Amnesty International accuses Israel of deliberate targeting of civilians
|Thursday, August 24,2006 00:00|
Amnesty International on Wednesday categorically accused the Israeli army of deliberately targeting Lebanese civilians during its 33-day-war on Lebanon, adding that the Hebrew state could be held criminally liable over those crimes.
"Evidence gathered and events on the ground strongly reveal that the wide-scale destruction in power plants and public utilities in addition to thousands of homes was deliberate and not accidental as Israel alleges", said the international organization, urging the formation of an independent committee to investigate the IOA violations of international laws.
AI charged that Israel likes to reiterate that it targeted Hizbullah bases and fighters, and that the destruction inflicted on the civilians was because Hizbullah used them as human shields; however, AI added, the volume of casualties among civilians makes such allegations "hollow".
For its part, the Arab Organization for Human Rights urged individuals and groups to furnish it with any evidence that could indict Israel of crimes against humanity, adding that it will spare no effort in pursuing Israel and holding it criminally liable for its crimes against Lebanese civilians.
According to international groups clearing south Lebanon of cluster bombs intentionally dropped by Israeli warplanes to harm as many as they could of Lebanese civilians and cars could take as long as 12 months. Israel has dropped those internationally-banned bombs on 170 Lebanese villages and sites during its war on Lebanon.
"This is a big and serious problem that jeopardizes life of children, cars, and passersby and I have no doubt that Israel dropped them intentionally in violation of international laws" said Tikimiti Gilbert, head of operations of the UN Mine Action Coordination Center (UNMAAC).
At least four Lebanese children were killed and 25 others were wounded when some of those cluster bombs exploded in the past few days following the UNSC resolution 1701 ordering cessation of hostilities in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, media sources affirmed that one Israeli soldier was killed and three others were seriously wounded when an anti-tanks landmine exploded in their tank.
Larsen worried about fragile truce:
"There exists a real security vacuum in south Lebanon that the Lebanese army along with the UNIFIL force are trying to fill; however, the situation is fragile to the extent that a small incident even incidental could ignite the war anew", he underlined.
The AP news agency, in the meantime, affirmed that it obtained a copy of the "engagement rules" draft distributed by the UN on countries that are expected to participate in the UNIFIL force allowing it to defend itself and protect civilians, and to use force in case it was gravely threatened.
Syria’s Assad rejects UNIFIL force along Syria-Lebanese borders:
Assad explained that his country will not delineate borders in the occupied Sheba Farms unless Israel pulls out of it. Syria repeatedly acknowledged the Farms as Lebanese occupied lands. The UN and Israel says it is a Syrian land.
"There will be no re-drawing of borders with Lebanon in the Sheba Farms unless IOF troops get out of it", said Assad in an interview with Dubai TV that will be broadcast Wednesday night.
He added that Hizbullah’s victory over Israel serves as "sufficient lesson to Israel", affirming that the siege on Syria has collapsed. "Whoever attempts to isolate Syria would isolate himself from crucial issues", he underlined.
Assad also invited the Lebanese government not to take any steps that could spoil relations with his country.
Condemnation reactions of families of Israeli soldiers killed in Lebanon mounted with scores of those families holding the Israeli occupation government liable for betraying their sons and beloved ones, and of leaving them to face their fate alone inside Lebanon without protection.
"The government and the military are the killers of our sons as they failed in administering the war and plan for it", they said.
However, adverse repercussions of the IOF troops’ defeat in Lebanon weren’t limited to volume of casualties, but spread to greatly contribute to the increasing crime frequency in the Hebrew state as reveled by the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Pollard urges families of captured IOF servicemen not to believe IOA:
"It seems that the culture of useless words has spread among the Israeli politicians and the successive Israeli occupation governments for the past two decades", said the Israeli spy.
Israel used the issue of its captured soldiers in Lebanon and Gaza Strip as a pretext to wage an all-out-war against Palestinian and Lebanese people; yet, the Israeli people started to believe that their government was cheating them, and that the last thing it was thinking of was the release of those captured soldiers, many observes opined.