- Targeting of civilian areas in the 2006 Lebanon War
Artilleryand missiles fired into civilianareas in Lebanonand Israelby both the Israel Defence Forcesand Hezbollahwere a major component of the 2006 Lebanon war. Intended targeting aside, approximately one-quarter of the Israeliskilled by Hezbollah and the vast majority of the Lebanese killed by Israeli forces were widely reported to be civilians.  [cite news|title='Is this the price to pay?' Lebanese PM asks|url=http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/07/19/mideast-diplomacy.html|publisher=CBC|date= 2006-07-19] Arbour called for Israel to obey the "principle of proportionality" and said, "Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians.…Similarly, the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable." [cite news|title=UN warning on Mid-East war crimes|date= 2006-07-20|publisher= BBC News|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5197544.stm]
Amnesty Internationalcondemned both Israel and Hezbollah and called for UN intervention, stating early on that the region "has seen a horrendous escalation in attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. Yet the G8leaders have failed conspicuously to uphold their moral and legal obligation to address such blatant breaches of international humanitarian law, which in some cases have amounted to war crimes". [cite news|url=http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGIOR410122006|title=UN: Security Council must adopt urgent measures to protect civilians in Israel-Lebanon conflict|publisher= Amnesty International] Amnesty International later accused Israel of war crimes due to its assault on Lebanese civilian infrastructure. [cite news |publisher= Fox News|url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209890,00.html |title=Amnesty International Accuses Israel of War Crimes |date= August 22, 2006] [cite press release
title = Lebanon: Deliberate destruction or “collateral damage”? Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure
publisher = Amnesty International
23 August 2006
url = http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE180072006?open&of=ENG-LBN
accessdate = 2006-08-23 ]
Amnesty International has also accused Hezbollah of war crimes due to “deliberately failing to distinguish between civilian and military targets, and of wrongfully seeking to justify its barrage by claiming to be retaliating for Israel’s attacks on Lebanese civilians.” [cite web
url = http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/hezbollah-accused-of-war-crimes/2006/09/14/1157827090791.html
title = Hezbollah accused of war crimes
accessdate = 2006-09-15
last = O’Loughlin
first = Ed
September 15, 2006
The Sydney Morning Herald] cite web
url = http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE020252006
title = Under fire: Hizbullah’s attacks on northern Israel
accessdate = 2006-09-15
September 14, 2006
work = Israel/Lebanon
Amnesty International] On November 21, 2006, Amnesty International released a report stating that there was not "conclusive evidence of intent" by Hezbollah to use the civilian population as “human shields” for its military activities.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watchcondemned the indiscriminate use of force against civilians by both Israel and Hezbollah. They blamed Israel for systematically failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, which may constitute a war crime, and accused Hezbollah of committing war crimes by the deliberate and indiscriminate killing of civilians by firing rockets into populated areas. The organization also strongly criticized Israel for using cluster bombs too close to civilians because of their inaccuracy and unreliability, and Hezbollah for filling its rockets with ball bearings, which "suggests a desire to maximize harm to civilians."cite news|title=U.N.: Open Independent Inquiry into Civilian Deaths|date= 2006-08-08|publisher= Human Rights Watch|url=http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/08/08/lebano13939.htm] [cite news|url=http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/24/isrlpa13798.htm |title=Israeli Cluster Munitions Hit Civilians in Lebanon|date= 2006-07-24|publisher= Human Rights Watch] [cite web| url = http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/18/lebano13760.htm| title = Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Attacks on Haifa Designed to Kill Civilians| accessdate = 2006-08-13| date = 18 July 2006| publisher = Human Rights Watch]
Secretary of State Condoleezza Ricedescribed the war on Lebanon as part of "birth pangs of a new Middle East" and urged Israel to ignore calls for a ceasefire because it would be a "false promise if it simply returns us to the status quo." [ [http://www.metimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20060725-070915-4783r] ]
In response to American support and Israel's military tactics,
Kim Howells, British Foreign Office minister, said in an interview with CNN, "I hope that the Americans understand what's happening to Lebanon: the destruction of the infrastructure, the death of so many children, and so many people. These have not been surgical strikes, and it's very, very difficult I think to understand the kind of military tactics that have been used. You know if they're chasing Hezbollah, well go for Hezbollah. You don't go for the entire Lebanese nation, and that's the difference." [cite news|title=CNN International Live|url=|publisher= CNN|date= 2006-07-22]
ympathetic toward Israel
Upon UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights
Louise Arbour's statement that Israelis breaking international law, Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School, wrote:
"Arbour's knowledge of international law is as questionable as her understanding of morality. Virtually every democratic nation has been forced to bomb cities during wartime, especially when the enemy locates crucial military targets near population centres. Under Arbour's erroneous criteria for criminal prosecution, U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman and Roosevelt, as well as British prime ministers Blair and Churchill, and numerous French, Russian, Canadian and other heads of state would be declared war criminals for causing the 'foreseeable' deaths of civilians while bombing legitimate military targets." [Dershowitz, Alan M. [http://jewishworldreview.com/0706/dershowitz072006.php3 "Arithmetic of Pain."] "Jewish World Review". 20 July 2006. 1 October 2006.]
David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey wrote for the "
"Unfortunately, heavy civilian casualties are the inherent and inevitable result of the type of asymmetric warfare deliberately waged by
Hezbollah.... They intentionally operate from civilian areas, both to protect their military capabilities from attack and to increase civilian deaths, which can then be trumpeted for propaganda purposes. But the presence of a large civilian population does not immunize Hezbollah ... forces from attack. Responsibility for any additional civilian casualties must be attributed to those groups, not to Israel." [Casey, Lee A. and David B. Rivkin Jr. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/25/AR2006072501300_pf.html "Israel Is Within Its Rights."] "washingtonpost.com". 26 July 2006. 2 October 2006.]
Critical of Israel
Robert Fisk, a correspondent for " The Independent", said "Hezbollah is killing more Israeli soldiers than civilians and the Israelis are killing far more Lebanese civilians than they are guerrillas." [cite news|title=Entire Lebanese family killed in Israeli attack on hospital|url=http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1211295.ece Robert Fisk|publisher= The Independent|date= 2006-08-03] Jonathan Cookaddressed Jan Egeland's criticism, saying that Hezbollah doesn't force itself on civilians, but rather mingles with supportive Shiitepopulations adding:
"The implication of Egeland’s cowardly statement seems to be that any Lebanese fighter, or Palestinian one, resisting Israel and its powerful military should stand in an open field, his rifle raised to the sky, waiting to see who fares worse in a shoot-out with an
Apache helicopteror F-16fighter jet. Hezbollah’s reluctance to conduct the war in this manner, we are supposed to infer, is proof that they are terrorists." [ [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14196.htm Five Myths That Sanction Israel's War Crimes ] ] Mitch Protherocountered both Dershowitz's argument and that of Rivkin, Casey, Fisk, and Cook in an article published by Salon.comand widely cited elsewhere:
"My own reporting and that of other journalists reveals that in fact Hezbollah fighters -- as opposed to the much more numerous Hezbollah political members, and the vastly more numerous Hezbollah sympathizers -- avoid civilians. Much smarter and better trained than the PLO and Hamas fighters, they know that if they mingle with civilians, they will sooner or later be betrayed by collaborators -- as so many Palestinian militants have been... The targeting of civilian facilities may be the result of liberal definitions within the Israeli military as to what constitutes a Hezbollah target; Hezbollah's civilian wing is Lebanon's second largest employer, and its facilities include hospitals and schools, among other non-military assets. While employees may be on the Hezbollah payroll, they are not often if ever participants in or knowledgeable about Hezbollah military activity." [Prothero, Mitch. [http://peaceandjustice.org/article.php?story=20060728144749682&mode=print "The 'hiding among civilians' myth."] . 28 July 2006. 19 August 2006.]
Cases before the International Criminal Court#Lebanon
2006 Qana airstrike
2006 al-Qaa airstrike
2006 Shiyyah airstrike
2006 Ghaziyeh airstrikes
2006 Marjayoun convoy
Front-line photographs and videos
"Warning: Extremely graphic wartime imagery"
* [http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2006/Operation+Change+of+Direction+Video+Clips.htm Photographs and Video Footage] - Hizbullah's exploitation of Lebanese population centers and civilians.
* [http://w3.castup.net/mfa/ Photographs and Video Footage] - Israel MFA Clips: Visual media, short films, presentations (Hizbullah, conflict, incitement, terror, memorials, Hamas)
* [http://www.whylebanon.net/index6.php Photographs] — Lebanese civilian casualties and infrastructure damage.
* [http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/world/0607/gallery.israeli.airstrike/frameset.pics.exclude.html Photographs] — Lebanese civilian casualties at the
2006 Qana airstrike.
* [http://fromisraeltolebanon.info/index2.php Photographs] — Lebanese civilian targets and casualties.
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=33.853346,35.508993&spn=0.010425,0.021415 Satellite photograph] —
Haret Hreikneighborhood in the Dahiehdistrict of Beirut, Lebanon, before Israeli airstrikes.
* [http://www.digitalglobe.com/images/qb/beirut_harat_july22_2006_dgwm.jpgSatellite photograph] —
Haret Hreikneighborhood, 22 July 2006.
* [http://www.standwithus.com/idf_videos.asp Video footage] — Hezbollah using civilians as cover and human shields.
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-189911785212760227 Video footage] — Damage in major Lebanese cities.
* Detained Hezbollah operatives describe Hezbollah activities within civilian population centers and within civilian structures during the war
** [http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=5697038157853637560&hl=en Video footage, part 1]
** [http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-7115626293343757342&hl=en Video footage, part 2]
** [http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=4795461785530702085&hl=en Video footage, part 3]
* [http://www.ajcongress.org/site/PageServer?pagename=secret2 Israeli report] — Hezbollah's use of Lebanese civilian areas to launch missiles at Israel.
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