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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Qana building collapsed eight hours after strike

When I heard the news from Qana this morning, I assumed that the attack had taken place mid-morning - an hour or two before I heard about it - and that the building collapsed immediately. I'm sure a lot of other people assumed that. But I was wrong.

The attack actually took place sometime after midnight last night and the building collapsed around 8:00 AM today. The IDF would like to know why. I'd also like to know why people stayed overnight in a building that had been hit by missiles. Surely they must have known that it was at risk of collapse.
"The attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear," Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force Headquarters told journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, following the incidents at Qana.

Eshel and the head of the IDF's Operational Branch, Major General Gadi Eisnkot said the structure was not being attacked when it collapsed, at around 8:00 in the morning.

The IDF believes that Hizbullah explosives in the building were behind the explosion that caused the collapse.

Another possibility is that the rickety building remained standing for a few hours, but eventually collapsed. "It could be that inside the building, things that could eventually cause an explosion were being housed, things that we could not blow up in the attack, and maybe remained there, Brigadier General Eshel said.

"I'm saying this very carefully, because at this time I don't have a clue as to what the explanation could be for this gap," he added.


Eshel said that an additional attack took place at 7:30 in the morning, but added that other buildings were targeted. "This was an attack on three buildings 460 meters away from the structure we are talking about. Four bombs were dropped and all of them are documented by the planes' cameras. They all struck their targets. In addition, we carried out a filming sortie that photographed the village during the afternoon showing that the three targeted buildings we struck. We have verification of strikes on the building and that the bombs reached their targets," Eshel said.

"An attack that took place at two in the morning struck two targets, both of them 400 meters away from the building (that collapsed). They were also destroyed. The attack between 12 and 1 a.m. struck the area of the affected house, and there were accurate strikes on the target. We are asking the question – what happened between 1 in the morning and 8 in the morning… we understand this building was attacked between 12 and 1 in the morning, seven hours before it was seriously damaged," he said.
Eshel said that more than 150 rockets had been fired from Qana and its environs at different locations in Israel since the war started.


At 11:04 PM, Blogger Aussie Dave said...

We have to be very careful when stating things as facts. The IDF is currently investigating the possibility that the building collapsed 8 hours later, but this is not yet proven. And while I fully support the IDF's actions today, us pro-Israel bloggers have to be very careful not to post unproven things as facts. Because if they turn out to be false, we end up with all the credibility of Saeb Erekat.

Just something to think about.


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