Tag Archive for 'Lebanon'

Israel let off the hook for murdering UN peacekeepers

An expert group assembled to investigate the murder of Finnish peacekeeper Jarno Tapio Mäkinen in Khiam, Lebanon on July 25th 2006 has completed its report and handed it over to the Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen today.

They concluded the attack on the United Nations base did result from an error and that there is no evidence of it being done intentionally.

The expert group asked followup questions from both the United Nations and Israel. None of the questions were answered.

One has to assume one of those questions would’ve been why did Israel continue shelling the UN base after the United Nations repeatedly asked them to stop. In fact reports indicate they continued shelling the area even when a separate United Nations group came in to recover the bodies from the bunker.

Apparently the root cause for the error was errors in manually entered target coordinates and outdated or missing information about the location of the UN base in the area.

Before the precision guided bomb hit the base, the peacekeepers in the base had reported Israeli grenade launchers had four direct hits on the base. The information was relayed to the Israelis, but they continued shelling the area eventually leading into the release of the precision guided bomb that hit the base.

I’ve written about the Khiam murders before:
Israel murders Jarno Tapio Mäkinen, a Finnish UN peacekeeper, in Khiam, Lebanon


Israel murders Jarno Tapio Mäkinen, a Finnish UN peacekeeper, in Khiam, Lebanon

The Israeli army murdered 4 UN peacekeepers on Tuesday July 25th in Khiam, Lebanon by dropping a precision-guided bomb on their bunker. Before dropping the lethal bomb on their heads, the Israelis had been shelling their area for more than six hours getting closer and closer to the UN post the peacekeepers were occupying. The post had been there for years making it impossible for the Israelis not to have known it was there.

The Israeli artillery was firing within 150 metres of the UN post while the UN peacekeepers were calling the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) repeatedly informing the IDF they were firing upon UN peacekeepers and asking them to stop. The killing blow came from a precision-guided bomb, which by definition had to have been targeting the very bunker the UN peacekeepers were in despite knowing the UN peacekeepes were in it.

The Israelis say Hezbollah has been using the Khiam area to launch rockets into Israel justifying shelling the entire area into smithereens. The Israeli policy is apparently to carpet bomb areas where Hezbollah is operating from without consideration of who else is inhabiting said areas. No wonder people outside of Israel (and US) are not too keen on the latest Israeli offensive against Lebanon.

The Israeli response to the attack has been two-fold. While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed “deep regret” over the attack, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni basically stated (paraphrased) “tough cookies, people die in a war”.

As expected, the United States backed Israel by blocking a UN Security Council resolution condemning the attack.

One of the UN peacekeepers killed in the attack is a 29-year old Finnish lieutenant captain Jarno Tapio Mäkinen from Turku.