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The Qana Massacre

QUESTION:

What happened at Qana?

ANSWER:

On April 18, 1996, Hezbollah guerrillas fired two Katyusha rockets and eight mortars at Israel from an area 300 yards away from the Fijian compound of the U.N.'s UNIFIL peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. When Israel returned fire, the UNIFIL compound was hit by mistake, and 102 civilians were killed.


QUESTION:

Did Israel intentionally target civilians when they bombed the UNIFIL compound in Qana?

ANSWER:

* "Anyone who knows Israel's rules of engagement knows Israel has taken great pains and paid dearly for a strict policy to avoid civilian casualties, and the same thing is true here.... People who are looking for an opportunity to do so will exploit this... fair people will look more carefully at the evidence and conclude this was not deliberate."
- Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, quoted by Cynthia Mann, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 10, 1996

* "Hezbollah guerrillas fired two Katyusha rockets and eight mortars at Israel from an area 300 yards away from the Fijian compound 15 minutes before Israeli gunners opened fire," U.N. spokeswoman Sylvana Foa said, quoting the commander of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
- The Associated Press, Apr 18, 1996

* "The U.N. report acknowledges that Hezbollah took cover at the bases of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)."
- Cynthia Mann, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 10, 1996

* "Hezbollah used those civilians as cover in a very cynical and despicable way"
- Nicholas Burns, U.S. State Department spokesman, quoted by Cynthia Mann, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 10, 1996

* "When Israeli soldiers targeted the launch points of those Katyusha rockets, mistakes were made and the UNIFIL base was unfortunately hit. The people inside lost, but because of the tremendous world outcry blaming Israel, Hezbollah won. This, one assumes, was the plan. Shame on the world for rewarding such tactics."
- The Society for Rational Peace