Bad Habits Are Hard To Break

The disturbingly graphic photographs tell only half the story: What many found more horrifying was that these civilian victims of an Israeli attack had earlier been refused shelter at a UN base. But would they really have been “safer” there or just luckier?

In what Kofi Annan today described as “apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces” of a well-known, UN observer post in Southern Lebanon, four UN peacekeepers died. Whether or not this attack was an “accident” will apparently be left up to the Israelis to investigate, but the bombing recalls another incident in Israeli-Lebanese relations. A little over ten years ago, the IDF shelled a UN base at Qana, Lebanon, where 800 refugees had sought shelter. More than 100 died. Despite witness accounts to the contrary, Israel called that an accident as well.