Monday, August 14, 2006

Israel/Lebanon Ceasefire Watch

After over a month of posting war updates, it's finally now time to monitor the fragile ceasefire. Since Hezbollah had wanted all IDF troops out of southern Lebanon while they haven't budged one bit and Israel has retained the right to use 'defensive' action through the UN resolution until the UN peacekeeping force is in place, the situation is as tenuous as ever.

According to CNN, 'Just hours into the cease-fire, the Israeli military reported four clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli ground forces in which four Hezbollah fighters were killed.'

Desperate refugees have also begun returning to their homes, but:

Lebanese security sources told CNN at least 11 returning refugees, including children, had been injured by unexploded ammunition lying around towns and villages in southern Lebanon. The AP reported at least one child was killed and 15 people were wounded by ordnance that exploded as they returned to their homes

Lebanon's Interior Ministry issued a statement urging civilians to stay away from their homes until army engineers could inspect them for unexploded cluster bombs or artillery, AP reported.

And the Israel Defense Forces continued to warn residents not to travel south of the Litani "until Lebanese army and UNIFIL forces assume responsibility for the area, in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701."

In Ha'aretz, Gideon Levy hopes this bungled war will humble the Israeli government while Robert Fisk believes the real war has just begun.

What will happen next is anyone's guess, but all of those who have been harmed by this militaristic horror show need help immediately and that should be the focus of the international community now. One of the groups involved in furthering that effort is Code Pink, as Janet of the new Peace Gone Wild blog notes at My Left Wing.

Here is a list of other groups involved in the efforts:

International Red Cross
Medecins Sans Frontier
Amnesty International
Mercy Corps
Save the Children
World Vision

May they all receive the support they need to help those who have been devestated.

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
- Gandhi

“A great war leaves the country with three armies - an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves”
- German proverb

Update: Israeli residents are still under orders to remain in bomb shelters.

- Meanwhile, Olmert and Netanyahu battle it out in dueling speeches while three hecklers are removed from the Israeli parliament.

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