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UN observers called Israel 10 times before they were bombed

More evidence that the UN observation post was deliberately targeted by Israel. The UN makes certain that all parties know their exact locations. The 10 calls to stop the raid before being bombed went unanswered
KIRYAT SHEMONA, Israel([search]) - U.N. observers in southern Lebanon([search]) called the Israeli military 10 times during a six-hour period to ask it to halt an airstrike before their observation post was hit, according to details of a preliminary U.N. report on the incident. Four U.N. observers were killed in the bombing Tuesday.

During each phone call, an Israeli official promised to halt the bombing, according to a U.N. official who had seen the preliminary report, which was released to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The U.N. observers said the area within half a mile of the post was hit with precision munitions, including 17 bombs and 12 artillery shells, four of which directly hit the post Tuesday, the report said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed "deep regret" Wednesday over the killings, and dismay over U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan's accusation that the airstrike was "apparently deliberate."

Olmert told Annan in a phone call Wednesday that the U.N. post was hit inadvertently.

"The prime minister expressed
Israel's deep regret over the mistaken killing of four U.N. peacekeepers," Olmert said in a statement released by his office. "The prime minister said he has instructed the military to carry out a thorough investigation and that the results will be shared with the U.N. secretary general."

White House press secretary Tony Snow said called the killing of the observers a "horrible thing," but said Israel has acted appropriately by saying it will investigate.

"They'll be completely transparent in the way they conduct the investigation," Snow said. "And I think that's the appropriate way to proceed."

China demanded that Israel apologize for the attack, which killed a Chinese U.N. observer along with observers from Austria, Canada and Finland.

"We are deeply shocked by this incident and strongly condemn it," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said on the ministry Web site.

His statement said Israel's ambassador to Beijing was summoned Wednesday morning and asked to convey a request that Israel issue an apology to China and the victims' families.

"These so-called precision attacks seem to be mainly targeting everyone else except the Hezbollah," said Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, who added that the attack would increase pressure for a cease-fire.

Austria's foreign minister, Ursula Plassnik, told her Israeli counterpart by telephone that the bombing was unacceptable and urged Israel to stop its attack on the area, according to a ministry statement.

European Union joined China and other nations in demanding an Israeli investigation of the attack.

Olmert expressed dismay over Annan's initial comments in a written statement that the airstrike was "apparently deliberate."

"It's inconceivable for the U.N. to define an error as an apparently deliberate action," Olmert said.

Annan said the "coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked U.N. post at Khiam occurred despite personal assurances given to me by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would be spared Israeli fire."

Furthermore, he said, Gen. Alain Pelligrini, the U.N. force commander in south Lebanon, had been in repeated contact with Israeli officers Tuesday "stressing the need to protect that particular U.N. position from attack."

Lt. Col. John Molloy, the senior Irish officer in the U.N. observer force in south Lebanon, reported making six telephone calls to his Israeli counterparts in the hours before the deadly strike on the border outpost, said Suzanne Coogan, spokeswoman for Irish Defense Minister Willie O'Dea. She said all six calls specifically identified the U.N. post that was ultimately destroyed.

"He warned the Israelis that they were shelling in very close proximity to the post, and his warnings were very specific, explicit, detailed and stark. Obviously those warnings went unheeded," Coogan said.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown and Jane Lute, assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping, also made several calls to Israel's mission to the U.N. "reiterating these protests and calling for an abatement of the shelling," Lute said.

Since fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants began two weeks ago, there have been several dozen incidents of firing close to U.N. peacekeepers and observers, including direct hits on nine positions, some of them repeatedly, a U.N. official said.

As a result of these attacks, 12 U.N. personnel have been killed or injured, U.N. officials said.

Tuesday's bomb hit the building and shelter of the observer post in Khiam near the eastern end of the border with Israel, said Milos Struger, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL. The four observers were in a bunker that collapsed in the bombing, a U.N. official said.

Israeli forces kept firing as rescue workers tried to clear the rubble, Struger said.

During an Israeli offensive against Lebanon in 1996, artillery blasted a U.N. base at Qana in southern Lebanon, killing more than 100 civilians taking refuge with the peacekeepers.

The U.N. mission, which has nearly 2,000 military personnel and more than 300 civilians, is to patrol the border line, known as the Blue Line, drawn by the
United Nations after Israel withdrew troops from south Lebanon in 2000, ending an 18-year occupation.

On Wednesday, dovish lawmaker Ran Cohen, a colonel in the Israeli army reserves, said that from his experience in Lebanon it was quite possible to make such a mistake.

"I have not even the slightest doubt that we're talking here about a mistake, technical or otherwise. The army, as long as I've known it and I'm fairly critical, never wants to hit UNIFIL forces," Cohen said.


Re: UN observers called Israel 10 times before they were bombed

make no mistake that it was a clear message delivered to the u.n. and the int'l community. no witnesses. no armed peace keepin' forces. no cease fires. no interference. the fact that the IDF continued to shell the rescuers makes it obvious to all that these were intentional acts. these are not the first un observers killed by the israelis - two nigerians were killed near tyre last week. they even shot a fox reporter in gaza([search]) not very long ago. cripes, that's what they do! think rachel corrie et al.

eyeballing that un post

it's not exactly as if the un post was in the middle of a crowded urban setting…
Click on image for a larger version


Re: UN observers complicit

The hezbollah position was purposely placed next to the UN observer post. Hezbollah has been using the UN for cover for many years. Not too long ago, UN "peacekeeprs" lured three Israeli soldiers to their slaughter at the hands of hezbollah. The "peacekeepers" actually filmed the atrocity.


even were that the case, which you offer no evidence of, are you suggesting that somehow that point would negate the criminality of repeatedly shelling observers?

not interested in a tête á tête exchange on such speculative apologetics when int'l law is most clear on what constitutes a war crime, but if you have any legit proof of this, why not put it forth for open examination & srutiny?


btw, they're "observers", not "peacekeepers." there haven't been any agreements yet to bring in a peacekeeping contigent. and israel([search]) has repeatedly said they don't want the blue helmets to be part of any such thing.

Re: Re: UN observers complicit

United Nations an Accomplice in Hezbollah Kidnapping:

After Hezbollah's kidnapping of a pair of Israeli soldiers spurred an Israeli counter-attack, many critics of Israel([search]) actions have suggested that the United Nations can serve as a buffer between Israel and Hezbollah. To the contrary, the United Nations has a well-established record of collaboration with Hezbollah in the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon([search]) (UNIFIL) has been deployed since 1978, not long after Israel first entered Lebanon in pursuit of PLO terrorists. UNIFIL was created pursuant to Security Council Resolution 425, for the purpose of "confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security and assisting the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area." Quite obviously UNFIL has utterly failed to achieve the Security Council's objectives, either before or after Israel's 2000 complete withdrawal from Lebanon. One reason is that UNIFIL does not interdict Hezbollah attacks on Israel. Instead, UNIFIL allows Hezbollah to set up positions next to UNFIL units, in effect using UNIFIL as human shields against Israeli counterstrikes. (Aluf Benn, Israel accuses UN of collaborating with Hezbollah," Haaretz, Sept. 11, 2005.)

UNIFIL's most notorious collaboration with terrorists involved the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli soldiers, and the subsequent cover-up.

On October 7, 2000, Hezbollah terrorists entered Israel, attacked three Israeli soldiers on Mount Dov, and abducted them Lebanon. The kidnapping was witnessed by several dozen UNIFIL soldiers who stood idle. One of the soldier witnesses described the kidnapping: the terrorists set of an explosive which stunned the Israeli soldiers. Clad in UN uniforms, the terrorists called out, "Come, come, we’ll help you."

The Israeli soldiers approached the men in UN uniforms. Then, a Hezbollah bomb detonated—-apparently prematurely. It wounded the disguised Hezbollah commander, and three Israeli soldiers.

Two other terrorists in U.N. uniforms dragged their Hezbollah commander and the three wounded soldiers into a getaway car.

According an Indian solider in UNIFIL who witnessed the kidnapping, "By this stage, there was a big commotion and dozens of UN soldiers from the Indian brigade came around." The witness stated that the brigade knew that the kidnappers in UN uniform were Hezbollah. One soldiers said that the brigade should arrest the Hezbollah, but the brigade did nothing.

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Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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