Bluto at The Jawa Report writes that the UN may have lied when it said that there were no Hezbollah terrorists around the UN post that was hit by Israeli forces. According to the Ottawa Citizen, an email sent from one of the UN observers just six days before he was killed in the Israeli bombing says that Hezbollah terrorists were setting up positions in and around the area of the UN post and engaging the IDF:
“What I can tell you is this,” he wrote in an e-mail to CTV dated July 18. “We have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both (Israeli) artillery and aerial bombing.
“The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters (sic) of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters (sic) from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity.”
Those words, particularly the last sentence, are not-so-veiled language indicating Israeli strikes were aimed at Hezbollah targets near the post, said Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie.
“What that means is, in plain English, ‘We’ve got Hezbollah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces),” he said.
That would mean Hezbollah was purposely setting up near the UN post, he added. It’s a tactic Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie, who was the first UN commander in Sarajevo during the Bosnia civil war, said he’s seen in past international missions: Aside from UN posts, fighters would set up near hospitals, mosques and orphanages.
A Canadian Forces infantry officer with the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the only Canadian serving as a UN military observer in Lebanon, Maj. Hess-von Kruedener was no stranger to fighting nearby.
The UN post, he wrote in the e-mail, afforded a view of the “Hezbollah static positions in and around our patrol Base.”
“It appears that the lion’s share of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah has taken place in our area,” he wrote, noting later it was too dangerous to venture out on patrols.
The e-mail appears to contradict the UN’s claim there had been no Hezbollah activity in the vicinity of the strike.
Yes, it does. And Kofi Annan has some explaining and apologizing to do.
Update: Capt’n Ed asks the logical question:
That begs the question: why didn’t Annan get the UNIFIL troops out of southern Lebanon when the fighting erupted? They could do absolutely no good, and wound up being exploited by the terrorists. Perhaps Annan wanted them to “observe” in order to report on war crimes, and that would only mean pursuing those issues against the IDF. After all, Hezbollah is not a member of the UN.
Update II: Capt’n Ed has even more on the UN’s failure to stop the Hezbollah build up in southern Lebanon:
The United Nations quietly released a report on the UNIFIL mission on July 20th covering events since the beginning of the year in southern Lebanon during the first week of the current conflict. The report reveals the uselessness of the UNIFIL mission as the UN itself details how Hezbollah held control of the territory and how the UN stood by as the terrorists dug into their positions.