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Hezbollywood? Evidence mounts that Qana collapse and
deaths were staged
By Reuven Koret July 31, 2006
It was to be a perfect Hollywood ending for Hezbollah. Just
as the Israeli bombing of the village of Qana in 1996
brought a premature end to Israel's Operation "Grapes of
Wrath," so too a sequel of Qana II could change, once and
for all, the direction of Israel's current summer
blockbuster, "Change of Direction." Ten years ago, world
condemnation of an errant Israeli shell that hit a civilian
compound forced then-PM Shimon Peres to curtail the
offensive against terror bases.
The setting was also perfect: Kana was again being used as a
primary site for launching rockets against Israeli cities.
The IDF reported that more than 150 rockets had been
launched from Qana and its vicinity at Israeli civilians,
wreaking destruction in Kiryat Shmona, Maalot, Nahariya and
Haifa. It was only a matter of time before the Israeli Air
Force would come for a visit, using pinpoint targeting of
the sites used to launch rockets, Hezbollah logistical
centers and weapon storage facilities.
On the morning of July 30, according to the IDF, the air
force came in three waves. In the first, between midnight
and one in the morning, there was a strike at or near the
building that eventually collapsed.
not even hit the building but landed "20 or 30 meters" from
There was a second strike at other targets far from the
collapse building several hours later, and a third strike at
around 7:30 in the morning. There too the nearest hit was
some 460 meters away, according to the IDF. But first
reports of a building collapse came only around 8 am.
Thus there was an unexplained 7 to 8 hour gap between the
time of the helicopter strike and the building collapse.
Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force
Headquarters, in a press briefing, told journalists that
"the attack on the structure in the Qana village took place
between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the
timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the
strike on it is unclear."
He "I'm saying this very carefully, because at this time I
don't have a clue as to what the explanation could be for
this gap," he added.
The army's only explanation was that somehow there was
unexploded Hezbollah ordnance in the building that only
detonated much later.
"It could be that inside the building, things that could
eventually cause an explosion were being housed, things that
we could not blow up in the attack, and maybe remained
there, Brigadier General Eshel said.
Eshel reported that as recently as two days ago, military
intelligence reported the building area had been used by the
terrorists for storage or firing of weapons. It was a bad
place to cram dozens of women and children.
There are other mysteries. The roof of the building was
intact. Journalist Ben Wedeman of CNN noted that there was a
larger crater next to the building, but observed that the
building appeared not to have collapsed as a result of the
Why would the civilians who had supposedly taken shelter in
the basement of the building not leave after the
post-midnight attack? They just went back to sleep and had
the bad luck to wait for the building to collapse in the
National Public Radio's correspondent reported that
residents of that building had left and the victims were
non-residents who chose to shelter in the building that
night. They were "too poor" to leave the down, one resident
told CNN's Wedeman. Who were these people?
What we do know is that sometime after dawn a call went hour
to journalists and rescue workers to come to the scene. And
come they did, in droves.
While Hezbollah and its apologists have been claiming that
civilians could not freely flee the scene due to Israeli
destruction of bridges and roads, the journalists and rescue
teams from nearby Tyre had no problem getting there.
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