UN BOMBING UPDATE….Why did Kofi Annan accuse the Israelis of “apparently deliberate targeting” of a UN observation post in Lebanon on Tuesday? The BBC has the latest:
UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contacted Israeli troops 10 times before an Israeli bomb killed four of them, an initial UN report says. The post was hit by a precision-guided missile after six hours of shelling, diplomats familiar with the probe say.
….The UN report says each time the UN contacted Israeli forces, they were assured the firing would stop.
A senior Irish soldier working for the UN forces had warned the Israelis six times that their bombardment was endangering the lives of UN staff, Ireland’s foreign ministry said.
Had Israel responded to the requests, “rather than deliberately ignoring them”, the observers would still be alive, a diplomat familiar with the report said.
Whether the bombing was deliberate or not remains an open question, but at least it’s a little clearer why Annan said what he said. As Eric Martin put it after reading the BBC report, “It becomes slightly more difficult to claim innocent mistake. ‘Who knew?’ kind of rings hollow.”