IDF has concluded its investigation into the attack on Qana village on July 30th 2006, where at least 27 Lebanese citizens were killed in an IAF air strike. The report was presented to Defence Minister Amir Peretz.
Elazar Ben Lulu | Translation: Nikolai Avrutov
The investigation confirmed that a building in the village was struck at 00:52 by IAF jets by two bombs. The first has exploded, the second was a dud.
The investigation concluded that the attack was in accordance with IDF policy and guidelines:
– The building was struck long after the civilian population was warned of the impeding attack. The building was suspected to be used by terrorists, and was near a rocket launch site.
It has been proved that terrorists make extensive use of buildings inside villages as weapon storage, rocket launch pads, and safe houses. The policy was formulated to deal with that situation, while minimizing civilian casualties.
Over 150 rockets were launched at Israel from inside Qana village. Residents of the village and its surrounding area were warned several times using flyers dropped from planes and via radio channels to immediately evacuate the area.
The decision to strike was based on information that indicated that the building was not used by civilians, and served as a shelter for terrorists.
Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz expressed his deepest sorrow for the deaths of civilians, among them children, in the incident. He emphasized the cynical use the terrorists make of civilians as “human shields”, and the danger they expose the civilian to by locating terrorist infrastructure within areas populated by civilians. “This kind of warfare is much more complicated than a regular war, posing operational as well as moral challenges”.
“The Hezbollah organization puts innocent Lebanese civilians as a shield between us and them, while IDF serves as a shield between Israeli citizens, and Hezbollah’s terror. This is the principal difference between us and them”, concluded Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz.