Israel’s claims that it had no knowledge that hundreds of civilians were sheltered at the Qana base are simply not credible. The decision of those who planned the attack to choose a mix of high-explosive artillery shells that included deadly anti-personnel shells designed to maximize injuries on the ground, and the sustained firing of such shells, without warning, in close proximity to a large concentration of civilians, violated a key principle of international humanitarian law. The particular tragedy at Qana was that this incident was not unique in its general features. As this report indicates, the Israeli military on previous occasions had violated the laws of war by not taking precautions to spare Lebanese civilians from death and injury prior to launching attacks, and indeed by showing an appalling willingness to conduct military operations in which civilians would bear the brunt of the suffering.
From a 1997 Human Rights Watch report on Operation Grapes of Wrath, indicating that the Qana Massacre was not an accident. As anyone familiar with the Qana Massacre specifically, and Israel generally can tell you, Israeli occupation forces clearly meant to kill women, children, and the elderly in Qana.
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