27 July, 2006

One more time

For the second time...
BEIRUT, July 26 (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike on Wednesday hit a truck carrying medical and food supplies donated to Lebanon by the United Arab Emirates, killing its Syrian driver and wounding two others, security sources said.

The truck was destroyed just a few kilometres from Lebanon's eastern border with Syria in the town of Anjar. Israel has been hitting targets in southern Lebanon, Beirut and other parts of the country in a war with Hizbollah.

An Israeli air strike on July 18 hit another truck carrying aid donated by the UAE. The truck, whose driver was killed, was travelling from Damascus.
-- more here

15 comments:

Woke said...

How countries with the most advanced war technolgies (who can pinpoint and destroy a single residence harbouring a terrorist) choose to hit civilian targets like these is nothing short of cold-blooded murder.

Tim Newman said...

The Israelis are choosing to hit civilian targets like these because Hezbollah is deliberately hiding amongst the civilian population, operating from civilian buildings, using civilian buildings to store weapons, and travelling around in civilian transport.

This very scenario is covered in the Geneva Conventions as follows:

The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

Contrary to popular belief, the Israelis are not going around murdering innocent civilians for fun; if they were, the death toll would be in the hundreds of thousands.

samuraisam said...

woke: it was an airstrike; not a single missile targetting a single person

Tainted Female said...

'The Israelis are choosing to hit civilian targets like these because Hezbollah is deliberately hiding amongst the civilian population, operating from civilian buildings, using civilian buildings to store weapons, and travelling around in civilian transport.'

So the chances of TWO aid trucks from the UAE (An ARAB, Muslim country) doesn't show selective targeting? How many American or British Aid trucks have been targeted? Does anyone know?

What the hell. If Israel can hit UN posts (you know the UN that's asking Israel to cease fire) - why not UAE aid?

It's all a disgrace, no matter how you attempt to justify it.

Seabee said...

Tim, only unimaginable naivety or a deliberate refusal to acknowledge the facts causes anyone to parrot the propaganda line: The Israelis are choosing to hit civilian targets like these because Hezbollah is deliberately hiding amongst the civilian population, operating from civilian buildings, using civilian buildings to store weapons, and travelling around in civilian transport.

That does not explain why the UN building was destroyed, why clearly-marked aid convoys are being hit, why ambulances are being hit, why refugees doing as they were told by the Israelis to leave their villages were hit.

This is deliberate destruction of selected targets which have nothing to do with harbouring militants.

It is quite simply not a war on but a war of terror.

Woke said...

sam,
I was pointing out the difference between crippling a terrorist outfit and a nation. As opposed to the World Wars, where attacks were supposed to cripple a nation, this war is between Hezbollah and Israel and NOT between Lebanon and Israel(atleast in paper). And I do not think Israel is taking any steps to avoid civilian casualities.

Tim,
Geneva Convention Protocol Part IV states -
"The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations."

http://www.globalissuesgroup.com/geneva/protocol2.html

My understanding is if the clause you quoted is applicable, it should be approved by the UN Security Council before Israel can take any action. I do not see any logic in the Geneva Convention clauses being quoted when Israel has violated all the basic rules.

Tim Newman said...

So the chances of TWO aid trucks from the UAE (An ARAB, Muslim country) doesn't show selective targeting?

Erm, I can accept that Israel is deliberately targetting civilian aid trucks, but the notion that they are selectively targetting those from Arab countries sounds a bit fanciful to me. Do these trucks carry the nation's flag, for instance? Is there any way of knowing the origins of these aid trucks?

Tim Newman said...

That does not explain why the UN building was destroyed, why clearly-marked aid convoys are being hit, why ambulances are being hit, why refugees doing as they were told by the Israelis to leave their villages were hit.

No. But it does explain why civilians are being killed in greatr numbers than they should be, many of whose deaths are the sole responsibility of Hezbollah for using them as shields.

This is deliberate destruction of selected targets which have nothing to do with harbouring militants.

If Israel's policy is to massacre innocents, then why is the death toll only in the hundreds and not in the tens of thousands? Are the IDF really that incompetent. Sorry mate, I'm not convinced.

Tim Newman said...

And I do not think Israel is taking any steps to avoid civilian casualities.

I think they are taking far greater steps to avoid civilian casualties than Hezbollah, who are deliberately attacking Israeli civilians and putting their own into harms way.

"The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations."

Exactly. And in breaching this rule by operating from within civilian areas, Hezbollah has tin effect removed this protection from the civilian population i those areas. That is exactly what the passage I quoted was saying.

My understanding is if the clause you quoted is applicable, it should be approved by the UN Security Council before Israel can take any action.

Interesting. And are we also to expect Hezbollah to refrain from taking any action before it has approval from the UN security council to breach the Geneva Conventions, or does the restraint only apply to Israel?

I do not see any logic in the Geneva Convention clauses being quoted when Israel has violated all the basic rules.

As has Hezbollah. So we either dismiss the Geneva Convention altogether, or we try to apply it as we go along, as we are doing now.

Seabee said...

If Israel's policy is to massacre innocents, then why is the death toll only in the hundreds and not in the tens of thousands? Are the IDF really that incompetent. Sorry mate, I'm not convinced.

Oh come on Tim. Because the strategy of indiscriminate carpet bombing has long since disappeared with modern weaponry. All attacks are targeted strikes.

"why is the death toll not in the tens of thousands"...do you really not understand basic politics? Even the US would have to withdraw its support in that case.

Woke said...

Tim,
I do not know why you are equating Hezbollah with Lebanon.

Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation which needs to be eliminated. Israel is a nation. Dont we expect nations to act in a humanitarian way where they do not harm ordinary citizens.

If all nations affected by terrorism should react like Israel, India should start bombing Pakistan just because some terror groups are functioning in Pakistan is involved in terrorist activities in India. For whatever reason, India is refraining from such a move, it is in far better position to eliminate terrorism from its region than Israel is.
If Hezbollah acts from a civilian area, the civilians deserve punishment? If countries start taking international law into their own hands without the involvement of a collective effort from the international community, there will never be a solution.

Seabee said...

If all nations affected by terrorism should react like Israel, India should start bombing Pakistan just because some terror groups are functioning in Pakistan is involved in terrorist activities in India.

An interesting problem when a country is hit by home-grown terrorists, like the UK and USA have been. Who would they bomb?

BD said...

Premise: Israel deliberately targets civilians.

Such a premise is false. There would be no tactical benefit in doing so and it would allienate the few supporters that Israel has.

Yes, terrorist organizations do deliberately target civilians, but why? For them, there are tactical reasons. They do not otherwise have the ability to affect policy, for example, and they usually cannot wage a conventional war to defeat an enemy. So, deliberately killing civiians for them is a tactic.

Israel is a country, with a powerful military and a powerful ally. It is not a terrorist organization. It need not rely on such tactics. Yes, Israel oppresses and kills innocent civilians--it sows terror. But that is not what really defines a terrorist.

A terrorist is an organization with a mission but insufficient means to achieve its objectives. It has no political clout or legitimacy; it has no standing forces; it may have backers but it does not have the ability to print money, etc. So, it resorts to terror.

Such a tactic may never be justified, but they don't care. What the actual terrorists and Israel do have in common is that they both don't care... what others think, about the sanctity of life, etc. They care only about their cause and their mission.

No, Israel does not deliberately target civilians. At the same time, they don't really care--not in their heart of hearts--about who gets caught in the crossfire.

Tim Newman said...

I do not know why you are equating Hezbollah with Lebanon.

Youre confusion stems from the assumption that I am doing so. I'm not.

Tainted Female said...

“My understanding is if the clause you quoted is applicable, it should be approved by the UN Security Council before Israel can take any action.

Interesting. And are we also to expect Hezbollah to refrain from taking any action before it has approval from the UN security council to breach the Geneva Conventions, or does the restraint only apply to Israel?”


In any case, I’m sure Lebanon would refrain. Justifying the Lebanese civilian deaths and pretty blatant destruction of Lebanon as a whole using this argument, sure reads to me like you’re equating Lebanon with Hezbollah. But I’m sure I’m wrong since you’ve already stated that you’re not.

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