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Thursday, August 03, 2006

IDF releases report on Qana; Human Rights Watch accuses Israel

The IDF has released the report of its investigation into the Qana incident. According to the Jerusalem Post:
Two missiles, the only one of which exploded, hit the building on July 30. The army said that they had operated according to information that "the building was not inhabited by civilians and was being used as a hiding place for terrorists." Had they known that civilians were in the building, the attack would not have been carried out.

The IDF spokesperson noted that the building had been targeted only after residents had been warned to evacuate through various media, and that the building was adjacent to areas from which rockets had been launched towards Israel. Other buildings in the area had been targeted with no civilian casualties.

On Wednesday, both the Lebanese Health Ministry and the Human Rights Watch said that they could confirm only 28 of the originally reported 57 civilians who died in the building. Of the 28 that they confirmed, 16 were children.
But Human Rights Watch is accusing Israel of targeting civilians:
On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch questioned the death toll in the Qana attack. The international group listed the names of 28 known dead from the attack and said that 13 others were missing and might still be buried under the rubble. The discrepancy was attributed to an assumption that only nine of the people who took shelter in the basement of the building survived, but it emerged that at least 22 escaped, the group said.

HRW said Israel's contention that Hezbollah fighters were hiding among Lebanese civilians did not justify its "systematic failure" to distinguish between civilians and combatants.

"In some instances, Israeli forces appear to have deliberately targeted civilians," HRW said in a statement accompanying a report released Thursday.

"The failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes."
Oh really. If you met these people on the street without the launcher, how would you know whether they were civilians or Hezbullah terrorists?

But then we all knew that Human Rights Watch is anti-Israel anyway.

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