Troughboy's World

Troughboy has a mind of his own. He's open to new experiences but is sometimes a bit conservative. He believes in honesty, loyalty and justice.

Location: Cidade Maravilhosa, Not Rio de Janeiro

Well, well endowed

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Biting the Hand That Feeds You

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on Israel to investigate what he termed the "apparently deliberate targeting" by Israeli defence forces of a UN observer post in Lebanon.

The Israeli air strike killed four UN military observers who were part of the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, UN and Lebanese officials said. "I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces of a UN Observer post in southern Lebanon," Annan said in a statement issued at UN headquarters in New York. He was in Rome for an international meeting on the Middle East on Wednesday. "This coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked UN post at Khiam occurred despite personal assurances given to me by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that UN positions would be spared Israeli fire," Annan said.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli army spokeswoman said the military was investigating the report. The UN force commander in southern Lebanon, General Alain Pelligrini had been in repeated contact with Israeli officers throughout the day, stressing the need to protect that particular UN position from attack, he said. "I call on the government of Israel to conduct a full investigation into this very disturbing incident and demand that any further attack on UN positions and personnel must stop," Annan said.

The names and nationalities of the dead peacekeepers were being withheld pending notification of their families, Annan said. There had been 14 incidents of firing close to the outpost from Israeli forces in the afternoon before it was hit, UN officials said, adding that the firing continued even as rescue operations were under way.

Reuters July 26, 2006

Israel using chemical weapons: doctors

Thursday Jul 27 06:55 AEST

Lebanon is investigating reports from doctors that Israel has used weapons in its 15-day-old bombardment of southern Lebanon that have caused wounds they have never seen before.
"We are sending off samples tomorrow, but we have no confirmation yet that illegal weapons have been used," Health Minister Mohammed Khalife said.

The Israeli army said it had used only conventional weapons and ammunition in attacks aimed at Hizbollah guerrillas and nothing contravening international law.

Blackened bodies have been showing up at hospitals in southern Lebanon two weeks into the war between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas that has seen at least 418 people, mostly civilians, killed in Lebanon, and JAN Egeland, the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, says there are now about 600,000 refugees in Lebanon, a number which is "growing every day by the tens of thousands".

Killed by Israeli air raids, the Lebanese dead are charred in a way local doctors, who have lived through years of civil war and Israeli occupation, say they have not seen before.

Bachir Cham, a Belgian-Lebanese doctor at the Southern Medical Centre in Sidon, received eight bodies after an Israeli air raid on nearby Rmeili which he said exhibited such wounds.

He has taken 24 samples from the bodies to test what killed them. He believes it is a chemical.

Cham said the bodies of some victims were "black as shoes, so they are definitely using chemical weapons. They are all black but their hair and skin is intact so they are not really burnt. It is something else."

"If you burnt someone with petrol their hair would burn and their skin would burn down to the bone. The Israelis are 100 per cent using chemical weapons."

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud has repeatedly accused Israel of using phosphorus bombs in its offensive.

Human Rights Watch, which has accused the Israeli army of using cluster bombs in populated areas of southern Lebanon, said it had not verified claims that Israel had used phosphorus.
"We are investigating but we haven't confirmed anything yet. We have seen phosphorus used before and we have seen it in the artillery stocks of the Israeli army in the north," said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. "Phosphorus shells do have a legitimate use in illuminating the battlefield at night. The offensive use of phosphorus would be a violation of international conventions."

Television footage shows some bodies, such as those of 20 civilians killed when an Israeli missile hit the van in which they were fleeing the border village of Marwaheen, blackened in the way Cham describes. No one knows what killed them. "We are seeing abnormal burns, different from wars we've seen in the past. The corpses of these victims are shrinking to half their normal size.

You think it is the corpse of a child at first but it turns out to be a grown man," said Raed Salman Zeinedine, director of Tyre Government Hospital. "We've never seen anything like it but what the causes are I don't want to speculate. We have no scientific answer."

©AAP 2006

Village airstrike a 'war crime'
Abraham Rabinovich, Jerusalem
July 31, 2006

ISRAEL rejected responsibility for civilian deaths in the Lebanese village of Qana yesterday, where at least 51 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, saying Hezbollah used the village as a base to launch rockets and that residents had been ordered to leave.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora denounced the attack as a "war crime", cancelling US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's scheduled trip to Beirut and demanding an immediate ceasefire in a bloody conflict that has now killed more than 500 people and left a trail of destruction across the country.

The raid on the southern village was the bloodiest single attack during Israel's 19-day-old war on Hezbollah and rescuers said the death toll might rise.

With their bare hands, rescue workers clawed through rubble of flattened homes to find survivors from the raid on Qana, launched just as Dr Rice was back in the region pursuing a new round of diplomacy to end the conflict.

"At least 51 people were killed. They include 22 children," said Salam Daher, the Lebanese civil defence chief in the region.

Israel, which has received staunch US backing since the conflict began on July 12, unleashed its firepower on Qana after rejecting a UN call for a 72-hour truce to allow the delivery of aid to Lebanon. "There is no place on this sad morning for any discussion other than an immediate and unconditional ceasefire as well as an international investigation into the Israeli massacres in Lebanon now," Mr Siniora said. He called on the international community and Arab countries "to stand united in the face of the Israeli war criminals". "The persistence of Israel in its heinous crimes against our civilians will not break the will of the Lebanese people," he said.

The village, said by some to be where Jesus turned water into wine, was also the site of an Israeli bombing of a UN base in April 1996 that killed 105 people during Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" offensive, also aimed at wiping out Hezbollah. That tragedy led Israel to call off a massive incursion it was staging at the time.

Additional reporting: Agencies


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