Friday, 7 September 2007


The New York based Human Rights Watch has published a new report that accuses Israel of the "indiscriminate airstrikes" agaisnt Lebanese civilians. The rights group found no evidence of Hezbollah’s shielding— as Israel claims— behind civilians.

To quote HRW report:
"In the vast majority of cases documented in this report, Israeli air strikes hit near or on civilian objects, killing numerous civilians in their homes or vehicles. While there were instances in which civilian deaths were “collateral damage” from legitimate attacks on military targets, during the vast majority of the deadly air strikes we investigated, we found no evidence of Hezbollah military presence, weaponry or any other military objective that would have justified the strike.

"Human Rights Watch visits to the graveyards in the villages found that the victims of these strikes were buried as civilians, and not honored as “fighters” or “martyrs” by Hezbollah or other militant groups, despite the pride that Hezbollah takes in these labels. Women and children account for a large majority of the victims of Israeli air strikes that we documented.

"Out of the 499 Lebanese civilian casualties of whom Human Rights Watch was able to confirm the age and gender, 302 were women or children.

"Throughout the conflict, Israeli warplanes targeted civilian vehicles on roads and homes, apparently assuming them to be Hezbollah military movements.

"Among the deadly attacks on civilians trying to flee the conflict are the killing of 23 civilians, including 14 children and seven women, fleeing from Marwahin on July 15; the killing of six and wounding of eight civilians fleeing from `Aitaroun on July 19; the killing of three and wounding of 14 civilians fleeing from al-Tiri on July 23; the killing of 2 and wounding of four civilians fleeing from Mansouri on July 23; the wounding of nine civilians fleeing from Mansouri on July 23; the wounding of six ambulance drivers and three passengers in Qana on July 23; the killing of one civilian on a motorcycle on his way to buy food and medicines on July 24; the killing of seven civilians fleeing from Marja`youn on August 11; and the killing of seven and wounding of six civilians in the Beka` Valley on August 14. In all these cases, there is no evidence of a Hezbollah military presence that would justify the attacks."

The photo caption reads:
QANA, LEBANON - JULY 30: (EDITORS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT) A rescue team member extracts the dead body of one of the victims of the Israeli air strike from the rubble of the building that was hit July 30, 2006 in Qana, Southern Lebanon. Approximately 56 civilians were killed, at least 34 of them children, and dozens trapped under debris, after an Israeli air strike on the village of Qana in southern Lebanon, resulted in the deadliest attack since fighting began. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

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