News Release

Israeli Bombing of UN in Lebanon: Then and Now

JOHN QUIGLEY
Professor of law at Ohio State University, Quigley is author of numerous books on international law including Genocide Convention and Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice.

He said today: “Yesterday’s bombing of the UN compound has striking parallels with the shelling in April 1996 by Israel of the UN compound at Qana, Lebanon, when:
1. IDF [Israel Defense Forces] knew that this was a UN compound, because it was a long-established UN compound.
2. IDF knew at the time of firing that it was a UN compound and inhabited, because IDF had a drone overhead sending real-time pictures back to the gunners.
3. Shelling went on for a period of time, during which UN officials made desperate phone calls to IDF positions telling them they were killing civilians and asking them to stop.
4. UN complained (General Assembly passed a resolution of condemnation of Israel), but Israel made no serious investigation and wrote it off as a tragic mistake.”

Quigley was involved in filing a complaint over the shelling of Qana to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
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IAN WILLIAMS
Author of the book The U.N. For Beginners, Williams covers the UN. He said today: “Already Kofi Annan is under attack for condemning the ‘apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a UN Observer post.’

“It is reminiscent of the trouble his predecessor Boutros Boutros-Ghali got himself into last time the Israelis tried shock and awe on Lebanon back in 1996, when he failed to suppress a report that said pretty much the same thing about the IDF shelling of the UN post in Qana, which macerated some 106 Lebanese civilians to death. …

“It is clear that there are many in the IDF with a profound contempt for the UN and all it stands for, and who would not shed many tears at such an accident. It may also rankle that UNIFIL has, with the dearth of Western reporters in much of South Lebanon, provided independent corroboration of many incidents of IDF attacks on civilians. …

“And most sinisterly of all, there are many Israelis — including the government only a few days ago — who do not want an international force between them and their targets in Lebanon, who would have no great scruples about bombing a UN compound ‘accidentally on purpose.'”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167