Global Policy Forum
In this report to the UN Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that Israel continues to violate Resolution 1701, which ended hostilities between Lebanon and Israel in 2006. June 2008 (pdf).
Hezbollah’s capture of two soldiers in a raid across the border between Israel and Lebanon were considered by Israel as "unspeakable provocations". The immediate Israeli military "reaction" involved an intense bombing campaign, targeting civilian infrastructure and the innocent population.
The 34 days of war –from 12 July to 14 August 2006- killed over 1,500 people, mostly Lebanese civilians, severely damaged Lebanese infrastructure, and displaced about 900,000 Lebanese and 300,000 Israelis. Even after the ceasefire, 256,000 Lebanese remained internally displaced, and much of South Lebanon remained uninhabitable due to unexploded cluster bombs.
During the campaign, Israel's Air Force flew more than 12,000 combat missions. The Navy fired 2,500 shells, and the Army fired over 100,000 shells, destroying large parts of the Lebanese civilian infrastructure. 400 miles of roads, 73 bridges and 31 targets such as Beirut International Airport, ports, water and sewage treatment plants, electrical facilities, 25 fuel stations, 900 commercial structures, up to 350 schools and two hospitals were destroyed, as well as some 15,000 homes. Some 130,000 more homes were damaged.
During the campaign, Hezbollah fired between 3,970 and 4,228 rockets, which landed in all major cities of northern Israel, including Haifa, Nazareth, and Tiberias.
However, the number of civilian deaths in each side of the conflict are to be considered: 1,187 Lebanese, one third of whom were children under 13 years of age, and 44 Israelis.
On 11 August 2006 the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved UN Resolution 1701 in an effort to end the hostilities. The resolution, which was approved by both Lebanese and Israeli governments the following days, also called for the disarming of Hezbollah, for Israel to withdraw, and for the deployment of Lebanese soldiers and an enlarged United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) force in southern Lebanon.
This special coverage offers commentaries, analysis, human rights information, campaigns, and voices from civil society in Lebanon and the Middle East.
Fri Oct 27 2006
Lebanese civil society acts against cluster munitions
reports on key issues
Internally Displaced Persons
For many, a bureaucratic term used to describe the often desperate situation that affects around 25 million people worldwide.
Every day, millions of men, women and children are living in fear of armed violence.
Sixty years on, a problem still awaiting a solution.
Civil and political rights
Now more than ever are strong actions needed to defend the rights of all human beings, as proclaimed in a long list of international treaties.
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is the first permanent international judicial body capable of trying individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.
Iraq: the war and occupation
An in-depth report with special emphasis on information from alternative media and civil society opinion and analysis.
The Arab NGOs Network for Development is an independent, democratic, and civic organization that aims at strengthening civil society and enhancing the values of democracy and respect of Human Rights and sustainable development in the Arab region.
AID WATCH at the Oakland Institute is compiling latest updates and reports on the humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. These updates come from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, wire services, relief organizations, and international media outlets.
Ya Libnan was originally created to capture the historic events that erupted as a result of the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. Ya Libnan has evolved into a leading specialized source of Lebanese news with high-quality content.
The Arab NGO Network for Development will produce weekly updates on the post Israeli war period in Lebanon. The update will include highlights on some of the phases and activities in this period, mainly the economic, environmental, and human rights implications. ANND will try to put the spot on civil society efforts, especially in documenting human rights violations and war crimes. 23 August 2006.
The "catastrophic" humanitarian crisis in South Lebanon, caused by the continuing Israeli onslaught, is mere days away from taking yet another turn for the worse. As a result of the land and sea blockage being imposed by the Israeli war machine, Lebanon is in dire need of all basic necessities, particularly the fuel oil needed to power the millions of generators keeping the country running. 11 August 2006.
The UN Security Council has voted for a ceasefire plan; resolution 1701 was adopted unanimously by the Security Council after more than a week of intense discussions. The resolution calls for a "full cessation of hostilities" and authorizes 15,000 peacekeeping troops for the existing UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL. The Lebanese government adopted the resolution with support from Hezbollah members in the government. 12 August 2006.
All of Lebanon faces chronic fuel problems, due to the Israeli sea blockade of the country. Two ships anchored off Cyprus carrying crucial supplies have not docked in Lebanon. UNIFIL forward positions in the eastern sector are facing critical shortages of fuel and the ability to re-supply them in the next 48 hours is vital to maintaining these positions," said the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. 10 August 2006.
The number of dead people due to the Israeli aggression on Lebanon rose to 1020 and the injured to 3508 (these numbers could be much higher given the people still not found and bodies under the rubble caused by Israeli strikes). 9 August 2006 (pdf version).
The number of dead people due to the Israeli aggression on Lebanon rose to 1020 and the injured to 3508 (These numbers could be much higher given the people still not found and bodies under the rubble caused by Israeli strikes). Pdf format.
More than 35 Lebanese were killed today due to continuous Israeli raids on various Lebanese towns. A family of seven died in the Southern village of Ghassaneyeh. Fourteen died in an Israeli raid on Gahziyeh town, and 10 were reported dead in the early search under the rubble of two buildings that were bombed in a crowded area next to Southern Beirut Suburb. This area was not targeted before tonight. There was a horrific attack on the village of Houla in which more than 60 people, 30 of which were children, were isolated under the rubble of the building they were taking refuge in. 7 August 2006.
The UN has abandoned on Tuesday any attempt to get an aid convoy through to south Lebanon, citing security fears. The decision comes a day after Israel imposed an openended curfew on all residents south of the Litani River, threatening that any moving vehicles in the zone - up to 30km (18 miles) inside Lebanon's border - would be destroyed. 8 August 2006 (pdf version).
More that forty people killed and injured in an Israeli raid on Qa’a village in the Beka’a valley near the Syrian border - 5 civilians killed and tens of injured by Israeli air strikes on four bridges on the main high way - 9 civilians were killed and at 10 injured by an Israeli air strike on a building in Al Taibe in south Lebanon. 4 August 2006.
The 25th day of the Israeli aggression on Lebanon was characterized by the record of the highest number of air strikes and Israeli bombs, mainly in the regions of Tyr and Bent Jbeil (south Lebanon), and targeting bridges and roads among Lebanese regions and between Lebanon and Syria. 5 August 2006.
The US and France have agreed the wording of a UN resolution to end the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. It calls for a "full cessation of hostilities", demanding that Hezbollah halt all attacks and Israel stop all offensive military operations. A BBC correspondent at the UN says the wording would allow Israel some freedom if it argues it needs to defend itself. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed news of the agreement, calling it "an absolutely vital first step in bringing this tragic crisis to an end". The White House said President George W Bush was "happy with the progress being made". Lebanon's initial reaction was to express reservations. 6 August 2006.
Yesterday late night, an Israeli raid on Ba’albeck resulted in the death of 20 persons, among them three were Hezbollah members. The rest were civilians including eight people from one family, and a pregnant woman in her ninth month, who was killed with her baby just 100 meters away from the hospital where she was going to deliver her baby. 2 August 2006 (pdf format).
More than 900 Lebanese people have been killed in three weeks of fighting with Israel, more than 3,200 have been wounded, 1 million or a quarter of the total population had been displaced. Third of the casualties had been children under 12. 3 August 2006 (pdf format).
The hopes for an end of the Israeli attack on Lebanon came to a fade as the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signaled his determination to carry on and extend ground operations, in a speech on Monday, indicating that there would be no ceasefire within the next few days. 1 August 2006.
At least 55 civilians were killed and scores wounded in a series of Israeli raids across Lebanon Wednesday in the deadliest day since the bombardment began one week ago. A total of 310 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and hundreds injured. 19 July 2006 (pdf version).
The Israeli military seems to have "discovered" a new threat in trucks and vans, some of which were carrying civilians and medical supplies, but Israel maintains were bringing weapons and supplies to Hezbollah fighters. 20 July 2006 (pdf version).
Economic analysts estimate that the economic losses will exceed those resulting from the 1982 Israeli invasion, which lasted for four months. The reconstruction of the demolished infrastructure needs at least two years. 21 July 2006 (pdf version).
Significant information and witnesses by doctors in various hospitals receiving the Lebanese dead due to Israeli bombing indicate that Israel is using internationally forbidden weapons in Lebanon. 26 July 2006.
The civil society gathering for life (lil Hayat) which is a gathering of more than 40 NGO and civil society organizations called upon all Lebanese to gather on Thursday July 27th to open a banner protesting the Israeli aggression on Lebanon and asking for cease fire in all the languages.
16th day of Israeli attack on Lebanon. Fighting in Lebanon has showed little sign of abating after Israel lost nine soldiers in its biggest one-day toll so far, with world powers still at odds over a conflict now in its 16th day.
Civil defense workers that worked on the site of the Qana Massacre indicated that they were facing severe problems highlighting the presence of poisoness gases in the bombed area. He noted several cases of noxiousness and throwing up among the civil defense workers.
"If there is anyone out there who is still wondering why Arabs and Muslims view Britain and the United States as their implacable enemies, then look no further. To the analysts, experts and commentators, whether in the media or in academia, who are still befuddled as to why Arabs and Muslims are turning to "extremism" and terrorism, we say this: replay the images of murder in Qana, Tyre, Sidon, Beirut and Gaza, then listen again to the war criminal Bush and his poodle Blair resisting calls for a ceasefire, and you have the answer…". 31 July 2006 - 20th day of attack (pdf version).
During the war between Israel and Hizbullah in the summer of 2006, military installations were positioned by the Israeli army in proximity to Arab civilian locales. On the basis of the investigation undertaken by the Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA), it emerges that temporary military installations from which missiles were fired into Lebanon during the war were indeed positioned in very close proximity to the Arab locales that suffered the gravest attacks during the war. This is in addition to permanent military installations in existence prior to the war. In some cases, the military installations were established inside the Arab locales. January 2008 (doc Word).
Allegations of unpunished war crimes and a general lack of accountability still plague Israeli-Lebanese relations one year after the Israel-Hezbollah war erupted, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch charged in separate statements. July 2007.
The approximately 1 million unexploded cluster bombs left behind by Israel's forces in Lebanon after its war last summer against Hezbollah continue to cause casualties. United Nations demining teams are combing the land to remove the devices, but the danger will remain for a long time, The Christian Science Monitor reports. February 2007.
At the height of the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon, a call came from civil society groups in that country asking the international community to send peace delegations to bear witness to the ongoing destruction of a nation and demonstrate solidarity with the Lebanese people in their hour of need. Final Report of the International Civil Society and Parliamentary Peace Mission to Lebanon. 10 September 2006.
Hizbullah committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes, in its deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians during the recent conflict, according to a briefing published by Amnesty International. 14 September 2006.
An early survey of the destruction in Lebanon shows that Israel deliberately attempted to destroy the Lebanese economy during the month-long war - targeting farms, hospitals and generators. The Samidoun solidarity network, which was set up during the war to care for refugees, has been detailing the extent of the destruction in the south. 31 August 2006.
Responsibility for the Israeli airstrikes that killed at least 54 civilians sheltering in a home in the Lebanese village of Qana rests squarely with the Israeli military, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday, 30 July 2006. It is the latest product of an indiscriminate bombing campaign that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have waged in Lebanon over the past 18 days, leaving an estimated 750 people dead, the vast majority of them civilians. July 30, 2006.
Amnesty International is calling on the international community to urgently negotiate an immediate and full ceasefire, and to convene a meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to ensure that attacks such as Qana are independently and impartially investigated and those suspected of war crimes brought to justice. 31 July 2006.
Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes. 3 August 2006.
The investigation carried out by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) into the air-missile attack on Qana was clearly inadequate and reinforces the need for the urgent dispatch of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC). 3 August 2006.
The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution today condemning “grave Israeli violations of human rights” in Lebanon, called for all parties to respect the rules of humanitarian law, and decided to immediately send a high-level team to investigate. 11 August 2006.
First-hand information gathered by recent Amnesty International research missions to Lebanon and Israel points to an Israeli policy of deliberate destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure during the recent conflict. 23 August 2006.
La Via Campesina has participated with two delegates* in an international mission of solidarity with the people of Lebanon. The mission was organised in response to appeals from several Lebanese organisations. 19 August 2006.
Although we are convinced that the United Nations, as the people’s international organization, is supposed to fulfill the above mentioned mandate, we believe that, so far, the United Nations and its pre-eminent Council have failed to uphold all international law, Geneva Conventions and UN principles. 11 August 2006.
In a letter to Kofi Annan, a network of 25 Lebanese NGOs established in July the 14th -48 hours after the beginning of the Israeli aggressions- asked for "a more effective role" that the United Nations can have "in the coming period to implement a fair, sustainable and comprehensive peace based on the rights of all the peoples of the region". 28 August 2006.
The Feminist Task Force (FTF) of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) strongly condemns the war crimes being committed by Israel in Lebanon in complete violation of International Human Rights Instruments, International and Humanitarian Laws by targeting civilians. 11 August 2006.
Like other non-governmental organisations that have followed the situation since the beginning of the conflict, OMCT has observed a number of violations of both human rights and humanitarian law, such as the 5th Guiding Principle on Internal Displacement within their own country, the Geneva Conventions, and more specifically, common Article 3 to the four Conventions. 11 August 2006.
We, Jewish writers, scholars, poets, translators, and artists of diverse national origin, offer this open letter in order to communicate our solidarity with our Lebanese and Palestinian colleagues who are living under siege. 5 August 2006.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today demanded that the Israeli Defense Forces lift their newly announced limits on journalist travel in southern Lebanon and allow all media staff to travel freely in the conflict zone. “We cannot allow any side to create a secret war in which their military operations are not open to proper scrutiny,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. 9 August 2006.
Amnesty International reiterates its call for an immediate, full and effective ceasefire after civilian death highs. On Friday 5 August, at least 23 Syrian agricultural workers were killed by Israeli forces on a farm in the village of al-Qaa on the Lebanese-Syrian border according to various reports. This was the highest number of fatalities recorded so far in a single incident together with the attack on a building in Qana on 30 July. 6 August 2006.
United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy strongly condemned the repeated attacks on civilians, and especially on children, noting that callous disregard for the lives of children has permeated this conflict from its start. 1st August 2006 (pdf version).
The STOPoverty! Neqirdu l-Faqar! Campaign demands immediate actions of the Government of Malta and the International Community to end the Middle East Crisis. The STOPoverty! Neqirdu l-Faqar! Campaign is part of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) and formed of at present 44 Maltese civil society and nongovernmental organisations. 2 August 2006 (pdf version).
LCHR calls the silent international society to stop this aggression, judge the criminals of war responsible for these massacres and look for new frameworks for international legitimacy instead of the existing ones that only serve the interests of one country, simply because it has the strongest military and economic force. As these massacres will lead to a major downfall and destruction and everyone will pay its price and suffer the consequences. Otherwise, we all must answer the call for help from Palestine and Lebanon and guarantee their people the rights to life, freedom and safety. 31 July 2006.
We, the women of Latin America, who, during the dictatorships, have experienced state terrorism, know about the pain and death of our peoples, as well as we know about the power of solidarity and people’s organization. We join in solidarity people’s organizations everywhere demanding an IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE in Lebanon and Palestine and the withdrawal of the Israeli troops. July 2006.
"US diplomacy has only complied with these war crimes through granting Israel impunity, thereby giving Israel the impression that it has permission to continue. Finally, it is plain to see that the international community has failed miserably in its duty – to ensure the protection of innocent civilians during time of war". July 31, 2006.
"Another massacre was committed in Lebanon: More than sixty civilians, among them 37 children, were killed by Israeli bombs while they were sleeping in shelters in the village of Qana. They died not very far away from the mass grave holding the bodies of 106 civilians burned by a previous Israeli attack in April 1996 inside a shelter provided by a UN battalion". 31 July, 2006.
The Pugwash Council expresses its grave concern over the continued escalation of violence in the Middle East. Whatever the proximate cause for this latest eruption of conflict, events risk spiraling out of control, possibly leading to a regional war and even greater suffering, especially among civilians. Moreover, continued conflict only fans the flames of radicalization and the destruction of civil society. 21 July 2006 (pdf version).
It is time for wider humanity to address the core reasons for the litany of atrocities — from Iraq to Afghanistan,Lebanon to Palestine — to which we are all subjected as witnesses. These core reasons concern the State of Israel, and blind US support for the racist policies thereof.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) calls upon the international community to immediately take effective measures to ensure the security and the protection of the Lebanese people and avoid the outbreak of a humanitarian disaster. 20 July 2006.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) informed by its member and partner organisations in Lebanon, the Lebanese Association for Human Rights (ALDHOM), the Foundation for Human Rights and Humanitarian Rights in Lebanon (FHHRL) and SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) expresses its utmost concern about the escalation of heavy military operations and their worrying humanitarian consequences for civilians in Lebanon and Northern Israel. 17 July 2006.
Violence, destruction and suffering have once again come upon the Holy Land. The Center of Concern mourns the deaths of 330 of our sisters and brothers in Lebanon, thirty-four Israelis, and the displacement of over 500,000 Lebanese since the Israeli offensive began on July 12, 2006.
Amnesty International called on the UN Security Council to meet urgently in order to adopt measures to protect civilians caught up in the deepening Israel-Lebanon conflict. The organization deplored the failure of G8 member states to put the protection of civilians above politics in their discussions of the conflict and condemned continuing attacks on civilian by both Israel and Hizbullah. 18 July 2006.
The ICFTU and the WCL call upon all parties to the conflict to cease all hostile acts, and to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis, based on mutual recognition of co-existing sovereign states, in accordance with UN Resolutions 242 and 338 as well as the full implementation of the “Road Map” for peace. 14 July 2006.
The United Nations’ top human rights official said Wednesday that the killing and maiming of civilians under attack in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza and the West Bank could constitute war crimes. 20 July 2006.
Yet again one country is suffering the full military onslaught of another unimaginably more powerful. Israel justifies its action in the name of self-defence and territorial integrity. People die on both sides, but the consequences for Lebanon are disproportionate, including the total destruction of its infrastructure and future stability. 20 July 2006.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Thursday for an immediate halt to the escalating conflict between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia but said there were "serious obstacles to reaching a cease-fire." Annan addressed members of the Security Council during a meeting on the situation in the Mideast at United Nations headquarters in New York. He condemned Israel's "excessive use of force" and collective punishment of the Lebanese people, saying it had triggered a humanitarian crisis. He urged the members of the Security Council to take firm action towards ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East region as mandated by the Charter of the United Nations.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today expressed grave concern over the continued killing and maiming of civilians in Lebanon, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and called for accountability for any breaches of international law. 19 July 2006.
In this report to the UN Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that Israel continues to violate Resolution 1701. The resolution, which ended hostilities between Lebanon and Israel in 2006, demands that all Israeli military forces pull back to the UN-demarcated blue line. But Israel still controls territory north of the blue line, including part of the town of Ghajar. The Secretary General warns that Israel’s violation may escalate tensions between the two countries. June 2008 (pdf).
The Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, submitted to the Human Rights Council a report on his mission to Lebanon, which took place from 11 to 16 September 2006. The mission was undertaken at the invitation of the Government of Lebanon. October 2006 (pdf version).
On 11 August 2006, at its second special session, convened to address the ongoing conflict in Lebanon, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution S-2/1 in which it decided to establish and immediately dispatch a high-level commission of inquiry. The report of the Commission provides an analysis on the various aspects of the impact of the conflict on life in Lebanon. November 2006 (pdf version).
The war began on 12 July 2006, when Israel launched waves of air strikes on Lebanon after Hizballah killed three soldiers and captured two more on the northern border. (A further five troops were killed by a land mine when their tank crossed into Lebanon in hot pursuit.) Hizballah had long been warning that it would seize soldiers if it had the chance, in an effort to push Israel into a prisoner exchange. Israel has been holding a handful of Lebanese prisoners since it withdrew from its two-decade occupation of south Lebanon in 2000. In the meantime, there is every indication that Israel is planning another round of fighting against Hizballah after it has "learnt the lessons" from the last war. August 2007.
Residents of Lebanon might be forgiven for wanting to forget the last 12 months. The month-long Israeli onslaught in the summer of 2006, economic stasis, sectarian street violence, political deadlock and assassination -most recently that of Future Movement deputy Walid 'Idu, who perished along with ten others in a June 13 car bomb explosion- have weighed heavily upon the country. It is as if the dismembered corpse of the 1975-1990 civil war -assumed to be safely buried- has been exhumed and reassembled, all the more grotesque. Since May 20, the Palestinians in Lebanon, too, have been made to relive past nightmares.
The interim report of the Winograd Commission into Israel's initial conduct of its 33-day war against Lebanon in July and August 2006 has lambasted the country's political and military leadership for what is regarded within ruling circles as a debacle. The report singles out Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Amir Peretz and the now retired chief of staff, Dan Halutz, for the failure of Israel's military forces to rescue the two soldiers seized by Hezbollah—the ostensible purpose of the war. May 2007.
Israel's supposedly "defensive" assault on Hizbullah last summer, in which more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians were killed in a massive aerial bombardment that ended with Israel littering the country's south with cluster bombs, was cast in a definitively different light last week by Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. His leaked testimony to the Winograd Committee -- investigating the government's failures during the month-long attack -- suggests that he had been preparing for such a war at least four months before the official casus belli: the capture by Hizbullah of two Israeli soldiers from a border post on 12 July 2006. Lebanon's devastation was apparently designed to teach both Hizbullah and the country's wider public a lesson. March 2007.
With the recent upsurge in violent conflict throughout the Middle East, it appears that civil society's ability to protect human rights and deliver basic services is increasingly inadequate. As strife, instability and conflict increases, there is a feeling among many people in the region of deep frustration, as conflict flares, dies down and flares up again. March 2007.
Before July 12 this year when the war broke out, many people in this nation of four million situated north of Israel believed they were finally shaking away the last of the dust from the 15-year civil war 1975-90 which decimated the country. December 2006.
When the Israeli government decided, in the space of a few hours, to start the Second Lebanon War, it did not have any plan. When the Chief-of-Staff urged the cabinet to start the war, he did not submit any plan. This was disclosed recently by a military investigation committee. That is shocking. December 2006.
Hizballah, the Lebanese Shi‘i movement whose militia is fighting the Israeli army in south Lebanon, has been cast misleadingly in much media coverage of the ongoing war. Much more than a militia, the movement is also a political party that is a powerful actor in Lebanese politics and a provider of important social services. Not a creature of Iranian and Syrian sponsorship, Hizballah arose to battle Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon from 1982-2000 and, more broadly, to advocate for Lebanon’s historically disenfranchised Shi‘i Muslim community. While it has many political opponents in Lebanon, Hizballah is very much of Lebanon. 31 July 2006.
The bombs have stopped falling, but for tens of thousands of Lebanese the suffering from this summer's war continues in the form of disrupted lives, economic hardship and traumatised children. 13 September 2006.
In Lebanon, there are around 600.000 farmers, some of them are farmers owning small lands, and others work on lands they do not own. The Sydicate of Lebanese Farm Workers is in contacts with around 30.000 farmers. 21 August 2006.
The Middle East crisis seemed to have eased a bit, when fighting in Lebanon stopped several days after the UN Security Council resolution. But the Israeli blockade of Lebanon continues, and disagreements emerged on the nature and role of the UN peacekeeping force. Meanwhile, the plight of the Palestinians has worsened. August 2006.
That Europe owes a psychological and physical debt to the Jewish people is undeniable. That Europe has been trying for sometime now to come to grip with this debt and wipe the slate as clean as is possible is also undeniable. That Israel and the Jewish people have been steadfast in ensuring the repayment of this debt by any means necessary is also undeniable. That the repayment of the debt has been contracted in terms of words, hard currency, bloodshed and land is also irrefutable. However, what is not so well discussed is that the largest part of the down payment of that debt has been on the backs of and with the blood of a people not a party to the original and historic deeds—the Palestinian people. August 2006.
There are several problems with the resolution, which Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres has openly said is "favourable to Israel" and "justifies the stance Israel has adopted since the start." Following its passage on 11 August 2006, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor added that "we have the diplomatic advantage." 16 August 2006.
How many of these dead would have survived if George Bush and Tony Blair had demanded an immediate ceasefire weeks ago will never be known. But many would have had the chance of life had Western governments not regarded this dirty war as an "opportunity" to create a "new" Middle East by humbling Iran and Syria. 17 August 2006.
The State of Israel was established in 1948. Ever since, there has been continuous violence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and between Israel and its neighbors. Sometimes, the violence was low-level and even latent. And every once in a while, the violence escalated into open warfare, as now. Whenever full- scale violence broke out, there was an immediate debate about what started it, as though that mattered. We are now in the midst of warfare between Israel and Palestine in Gaza and between Israel and Lebanon. And the world is engaged in its usual futile debate about how to reduce the open state of warfare to low-level violence. 1 August 2006.
The UN Security Council resolution draft on Lebanon reflects a new stage of Western colonialism in the Middle East, and perhaps a historic precedent: for the first time, the UN Security Council - should the resolution draft be endorsed - breaches the fundamental principle of the right of people under occupation to resist, and in fact legitimizes the violent partition of the sovereign state of Lebanon. 10 August 2006.
Muslim nations Thursday demanded an immediate Middle East ceasefire, expressing outrage at international "double standards" over Israel's offensive in Lebanon and warning of disastrous consequences if the assault continued. 5 August 2006.
For many Americans, the names "Lebanon" and "Beirut" have long been synonymous with violence, chaos, terrorism, hostage-taking, and anti-US organizations, ideologies, and activities. These place names are often bywords for a total breakdown of social, political, and legal order. Indeed, the noun "Lebanization" has been applied to numerous situations of internecine ethnic conflicts played out in urban settings. Countering such conventional perceptions, this introduction to recent Lebanese history argues that even during the worst phases of Lebanon's multidimensional wars (usually fought in and over Beirut) order and patterns were evident in the structures and levels of confrontation: local, national, regional, and international. July 2006.
Israel claims it's justified in bombing civilians because Hezbollah mingles with them. In fact, the militant group doesn't trust its civilians and stays as far away from them as possible. 28 July 2006.
Israel has bombed the milk factory in Beirut, the grain silos in Tripoli, hospitals, all the bridges in the country, the highways leading in and out of Lebanon, as well those leading in and out of the villages they are bombing. Israel has dropped leaflets on villages in the south telling them to evacuate, then they bomb the vehicles people are using to flee the villages. It's high-tech ethnic cleansing, as Israel has destroyed people's homes and they have nothing to return to. 30 July, 2006.
Beirut is burning, hundreds of Lebanese die, hundreds of thousands lose all they ever owned and become refugees, and all the world is doing is rescuing the "foreign passport" residents of what was just two weeks ago "the Paris of the Middle East". Lebanon must die now, because "Israel has the right to defend itself", so goes the U.S. mantra, used to block any international attempt to impose a cease fire. 27 July 2006.
Israel is raining destruction upon Lebanon in a purely defensive operation, according to the White House and most of Congress. Even some CNN anchors, habituated to mechanical reporting of “Middle East violence,” sound slightly incredulous. With over 300 Lebanese dead and easily 500,000 displaced, with the Beirut airport, bridges and power plants disabled, the enormous assault is more than a “disproportionate response” to Hizballah’s July 12 seizure of two soldiers and killing of three others on Israeli soil. It is more than the “excessive use of force” that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan decries. 21 July 2006.
The withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000 was brought about in part by increasing public pressure to pull out. But, just six years on, Israelis stand almost unanimously behind the decision to wage a new war across the country's northern border. 23 July 2006.
The ongoing Israeli wars on Arabs in Palestine and Lebanon are just the latest rounds of the cycle of violence that has raged in and around Palestine since 1917, and are vivid and bloody evidence that imposition of political realities by military means won’t last and that “Whoever takes by the sword, by the sword will be taken." 21 July 2006.
"WAR," proclaimed the three-inch headline in Ma'ariv, Israel's leading daily, the day after Hizballah launched its cross-border attack on an Israeli army convoy on July 12. With the onset of Israel's massive bombing campaign in Lebanon that evening, its aerial and ground incursions into Gaza were transformed into the southern front of a two-front conflict. But are the two fronts, in Lebanon and Gaza, part of a single war? Speaking in such terms risks misidentifying what really links Israeli actions on its northern and southern borders. 19 July 2006.
The new escalation in south Lebanon followed clashes at the Israel-Lebanon border that led to the capture of two Israeli soldiers, apparently inside Israeli territory. If, as it appears (it did not take place in the disputed Sheba'a Farms area) this attack was Hezbollah's initiative in crossing Israel's border, Hezbollah was in violation of international law. Hezbollah claims their attack was designed to help the Palestinians negotiate a prisoner release. But the consequences are already extraordinarily dangerous. In response, Israel has showed its continued willingness to target civilians. Israeli warplanes attacked two bridges over the Litani River deep in southern Lebanon, killing two civilians; that was followed by an incursion with tanks, gunboats and planes across the Lebanese border. If the fighting continues, it raises the even more dangerous possibility that Syria could get involved either on the ground in Lebanon or if Israel attacks Syria directly. Such moves could threaten a significant broadening of a potential new war.
On Thursday January 25, 2006, a third meeting of the world's richest countries took place with great pomp in Paris in order to find funds for Lebanon. By giving hundreds of billion dollars, France and the United States claim to help this country that is crippled by its debt and was a victim of Israel's military aggression in the summer of 2006. The Committee for the Cancellation of the Third World Debt (CADTM) states that the only possible solution for Lebanon lies in immediate cancellation of its debt, the abolition of structural adjustment policies and the creation of a fund for reconstruction which would be fed by reparations paid for by Israel. February 2007.
UN Security Council Resolution 1701 halted the month-long fighting between Israel and Hizbollah but did little to resolve the underlying conflict and, if poorly handled, could help reignite it. November 2006.
During the final days of the war, when it became clear that the Israel Defense Forces had no solution to the ongoing launchings of Katyusha rockets, a decision was made to "flood" the area with cluster bombs, delivered by artillery shells and rockets. This was non-target specific shooting, based on the assumption that the bomblets would cover a large area, possibly destroy Hezbollah rocket launchers and cause as many casualties as possible among its fighters. 18 September 2006.
At the tragic expense of 1057 Lebanese martyrs, thousands of wounded Lebanese civilians, 1 million internally displaced Lebanese citizens, and approximately US$ 3 billion in infrastructural damage across Lebanon, the Israel-HizbAllah war has underlined the end of an era in the Arab-Israeli conflict; namely, Israel’s absolute power of deterrence. 14 August 2006.
Now, Lebanon will again call upon foreign capital to rebuild. This implies another increase in its debt and in new economic measures of structural adjustment which accompany it. Therefore, the Lebanese people are going to have to pay very dearly, in the years to come, for consequences of this war inflicted by Israel in violation of international treaties governing relations between states. 29 August 2006.
Jostein Gaarder, the author of the global literary phenomenon Sophie's World (printed in 26m copies in 53 languages), launched a scorching attack on Israel in Aftenposten, Norway's paper of record. Gaarder, a historian of ideas, says that "it is time to learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is history". August 2006.
"And then, most disgraceful of all, we leave the Lebanese to their fate like a diseased people and spend our time evacuating our precious foreigners while tut-tutting about Israel's "disproportionate" response to the capture of its soldiers by Hezbollah". Sunday, July 23, 2006.
Yvonne Deutsch is one of the founders of the Feminista Center of Jerusalem (and his first coordinator) and also one of the founders of Women in Black of Jerusalem. She appears in a Zionist list among 'Jewish of self-hating and/or Israel treating'. The letter was sent to the International Network of Women in Black on July 30 2006 after the massacre of Qana, where a hundred of civilians took refuge, and that cost the life to 60 people, among them 37 children.
As recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, we watch with stunned disbelief as the fighting in Lebanon and Israel spins out of control, while the humanitarian crisis in Gaza apparently has slipped from public consciousness. The lack of global leadership in the face of this violence affecting hundreds of thousands of civilians is appalling. 31 July 2006.
In trying to solve the problem posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the US destroyed the infrastructure of that country, and, as a result, found itself in a quagmire. Similarly, in trying to disarm Hezbollah, Israel is destroying Lebanon and risking self entrapment. Since July 12, when the Middle East crisis was about Hezbollah's provocative border incursion, the disproportionate Israeli reaction has shifted the crisis from a border issue to a regional conflict. 8 August 2006.
A Sky News newscaster, interviewing British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett on Sunday, July 30 demanded an answer to this paraphrased question: if indeed Israel had precise intelligence that a Hezbollah operative was present in the village of Qana, in South Lebanon, how could it possibly fail to realize that the area was also crowded with civilians? 9 August 2006.
A fog of rhetoric has impeded clear public vision of the latest Middle East war. Israeli spokespeople and White House echoers punctuate “explanatory” sentences with the “t” word, to connote the root of current evil, and the necessary violent remedy as well: more terrorism, directed by the state of Israel. The barrage of words and images syncopates with the barrage of bombs and rockets. The cacophony of babble tends to erase precedents and obscure facts: Palestine, not terrorism, remains the central conflictive issue in the area. 3 August 2006.
UN Resolution 1701 is little more than an outrageous and illegal expression of victor's justice. It allows Israel the right to resume hostilities any time it wishes and for any reason so long as the Israelis claim an imminent threat exists regardless of whether or not it's true. 14 August 2006.
Security Council Resolution 1701 did not come a minute too soon if only because it blew the whistle on an Israeli assault that was killing dozens of Lebanese civilians daily, destroying the country and forcing nearly a million people to seek refuge from its escalating war crimes. The so-called "international community" provided cover for extending the war under the guise of prolonged negotiations at the UN, hoping that Israel would win a decisive victory. But what Israel failed to win on the battlefield, its friends helped to deliver in the UN resolution. 18 August 2006.
On Saturday, the 4th of November - on the same weekend of the Cluster Munitions Coalition (1) meeting and prior to an international conference on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Geneva – the National Demining Office and National Steering Committees on Mine Risk Education and Victim Assistance (2) in Lebanon have made a call for a public mobilization to urge the international community to take action against cluster munitions.
As citizens of the world, we find it our imprescriptible right and duty to bring those guilty of the crimes, especially Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert, before the International court of justice, which is qualified to do so. September 2006.
An international campaign for the 12th August - the global Day of Action against the Israeli Aggression on Palestine and Lebanon – is gathering momentum. In over a dozen countries, people are preparing to fill the streets to condemn the Zionist crimes in Lebanon and Palestine. They will be out to pressure their governments to take concrete steps against the war crimes of the Israeli Occupation. Organizers of the various events are accusing the international community for supporting – either actively or tacitly – the destruction of Lebanon and Palestine and are calling upon governments to stop arms trade with the apartheid Israeli regime. 10 August 2006.
We, the people of Lebanon, call upon the local and international community to join a campaign of civil resistance to Israel’s war against our country and our people. We declare Lebanon an open country for civil resistance. On August 12 at 7 am, we will gather in Martyrs’ Square to form a civilian convoy to the south of Lebanon. Hundreds of Lebanese and international civilians will carry relief as an expression of solidarity for the inhabitants of the heavily destroyed south who have been bravely withstanding the assault of the Israeli military. 7 August 2006.
Samidoun, Relief Center-Sanayeh, is a grouping of grassroots activists and volunteers, all united to provide relief to internally displaced people who had fled Southern Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut due to the ongoing Israeli aggression.
The world cannot allow the bloodshed in the Middle East to continue. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and wounded, 500,000 made homeless, and a catastrophic larger conflict is possible. Sign the petition calling on US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Blair and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to support UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for an immediate ceasefire and an international force to stabilize the situation.
We at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives ask you to join our effort to place ads in national and international newspapers calling for an end to the slaughter in Lebanon, Israel and the Occupied Territories—and to use this moment not only to create a temporary ceasefire, but to resolve all outstanding issues between the various parties in the Middle East. 31 July 2006.
The international civil society and social movements are raising their voice and mobilizing throughout the world not only to express their indefectible solidarity with the Lebanese people, but also to build a huge international barrier against the global war of re-colonization of the world. An international day of protest and solidarity will be held on August 12th.
Call your Congressperson and the White House every day this week and demand an immediate cease-fire and a Presidential report to Congress on Israel's misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure in violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act. A Joint Call from United for Peace and Justice & the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. 2 August 2006.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, the National Council of Arab Americans and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation have jointly initiated a National Emergency March on Washington on Aug 12, with coordinated marches in Los Angeles and San Francisco, in defense of the people of Palestine and Lebanon who are under brutal attack by the U.S.-backed Israeli government. On August 12, thousands will gather across the United States to demand an end to the U.S.-Israeli war on the Middle East.
The Bertrand Russell Tribunal, in solidarity with the people of Lebanon, accuses the State of Israel of war crimes and the United States of complicity. They call for action in the UN General Assembly, immediate humanitarian aid for Lebanese civilians, divestment drives and boycotts of the State of Israel, immediate and sustained protest until the killing stops and real change occurs.
In this situation of high urgency, many groups and organizations are coordinating their efforts to achieve higher efficiency and relevancy of relief work. The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) calls upon their international partners and donor community to answer to the immediate needs of the Lebanese people. 17 July 2006.
At the UN Human Rights Council session (August 11th, 2006), Lebanon told the meeting that its Government did not endorse the operations carried out by Hezbollah. What was being faced by Lebanon went beyond the issue of prisoners and captured soldiers; it was a whole nation whose people's rights, security, and land were being trampled under a questionable pretext. Lebanese were being collectively slaughtered and punished by Israel. 12 September 2006 (pdf version).
Eight months after Israeli attacks left devastation across many villages in southern Lebanon, reconstruction comes with mounting anger towards both Israel and the central Lebanese government. The war which raged between Israel and Hezbollah July 12 to August 14 last year destroyed many villages in the south, and left others badly damaged. April 2007.
Black slime coats beaches and oozes into rock pools in northern Lebanon, nine months after an oil spill led to international pledges to clean that stretch of coast. Oil clings to beach after beach north of Byblos, an ancient fishing port that is one of Lebanon's main tourist attractions. Israel bombed an oil refinery in Jiyyeh, south of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, during its conflict with the armed wing of Lebanese political party Hezbollah last July. The bombing caused the refinery to spew an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of fuel oil into the Mediterranean Sea. It was Lebanon's worst environmental disaster, say environmentalists. May 2007.