Creating people's geographies
ISRAEL BOMBS REFUGEES SBS News 13 Aug 2006
Police in southern Lebanon say Israeli fighter jets have bombed the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh, home to some 50,000 displaced people, for the second time in a week.
There was no information on possible casualties.
It’s the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.
Four days ago, Israel bombed Ain el-Helweh, killing two Palestinians, one of them a 12-year-old girl, and wounding 16 others, according to local officials.
ABC Australia :: Sunday, August 13, 2006. 8:36am (AEST):: United Nations peacekeepers on Saturday denied Israel’s assertion that an evacuation convoy it attacked in southern Lebanon had set off without permission, saying the UN had sought and been granted safe passage on a named route.
Israeli forces launched an air strike on the convoy on Friday, killing a Lebanese Red Cross worker and six other civilians and wounding 36 people, among them members of the Lebanese security forces, and destroying a number of vehicles.
“It’s against the Geneva Conventions, attacking civilians and vehicles with Red Cross symbols,” the head of the Lebanese Red Cross, George Kettani, told Reuters on Saturday.
Some 3,000 civilians and 350 Lebanese soldiers and policemen were in the convoy, which was attacked near the village of Kefraya in the eastern Bekaa Valley, 36 kilometres north of Marjayoun.
The Israeli military said the convoy had been bombed after it “identified suspicious movement along a route forbidden for travel which had been used by Hezbollah to transport rockets and other weaponry”.
“It is important to note that a request for the passage of the convoy was submitted to the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) coordination apparatuses prior to its departure and was not authorised,” the army statement said.
The UNIFIL peacekeepers denied this, stating that UNIFIL had asked the IDF for safe passage.
“Israeli forces informed UNIFIL that they agreed to such a request,” a UNIFIL statement said.
“UNIFIL informed the IDF about the convoy and its planned route to Beirut”, the statement added.
The convoy was organised at the Lebanese authorities’ request to evacuate Lebanese security forces from Marjayoun, which Israeli forces had occupied on Thursday, UNIFIL said.
Civilians from Marjayoun in 365 vehicles joined the convoy at a nearby village, the peacekeepers added.
Israeli air strikes on roads and vehicles in southern Lebanon and other parts of the country have stopped many civilians wanting to flee the south from leaving.
Israeli forces pushed into the Marjayoun area on Thursday as part of a month-old campaign to drive Hezbollah away from the border and stop rocket attacks on north Israel.
The Israeli military said it had put a curfew on non-authorised vehicles moving south of the Litani river, which flows just north of Marjayoun.
Kefraya is six kilometres north of the Litani, which runs south-west across Lebanon.