While the world watches

Posted in Politics + Diplomacy by expresscheckout on 22 July, 2006

“Statue of Liberation & Resistance” built to commemorate Lebanese resistance fighters in the south of the country after the Israeli withdrawal in 2000. The statue is located at the entrance of Haret Hureik area of Dahyeh just beside the municipality of Ghobeiry in the southern suburbs of Beirut. This statue was targeted by Israeli missiles on the night of Thursday, July 13th.

From the Independent Media Center:

War in the Middle East While the World is Watching  

For the 9th day in a row, Israeli forces have been bombarding Lebanon. So far, more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been killed, over 1,000 wounded and some 500,000 displaced, compared with 29 Israeli deaths (15 civilians) caused by Hizbullah’s Katyusha rockets. Reports from Beirut talk of a deserted, devastated city, with residential buildings, roads and bridges being hit by Israeli air strikes. Israel launched attacks on Lebanon after Hezbullah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid so as to swap them for the remaining three Lebanese and an undetermined number of Arab prisoners held by Israel. However, the captive soldiers, both in Gaza and Lebanon, have already been deleted from the public agenda. Israeli officials are now talking not about “bringing the soldiers home” but about destroying Hizballah and Hamas, and perhaps Syria and Iran as well, “once and for all.” And, apparently, they have got the green light from the US and other international “allies”.

Meanwhile in Palestine, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip continue, again allegedly to free a soldier seized by Palestinian militias on 25 June, whom they have offered to release in exchange for some of the Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. Tens of Palestinian civilians have been killed and many more injured, not to mention the periodic shortages of food, fuel, electricity, water and medicine. Many of those killed were Palestinian civilians, including children, who died during Israeli air force “targeted killings”. As well as actual bombing raids, Israeli military airplanes have conducted nightly sonic booming raids over Gaza, with the aim of making the civilian population fearful that actual bombing is under way. In retaliation, Palestinian groups also continue to fire Qassam rockets at Israeli towns [see Human Rights Watch’s statement].

Apart from the mass destruction of civilian infrastructure, there are reports that Israeli forces have been using internationally banned weapons, such as phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs, both in Gaza and in Lebanon.

Although still small in scale, there have been several protests – in Israel and elsewhere throughout the world [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] – against the continuing Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza. Opinion polls suggest that majorities of US and Israeli citizens oppose the attacks. On 18 July, several hundred people demonstrated in Parliament Square in London. UK-wide demonstrations have been called for July 22nd by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and various Muslim organisations. Earlier this month, protesters blockaded EDO MBM in Brighton, which makes electrical weapons components for the Israeli military. [see also “Boycott Israeli Goods” National Day of Action].

Saturday July 22: International Day of Action Against Israeli Aggression

Read more: Global Indymedia feature | Word from Lebanon | Cyprus Indymedia features 1 | 2 | Appeal for Solidarity with Lebanese Civil Society | The racist subtext of the evacuation story | The Gaza Sea Weeps Blood | The Israeli Censor | Photos: cmaq gallery


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