The Weekly Standard has highlighted the U.N.’s definition of “neutrality” in the recent Hezbollah-Israeli conflict. Apparently being neutral means publishing specifics about Israeli troop movements daily… while giving vague references to Hezbollah fighters here and there.
Here is UNIFIL’s website listing the press releases they published during the recent conflict.
As I’m reading these press releases, I noticed one event that didn’t seem to get widespread play in the MSM (or mentioned by the U.N. either):
Three members of the Chinese contingent with UNIFIL were lightly wounded this morning, when one mortar round from the Hezbollah side, according to UNIFIL’s preliminary reports, impacted inside the Headquarters of the Chinese contingent in the area of Hinniyah in the western sector. They received medical assistance inside the position, and their condition is stable.
Where was the outrage? Where were the claims of this being intentional? Where was the international community calling for Hezbollah to cease these war crimes?
And about those Israeli attacks “on the U.N. forces”?
There were four incidents of firing from the Israeli side close to UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, and positions in the general area of Bayt Yahun and Hula (2). There were three incidents of Hezbollah firing rockets from the vicinity of UNIFIL positions in the general area of Tibnin, At Tiri and Bayt Yahun. UNIFIL strongly protested all these incidents to the Israeli and Lebanese authorities respectively.
So there were Hezbollah fighters launching rocket attacks on innocent Israeli civilians from positions near U.N. offices and somehow Kofi Annan’s reaction:
“I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces of a U.N. Observer post in southern Lebanon.”
In fact, according to UNIFIL’s own press release (the same release the mentions the Israeli attack), a U.N. position was hit directly by Hezbollah just the same day.
Another UN position of the Ghanaian battalion in the area of Marwahin in the western sector was also directly hit by one mortar round from the Hezbollah side last night.
Where was Kofi’s outrage about this attack?
It wasn’t an isolated event, either:
Ten artillery shells impacted inside UN position of the Ghanaian battalion on the coast in Ras Naqoura, causing extensive damage. Four artillery shells impacted inside the patrol base of the Observer Group Lebanon in the Marun al Ras area, including three direct impacts on the building which caused extensive damage and cut electricity and communication connections. At the time of the shelling, there were 36 civilians inside the position, most of whom were women and children from the village of Marun Al Ras. There were no casualties. One artillery shell impacted inside the UNIFIL Headquarters compound in Naqoura, causing extensive damage and danger to the UNIFIL hospital where the doctors were operating at the time. Splinters of artillery shells also damaged the boundary wall of the Naqoura camp. Extensive shelling damage was reported in the Ghanaian battalion position south of Alma Ash Shab. Hezbollah firing was also reported from the immediate vicinity of the UN positions in Naqoura and Maroun Al Ras areas at the time of the incidents.
Hezbollah was intentionally setting up launching pads near locations where they knew women and children were located. They lived there, they knew the neighborhoods. They knew exactly where they were firing from. But somehow, the U.N. puts the burden of knowledge on Israeli forces defending their civilians from unprovoked attacks, to know that Hezbollah rockets were being launched from locations packed with civilians… To say nothing of the U.N. putting the burden of restraint on the country being attacked without provocation.