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Encyclopedia > Qana Massacre

The Qana Massacre took place on April 18, 1996 in the headquarters of the Fijian battalion of UNIFIL, located in the small town of Qana, in southern Lebanon.

The compound came under a heavy artillery shelling by the M-109A2 155 mm guns of a nearby Israeli Defense Forces unit in response to two rocket and mortar attacks launched earlier that day (towards the unit) from nearby the compound. As a result of the shelling, 102 civilians died and more were wounded, many of them women and children, and the compound was seriously damaged.

Most of the casualties were residents of nearby villages, which sought refuge in the United Nations compound from the fierce battle going on between the IDF and Hizballah, during Operation Grapes of Wrath. Four UN troops were also wounded.

Israel immediately expressed regret for the loss of innocent lives, saying that the UN compound was not the intended target of the shelling, but that it was hit "due to incorrect targeting based on erroneous data."

The UN investigated the incident in detail, concluding "while the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, the pattern of impacts in the Qana area makes it unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of technical and/or procedural errors".

A video recording made by a UNIFIL soldier showed an Israeli unmanned observation drone in the vicinity at the time of the shelling. The leaking of the recording caused considerable embarrassment to Israel, which had repeatedly denied the presence of a drone.

Operation Grapes of Wrath was halted by Israel shortly afterwards.

For many people in Lebanon, April 18 is observed as a day of memorial for the victims of the massacre.

External links

  • Robert Fisk's dispatch (http://www.robert-fisk.com/articles18.htm)
  • Testimony from Norwegian UNIFIL member (http://home.no.net/norplt/qana.html)
  • Images from the massacre (http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/350/355/april-war/qana/)
  • UN report on the incident (http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/62d5aa740c14293b85256324005179be?OpenDocument)
  • Israel's response to the UN report (http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0ce90)
  • Info and picture about the massacre (http://members.terra.net.lb/buddy/qana/home.html)
  • Name of the victims (http://www.leb.net/qana/webdoc3.htm)
  • About the massacre (http://www.aranes.com/qana/qana.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Qana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (832 words)
Qana is a village located southeast of Tyre, Lebanon.
On April 18, 1996, during heavy fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah during "Operation Grapes of Wrath", a Fijian UNIFIL battallion compound was shelled by Israeli artillery.
Critics of Israel often refer to this attack as the Qana massacre.
HRW Campaigns (5425 words)
Qana was not an exception to this pattern, and the only reason that the world took notice was because it was the most horrific Israeli attack to date.
Referring to the Qana attack, he said that the IDF "had to adopt very strange and unusual procedures, which involve reacting with very short warning times." It had long been standard operating procedure in south Lebanon that "shell warnings" of imminent Israeli attacks were communicated to UNIFIL forces by the IDF.
The most contentious issue regarding Qana is whether the Israeli attack was accidental or deliberate, and whether the shells that landed inside the base were stray shells—known as artillery scatter—from the barrage launched toward the Hizballah mortar site, or whether these shells were part of a separate firing.
  More results at FactBites »



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