Sunday, July 30, 2006

Five Questions About Qana

The bombing of the building in Qana has had a tragic result and, if it turns world opinion against Israel, it will be many times more tragic, so we have a couple of questions about the attack:

1) Why would anyone think that Israel intentionally bombed civilians? There could have been absolutely no benefit to Israel whatsoever from intentionally killing a large number of women and children.

2) Who does benefit? The only beneficiary of this tragedy is Hezbollah which has won not only a two day reprieve from the bombing but has also scored a public relations coup.

3) Why was this building hit in the first place? Israel tracks rocket launches and uploads the satellite data to a bomber on site which assesses the target. If the target is judged to be free of civilians the pilot launches a bomb which is guided by the satellite. Evidently, Hezbollah was using this building as a launch site for the rockets it was sending into Israel and there was no indication, the hour being late, that it was occupied by civilians.

4) Why were so many women and children gathered together in a building which, in some reports, was said to be under construction? There were approximately 70 people huddled in this structure when it collapsed. What were they doing there? Were they placed there by Hezbollah? Why?

5) The attack occurred between 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. but the building didn't collapse until about 8:00 a.m. Do we know for sure that the Israeli bomb caused the collapse? The IDF thinks there were explosives housed in the building that may have caused a secondary explosion that resulted in the collapse.

Who knows. Maybe there are answers to these questions that would make sense from the point of view of a Lebanese. But in the rush to report the story it would be nice if some reporters would at least show an interest in finding those answers.