August 8, 2006
It should be obvious by now Israel intends to ethnically cleanse southern Lebanon, all the way up to the Litani River where the United Nations proposed rebuilding a bridge in order to deliver humanitarian aid. "UN officials contacted the Israeli army to inform them that a team of Chinese military engineers attached to the UN force in Lebanon intended to repair the bridge on the Beirut to Tyre road to enable the transport of humanitarian supplies," reports the Guardian. "According to the UN, Israeli officials said the engineers would become a target if they attempted to repair the bridge."
Senior UN officials reacted angrily to the destruction of a temporary causeway over the Litani river overnight. "We must be able to have movement throughout the country to deliver supplies. At this point we can’t do that," said David Shearer, the humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon. "The deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure is a violation of international law."
International aid groups have blamed Israel for not providing security guarantees, thereby paralyzing the delivery of aid to the south. Even when aid reaches Tyre, convoys have to apply on a case by case basis for permission to take it out to the villages. Most applications are refused.
A convoy run from Beirut to Tyre by Médecins sans Frontières yesterday was forced to stop at the ruins of the causeway. Boxes of medicine were carried over a footbridge by hand and loaded up into separate vehicles on the other side.
According to the Red Cross, there are "100,000 Lebanese trapped in the cut-off areas," that is to say there are 100,000 people Israel will need ethnically cleanse, as all Lebanese are Hezbollah.
Even getting aid into Lebanon itself has become increasingly problematic. The only land crossing open to UNHCR is on the northern border at al-Aarida, 100 miles north of the capital, Beirut. The price of fuel has rocketed to more than £200 a tank, Beirut’s airport is almost completely unusable and any aid arriving by sea has to get a green light from Israel’s naval blockade before it is allowed to proceed.
Did I mention that all Lebanese are Hezbollah? As such, only a trickle of humanitarian aid will be allowed to enter the country. Meanwhile, instead of negotiating an end to the "conflict" (invasion and massive violations of international law), Bush is kicking back at his faux cowboy ranch in Texas and Tony Blair is on the beach in Barbados, a former British colony and one-time transit point for African slaves.
Of course, the Israelis would not admit they are deliberately denying vital humanitarian aid to Lebanese babies and grandmothers—or rather those they have not killed with artillery and missiles, courtesy of the United States. No, instead they tell us humanitarian aid is an excuse for Iran to deliver weapons to Hezbollah. "In a briefing before the Cabinet yesterday, head of the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Division, Major General Amos Yadlin, said that Iran is supplying Hizballah with weapons under the guise of innocent humanitarian aid convoys," reports Israel Today.
According to Democracy Now, the "Israeli military is reportedly planning to ramp up its attacks on Lebanon by targeting more of the civilian infrastructure as well as symbols of the Lebanese government. One military official told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz 'It could be that at the end of the story, Lebanon will be dark for a few years’…. Mark Shnellbaecher [a Catholic Relief Services representative]… suggests that Lebanon could run out of fuel within the week, leading to a humanitarian catastrophe that will not be easily solved by ceasefire alone."
"The missed cease-fire decision basically means that multitudes of civilians go on pouring into the mountains, or to the Syrian and Jordan borders, which is an epic voyage," Gianni Rufini, associate professor specializing in post-war reconstruction and development at the University of York in Britain told IPS from Amman, according to Frost Illustrated. "Furthermore, water and basic food reserves—whose prices have risen 400 percent in Beirut since the beginning of the crisis—are quickly dwindling, while tonnes of food stand on the frontiers since immunity for the convoys has not been respected so far."
In other words, the aid is bottlenecked because if the NGOs attempt to deliver it, they will be targeted by Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, in Gaza, pushed out of the headlines by Israel’s invasion and crimes against humanity in Lebanon, UNICEF special representative in occupied Palestinian territory Dan Rohrmann said "it is clear that children are living in an environment of extraordinary violence, fear and anxiety," according to a UN press release. "UNICEF reminds all parties that all children have rights, including those to health, water, education and protection. These rights must be safeguarded irrespective of the environment they happen to live in. Protection of civilians including children, as per the 4th Geneva Convention, is an obligation under international humanitarian law, the press release concluded," reports IRNA.
Obviously, the bureaucrats at UNICEF are clueless. Killing and traumatizing children is part of the Master Plan for Greater Israel, what Condi calls the New Middle East. Remember, as mass murder apologist Alan Dershowitz told us, some civilians are more innocent than others. Naturally, the children of Gaza, as those of Lebanon, are terrorists, so who can complain if they are bombed, terrorized, subjected to weird chemicals, sonic booms in the middle of the night, the lack of clean water, backed up sewage and garbage piled up in the streets, inviting disease and an inevitable epidemic. Blame Hezbollah and Hamas.
In order to make sure this dire situation moves along smoothly, Israel attacks NGOs attempting to help the Palestinians in Gaza. "As NGOs scale up their humanitarian response, they have assessed the impact of the recent hostilities on their ongoing programs," reports the Palestine News Agency:
In Beit Lahia 27 greenhouses recently rehabilitated by CARE were completely destroyed and another 23 were damaged in the last month.
Approximately 100 square meters of the Beit Hanoun Municipality playground, rehabilitated by Save the Children, was severely damaged and 30 meters of the playground’s wall were knocked down.
World Vision’s partner agency the Union of Agricultural Work Committees reports extensive damage to their Beit Hanoun office and loss of equipment as a result of a recent offensive.
Other NGOs report recent damage to project sites, delays in implementation due to lack of access and the freezing of donor funds for certain activities.
Don’t expect the New York Times or Fox News to report these incidents, flagrant crimes against humanity. As for the latter, they are too busy chalking up the death toll in Lebanon to shoddy construction, not Israeli bombs (see "Dayside" Audience Laughs at Lebanese Deaths).
Obviously, the American public, or those in the audience of "Dayside" at least, are one step down the ladder from the warmongers and ethnic cleansers in Israel.