It is incredible how extremely stupid IDF commanders can be (I guess it makes no sense of complaining about their lack of sensibility as that is a trait of character that seems to disqualify anyone from becoming a military commander). Looks like today they managed to stage a repeat of the April 18, 1996 Qana Massacre in which IDF artillery shelling killed 106 lebanese civilians sheltering in an UN compound.
This morning – 10 years, 3 month and 12 days later – the Israeli air force targeted a 4-story apartment complex in the same city killing another 50-or-so civilians seeking shelter from the continuing Israeli air and artillery attacks on South Lebanon:
The facts will come trickling in, preceded by the excuses: the Israeli military will insist the civilians were warned, will insist Hizbullah fired from the village first; Hizbullah will deny firing from houses, will argue the Israeli drones, above the village all day, had recorded the civilians' presence; the remaining, bereaved family members will say, again, how they had nowhere to go, no way to leave, and that the roads out have been unremittingly bombed for the past week.
But none of it will matter. Not to those who make callous, calculated decisions from their comfortable, removed safety, nor to those who sell and deliver the weapons. The innocents suffer, and only the impotent care.
The families will grieve. The children will grow up without their mothers. The memorial at Qana, already displaying the coffins of 106 civilian deaths, will swell by at least 55 more, at least 20 of them children's sized. And the atrocities, tacitly and repeatedly permitted, will continue. [Sonya Knox on the Siege of Lebanon Blog]
It is hard to understand how the IDF hopes to ‘break support for Hezbollah‘ by these kinds of operations. when we were touring South Lebanon last june the Qana massacre was repeatedly mentioned in order to underline why Hezbollah’s resistance strategy is justified and why Hezbollah enjoys the almost complete support of the Shi’a population in the South: they are the ones who fight against those who have repeatedly taken the liberty to invade Lebanon, commit or support massacres and generally turn the life of ordinary people in South Lebanon into hell.
Of course there is no way that by committing more massacres among innocent civilians and making life more miserable for ordinary Lebanese and Palestinian people Israel will ever gain support or trust from its neighbors or even get rid of the Hezbollah. but at the same time it appears that there is no way that IDF commanders will ever learn this lesson…
update: There is a interesting piece on how Hezbullah operates militarily in Lebanon up on salon.com. It questions the standard israeli justification for killing civilians, who according to the IDF are used by Hezbollah as human shields.