QANA — At least 55 people were killed, including 30 children, when Israeli war planes blitzed the southern Lebanese village of Qana Sunday, July 30, the southern village of Qana, the scene of a similar Israeli massacre in 1996 that triggered international outcry.
"The bombing was so intense that no-one could move," distraught Ibrahim Shalhoub, who survived the carnage, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"I succeeded in getting out and everything collapsed. I have several members of the family inside and I do not think that there will be any other survivors."
Rescue workers had pulled 40 bodies from the ground and were searching for more, a Reuters correspondent said.
Red Cross sources said 30 children had died and at least 17 bodies were feared still buried under the rubble, including those of seven more children.
Most of the victims were still asleep in the basement of the building when the bombs hit at dawn.
TV footage showed pieces of concrete were lifted from the body of a dead child caked in dust, while the rigid corpse of a young boy, his bloody face disfigured, lies near one pulverized building.
Rescue workers drapped sheets over bodies lined up on the dust, the rigid arm of one corpse pointing to the sky.
"This is not only Israel's fault, this is the fault of America and the Arab states that backed Israel's attack. If the Israelis want to attack let them fight the resistance face-to-face," Sami told Reuters, before collapsing.
Israel, which has received staunch US backing and armament since the conflict began on July 12, unleashed its firepower on Qana after flatly rejecting a UN call for a 72-hour truce to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Lebanon.
It rejected any responsibility for the civilian deaths in Qana, saying Hizbullah used the village as a base to launch rockets, and that residents had already been ordered to leave.
Several residents interviewed live by Al-Jazeera refuted the Israeli allegation, saying that no body has ever seen a Hizbullah launch pad or fighters in the area.
Hizbullah, which has inflicted heavy losses on the invading Israeli troops, repeatedly gainsaid similar Israeli claims, insisting its fighters operate only from remote non-residential areas.
Rescuers were still clambering over rubble using their hands to pull the bodies of men, women and children from buildings destroyed in the grisly Israeli massacre.
They placed the body of a girl on the ground and ran back to search for more, Reuters reported.
A medic checked the pulse of a man covered in blood and raised his eye lids, desperately looking for signs of life before giving up.
A woman in a red-patterned dress lay crumpled and lifeless in the broken masonry. A leg poked out from the shattered concrete nearby.
One resident, speechless with distress, looked for his sister and cousins, still buried under the rubble.
A medic carried a dead child in his arms from rubble. Other children lay dead in the street.
"Why have they attacked one- and two-year-old children and defenseless women? What have they done wrong?" asked Mohamed Samai, whose relatives were among the dead.
The strike was less than a kilometer from the mass grave of more than 100 Lebanese killed in Qana in 1996 by Israel's shelling of a UN base.
Killed in Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" bombing campaign, they too had been sheltering from bombardment.
Amnesty International conducted an on-site investigation of the incident in collaboration with military experts at the time.
Amnesty concluded that Israeli army "intentionally" attacked the UN compound, and failed to substantiate their claim that the attack was a mistake.
Human Rights Watch concurred, "The decision of those who planned the attack to choose a mix of high-explosive artillery shells that included deadly anti-personnel shells designed to maximize injuries on the ground -- and the sustained firing of such shells, without warning, in close proximity to a large concentration of civilians -- violated a key principle of international humanitarian law."
Source: islamonline.netLast Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16