Israeli Bombs Kills 4 UN Observers

07/26/06 “ABC” — — UN secretary-general Kofi Annan is calling on Israel to investigate the “apparently deliberate targeting” of the base.


There was no hiding that it was a U.N. post; “U.N.” was painted in big black letters on the white walls, and the U.N. flag always flew.

In the days leading up to the deadly strike, there had been several near misses of the U.N. post, all falling within a 300-yard radius, according to an officer of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Then, at around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, one aerial bomb exploded 300 yards away and the four observers went “ground hog” (UNIFIL’s term for going to the bomb shelter). Soon after, according to the UNIFIL officer, UNIFIL contacted the Israeli military to warn them that one of their bombs had fallen close to a U.N. position. Over the next six hours, another 10 aerial bombs exploded between 100 yards and 300 yards from the U.N. post, while four 155mm artillery shells exploded inside the position, causing extensive damage. “We contacted the Israelis every time after one of the bombs fell. We were begging them to stop because it was going to end up in a tragedy. They said they would look into the matter and correct the situation,” the UNIFIL officer recalled. Israel, while saying that the accident is under investigation, has not confirmed that it got the warnings.

Regardless of what preceded it, there is no disputing that the position was hit by at least two aerial bombs at 7:20 p.m., killing all four observers. UNIFIL insists there were no reports of Hizballah firing Katyusha rockets from the vicinity of observers’ position, and that there was no obvious target for the Israelis that was discernible to UNIFIL. The officer contends that the Israelis did not halt their air strikes because “they don’t care. They feel they have more important issues on their mind to hit Hizballah. Everything else is secondary.” According to a senior U.N. official in Lebanon, the Israelis used “precision guided missiles,” inferring that the air strike was not an accident.,8599,1220278,00.html


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