. However, 6

remained alive. The Israeli soldiers tied their hands and murdered them.

The 890th set out from Ras Sudar for Sharm al-Sheikh 15 kilometers away on the night of 5

November.

$ Israeli historian Meir Pa'il: ". . . what happened was that battalion 890 met a disintegrated and

defeated unit of the Egyptian army in Sharm al-Sheikh, a unit which could not fight and was only

seeking a way to be taken prisoner" Raphael Eitan gave the order to kill all of them. "For him

(Eitan), a soldier who takes a transistor radio as booty is a criminal. But a soldier who kills an

Arab, with hands up or hands down, is blessed." "In any way you look at what happened at

Sharm al-Sheikh, it comes under the head of massacre."

$ Israeli historian Uri Milstern: The Egyptians were caught in a pincer between Division 7 and

battalion 890 moving on Sharm al-Sheikh from different sides. "The Egyptians lost all their

operational capabilities and fell into groups, thirsty, hungry and exhausted, and then into the hands

of Raful (Raphael Eitan) and his soldiers. The men of battalion 890 understood that nothing would

be done to them if they won the war and returned heroes. Raful only wanted to reach Sharm

al-Sheikh first, before Division 9, and did not have the time to deal with prisoners. Therefore,

nearly every Egyptian who confronted him and his soldiers was eliminated ..."

$ Israeli soldier Danny Wolf: "We . . . started mowing them down. It was madness. We fired at

everything that moved. We massacred them until our souls left our bodies. I saw guys stripping

Egyptians of everything they had on them while alive because it was easier and only then shooting

them. That way they could collect more booty in less time, without having to handle the bodies."

$ Col. (reserves) Amos Ne'eman (Wolf's commander): "I only admit that in those moments it did

not occur to me even once, to stop killing in order to take prisoners. I wanted to slaughter them

all."

$ Gen. Biro:

"Purity of arms means that the gun should always be clean, polished, professionally handled and

always prepared to shoot anything that moves."

"Some Egyptians were shot in their backs when fleeing, without a battle."

"I do not like to say that the call to put me on trial makes me laugh but if I were to be put on trial

for what I did then it would be necessary to put on trial at least one-half the Israeli army which, in

similar circumstances, did what I did.

$ In all about 2000 were murdered by the 890th.

The Six Days War of 1967-

8 June 1967, in the airport area of El-Arish, Sinai-

Gabby Bron (right-wing journalist for Yediot Ahronot):

"About 150 POWs were held in an open building. Adjoining the prison compound, guarded by

military police there were two men sitting at a table. Every few minutes, the military police took

one of the POWs from the prison compound and escorted him to the table. A short conversation,

which we were not able to hear, was then conducted. Following it, the POW was escorted by

two military policemen to a place behind the building.

"I followed the procedure. The POW was escorted to a distance of about 100 meters from the

building and given a spade. I watched the POW digging a big pit which took about 15 minutes.

then the policeman ordered him to throw out the spade. When he did so one of them pointed his

Uzi gun at the POW inside the pit and shot two short bullet bursts, consisting maybe of 3 or 4

bullets each. The POW fell dead. After a few minutes another POW was escorted to the same pit,

forced to go into it and was also shot dead. A third POW was brought to the same place and was

also shot dead. Since the process was repeated a number of times, the grave filled up. I witnessed

about ten such executions."

$ Apparently the order was given to "weed out" Palestinians serving with the Egyptian army and to

murder them after establishing their Palestinian identity through their dialect- the real reason for the

brief interviews noted above.

The above information derives from the reports during a lively discussion of these events in the

Israeli press in August 1995. When the investigation on the events of the Six Days War began to

reach toward Yitzhak Rabin heavy pressure from the government ended the discussion.

$ Israel has no law referring to war crimes, except those committed by the Nazis in WWII.

Israel Shahak: "The reason why more were murdered in the Six Days War than in the 1947-49

War is that Israeli Jews tend to commit more massacres when they are sure of victory. This is why

Israeli soldiers committed very few murders in the October 1973 War when Israel's partial victory

seemed far from certain. In other words, murders are not carried out because of "cruel necessity"

but on the contrary, when there is no necessity to murder."

 

Attack on the USS Liberty, 8 June 1967

$ 34 American sailors killed.

$ Israeli planes observed the United States communication ship for at least an hour before they

attacked.

$ The US flag flying was the regulation 5'X8' and stood straight out in the wind. When the Israelis

shot down that flag a 9'X13' flag was raised.

$ Pilots were very good- they hit everything they wanted.

$ Weapons used were just the right ones to knock out the life support and information gathering

and relaying equipment.

$ The torpedo attack kills 25.

$ The torpedo boats circle the ship firing guns at sailors fighting fires.

$ The torpedo boats also machine gunned the life boats in the water.

The Israeli denials:

$ Platting error put the ship's speed at 32 knots which meant it was automatically classified as an

enemy ship.

$ No flag was flying.

$ After 25 minutes the ship was recognized as a US ship and the torpedo boats were radioed.

They continued the attack because they never got the message.

1992 17 Feb.- Killing of Massawi

The attack on the car in which Sheikh Abbas Mussawi, Hizbollah Secretary General, was riding

also killed his wife, his 5 year old son and 4 bodyguards.

25 July 1993- The Attack on Lebanon

In the words of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin the terror bombing of Lebanon was done to

create "a wave of flight . . . to flood Beirut with refugees to press the Lebanese government to end

the attacks" of Hizbollah on the Israeli army occupying southern Lebanon.

$ In Tripoli a Palestinian refugee camp was attacked by Israeli jet firing missiles.

$ Israeli naval forces bombarded coastal are as near Beirut and intercepted vessels approaching

Lebanese ports.

$ An IDF spokesman: "70% of the village of Jibshit is totally destroyed . . . because of its

importance to the Shi'ite population of southern Lebanon."

Jibshit was the home of Sheikh Obeid-

A veteran British correspondent: Obeid's "home received a direct hit from a missile, although the

Israelis were presumably gunning for his wife and 3 children- after all, they kidnapped the Sheik in

1989 and still held him in the Ashkalon prison in Israel." "The general aim is to wipe the villages

from the face of the earth and sow destruction around them."

$ Israeli reporter Meir Shalev: "In a cool and analytic manner, the IDF (Israel Defense Force) is

engaged in population removal" (a term popular in the counterinsurgency literature in Vietnam).

Rabin's Reason for the Attack-

Rabin informed the Israeli parliament that after the killing of Sheikh Abbas Mussawi in Lebanon

(north of the "security zone") Hizbollah changed "the rules of the game, adopting the policy that in

response to our strikes north of the security zone- it reacts by firing on Israel."

$ Israeli Chief of Staff, Gen. Ehud Barak: ". . . a pattern had emerged that Israel considered

intolerable: every time Hizbollah attacked Israeli or pro-Israeli positions inside the security zone,

Israel would fire back at the attackers north of the zone. then the attackers would lob rockets at

civilians in northern Israel rather than at military targets inside the zone as in the past."

$ Prof. Noam Chomsky: "Any indigenous resistance to the rule of Israel and its proxies is

considered "terrorism," which Israel has the right to counter by attacking anywhere in Lebanon as

it chooses (retaliation, pre-emption, or whatever)- what General Barak chooses to call "firing back

at the attackers." But the resistance has no right to retaliate by shelling northern Israel. these are

the rules; one goal of Israel's attack was to enforce them."

1996- Lebanon:

13 April- Israeli helicopter targets an ambulance full of refugees killing 2 women and 4 girls. Israel

says the attack was justified because a Hizbollah was also inside.

15 April- Israeli 175mm shells hit a hospital run by Hizbollah for the local population of

Nabatiyeh.

18 April- Israeli Air Force bombards an apartment block in Nabatiyeh, home of a Hizbollah

guerrilla. The attack kills 11 civilians but not the guerrilla who was on his pilgrimage to Mecca.

 

CONCLUSION

 

$ The Israelis knew the refugees were in the UN compound

 

$ The compound was hit by well directed artillery

 

$ The ammunition used was designed to create heavy casualties

 

$ Noting the historical information above and the Chronology below, one sees, over and over,

Israeli attacks on civilian populations and assassinations of Hizbollah leaders that aim at killing their

whole families.

 

$ Ben-Gurion advocated that "at the place of the action there is no need to distinguish between the

guilty and the innocent." This is Israeli policy and is the direct cause of the terror bombing of the

UN camp at Qana and the slaughter of the refugees sheltered there.

 

CHRONOLOGY

Nov. 1991 Israeli forces shell Shi'ite villages in Lebanon killing 4 children. The South Lebanon

Army kills an Irish UNIFIL peacekeeper in unprovoked attack UN reports.

Dec. 1991 Israel kidnaps 3 Lebanese, two of them journalists, near Jibshit, north of the "security

zone." They are taken to Israel and then released a few days later. Three children, 2 of them sons

of one of the journalists, were killed by a car bomb left by the Israeli forces.

10 Jan. 1992 Israeli missiles target a tent camp of Bedouin shepherds and squatters living in a

cluster of buildings already shattered by the Lebanese civil war. Bedouin tents are set on fire. 12

killed (9 civilians).

16 Feb. 1992 Guerrillas kill 3 Israeli soldiers in an army camp near the border.

17 Feb. 1992 Israeli helicopter gunship in Lebanon attacks the car carrying Hizbollah Secretary

General Sheikh Abbas Mussawi. The attack kills Mussawi, his wife, his 5 year old son and 4

bodyguards. Israelis also attack two Pales-tinian refugee camps, Ain Hilwe and Rashidiye, killing

4, including 2 children.

18 Feb. 1992 Israel bombs 30 villages in southern Lebanon killing 4. Israeli tanks and troops also

attack villages north of the zone.. Two Lebanese civilians killed and 8 UN peacekeepers

wounded. Israeli forces prevent medical evacuation of the wounded UN peacekeepers after

smashing through a UN barricade with bulldozers and hitting a UN post with artillery. In

retaliation for the assassination of Mussawi Hizbollah fires Katyushas into Israel for the

first time.

May 1992 Israeli rockets kill Hizbollah official Yasir Nasser, his wife, his daughters aged 2 and 4

and father-in-law in Jibshit.

June 1992 Israeli shelling killed four Lebanese farmers tending their fields north of the security

zone in retaliation for a bomb in the zone that caused "minor wounds" to Israeli soldiers.

Oct. 1992 5 Israeli soldiers are killed in a bomb ambush. "Israeli artillery, aircraft and gunboats

pounded targets across Lebanon," The New York Times reported.

Feb. 1993 1. Four Lebanese (2 of them civilians) killed when Israeli forces and the SLA pounded

20 Lebanese villages in retaliation for Hizbollah attacks on "the northern edge" of Israel's "security

zone."

2. Israeli helicopters fire missiles into 3 houses, a bakery, and a valley outside the zone, as tanks

and artillery poured 200 shells around a string of villages after 3 Israeli soldiers were killed in

Lebanon.

3. Israeli helicopters attack a motorcade of Lebanese guerrilla leader Samir Swidan, seriously

wounding him and killing his wife And young daughter.

20 July 1993 UN Secretary General reports, "The practice of (Israeli) firing into populated areas

continued, with resulting casualties." (SC/5676, 28 July 1993 press release).

July, December, 1995; February 1996: Israel bombs southern Lebanon- in retaliation for

Hizbollah attacks on Israeli soldiers in the Israeli occupied zone of southern Lebanon. The Israeli

attacks are in direct violation of the 1993 agreement.

30 March: Israel shells Yatar killing two Lebanese civilians.

31 March: Hizbollah fires Katyushas into northern Israel. Israel bombs 13 villages.

2 April: Hizbollah attacks Southern Lebanese Army post within the Israeli occupied zone of

southern Lebanon.

8 April: Israel bombs another Lebanese village.

9 April: Hizbollah fires Katyushas into northern Israel.

10 April: Israel bombs Sidon, Tyre and Nabatiyeh.

11 April: Israeli helicopters and jets attack Lebanon, rocketing Beirut (first time since the 1982

terror bombings). Israel blockades Beirut port.

12 April: Israeli attacks kill a Syrian soldier and seriously wound 7 others. Peres sent Uri Savir

and Yossi Vardi to Damascus to offer financial compensation to be paid by the US to the Syrian

team if Syria would agree to Israeli demands vis-a-vis Lebanon. The offer was rejected.

13 April: Israeli helicopter targets an ambulance full of refugees fleeing Israeli attacks killing 2

women and 4 girls. Israel says the attack was justified because a Hizbollah guerrilla was also

inside. Peres says the attacks will continue until Hizbollah stops rocketing northern Israel.

14 April: Israel sets Litani River as the border of a new 19-mile-wide no-go zone in south

Lebanon. Rocket-firing helicopters attack Shi'ite Muslim Beirut suburbs for the third time.

15 April: Israeli 175 mm shells hit a hospital run by Hizbollah for the local population in

Nabatiyeh. A spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force says Israeli gunners fired 3,000 heavy

artillery shells into the south in a 24-hour period. Israel attacks the electrical grid of Beirut. French

Foreign Minister Herve de Charette met with Peres in Jerusalem. US says it has no plans to send

any official to the area.

16 April: Israeli helicopter gunships and jets rocket a Palestinian guerrilla chief's house in a

refugee camp.

17 April: Israeli army sources say the bombardment so far has involved 1000 aircraft sorties and

some 11,000 shells.

18 April: The Israeli Air Force bombards an apartment block in Nabatiyeh, home to a Hizbollah

guerrilla. The attack kills 11 civilians but not the guerrilla who was on his pilgrimage to Mecca.

13:55 Hizbollah fires two Katyusha and eight mortars from a cemetery directly behind and about

300 meters from the UN base.

14:13 Israeli battery of US-manufactured self-propelled artillery opens fire on

Qana and its surroundings using two types of 155mm shells. Six of the shells impact inside the

compound while another 5 or 6, with proximity fuses, explode in the air 6-7 meters above the

compound, inflicting amputation wounds on the survivors of the first barrage.

14:14-15: The UN Fijians contact the Israeli army liaison to demand an end to the barrage. 28

more shells fall around the perimeter of the UN compound.

14:23-25: The shelling ceases. 102 of 860 refugees are killed, 200 wounded. Four Fijians are

also wounded.

22 April: Israel pounds Palestinian bases south of Beirut.

24 April: Israeli air raids close three roads leading into a hilly region in the center of the area

under heavy Israeli assault, preventing aid convoys from reaching an estimated 5000 to 6000

civilians still there. They also destroy the main water pipe leading into the region.

 

STATISTICS

 

Before the Lebanese army had disintegrated in 1976, it had given a figure of 1.4 Israeli violations

of Lebanese territory per day from 1968-1974, with 17 per day in 1975, when the tally ended.

 

By October 1977 estimates of the total number of refugees from the south (mostly impoverished

Shi'ite Lebanese Muslims) had reached 300,000.

 

Casualties as a result of Israeli attacks on Lebanon-

 

April 1996: Between 170-300 killed; 400,000- 500,000 fled their homes; 13 Hizbollah guerrillas

killed

 

July 1993: 123 civilians killed; 500 wounded; 500,000 displaced; 11 Hizbollah guerrillas killed

 

Summer 1982: 16,000- 20,000 killed (virtually all civilians); 30,000 wounded; 3000 Palestinians

and 167 Lebanese massacred at Sabra & Chatila refugee camps

 

March 1978 About 2000 killed; 30,000 made homeless

THE "UNDERSTANDING'

The "Understanding" reached 26 April 1996

The United States understands that after discussions with the Governments of Israel and Lebanon,

and in consultation with Syria, Lebanon and Israel will ensure the following:

1. Armed groups in Lebanon will not carry out attacks by Katyusha rockets or by any kind of

weapon into Israel.

2. Israel and those cooperating with it will not fire any kind of weapon at civilians or civilian targets

in Lebanon.

3. Beyond this, the two parties commit to ensuring that under no circumstances will civilians be the

target of attack and that civilian populated areas and industrial and electrical installations will not

be used as launching grounds for attacks.

4. Without violating this understanding, nothing herein shall preclude any party from exercising the

right of self-defense.

A Monitoring Group is established consisting of the United States, France, Syria, Lebanon and

Israel. Its task will be to monitor the application of the understanding stated above. In the event of

a claimed violation of the understanding, the party submitting the complaint will do so within 24

hours. Procedures for dealing with the complaints will be set by the Monitoring Group.

The United States will also organize a Consultative Group, to consist of France, the European

Union, Russia and other interested parties, for the purpose of assisting in the reconstruction of

Lebanon.

It is recognized that the understanding to bring the current crisis between Lebanon and Israel to an

end cannot substitute for a permanent solution. The United States understands the importance of

achieving a comprehensive peace in the region. Toward that end, the United States proposes the

resumption of negotiations between Syria and Israel and between Lebanon and Israel at a time to

be agreed upon, with the objective of reaching comprehensive peace. The United States

understands that it is desirable that these negotiations be conducted in a climate of stability and

tranquillity.

The understanding will be announced simultaneously at 1800 hours, April 26, 1996, in all

countries concerned. The time set for implementation is 0400 hours, April 27, 1996.

The US (Israeli) Proposal of 16 April 1996

A: The Proposal

1. Lebanon guarantees the security of residents of settlements of northern Israel.

2. Katyusha rocket attacks on northern Israel stop.

3. Guerrilla action against Israeli soldiers inside Israel's security zone in south Lebanon are halted

in return for an Israeli declaration that it has no demands in Lebanon and expressing its willingness

to discuss the pullout of its forces if the Lebanese army succeeds in providing security in south

Lebanon for nine months.

4. Syria guarantees this agreement and sets up a mechanism to implement it.

5. Israel demands the disarming of Hizbollah and maintains its right to attack the group if it

resumed its terrorist activities.

6. Israel takes steps to revive peace negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracts.

B: Hizbollah rejects the proposal 17 April 1996

Hizbollah says this proposal would "confiscate our people's right to resistance."

The French Proposal

A: The Proposal

1. Immediate cease-fire based on the 1993 "gentlemen's agreement" banning attacks on civilians.

2. Application of UN Security Council Resolution 425 calling for the full withdrawal of Israeli

troops from Lebanon.

3. Disarmament of Hizbollah.

4. Lebanese guarantee to impose order on the frontier.

5. Return to negotiations towards a full peace treaty between Israel and Lebanon.

 

Syria accepts the cease-fire

 

A.: The U.S. version-

In the meeting with President Assad of Syria Christopher gained the cease-fire by slamming shut

his briefcase and threatening to leave the region on 25 April if Assad didn't sign on. Christopher

was evasive when queried on the incident saying only that "some of the facts" of the story was

true. He never indicated which were true.

 

B.: The Israeli version-

 

According to Maariv (26 April) and Yediot Ahronot (28 April) Peres threatened Assad through

Christopher on 25 April - if a cease-fire agreement acceptable to Israel were not reached by the

next day Israel would escalate its attacks on Lebanon. The reports of these two papers added that

"Assad was frightened by the threat."

 

Note- What is the truth? Is there any truth at all? Or are the spin doctors at work to recover some

dignity after the humiliating defeat both suffered when they were forced to abandon the original

goals of the attack?

 

ISRAEL'S STRATEGIC AIMS

1. Establish some degree of effective sovereignty over Lebanon (probably something similar to the

way Israel controls Gaza)

$ Peres has often proposed that "the solution" to the "security zone" situation is Israeli withdrawal

(after an Israeli determined period of quiet), but only if the Israeli controlled Southern Lebanese

Army is integrated into the Lebanese army- Israel will determine the composition of the Lebanese

army!! as they do with Arafat's police.

$ The naval blockade parallels the closures Israeli imposes on the Palestinians at will.

$ An outside force (Syria) is to disarm Hizbollah- not the Lebanese army.

$ The Syrian-Lebanese alliance is to be demonstrated as ineffective in defending either the

Lebanese or their territory.

2. To threaten Syria and Lebanon until they submit to Israeli demands.

3. Wreck the thriving Lebanese economy which is the competitor to Israel in the area.

$ Electricity power plants in the Christian sector of Beirut (the investors) were bombarded by the

Israelis but not those supplying Hizbollah controlled areas (the poor).

4. Increase the efficiency and self-confidence of the Israeli army under "real," but far from

dangerous combat conditions. [Note: historically, when the Israeli government talks of peace it

always increases its military budget preparing for "the next war"- probably Iran now.]

$ For example- the air force spread out attack assignments to include as many pilots as possible.

5. To present Peres to Israeli voters as tough on security issues in the coming elections and

thereby get Peres reelected.

THE WINNERS & THE LOSERS

ISRAEL

 

Peres: I can assure the Knesset that the government will not in any way be satisfied with anything

less than the stated objectives of "Operation Grapes of Wrath," and will not agree to return to the

situation which prevailed on the eve of the operation.

 

$ Israel failed in its major objectives:

Hizbollah rockets continued to fall on Israel up to the cease-fire

The Syrians refused to stop arms shipments to the guerrillas

Lebanon refused to move its troops further south

Hizbollah refused to halt its attacks on Israeli soldiers in Lebanon

$ Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" bombardment solidified the Lebanese-Syrian front and increased the

leverage these two countries have in wrecking Israeli Aim #2.

$ Clinton's total commitment to Israel in an election year for both.

$ No Israelis killed.

$ The US and Israel have drawn up a letter of "interpretation" on which they could rely- a secret

letter which no one else was party to. In future, it could, of course, be used to justify Israeli

violations.

 

US Rewards for Israel

 

$ Access to real-time satellite data for detecting ballistic missile launches

$ $200 m for Israel's Arrow missile project

 

$ $25 m to perfect the Nautilus Tactical High-Energy Laser system that can destroy small rockets

such as the short range Katyushas

 

$ F-15-I fighter-bombers; the state-of-the-art version of the world's leading warplane by

McDonnell Douglas

$ AMRAM air-to-air missiles: America's most advanced weapon for aerial combat

 

$ Additional access to technology such as super computers

 

$ Training Israelis to become astronauts

$ Budgeting the first $50 m promised in March "to fight terrorism"

 

$ Formal signing of an anti-terrorism cooperation agreement calling for sharing of information,

resources, technology and training

 

$ Formal signing of a "statement of intent" creating a working group to explore ways to bolster

Israel's military defense

 

$ Formation of a high-level steering committee to develop new ways of enhancing bilateral security

cooperation, including possibly a formal defense treaty between the US and Israel

 

UNITED STATES

$ The very minor accomplishment, considering the US original proposal, of getting the 1993

agreement set to paper.

$ Christopher waited 9 days before going to the Middle East, allowing France, Russia and Iran to

take the stage from the Americans.

LEBANON

$ Over 200 killed by the Israelis.

$ During the crisis the various religious and political groups coalesced giving real hope of an end to

internal conflict within Lebanon.

SYRIA

$ Syria has once again demonstrated that there cannot be a settlement which does not take full

account of Syria.

$ The "understanding" is between Israel and Lebanon- Syria was not a guarantor, much to the

annoyance of both the US and Israel.

IRAN

$ Iran gained new prominence in the region because Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati actively

mediated on the side of the Arabs.

FRANCE

$ In the main it was the French plan that finally emerged as the "understanding."

$ France and no other Western European Country or the European Union as a collective unit is

included in the surveillance group to see that the "understanding" is respected.

RUSSIA

$ Gained a voice by obtaining a seat on the consultative group for aid to Lebanon.

HIZBOLLAH

$ Christopher's original proposal demanded Hizbollah lay down its arms before a truce. The final

"Understanding" leaves Hizbollah with arms.

$ Hizbollah is no longer considered an extremist Shi'ite group. It has been transformed into a

symbol of Lebanese nationalism, respected by many Christians and Muslims not sympathetic to

their political goals.

 

Sources for this report

 

$ The Massacre at Qana-- This is based for the most on news reports at the time, mostly Reuters.

Other important sources were Robert Fisk's articles for The Independent of London and articles

from Middle East International.

 

$ The historical background material relied on Chomsky-- The Fateful Triangle and "'Limited

War' in Lebanon" in Z Magazine of Sept. 1993. For the assult on the USS Liberty the sources

were the film USS Liberty Survivors: Our Story (Sligo Productions) and Assult on the Liberty

by James M. Ennes, Jr. The section on the murder of Arab POWs is based on translations from

the Israeli press by Israel Shahak- From the Hebrew Press [Middle East Data Center, PO Box

337, Woodbridge VA. 22194.