Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ireland: Warned Israel Of UN Outpost; Doubts Was Accident

Just to be sure it is not a UN force that gets put forward as a proposed force for South Lebanon Israel plays the 'oh sorry it was an accident' card with the UN once again. This is not the first time and even at the time of writing it is still going on with other UN related posts (LARGE WHITE WELL MARKED COMPLEXES THAT EVERYONE KNOWS!) are still coming under fire from Israel.

Ireland: Warned Israel Of UN Outpost; Doubts Was Accident
DUBLIN (AP)--Ireland Wednesday filed an official protest with Israel alleging its senior U.N. peacekeeper in Lebanon made six telephoned warnings about Israeli shelling near a U.N. border outpost - hours before it suffered a direct hit and the four soldiers inside were killed.
Speaking after a 40-minute meeting with Israeli Ambassador Daniel Megiddo, two senior Cabinet ministers said they doubted Israel's claim the attack was accidental.
Megiddo said his government would do all it could to avoid hitting U.N. positions. "You can't forget, however, that this is a war zone," he told reporters outside the Department of Foreign Affairs, where he had been summoned.
Defense Minister Willie O'Dea and Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said what the ambassador told them wasn't credible.
"The ambassador said it was a war situation. We don't regard that as sufficient explanation and we are asking him to convey that in no uncertain terms to his government," O'Dea said.
"All the evidence we have at the moment would suggest that this was either an incredible accident - despite all of the repeated warnings from our people - or else the observation post was in some way directly targeted," Ahern said.
The foreign minister said Israeli troops also fired on Egyptian U.N. soldiers who had been sent to the demolished post to dig out the bodies of the four soldiers from Austria, Canada, China and Finland. He said this was "extremely disquieting and raises questions about whether this was an accident or not at all."
O'Dea said he spoke by phone Wednesday morning with Lt. Col. John Molloy, the senior Irish officer in the U.N.' UNIFIL peacekeeping force in south Lebanon and a main liaison with the Israeli Defense Forces. Molloy also spoke to the commander of Ireland's army, Lt. Gen. Jim Sreenan.
O'Dea's spokeswoman, Suzanne Coogan, said Molloy had reported making six telephone calls to his Israeli counterparts in the hours before the deadly strike on the border outpost. She said all six calls specifically identified the U.N. post that was ultimately destroyed.
"He warned the Israelis that they were shelling in very close proximity to the post, and his warnings were very specific, explicit, detailed and stark. Obviously those warnings went unheeded," Coogan said.
Coogan added that an Irish soldier, one of 17 currently assigned to U.N. duties in southern Lebanon, was in the targeted post Sunday night and Monday morning. She noted 47 Irish soldiers were killed in Lebanon from 1978 to 2001, when the Irish contributed a battalion of troops to UNIFIL.
Separately, an initial U.N. report Wednesday said its personnel made 10 warning calls in total before the attack.


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12 August, 2006 22:02  

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