First it was a bold guerrilla strike against IDF forces resulting in eight dead and two kidnapped soldiers. Then, yesterday saw the rocketing of an Israeli ship resulting in four dead sailors. Today, Hezbollah continues to ratchet up the pressure as it rained Katyushas down on Haifa (which had never been hit before by such fire). Each day sees a further. seemingly calibrated escalation from Israel’s enemy. Haaretz reports:
At least eight people were killed Sunday morning as Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon hit three cities along Israel’s northern coast, including Haifa.
Most of the fatalities were in an Israel Railways garage located near an Israel Electric Corporation installation on Haifa Bay, according to the Magen David Adom director general.
Following the strike, Israel Railways announced it was halting train traffic north of Binyamina.
Two salvos of several rockets hit Ahuza, a central residential and business district of Haifa. Rockets also landed in the city of Acre and in Nahariya. A rocket also struck the town of Kiryat Haim, located north of Haifa, Channel 2 television reported…
A strategic installation on Haifa Bay was hit by another rocket, Channel 10 said.
A subsequent attack hit a major street in Haifa, causing further casualties, police said.
Some 30 casualties were reported…
If Israel were smart it would grab the ceasefire offer presented by prime minister Siniora today which would provide for Lebanese army deployment in southern Lebanon, a position Israel has strongly advocated for years. But Israel is not smart. It is stubborn. And stubbornness can be deadly as in this case.
And as ghastly as these casualties are, we must not forget the pain on the “other side.” The AP reports:
–Fleeing refugees, including women and children, were cut down on a road adjacent to the Lebanese-Israeli border in an airstrike as they left the village of Marwaheen. The bodies of several children, one headless, were sprawled on the ground. Police said 15 were killed in the afternoon attack and an Associated Press photographer counted 12 bodies in the two cars.
The photo I display here I first saw at Blogging the Middle East. I am sorry to display such a graphic and deeply disturbing image here as he was in his blog. But this is horror which MUST be seen before it can galvanize the world to end it. Here is his commentary:
Terrible massacre pictures being shown on TV (but you won’t see that on CNN or Fox News, they will instead show the complaints of Israelis in Tiberias – they apparently are bothered by the sounds of IDF artillery shells being fired from nearby). Charred bodies. Unrecognizable. Babies. Children.
What possible threat can civilian vehicles pose to Israel that they be targeted in this way? This is a war crime waiting to be charged if you ask me. Though as Ran Hacohen points out, Hezbollah’s capturing and holding hostage of two IDF soldiers for ransom is also a violation of international law. Where does all this horror get us? What can it possibly gain for either side?
Meanwhile, Ynetnews reports that an Iranian military official claims that Hezbollah has other missiles with up to a 150km range that would put it within striking distance of Tel Aviv:
The official also said Hizbullah is in possession of four types of advanced ground-to-ground missiles: Fajr missiles with a range of 100 kilometers, Iran 130 missiles with a range of 90-110 kilometers, Shahin missiles with a range of up to 150 kilometers and a 355 millimeter rockets with a 150 kilometer range.
It’s no accident that Israeli civil defense officials have warned Tel Aviv residents to prepare for possible attack. Unfortunately, this will take the battle right to Israel’s heartland, its largest city. The prospect is absolutely ghastly. But can we not anticipate this will happen when Israel lays waste Beirut and other Lebanese population centers?