Monthly Archives: July 2006

Who are they kidding?

A 48-hour halt to airstrikes?

Only an hour ago, an Israeli airstrike targeted a taxi on the Tyre-Abbassiyye road (Abbassiyye is northeast of Tyre).

This was followed by two additional airstrikes, one targeted a Lebanese Army barracks in Al-Qasimiyye, killing 1 soldier, wounding 3 others, and the other targeted a location near Marja’youn (north and slightly west of Al-Khiam).

From time to time I can still hear the roar of jets flying very low over the Matn and Keserwan region. Jets are also reported to be flying over the Masna’a area on the border in east Lebanon.

In other developments… 26 bodies were discovered today (actually, a while ago) in the village of Srifa in south Lebanon. Where is Srifa? Check out Google Earth’s satellite shot of the village itself as well as its general location. For more information on what this might be all about, read this and view this.

The country is almost out of fuel, and we might not have electricity at all in a week’s time. But life goes on, and we all find ways of adjusting to this “new” life. First and foremost it reminds us that we take some things for granted and fail to understand what life without these could be like. When I was in Toronto in August 2003, a power blackout brought much of the city to a halt, and caused such widespread panic and chaos. Here in Lebanon we’re not at that level of taking things for granted, but we are at a rather high level, and things like these make us think about and be all the more thankful for what we have. Whereas pre-July 12 we used to complain if a private generator malfunctioned and caused an electricity cut of one or two hours, today we are able to cope with electricity cuts of 10 hours, and in the coming days, of 24 hours. Life goes on.

More news: LBC – Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (TV station) – has sent a reporter to Bint Jbeil. He said that there is tremendous destruction there, enormous smell of dead people and rotting corpses. There are also elderly men and women who were unable to flee, and who are trapped in shelters of buildings that have collapsed. Few Lebanese Red Cross rescue workers have been able to reach the site, and have been working on evacuating some of the elderly. No word yet on the number of civilian casualties. The reporter said that he has lived through 1982 and the recent war in Iraq, but this is the first time he has seen such enormous damage. He also reported that the Israeli forces have been arresting civilians in Maroun al-Ras. Some civilians – including children and the elderly – were able to flee on time, and have been walking for almost a week now, from Maroun al-Ras to Tibnin, which is some 15 km from Bint Jbeil. Now imagine an 80-year-old man/woman walking 20 kilometers without food or water.

Tragic quote of the day

I would’ve said funny quote of the day if it weren’t so tragic: “No, I think Hezbollah deliberately set those people up to be slaughtered.” – an Israeli blogger on the massacre at Qana….

I won’t say more, because some things are better left unsaid. Sometimes you just have to let actions and words do the job of exposing the character, education, and morality of their authors. Naive as I am, I expected that some (self-identified moderate) Israelis would express at least some shock at, if not condemnation of, the massacre (deliberate or not).

Having said that, Richard at Tikun Olam has blogged about the massacre and its implications; I encourage you to read it. Another must-read is Gideon Levy’s Days of darkness, in Ha’aretz.

1996 / 2006

Unbelievable. I am speechless. I woke up and have been watching on TV body after body of children being pulled out from the rubble of a house in Qana where women and children had taken shelter. So far the toll stands at 53, most of them children.

I won’t say more. Footage of the massacre is worth a thousand words. If you have Al-Jazeera you might be able to see some of it. Some pics are also available here.

The Lebanese government has rejected to sit down for any NEGOTIATIONS until complete, unconditional ceasefire is in place, and has refused to welcome Condoleezza Rice.

Update @ 1:43 pm: The toll currently stands at 55. Protest in front of the UN Headquarters in Beirut. UN building attacked. Bashir at UrShalim has captured some shots of the massacre from TV.

After 17 Days, Israel has…

marounalras.jpg

… Maroun al-Ras.

Source: Google Earth (coordinates: 33° 6’15.51″N 35°26’40.19″E)

Click here to see the exact distance of Maroun al-Ras from the border.

It is HezbAllah

Funny quote of the day: “It is Hizbollah, which is deliberately preventing the transfer of medical aid and food to the population of southern Lebanon in order to create a humanitarian crisis, which they want to blame Israel for.” – Avi Pazner, Israeli government spokesman

It is HezbAllah indeed.

Investigate this

We are still awaiting the findings of Israel’s numerous investigations (the three helicopters, the UN, and Habboush river). Now Israel claims the Rome conference gave it the green light to continue targeting HezbAllah destroying Lebanon (since when did Israel need approval to target HezbAllah anyway? I thought targeting a terrorist organization did not need a green light). There was denial today from a few sides, but of course, nothing tangible was done to actually stop Israel, so it could only mean that Israel is right; though of course, its claim that the conference itself gave it the green light to continue refers more to an active approval rather than a tacit one. But then again, Israel is always allowed to interpret things however it wants, without facing any criticism or limitations in its sphere of activities.

About an hour ago, an air strike destroyed a church in the southern Lebanese village of Safad al-Battikh near Tibnin. Israel will claim rocket stockpiles were stored in the church. Also targeted was a civilian convoy on a road in Kamed al-Lawz (southwest of Majdal Anjar, near Joub Jannine) in the Bekaa. In the meantime, clashes have (again) erupted at and around Maroun al-Ras. The Israelis have been repeating the figure of 200 HezbAllah fighters killed for the past 2 weeks… And the world will hail the ongoing war against Lebanon as rightful self-defense by Israel, while (ironically) the rockets continue to fall in northern Israel (which was not the case before Israel declared open war against Lebanon).

But the world continues to await the findings of Israel’s investigations. Investigations? OK, how about investigating how entire families (unarmed men, helpless women and children) ended up being decapitated while fleeing the fighting in the south (often in meeting with Israel’s warnings that civilians should leave their villages because they would be bombed?). Sorry, I will not post the photo, it is way too disgusting. If you would like to see it, you may leave your e-mail address and I will e-mail it to you.

I have prepared (pending upload) a series of detailed maps of Lebanon, so that my readers would have a better idea of the places being bombed (I have been trying to mention the locations of small villages in relation to larger, better-known, or otherwise easier-to-find villages and towns, so that it would be easier to find them on the map). Anyhow, stay tuned for the link!

Pinpoint Attacks Continue

Just a quick update (more to come as soon as information is available) from Israel’s “most just war” (or “most just pinpoint attacks”): a while ago a motorcycle was targeted in Jwayya (approximately 3-4 km northeast of Qana) by the pinpoint attackers of the world’s most moral air force, killing the rider, a Nigerian national.

Update @ 4:48 pm: IAF launches missiles into the course of Habboush river… HezbAllah has allegedly built a bunker under it. Note that Israeli officials have not yet elaborated as to how that is possible but have launched an investigation to figure it all out. We eagerly await the findings of this investigation.

Funny quote of the day: “The IAF staged a series of raids in northern, eastern and southern Lebanon early Thursday, targeting suspected Hizbullah hideouts, striking a Lebanese army base and destroying roads, Lebanese security officials said. Three rocket launchers and a convoy were also bombarded.” – Jerusalem Post staff