Thursday, July 27, 2006

Israeli Military Raided U.N. Posts

Lieutenant Colonel Du Zhaoyu was among the dead with three colleagues from Austria, Canada and Finland when their underground bunker was hit by a precision guided bomb in the night of July 26, 2006.

The unarmed U.N. observers were taking shelter in a U.N. base in the southern Lebanese town of Khiam. According to the U.N. peacekeeping forces headquarter in Lebanon, they had made at least 10 frantic phone calls to the Israeli military before their bunker was hit by a precision guided bomb. Assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping Jane Lute said the bunker was hit five times by Israeli artillery shells in the 6 hours before it was destroyed by the precision guided bomb launched from the air.

Although no Irish was among the victims, the Irish Defence minister Willie O'Dea summoned the Israeli ambassador to express his concerns over the safety of Irish peacekeeping troops in Lebanon. The base where Irish troops stationed were also attacked. According to the minister, the Irish commander had warned the Israel in six separate occasions that they were bombing the U.N. base, however the warnings were ignored on six occasions.

The United Nation's Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan who was in a Middle East conference in Rome, said he was shocked and deeply distressed by the 'apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a U.N. observer post in southern Lebanon. The UN Secretary General later issued a statement, in which he accused Israel of conducting a 'coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long-established and clearly marked UN post'. In a phone call to Mr. Annan on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed "deep regret" for the deaths of the U.N. peacekeepers.

Asked on the official reaction, the Israeli embassy in Beijing said the United Nation's statement was irresponsible, and told Chinese newspaper they would make sure no UN officials in the battle zone.

Last weekend, two charted Airbus A310 cargo planes filled with 5000 lbs. GBU 28 precision guided bombs landed at the Prestwick International Airport near Glasgow for refuelling before delivered the bombs to Israel. The same airport has been used by CIA to transfer prisoners to secret camps in Eastern Europe in order to circumvent jurisdictions by US law.

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