August 10, 2006: Day 30 of the July War • The Civilian Toll

This month marks the 15-year anniversary of the July War on Lebanon. I kept a diary at the time, and will be uploading excerpts from it over the coming 33 days.

Yesterday our supplies ran out and so our relief effort has stopped. I’m planning on starting with Samidoun in the next few days.

The relief effort in the south in any case is halted as Israel continues to not allow humanitarian corridors, refuses to allow reparation of damaged bridges and roads, and has warned engineers and workers that they will become targets if they attempt to make any such repairs. They have warned all vehicles driving in the south below the Litani River that they are now targets. They have hit the old lighthouse in Beirut, a radio relay for Radio Liban. There is a real danger that the AUB Medical Center for the first time will forced to be shut down due to lack of fuel.

Yesterday a friend showed me pictures he has taken during various Israeli invasions over the years (he is a war photographer); “What’s different? What changes?” He asks me. Last night with some friends we drove to Ramlet el-Bayda and sat on the Corniche looking out at the sea, now befouled with oil and stinking of the fuel that has leaked from bombed-out fuel tanks for the power generators and which has become an environmental disaster in its own right, but one that has to wait while humanitarian relief efforts continue.

Meanwhile, the southern suburbs continue to be pounded mercilessly, including areas that are not—to use the ridiculous “Western” phrasing and to counter that non-logic of the original justification—”Hezbollah strongholds”, such as Shiyah:

“The martyr child Hussein Ali Wehbi,” reads the writing in black over the bag wrapping a small dead body. Next to him were 15 corpses from the Remaiti family which owned the residential building levelled by Monday’s attack on the Shi’ite Muslim Shiyah district in Beirut’s southern suburb. —Reuters

From Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, which usually trumpets in support of such imperialist forays, in an article entitled: For Israel, Innocent Civilians Are Fair Game:

My notebook overflows with reports of civilian deaths. On July 15, Israeli fire killed 21 people fleeing from Marhawin, including 13 children; no weapons, no Hezbollah nearby. On July 16, an Israeli bomb killed 11 civilians in Aitaroun, including seven members of a Canadian-Lebanese family on vacation; again, no Hezbollah, no weapons. On July 19, at least 26 civilians were killed in Srifa when Israeli bombs flattened an entire neighborhood; no evidence of military targets. On July 23, at least seven civilians were killed when Israeli warplanes bombed dozens of cars trying to flee the south after receiving Israeli instructions to evacuate immediately; no indication of weapons convoys in the vicinity. The list goes on, with about 500 civilians killed so far.

To note is the persistence of the “Western” concept of the validity of bombing, except when they hit the wrong targets. This is the existential nightmare of so-called modern reality today.

The truth of the matter, and the real focus: They are bombing people who are attempting to bury their dead. They are bombing people who are burying their dead from their bombs from the day before. And I want to know: What kind of monstrous entity keeps destroying what is already destroyed? Keeps annihilating what has been completely annihilated? Keeps killing those who are already dead?

They have dropped leaflets in the southern suburbs just south of my apartment telling residents there to evacuate. I am going up to stay at my friends’ apartment in Hamra.

About Daniel Drennan ElAwar

Adoptee, rematriated.
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