Other than a single dramatic image on its front page yesterday picturing a survivor hanging precariously by one hand from an upper story, the NY Times has carried almost nothing about an IAF attack on Monday which caused the single highest civilian death toll of any attack during the war. The image didn’t even refer to where the attack took place. Instead it referred vaguely to “a Beirut suburb.”
Today, was the first reference in the body of a story to the incident. Finally, the Times has given the massacre location a name:
Israeli ships also fired missiles into the suburbs of southern Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold, on Wednesday, a mile from where a funeral was taking place for some of the 41 victims of an Israeli airstrike on Monday on a large building in the suburb of Chiyah. Israel said it was trying to hit Hezbollah leaders; workers continued to pull bodies out of the rubble there.
Only in the last hour or so has the NYT website posted this image of the funeral.
The Times has made no reference to the enormity of the death toll and its distinction as the worst civilian attack of the war. Why is the Times asleep at the switch?
At least AP has been giving the story proper coverage. In its story it profiles a survivor who lost three of his four children, both his parents, and a total of 15 family members:
Ali Rmeity lies broken and bandaged on a hospital bed, wincing in pain. Three of his children and his parents are dead–but he doesn’t know all that yet. Doctors fear telling the 45-year-old now would be a bigger blow than he can sustain.
Rmeity was at home with his wife and four children shortly after nightfall Monday when Israeli missiles slammed into their apartment building in the predominantly Shiite southern Beirut suburb of Chiah.
At least 41 people were killed _ including 15 from Rmeity’s family _ making it the deadliest single strike of the four-week-old Israeli offensive in Lebanon. Workers continued to retrieve bodies from under the slabs of concrete Wednesday.
“I had been feeling tired, so I went into the bedroom and lay down on the bed. Five minutes later the bombs fell and I found myself crying for help under the rubble,” Rmeity said Tuesday. “My wife, who was on the balcony, was thrown in the air. They found her somewhere, I don’t know where.”
Rmeity’s wife, Hoda, was being treated in an adjacent room at the Mount Lebanon hospital near Beirut. She has severe lung injuries and several fractures. Their 9-year-old son, Hussein, was in intensive care with head trauma and a brain contusion.
Their three other children _ Mohammed, 22, Fatima, 19, and Malak, 16 _ were killed. So were Ali Rmeity’s parents, his three brothers and two sisters. His brother’s family, who lived in the same building, also died.