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Friday, November 10, 2006

 

Massacre at Beit Hanoun


"For Whom the Bell Tolls" ?


The Israeli Government admitted that the shelling was due to "technical error" and stated that it could happen again. One can argue endlessly about the justification for such attacks. One thing is certain -- retaliatory action follows every time after such incidents. Recruits are readily available to become martyrs to avenge their family members and friends. The cycle of violence will continue and a generation of children (those who survive) will grow up with anger and hatred in their hearts.

As the major suppliers of military hardware to the Israelis, we are not free from responsibility in the deaths and destruction. There is pressing need for negotiating a settlement. Unfortunately, we have squandered our moral authority. The Bush administration's distaste for Hamas made it sit back and give full support to Israel. But Hamas came to power after legitimately held election. Disregarding that fact is neither right nor prudent.


Beit Hanoun (BBC)

This street in Beit Hanoun is very, very quiet indeed. It's just a matter of hours since a number of Israeli shells fell on houses in this area, killing 18 people, including six children and two women.
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Gaza hit was 'technical failure' (BBC)

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has said an army artillery barrage that killed 18 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was the result of a "technical failure".

He said troops had targeted an orange grove from which rockets had been fired on Wednesday, but instead hit homes in the northern town of Beit Hanoun.

The victims, including several children and women, were buried in Beit Hanoun on Thursday amid emotional scenes.

Palestinian officials described the killings as a massacre.

"I'm very uncomfortable with this event. I'm very distressed, Mr Olmert was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency..

"I checked it and I verified it. This is not the policy," he said.

But military operations against suspected Palestinian militants would continue, he added, admitting that further mistakes "may happen".

*
Washington Post:
  • "BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip, Nov. 9 -- This farming community buried the al-Athamnah family Thursday, after marching through muddy streets bearing the bodies of the dead aloft and reaffirming in angry chants its commitment to war with Israel.
  • Tens of thousands of Palestinians squeezed through narrow lanes here a day after Israeli artillery shells killed 20 civilians, all but three of them from the same family. The Israeli military announced Thursday that the bombardment of the neighborhood was the result of a "technical failure in the artillery radar system."
  • "You see the sadness everywhere," said Rawda Hamad, 40, one of scores of women in enveloping black gowns who had gathered at the burial site. "And violence will bring violence."
*

Jonathan Steele comments in The Guardian: "A profound pessimism has taken hold of Israel"

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