UN military personnel on the ground along the Israel-Lebanon border say the munitions that hit the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) position early Wednesday were precision-guided, a UN source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Furthermore, the source added, the strike came after repeated requests by UNTSO commanders to the IDF not to strike that specific position.
The source's statements can all be true, and the rage still unjustified. Hezbollah has in the past taken advantage of the weakness and corruption of the U.N. (see also here).
The IDF had yesterday reported taking Bint Jbeil. Arab news outlets report that the fighting there continues, and that 12 Israeli soldiers were killed.
Hezbollah tactics are frustratingly effective:
Some Israeli soldiers involved in the fight, their faces drawn with fatigue, expressed frustration at Hezbollah's tactics while grudgingly acknowledging their effectiveness.
"They don't come right at us because they know we'll shoot them. So they just shoot and run away, shoot and run away. They do what they can do, and we do what we can do," 1st Sgt. Erez Kremer, 21, a tank commander, said in an interview after returning from a 72-hour mission in Lebanon. A Hezbollah missile had narrowly missed his vehicle Tuesday morning, he said, exploding on the side of a nearby building.
"If they face us, they don't have a chance," he said. "I think they fight like cowards, but it can be effective."
Yes, cowards through and through. They also hide among civilians when they run from the fight.
Its easy to win a war when you cheat, and when you define winning as "not completely annihilated."
UPDATE 8:57 am CDT: Another reason to ignore Annan's tears: the U.N. is repairing the roads in south Lebanon. Via Solomonia and lgf.
UPDATE 6:04 pm CDT: God bless Steven Harper for asking the right question:
"We want to find out why this United Nations post was attacked and also why it remained manned during what is now, more or less, a war during obvious danger to these individuals," he told reporters.
Of course, we know the answer: they're helping Hezbollah. Via lgf. -- and also see this lgf post. Prime Minister Olmert expressed regret, but the blame really does fall on Hezbollah.
The Rome talks have failed to produce an immediate cease fire, which in the long run is probably a good thing. They instead adopted an ambiguous statement that obliges no real action whatsoever:
In a statement, diplomats from the United States, Europe, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia expressed their "determination to work immediately to reach with the utmost urgency a cease-fire that puts an end to the current violence and hostilities."
Here's the transcript of the news conference.
Meanwhile, in Britain, wimpery. Facing an enemy that uses civilians as shields, launches indiscriminate attacks against civilians, and which seeks the destruction of Israel, the British foreign secretary would rather we worry about filling out the proper forms than help a free nation defend itself. You might call their bureaucratic obsessions somewhat "disproportionate" given the very tough fight that Israel has taken on. Just today, in fighting around Bint Jbeil, Israel lost 9 soldiers.