An Israeli air and artillery attack hit a United Nations observation post near the Israel-Lebanon border Tuesday, killing four members of a U.N. peacekeeping force, U.N. officials announced. The bomb struck a post in Khiyam, near the eastern end of the border with Israel, manned by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, U.N. spokesperson Marie Okabe said.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on Israel to investigate the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the UNIFIL post by Israeli defense forces. "I call on the government of Israel to conduct a full investigation into this very disturbing incident and demand that any further attack on U.N. positions and personnel must stop," Annan said in Rome, where he is attending a conference on situation in Lebanon. The United Nations said it is trying to rescue survivors. Annan said the names and nationalities of those killed are being withheld pending notification of their families.
UNIFIL spokesman Milos Struger said in Lebanon Tuesday that Israeli forces continued firing close to the U.N. post even during a rescue operation. Since the conflict began, he said, a civilian employee of UNIFIL and his wife have also been killed, and five UNIFIL soldiers and one military observer have been wounded.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the airstrike.
Because after all, what do you say when your own reckless acts produced the casualties? "Sorry...we only meant to fire near you" doesn't quite cut it.
There isn't much else to say. Israel continues to bomb Lebanon, Hezbollah continues to fire rockets into Israel (killing an Israeli girl today), the Europeans want a cease-fire but won't pony up the troops, the Bush administration doesn't want a cease-fire until Hezbollah is degraded and the plan that they seem to be developing involves asking Syra, to whom we do not speak, to reign in Hezbollah with neither a credible threat of force or any incentives/concessions on our part, and attitudes throughout the Middle East harden towards us and the Israelis.