Friday, November 10, 2006

Looking for Gilad Shalit in all the wrong places.

Well, it looks like while the world has been focused on the IDF blowing up Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Israelis have been up to their old tricks in Lebanon, again. The WaPo reports:

"French peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon came within seconds of firing missiles at Israeli F-15 fighter jets that repeatedly dived on their positions last week, according to French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie. Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy summoned Israel's ambassador to Paris to his office on Thursday to express 'serious concern' about the incident and demand that Israel halt its flights over southern Lebanon."

This is nothing new, though, on October 31st Newsvine reported that,"In south Lebanon, officials and witnesses reported Israeli planes staging mock raids over the towns of Nabatiyeh and Tyre. Eight Israeli jets crossed the border and dispersed over southern and central Lebanon, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give press statements."

Apparently, the Israelis have not only been violating the cease-fire on an almost hourly basis since the war took a break. Geir Pederson, Koffi Annan's personal representitive to Lebanon, has said that these constant overflights "constitute a breach of Lebanese sovereignty," but who cares about that, right? Who's going to stop them, W.? Condi Rice?

If I were the French or the Germans I'd do well to remember what happened to the USS Liberty in 1967. When it comes to Israel's natioanl interest, nothing will stop them. They killed 34 US sailors and hardly broke a sweat.

Meanwhile, back in Gaza:

Yesterday, thousands of Gazans attended the funerals of 18 Palestinians who were killed in an early morning IDF attack on Wednesday in Beit Hanoun. Seven Israeli shells fell on the home of the Al-'Athamneh family in the middle of the night killing 11 of them. Israel had just wrapped up a week long occupation of the town, leaving what one resideend called "the worst raid we have ever witnessed . . . This is the tsunami of Beit Hanoun." [BBC]

Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, said the attack was "a regrettable incident." Don't you just feel the sincerity of that regret? Ehud Olmert blamed tbe incident on a "technical failure." He says, "I checked it and I verified it. This is not the policy." Well, that's reassuring, right? But it sure seems like the vaunted IDF has a lot of these "technical failures," doesn't it? Maybe, Israel should launch another "investigation" and get to the bottom of everything.

I seem to remember back in July, just after another raid of death and destruction by the IDF in Beit Lahiya, Israel shells falling on a beach and killing seven members of one family. (Remember Huda Ghalia?) Of course, back then Israel denied it had anything to do with the deaths, but then launched another one of those thourough "investigations," and found that 'yes,' they actually were responsible.

If those Palestinian militants would just stop firing rockets into Israel -- the ones that haven killed one single Israeli this year -- then this would all stop. All Israel wants is peace.

And where Gilad Shait anyway? You'd think all this killing and shelling, all the tearing up of water pipelines, the humiliation at Israeli checkpoints and the cut off of money and power would have brought him home by now?


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