Monday, July 31, 2006

good to be back

As you'll have heard, Israel's air-strikes yesterday killed more than 60 civilians, including 34 children. Faced with the inevitable outrage, Israel announced last night that it was calling a 48 hour halt to bombing so that the remaining civilians could vacate South Lebanon.

No confirmation or details yet, but The Guardian are carrying a news ticker update right now which reads:

LATEST: Israeli jets bomb south Lebanon despite suspending air attacks for 48 hours.

I really hope that's not true. If it is, then are we are talking a war crime?


SC said...

I'm not sure on that one Jonathan, but there is some talk that Qana constitutes a war crime:

jonathan said...

Well, it's hard to say what is a war crime and what is not, but what is certain is that Israel clearly feels that it can act almost entirely without rebuke. It's been three weeks now, how has this been allowed to happen!?

SC said...

Definitely so Jonathan - I'm no expert on this sort of thing. My layperson guess is that there have been multiple war crimes committed by Israel so far - and some, albeit lesser ones, by Lebanon. Both have knowingly targeted civilians, for example.

Added to which, there have just been reports on the BBC (2200h, 1 Aug 06) that massive aerial bombing raids are taking place over Baalbek in the north east of Lebanon - fully three hours before the 48 hours 'aerial ceasefire' has expired. Apparently it is believed this is in preparation for ground troops to go in.

Apart from any possible - probable - loss of life, which in itself would be shameful, Baalbek is, Google tells me, the site of an ancient temple complex of global importance. This conflict really isn't going anywhere nice.

By the way, I like your blog. Some very nicely written pieces on the Middle East.

jonathan said...

Thanks Seb, much appreciated! At the same time, awful to hear more news of atrocities in the Middle East; it could scarcely be more depressing.