Israel remains adament that
"We were operating in a place from where Katyushas are being fired and we distributed notices to residents. Unfortunately, people who assembled in the area, whom we were unaware of, were harmed,"
LGF has examples of Hizbollah operating specifically from within civilian communities. This ongoing war has a copy of leaflets distributed among the inhabitants of towns like Qana as early as three/four days ago:
"To all citizens south of the Litani River. Due to the terror activities being carried out against the State of Israel from within your villages and homes, the IDF is forced to respond immediately against these activities, even within your villages. For your safety! We call upon you to evacuate your villages and move north of the Litani River."
Then there's a letter to the editors of der Tagesspiegel (in a translation of Judeoscope):
I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajund that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to take have its say in other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.
How to use the dead as propaganda is amply demonstrated by EU Referendum in a rather gruesome, but utterly enlightening, piece. For some reason or other the Mid East conflict seems to get the worst out of photo 'journalists'. I encourage everyone to read it and spread it around.
And then there's this little detail that surprisingly (or not) never made it into the main stream reporting of this tragedy:
An IDF investigation has found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the IDF.So, while the world is out almost gleefully condemning Israel for the civilian deaths (you'd swear that most of todays political leadership had been waiting for an incident like this. The speed and ferocity of teh condemnation was a tad suspect, don't you think?), there are some strong hints that Hizbollah is at least as culpable as is Israel. Why does the world keep giving scum like that carte blanche?
"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.
In the mean time Israel has announced a 48 hour suspension of air operations to give people still trapped in southern Lebanon a chance to evacuate. As Blue Crab Boulevard observes:
Any civilians left in Southern Lebanon after this are either there by choice or are being held there as human shields. The world needs to pay attention to that fact.But the suspension of air attacks does not mean suspension of *all* activity. Wretchard at the Belmont Club puts forth the intriguing possibility that the suspension if a matter of 'two birds with one stone' as he registers increased ground activity in the east of the south Lebanon theater, possibly along the Litani river, cutting off supply and encircling Hizbollah forces still in the area.
[UPDATE001] EU Referendum has a follow up on one of the the lead character in the Qana photo-ops. Curiouser and curiouser.
[UPDATE002] The reward for the suspension of air attacks: 140 rockets express mailed into northern Israel, courtesy of he of the Black Hand gang etc. (h/t In From the Cold)
[UPDATE003] EU Referendum adds something of an addendum to their earlier posts about 'Green Helmet' man and his antics.
[UPDATE004] This is getting more revolting with every hour passing. Confederate Yankee has some disturbing thoughts and observations regarding the photographed victims. Gerard van der Leun offers this thought in a must-read:
If you aren't sure exactly who has the moral high ground in the current struggle in Lebanon, you might reflect that while it is possible to see a grown man on the Lebanese side of the struggle dangle a shredded child by an ankle for the world's cameras, you don't ever see that sort of thing at an Israeli funeral, do you?[UPDATE005] (Via Jihad Watch) Ynet reports that a Libanese Christian website claims it has evidence Hezbollah deliberately created a situation in Qana in a bid to torpedo Lebanese PM Siniora's plan to disarm Hezbollah and have the Lebanese army police south Lebanon:
"We have it from a credible source that Hizbullah, alarmed by Siniora's plan, has concocted an incident that would help thwart the negotiations. Knowing full well that Israel will not hesitate to bombard civilian targets, Hizbullah gunmen placed a rocket launcher on the roof in Qana and brought disabled children inside, in a bid to provoke a response by the Israeli Air Force. In this way, they were planning to take advantage of the death of innocents and curtail the negotiation initiative," the site stated.If is this seems a bit too outlandish for you, the story is given credibility by a French nurse and inadvertantly confirmed by Euronews (FR, down at the bottom of the link).
So, to recapitulate, there are now strong clues that Hezbollah
1) placed rocket launchers at or near the building in Qana to provoke the IAF
2) used disabled children as human shield and propaganda fodder.
3) dragged the bodies of these poor kids to and fro for the MSM stringers in the area
3) recycled corpses for the use in MSM photo ops.
4) but waited with any meaningful rescue attempts hours after the initial attack, untill the MSM had arrived
5) possibly were instrumental in the collaps of the building, which stayed upright at least 8 hours after the IAF struck.
Draw your own conclusions.