The Los Angeles Times’s coverage of Israel is, as always, shrill with hand-wringing hysteria:
Under Fire for 6 Hours, U.N. Peacekeepers Pleaded for Help Before Being Killed, U.N. Says
The United Nations post where four peacekeepers were killed by Israeli fire Tuesday was hit at least 16 times over six hours, including five direct hits on the base as its unarmed staff repeatedly notified Israeli liaison officers and begged for help, U.N. officials said Wednesday. On Tuesday U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the airstrike that hit the post in southern Lebanon was “apparently deliberate.”
Actually this story – again, almost as always with the Los Angeles – is incomplete to the point of arguably being an outright lie. The UN post did indeed plead for help, but not just for six hours. Rather, they had been pleading for help for more than a week. And they weren’t pleading for protection from Israeli aircraft. Quite the opposite – they were begging Hezbollah to stop using them as human shields:
Annan’s… UN Interim Force in Lebanon has been warning for days about what almost certainly caused this tragedy. Hezbollah fighters, who have already been firing behind screens of women and children, have also been shooting from behind and next to the UN positions, presumably hoping Israel will not dare shoot back and risk exactly this kind of propaganda disaster… the UNIFIL press releases [states] that Hezbollah has not just shot at and seriously wounded UNIFIL observers… [but] that UNIFIL has repeatedly reported Israeli shelling and bombing near UNIFIL outposts because Hezbollah fighters were shooting from right beside them .
Says the UNIFIL press release of 20 July:
Hezbollah firing was also reported from the immediate vicinity of the UN positions in Naquora and Maroun Al Ras areas at the time of the incidents (of Israeli return fire)…
Retired Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie says he recently received emails from the Canadian peacekeeper killed at the UN post who’d told him that Hezbollah was using his post as cover.
The closest that this Los Angeles Times piece gets to being not a lie is “the nearest known Hezbollah activity was more than three miles away, although in the past there have been Hezbollah weapons caches in the area, a senior U.N. official said.”. Which is like saying “According to official UN press releases, Hezbollah had been using those peacekeepers as human shields for days” – except the latter statement is true.
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