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23 August 2006

Amnesty International - Lebanon: Deliberate destruction or "collateral damage"?

Dear readers,

Amnesty International published today the following report:
Lebanon: Deliberate destruction or "collateral damage"? Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure - Amnesty International ; it is the most current and updated evaluation of the civilian destruction caused by Israeli bombardment to Lebanon. The extent of the damage is striking and even worse than anything I could have feared.

I will not go into any comment there, but just quote a couple of targets chosen by Tsahal in its unsuccesful campaign to undermine Lebanese popular support for Hezbollah. Two governmental hospitals were totally destroyed, carefully bombed to the ground, while the three quarters of all Lebanese hospitals were stopped due to destructions, lack of fuel or other supplies.

Most civilian industries or comercial facilities (as previously reported) were equally obliterated, including dairy factories, glass factories, plastic factories, shipping warehouses, local auto shops and gas stations and practically all supermarkets in Southern Lebanon. This can hardly be seen as a list of legitimate military targets... Despite the fact that Lebanon was already under total naval blocade, Tsahal felt obliged to also destroy or damage most port facilities in Beirut, Tyre and Sidon. These destructions can only be seen as "punishment" for Lebanese civilians as they can have no military purpose whatsoever.

Amnesty International report does not cover similar atrocities committed by Hezbollah against Israeli civilians. Alledgely, these should be the topic of a separate report. I couldn't find it on Amnesty's website, so I assume that it hasn't been published yet. This said, the disproportion of force means as well as use of force between the belligerant was so high that it seems difficult for Israel to justify what it has done in the last weeks. I can only repeat my suggestion in one of my previous post: Israel and Hezbollah should be sued for mutual war damages as well, according to Amnesty International, as for the war crimes against civilians. Let's hope that the UN or any other organisation will go along this way. After what we have seen lately for the implementation of the FINUL, I am afraid it is unlikely...

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