Why They Died

Map: Administrative Divisions of Lebanon

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2006 UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Map: Southern Lebanon

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2007 John Emerson

Map: Northern Lebanon

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2007 John Emerson

I. Executive Summary

In this report, Human Rights Watch examines military operations by Israeli and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon during the armed conflict that lasted from July 12 until August 14, 2006. Human Rights Watch issued an earlier report on the conflict, researched and published while the war was ongoing. Because of our concerns about the conduct of that conflict by both sides and the difficulty of doing research in the midst of the fighting, Human Rights Watch conducted substantial additional research in the less difficult post-war environment.

According to this new research, the conflict resulted in at least 1,109 Lebanese deaths, the vast majority of whom were civilians, 4,399 injured, and an estimated 1 million displaced. Hezbollah's indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, the subject of a separate Human Rights Watch report, Civilians under Assault: Hezbollah's Rocket Attacks on Israel during the 2006 War, resulted in the deaths of 43 Israeli civilians and 12 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, as well as the wounding of hundreds of Israeli civilians.

Israeli warplanes launched some 7,000 bomb and missile strikes in Lebanon, which were supplemented by numerous artillery attacks and naval bombardment.[1] Israeli airstrikes destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of homes. In some villages, homes completely destroyed by Israeli forces numbered in the hundreds: 340 homes completely destroyed in Srifa; 215 homes completely destroyed in Siddiquine; 180 homes completely destroyed in Yatar; 160 homes completely destroyed in Zebqine; more than 750 homes completely destroyed in `Aita al-Sha`ab; more than 800 homes completely destroyed in Bint Jbeil; and 140 homes completely destroyed in Taibe. The list throughout southern Lebanon is extensive.

This report seeks to answer three central questions:

Were the Lebanese who died in Israeli air strikes civilians or combatants?;

Did Israel abide by international humanitarian law (the laws of war) in its attacks in Lebanon?; and,

To what extent did Hezbollah's actions contribute to the civilian death toll inside Lebanon?

To answer these three questions, Human Rights Watch investigated over 94 separate incidents of IDF air, artillery, and ground attacks that claimed 510 civilian lives and those of 51 Hezbollah combatants, or almost half of the Lebanese deaths in the conflict.

Our research shows that the primary reason for the high Lebanese civilian death toll was Israel's frequent failure to abide by a fundamental obligation of the laws of war: the duty to distinguish between military targets, which can be legitimately attacked, and civilians, who are not subject to attack. This was compounded by Israel's failure to take adequate safeguards to prevent civilian casualties.

The occurrence of civilian casualties does not necessarily mean that there has been a violation of international humanitarian law, but it is a starting point for investigations. Human Rights Watch's extensive field investigations in Lebanon found that Israel often attacked targets that, under the laws of war, could not be considered military objectives subject to attack. In cases where a legitimate military objective was evident, our investigations frequently found that the civilian loss incurred may have been excessive compared to the anticipated military gain from the attack. In critical respects, Israel conducted the war with reckless indifference to the fate of Lebanese civilians and violated the laws of war.

Israeli officials contend that the reason for the high fatality rate was not indiscriminate targeting by Israeli forces, but the Hezbollah military's allegedly routine practice of hiding among civilians and using them as "shields" in the fighting. If Israeli attacks on Hezbollah forces also killed civilians and destroyed civilian homes, Israeli officials have argued, the blame lies with Hezbollah. The evidence Human Rights Watch uncovered in its on-the-ground investigations refutes this argument.

Hezbollah at times violated the laws of war in its deployment of forces in Lebanon. It also frequently violated the laws of war in its rocket attacks on Israel, which is the subject of a separate Human Rights Watch report, Civilians under Assault. On some occasions, our research shows, Hezbollah fired rockets from within populated areas, allowed its combatants to mix with the Lebanese civilian population, or stored weapons in populated civilian areas in ways that violated international humanitarian law. Such violations, however, were not widespread: we found strong evidence that Hezbollah stored most of its rockets in bunkers and weapon storage facilities located in uninhabited fields and valleys, that in the vast majority of cases Hezbollah fighters left populated civilian areas as soon as the fighting started, and that Hezbollah fired the vast majority of its rockets from pre-prepared positions outside villages. On the question of whether Hezbollah intentionally used civilians as "shields"-that is, whether Hezbollah forces not only endangered civilians in violation of the duty to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians the hazards of armed conflict but also deliberately deployed among civilians with the aim of protecting themselves from attack-a serious laws of war violation, we found a handful of instances but nothing to suggest a widespread practice.

For the reasons set forth below, Human Rights Watch's assessment of Hezbollah's practices does not support the Israeli contention that Hezbollah violations were the principal cause of Lebanese civilian casualties. Responsibility for the high civilian death toll of the war in Lebanon lies squarely with Israeli policies and targeting decisions in the conduct of its military operations.

Israeli Policies Contributing to the Civilian Death Toll

In the vast majority of cases documented in this report, Israeli air strikes hit near or on civilian objects, killing numerous civilians in their homes or vehicles. While there were instances in which civilian deaths were "collateral damage" from legitimate attacks on military targets, during the vast majority of the deadly air strikes we investigated, we found no evidence of Hezbollah military presence, weaponry or any other military objective that would have justified the strike. Human Rights Watch visits to the graveyards in the villages found that the victims of these strikes were buried as civilians, and not honored as "fighters" or "martyrs" by Hezbollah or other militant groups, despite the pride that Hezbollah takes in these labels. Women and children account for a large majority of the victims of Israeli air strikes that we documented. Out of the 499 Lebanese civilian casualties of whom Human Rights Watch was able to confirm the age and gender, 302 were women or children.

This repeated failure to distinguish between civilians and combatants cannot be explained as mere mismanagement of the war or a collection of mistakes. Our case studies show that Israeli policy was primarily responsible for this deadly failure. Israel assumed that all Lebanese civilians had observed its warnings to evacuate villages south of the Litani River, and thus that anyone who remained was a combatant. Reflecting that assumption, it labeled any visible person, or movement of persons or vehicles south of the Litani River or in the Beka` Valley as a Hezbollah military operation which could be targeted. Similarly, it carried out widespread bombardment of southern Lebanon, including the massive use of cluster munitions prior to the expected ceasefire, in a manner that did not discriminate between military objectives and civilians.

During the war, Israel repeatedly sent warnings to the population in southern Lebanon to evacuate the area south of the Litani River. It issued such warnings by Arabic-language flyers dropped from airplanes, Arabic radio messages broadcast into southern Lebanon, recorded voice messages sent to some Lebanese cellphones, and loudspeakers along the Israel-Lebanese border. Following the release of the messages, many Israeli officials made statements (see below) suggesting that everyone who remained behind was linked to Hezbollah, and therefore a legitimate target of attack. In subsequent days and weeks, Israel intensified its bombardment of southern Lebanon, hitting thousands of homes in the south.

It is questionable whether Israeli officials really believed the assumption that there were no Lebanese civilians left in southern Lebanon, or simply announced this to defend their actions. Certainly, there is evidence to suggest that Israeli officials knew that their assumption was erroneous. At the time of the Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon, stories about Lebanese civilians dying in Israeli strikes or trapped in southern Lebanon filled the Israeli and international media. In addition, foreign embassies were in regular contact with Israeli diplomats to request assistance with the evacuation of their nationals caught in the fighting in the south. And in some instances, Israel seemed to know exactly how many people remained in a village. For instance, on July 24, Dan Halutz, the IDF chief of staff, estimated that 500 residents remained in Bint Jbeil despite IDF warnings to leave.[2]

In addition, Israel must have known from its past conflicts in southern Lebanon that a civilian population is rarely willing or able to leave its homes according to timetables laid down by a belligerent military force.[3] Reporting 10 years ago on fighting between Hezbollah and Israel during July 1993, Human Rights Watch found that it was "reasonably foreseeable that a segment of the population might not flee, and it was entirely foreseeable that in particular the old and indigent would not be able to evacuate their homes, especially considering the brevity of time between the first warnings and the beginning of the shelling."[4] As in 1993, many elderly and indigent people were among the casualties in the 2006 war. Israel should have known that significant numbers of civilians would remain in their villages throughout the war. At the very least, Israeli forces had a duty to check the areas they were targeting, especially after it became clear that civilians were dying in very high numbers.

Even if those who remained did so out of support for Hezbollah-a claim that Human Rights Watch's research disproves, as most who remained behind stayed because they were too old, poor, or sickly to leave-Israel would not have been justified in attacking them. The political leanings of the civilian population in a given area or village is irrelevant as far as their civilian status is concerned. To the extent that civilians do not directly participate in hostilities, that is, are not committing acts that by their nature or purpose are likely to contribute to harming the personnel and equipment of the enemy, they continue to benefit from the protection afforded by their civilian status under international humanitarian law. Thus attacks directed against civilians who support Hezbollah only politically are just as unlawful as other direct attacks against civilians.

Individuals who commit serious violations of the laws of war with criminal intent are responsible for war crimes. A criminal investigation of such attacks would need to determine if those responsible attacked areas where civilians remained knowingly or recklessly. That is, a commander who knew that the assumption that all the civilians had left an area was not true but still targeted that area indiscriminately would be criminally responsible for ordering an unlawful attack.

Throughout the conflict, Israeli warplanes targeted civilian vehicles on roads and homes, apparently assuming them to be Hezbollah military movements. Among the deadly attacks on civilians trying to flee the conflict are the killing of 23 civilians, including 14 children and seven women, fleeing from Marwahin on July 15; the killing of six and wounding of eight civilians fleeing from `Aitaroun on July 19; the killing of three and wounding of 14 civilians fleeing from al-Tiri on July 23; the killing of 2 and wounding of four civilians fleeing from Mansouri on July 23; the wounding of nine civilians fleeing from Mansouri on July 23; the wounding of six ambulance drivers and three passengers in Qana on July 23; the killing of one civilian on a motorcycle on his way to buy food and medicines on July 24; the killing of seven civilians fleeing from Marja`youn on August 11; and the killing of seven and wounding of six civilians in the Beka` Valley on August 14. In all these cases, there is no evidence of a Hezbollah military presence that would justify the attacks.

A simple movement of persons or vehicles was often enough to cause a deadly air strike. On July 19, Israeli air strikes killed four members of the Darwish family in `Ainata, almost immediately after the civilians returned in a taxi to their homes after buying and distributing bread in the village. On August 4, an Israeli strike on a remote fruit farm in al-Qa` in the northern Beka` Valley resulted in the deaths of 25 Syrian Kurdish farm workers. Apparently, the IDF spotted a refrigerated truck leaving the farm shortly before the attack and fired at the farm buildings before confirming whether or not they were a legitimate military target. On August 7, an Israeli air strike killed five civilians in Insar, after relatives and neighbors had gathered in the home to socialize and then left the home at the end of the evening. On July 25, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Sa`da Nur al-Din in al-Ghassaniyeh, after she had gone to her home to collect food supplies and was driving back to the village shelter where she had been living with some 40 other civilians. On August 10, Israeli warplanes struck a home in Rabb al-Talatine, killing four women, soon after the women had moved a wounded relative (one of the four women killed in the attack) from one home to another.

The nature of Israel's bombing campaign in southern Lebanon belies Israel's argument that it had direct evidence linking particular targets to Hezbollah forces before striking them. Human Rights Watch's field investigations found that in many instances there was no apparent military objective in villages hit by Israeli attacks. But even where valid military targets existed somewhere in the vicinity, the humanitarian law prohibition against indiscriminate attacks prohibits a warring party from treating a town or village as a single military objective subject to general bombardment. That is, the mere presence of Hezbollah forces somewhere in a village or town would not justify the wholesale destruction of villages and towns meted out by the IDF. Nor may attacks be carried out that would be expected to cause disproportionate harm to the civilian population.

Compounding the problem, Israel targeted people or structures associated in any way with Hezbollah's military, political, or social structures-regardless of whether they constituted valid military objectives in accordance with international humanitarian law-and failed to take all necessary precautions to avoid civilian casualties when attacking suspected Hezbollah targets.

During the war, Israeli officials repeatedly stated that they considered all parts of Hezbollah-its military wing as well as its extensive political, social, and welfare branches-to be part of an integrated terror organization, and designated any person or office associated with Hezbollah to be legitimate military targets. Israel's UN ambassador, Dan Gillerman, told the UN Security Council on July 21 that Hezbollah was a "cancer" that "must be removed without a trace," and rejected any distinction between Hezbollah's military and political structures, stating that "[t]he [Hezbollah] member of parliament and the terrorist in the hills launching rockets at Israeli civilians both have the same strategy and goal. These labels cannot be allowed to give legitimacy to a gang of thugs[5]."

The apparent decision to target virtually all aspects of Hezbollah's membership and infrastructure led to the deaths of some civilians who were unconnected to Hezbollah, as well as Hezbollah members who were not engaged in military operations. An attack that knowingly and deliberately targeted people who were neither combatants nor civilians directly participating in the hostilities would be a serious violation of the laws of war. Insofar as the attack is launched knowing that the target should be treated as a civilian under international humanitarian law, those responsible would have committed a war crime.

Human Rights Watch research indicates that a large number of private homes of civilian Hezbollah members were targeted during the war, as well as a variety of civilian Hezbollah institutions such as schools, welfare agencies, banks, shops, and political offices, in addition to Hezbollah military infrastructure and the homes of Hezbollah combatants. The civilian death toll from such strikes is low, because almost all Hezbollah officials and members, and often even their neighbors, evacuated their homes in anticipation of Israeli air strikes. However, Human Rights Watch did document a number of cases in which civilians were killed during air strikes on civilian Hezbollah-affiliated targets during the war. For example, on July 13, the first day of massive air strikes, Israeli warplanes destroyed the home of Shaikh `Adil Muhammad Akash, an Iranian-educated Shi`a cleric believed to have a religious affiliation with Hezbollah, killing him, his wife, and his 10 children aged between two months and 18 years, and their Sri Lankan maid. There is no evidence (and the IDF has not publicly alleged) that Shaikh Akash was involved in Hezbollah military activities, and according to villagers he was only a religious leader in Dweir village. On July 23, an Israeli warplane fired at the Nabi Sheet home of Dr. Fayez Shukr, a leading member of the Lebanese Ba`ath Party and a political ally of Hezbollah, killing his 71-year-old father.

Israel's broad definition of legitimate Hezbollah targets is particularly evident in the pattern of attacks on the densely populated southern suburbs of Beirut, the neighborhood of Dahieh. In their attacks on this largely Shi`a district of high-rise apartment buildings, Israeli forces attacked not only Hezbollah military targets but also the offices of Hezbollah's charitable organizations, the offices of its parliamentarians, its research center, and multi-story residential apartment buildings in areas considered supportive of Hezbollah. Statements by Israeli officials strongly suggest that the massive IDF attacks in southern Beirut were carried out not against Hezbollah military targets, as required by the laws of war, but rather against entire neighborhoods because they were seen as pro-Hezbollah. Some statements by Israeli officials, including Israel's Defense Minister Amir Peretz and the IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz, suggest that some of the attacks on southern Beirut may have been unlawful retaliation for Hezbollah attacks against Israel.

In many cases in which civilian deaths did occur as Israel attempted to target civilian (or even military) Hezbollah officials, the main reason for the deaths was Israel's use of unreliable or dated intelligence that led to the misidentification of a particular building as Hezbollah-related, or Israel's failure to take adequate precautions to limit civilian casualties during strikes on presumed Hezbollah targets, particularly the homes of suspected Hezbollah militants.

On July 13, several Israeli missiles struck the home of 43-year-old Mustafa Khashab, killing him, his wife, his father, his sister, and two children aged 14 and 16. Mustafa had no links to Hezbollah and had permanently settled in Germany; it is possible that the strike attempted to target his brother, Safi Khashab, a high-ranking Hezbollah official, who had left the village the evening prior to the strike and did not live in the targeted home. A similar example of failed targeting of Hezbollah's members that led to civilian deaths is the Israeli attack on the town of al-Ghaziyeh on August 7 and 8, resulting in the deaths of 26 civilians. The apparent target of the al-Ghaziyeh attacks was a Hezbollah leader from the town, Amin Khalifa, as Israeli bombs struck his neighbor's home and the shops and homes of his brothers. By all indications, Amin Khalifa was not in al-Ghaziyeh during the war, including on the days the attacks took place.

Flawed intelligence and communication breakdowns contributed to many other cases of mistaken targeting by the IDF that resulted in civilian casualties. On July 16, an Israeli air strike on a multistory apartment building in Tyre killed 14 civilians, but the building was not the "Tyre Hezbollah headquarters" claimed by Israeli intelligence; it was the headquarters of Lebanon's Civil Defense offices in Tyre, an institution protected under humanitarian law. On July 25, an Israeli precision guided missile demolished an observer post of the UN's Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) outside Khiam, killing four UN observers, after UN officials had repeatedly been in contact with the IDF to warn them that they were firing close to a UN position. Although this report documents many cases in which Hezbollah fighters wrongfully fired from nearby UN positions, Hezbollah was not present near the Khiam UN position when an Israeli missile struck it. On the last day of the war, August 13, Israeli warplanes mounted one of the largest strikes of the war on the Imam Hassan Building Complex in the Rweiss neighborhood of southern Beirut, destroying eight ten-story buildings and killing at least 36 civilians and four low-ranking Hezbollah members, apparently acting on an inaccurate tip (see below) that a high-ranking Hezbollah official was staying at the complex.

* * *

Israel made extensive use of cluster munitions during the armed conflict in Lebanon.[6] As documented in a forthcoming Human Rights Watch report on Israel's use of cluster munitions in Lebanon, IDF cluster munitions struck wide swathes of southern Lebanon, particularly during the last three days of the conflict when both sides knew a settlement was imminent. The IDF has stated that it mostly fired cluster munitions at military objectives in open areas, and only fired near built-up areas "toward particular locations from which [Hezbollah] missiles were being launched against Israel, and after significant measures were taken to warn civilians to leave the area."[7] Human Rights Watch's field research in Lebanon showed that the Israeli military launched many of its cluster munition attacks at or near towns and villages, in some cases against Hezbollah forces, but in many other cases with no evident military objective.

The manner in which the IDF used cluster munitions and its reliance on antiquated munitions (many from the Vietnam war era) resulted in estimated failure rates of between 30 and 40 percent for many submunitions. This left as many as one million hazardous unexploded submunitions that littered fields and orchards and dozens of towns and villages in south Lebanon, threatening the returning civilian population.[8]As of June 20, 2007, the explosion of cluster munition duds since the ceasefire had killed 24 civilians and injured 183.[9] They have severely damaged the region's economy by turning agricultural land into minefields and interfering with the harvesting of tobacco, citrus, banana, and olive crops.

* * *

This report deals mostly with investigations of civilian deaths caused by aerial bombardment. However, in the course of our investigations we also documented two troubling cases in which Israeli ground troops killed unarmed Lebanese civilians who the soldiers should have seen posed no threat. On August 6, Israeli ground troops shot dead an elderly couple from the Nasrallah family (unrelated to the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah), aged 81 and 83, and their son and daughter, aged 54 and 58, as they came to check on their home in Taibe, which, unbeknownst to them, Israeli soldiers had occupied. On July 27, Israeli soldiers shot dead 36-year-old Maryam Khanafer as she was walking away from her home, which Israeli soldiers had occupied, holding her daughter's portable toilet. While these two cases of killings do not appear to be the result of any policy decision by Israeli officials, the circumstances of these killings merit investigation and, if appropriate, prosecution.

* * *

The Israeli policies summarized above guided IDF military operations in Lebanon during the conflict. That they reflect Israeli policy and not just the behavior of individual IDF members is evident from statements by Israeli government officials and military leaders that Israeli forces intentionally blurred the distinction between civilian and combatant. In one such statement issued on July 27, 2006, Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that "all those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah."[10] IDF spokesperson Jacob Dallal told the Associated Press:

[Hezbollah] is a terrorist institution, a terrorist organization that has to be debilitated and crippled as much as possible and that means [destroying] its infrastructure, that means its television, its institutions . In the war on terror in general, it's not just about hitting an army base, which they don't have, or a bunker. It is also about undermining their ability to operate . That ranges from incitement on television and radio, financial institutions and, of course, other grass-roots institutions that breed more followers, more terrorists, training bases, obviously, schools.[11]

In this context, Israel's claim that it only attacked military targets rings hollow.

The policies on the conduct of the war had a common element in that Israel sought to define a broad swath of civilians and civilian objects as military objectives. Israeli officials and commanders ostensibly recognized the humanitarian law requirement that they could target only military objectives but then unlawfully widened the scope of what they considered a legitimate military target. In doing so they conducted numerous attacks that were indiscriminate, disproportionate, and otherwise unjustified. Such attacks are serious violations of international humanitarian law. To the extent such attacks were conducted with knowledge or reckless indifference to the civilian nature of those being attacked, then those who ordered these attacks would have the criminal intent needed for the commission of war crimes as defined by international humanitarian law. And to the extent that senior commanders or officials knew or should have known that war crimes were being committed, and were in a position of authority to stop the attacks or punish those responsible and did not do so, they would be responsible for war crimes as a matter of command responsibility under international humanitarian law.[12]

Hezbollah Conduct During the War

Our research in Lebanon documented a number of cases in which Hezbollah fighters placed weapons or ammunition inside civilian homes or villages, as well as some cases in which Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from densely populated areas.[13] (Illustrative examples are detailed below.) Such conduct violates at minimum the legal duty to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties. Where Hezbollah combatants intended to use civilians to shield military assets from attack, the requisite criminal intent would be present for the war crime of shielding. However, as already noted, such practices were not nearly as widespread as official Israeli government accounts and some independent press accounts have suggested, and our research found that in all but a few of the cases of civilian deaths we investigated, Hezbollah fighters had not mixed with the civilian population or taken other actions to contribute to the targeting of a particular home or vehicle by Israeli forces.

In a few cases, Hezbollah's illegal conduct led to civilian deaths. For example, on July 13, an Israeli air strike destroyed two homes in Bar`achit, killing Najib Hussain Farhat, 54, and his 16-year-old daughter Zainab. Unbeknownst to the family, Hezbollah had built a large weapon storage facility located in the unoccupied home next door, which was also destroyed in the strike.

Similarly, on a number of occasions during the war, Hezbollah forces fired rockets from populated civilian areas, triggering deadly Israeli counterstrikes. On July 18, an Israeli air strike hit two civilian homes in `Aitaroun, killing nine members of the `Awada family, approximately two hours after villagers saw Hezbollah fighters firing rockets some 150 meters from the home. A local villager in Yaroun, a mixed Christian-Sh`ia border village, showed Human Rights Watch several places inside the village from where Hezbollah had fired rockets, leading to massively destructive Israeli counterstrikes.

In a case of Hezbollah's illegal conduct that led to the death of only combatants, on July 16, an air strike on a home in Yatar killed three Hezbollah fighters. The fighters had stored a recently fired rocket launcher in the home. In like fashion, on July 13 in Marwahin, a mostly Sunni village on the Lebanese-Israeli border, Hezbollah fighters drove a white van packed with weapons into the village, parked it next to a mosque, and then stored weapons and rockets in the home of a local civilian. Two days later, witnesses spotted Hezbollah fighters in the village moving weapons hidden under blankets.

Human Rights Watch also obtained credible evidence that Hezbollah maintained weapons storage facilities in apartment buildings in southern Beirut and used civilians to move some of those weapons to different locations, including at least one civilian shelter in an apartment building.

Hezbollah also fired from the vicinity of United Nations outposts on an almost daily basis. This often led to Israeli counterstrikes that resulted in death and injury to UN personnel. For observation purposes, the UN outposts tended to located on the top of hills, which also happen to be good positions from Hezbollah's military perspective to fire at Israel. However, insofar as Hezbollah commanders or fighters chose those locations to launch attacks because the proximity of UN personnel would make counterattack difficult, which would constitute the war crime of shielding. That the motives of Hezbollah combatants may have been mixed does not preclude criminality. Further investigations are needed, including by the UN, to determine whether Hezbollah forces acted unlawfully by purposefully using UN personnel as "human shields" or by placing UN personnel at unnecessary risk by deploying in the vicinity.

Commentators have cited the firing from near populated areas to support allegations that Hezbollah routinely used civilians as "human shields." International humanitarian law does not prohibit fighting in areas where civilians are present or prohibit the presence of forces in such areas. Armies have never been obliged to fight exposed out in the open. However, international humanitarian law does require all parties to a conflict to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from the effects of combat. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross' (ICRC) authoritative Commentary on the Additional Protocols, several state delegations to the diplomatic conference drafting the 1977 protocols to the Geneva Conventions sought to define "everything feasible" as including "all circumstances relevant to the success of military operations." But the ICRC considered such a criterion to be "too broad":

There might be reason to fear that by invoking the success of military operations in general, one might end up by neglecting the humanitarian obligations prescribed here. Once again the interpretation will be a matter of common sense and good faith.[14]

Parties to a conflict must avoid, to the extent feasible, placing military objectives-personnel, equipment and weaponry-in densely populated areas. As the ICRC Commentary notes, "For example, a barracks or a store of military equipment or ammunition should not be built in the middle of a town."[15] Thus while using ammunition in a village during a firefight would be lawful under humanitarian law (though the presence of ammunition would render a location a legitimate target), the storage of ammunition inside a village would not.

Parties must also, to the extent feasible, remove civilians under their control from the vicinity of military objectives.[16] The ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law states that this obligation "is particularly relevant where military objectives can not feasibly be separated from densely populated areas."[17] Thus parties to a conflict seeking to deploy in populated areas should take measures to ensure that civilians move to safer areas.

While failing to take precautions to protect civilians violates humanitarian law, intentionally making use of civilians to render military forces or a place immune from attack is considered to be the more serious violation of "shielding." Because the definition of shielding incorporates the concept of intent, any individual ordering shielding would almost invariably be committing a war crime.

While we documented cases where Hezbollah stored weapons inside civilian homes or fired rockets from inside populated areas, our investigations to date suggest relatively few cases where Hezbollah might have specifically intended to use the presence of civilians to shield itself from counterattack-certainly not enough to constitute a widespread or systematic pattern. One significant exception is Hezbollah's frequent firing of rockets from the vicinity of UN outposts, where the evidence strongly suggests that one of the two likely motives for doing so was to use the UN noncombatants to shield Hezbollah from counterattack.

Even where Hezbollah endangered civilians by unlawfully carrying out military operations in proximity to densely populated areas, Israel was not justified under the laws of war in responding with disproportionate attacks. International humanitarian law prohibits warring parties from conducting attacks in which the expected civilian loss is disproportionate to the anticipated military gain, even if the other party is committing violations of the laws of war.

While the humanitarian law applicable during the Israeli conflict with Hezbollah placed no obligation on those participating in the hostilities to wear uniforms,[18] the routine appearance of Hezbollah fighters in civilian clothes and their failure to carry their weapons openly put the civilian population of Lebanon at risk. Since Hezbollah fighters regularly appeared in civilian clothes, Israeli forces would have had difficulty distinguishing between fighters and other male, fighting-age civilians, and such difficulty increased the dangers of IDF operations to the civilian population of Lebanon. However, the failure of Hezbollah fighters to consistently distinguish themselves as combatants does not relieve Israeli forces of their obligation to distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians and to target only combatants.[19] That this task may have been difficult at times does not negate the obligation. In cases of doubt, a person must be considered a civilian and not a legitimate military target.[20]

Summary of Methodology and Errors Corrected

This report builds on Human Rights Watch's August 2006 report, Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon. It represents the most comprehensive study of civilian deaths in Lebanon to date, based on extensive on-the-ground research. During the course of five months of continuous research in Lebanon and Israel, Human Rights Watch investigated the deaths of more than 561 persons during Israeli air and groundstrikes and collected additional summary information about an additional 548 deaths, thus accounting for a total number of 1,109 deaths (civilians and combatants) from the 34-day conflict. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 355 victims and witnesses of attacks in one-on-one settings and collected information from hospitals, humanitarian groups, journalists, military experts, and government agencies. We visited more than fifty villages and conducted on-site inspections. Human Rights Watch also conducted research in Israel, inspecting the IDF's use of weapons and discussing the conduct of forces with IDF officials.

Human Rights Watch approached Israeli officials for information on a number of occasions. Our researchers held several meetings with officials in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the IDF, and the Ministry of Justice. We also sent a letter on January 8, 2007 to then-Defense Minister Amir Peretz requesting detailed information about the cases described in this report, which is attached as an appendix to this report. Human Rights Watch also talked to Israeli soldiers and officers to learn more about the instructions the IDF gave to its soldiers and the precautions it took to avoid civilian casualties.

This report does not address Israeli attacks on Lebanon's infrastructure, which have been reported on elsewhere,[21] or Israel's use of cluster munitions, which we will release a separate report on shortly. It also does not address Hezbollah's rocket attacks on Israel, which we also have reported on separately, in Civilians under Assault: Hezbollah's Rocket Attacks on Israel during the 2006 War.

This report corrects two major and several minor inaccuracies from Human Rights Watch's earlier report issued during the 2006 war (Fatal Strikes):

Further Human Rights Watch investigations into a deadly strike at Srifa established that an Israeli attack there killed 17 combatants and five civilians on July 19, not the 26 civilians claimed in Fatal Strikes.

In a second case, involving an Israeli air strike on the village of `Aitaroun that killed nine members of the `Awada family, further Human Rights Watch research established that Hezbollah had fired rockets from near the home a few hours before the deadly air strike, although there is no doubt that all of those killed in the air strike were civilians unconnected to Hezbollah.

Human Rights Watch regrets these two major inaccuracies in its Fatal Strikes report. We have corrected several smaller errors relating to dates of strikes, ages and names of victims, and the previously unreported presence of an empty Hezbollah civilian office in a building targeted by an Israeli air strike in Bint Jbeil that killed two civilians. Wherever we have corrected errors from previous reports, the text or footnotes of this report clearly identify the information corrected.

To avoid any such mistakes in this report, we reexamined all of the cases included in Fatal Strikes and conducted additional interviews, site inspections, and visits to graveyards to establish whether victims were civilians or combatants. In addition, we investigated a further 71 cases in similar detail. Thus, our findings do not rely on any one piece of evidence or witness testimony, but rather on multiple pieces of evidence that together provide the information needed to verify the circumstances and victims of each attack. Our findings in this report reconfirm the central conclusion of Fatal Strikes: the primary victims of Israel's bombardment of Lebanon were Lebanese civilians, and they died primarily because of the indiscriminate nature of Israeli attacks, not because of Hezbollah's practices.

II. Recommendations

To the Government of Israel

  • Amend and revise wartime policies and military strategies that treat all persons remaining in an area following warnings to evacuate as combatants or civilians subject to attack, and instead ensure full compliance with international legal obligations prohibiting indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, and that require all feasible precautions be taken to avoid civilian casualties;
  • Amend and revisepolicies and military strategies that authorize the IDF to target people or structures associated with Hezbollah institutions, regardless as to whether they constitute valid military objectives under international humanitarian law, and to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to avoid civilian casualties;
  • Order the Israeli military to conduct a review of its operational guidelines. This review should focus in particular on the process of selecting targets and the types of weapons used. The review should be public and conducted by a special commission including members of the military, the Knesset, and independent legal experts.
  • Institute procedures within the Israeli military to ensure that it conducts all military operations in full accordance with international humanitarian law treaties and customary law.
  • Special operational attention should be given in the Israeli military to prohibit and prevent attacks that do not distinguish between military objectives and civilians, unlawfully target civilians who are not legitimate military objectives, or cause harm to civilians that is disproportionate to the expected military gain.
  • Ratify the First and Second Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or at least publicly affirm the provisions that bind Israel as a matter of customary international law.
  • Investigate Israeli government officials, IDF officers, and soldiers who ordered or directly committed serious violations of the laws of war and impose disciplinary measures or criminally prosecute as appropriate.
  • Expand the mandate of the Winograd Commission to investigate laws of war violations by the IDF during the armed conflict, and the responsibility of IDF commanders for such violations.

To Hezbollah

  • Adopt operational measures to ensure the compliance of Hezbollah forces with the requirements of international humanitarian law.
  • Take all feasible measures to ensure that Hezbollah forces do not place civilians at unnecessary risk because of their deployments or the placement of weapons and ammunition in populated areas.
  • Reaffirm to all military forces the absolute duty never to use civilians or other noncombatants to shield military forces and materiel from attack.
  • Investigate in particular the incidents of fire from nearby UN positions to determine whether fighters intentionally used the presence of the UN to shield themselves from attack.
  • Adopt recommendations set out in Civilians under Assault with respect to rocket attacks on Israel in violation of the laws of war.
  • Ensure that individual members of Hezbollah are trained in the laws of war and abide by them. Take appropriate disciplinary measures against members who act in violation of the law.

To the Government of Lebanon

While recognizing the political difficulties presently faced by the government of Lebanon, we urge it to take the following measures at the earliest time feasible, consistent with its state responsibilities and obligations:

  • Take appropriate steps to ensure that Hezbollah implements the recommendations listed above.
  • Interdict the delivery of rockets to Hezbollah so long as it continues to use rockets in violation of international humanitarian law, by firing at civilians or firing indiscriminately into civilian areas.
  • Investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law by Hezbollah forces. We believe the credibility of the investigation would be heightened were it to be conducted by an independent and credible committee of respected national experts in international humanitarian law.
  • Investigate and prosecute members of Hezbollah who have individual or command responsibility for the alleged commission of war crimes.
  • Cooperate with international investigations into violations of international humanitarian law.

To the Secretary General of the United Nations

  • Use your influence with Israel and Hezbollah to urge them to adopt measures to better comply with international humanitarian law.
  • Establish an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, in Lebanon and Israel and to formulate recommendations with a view to holding accountable those on both sides of the conflict who violated the law.

To the Government of the United States

  • Conduct a full investigation into Israel's use of US-supplied arms, ammunition, and other materiel in violation of international humanitarian law.
  • Suspend transfers to Israel of arms, ammunition, and other materiel that have been documented or credibly alleged to have been used in violation of international humanitarian law in Lebanon, as well as funding or support for such materiel, pending certification by the US State Department that Israel has stopped using, and has made clear commitments not to use in the future, such arms, ammunition, and other material in violation of international humanitarian law.

To the Governments of Syria and Iran

  • Do not permit transfers to Hezbollah of arms, ammunition, and other materiel that have been documented or credibly alleged to have been used in violation of international humanitarian law in Lebanon, as well as funding or support for such materiel, pending a commitment by Hezbollah that it will not use such arms or material in violation of international humanitarian law.

III. Methodology

This report is based primarily on investigations by Human Rights Watch researchers who were in Lebanon from the onset of the conflict and who carried out investigations throughout the conflict (July 12-August 14, 2006) as well as in the months after the conflict (August-December 2006). The research team included Human Rights Watch's Lebanon researcher, the director of Human Rights Watch's Emergency Program, Human Rights Watch's Senior Military Analyst, and consultants hired by Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch has long experience in investigating the conduct of armed conflict. Human Rights Watch monitors and reports on conflicts around the world, from the civil war between the Maoist and government forces in Nepal to the multi-dimensional conflict in Iraq. Among our previous reports on air wars are our 1999 Report on the NATO air campaign in Kosovo, Civilian Deaths in the Nato Air Campaign, and our 2003 report on the US-led Coalition's air war in Iraq, Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq. Our investigations have contributed to the prosecution of war criminals and genocide suspects from Rwanda, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Human Rights Watch has covered previous armed conflicts between Israel and Hezbollah. Our 1996 report, Civilian Pawns: Laws of War Violations and the Use of Weapons on the Israel-Lebanon Border, examined the impact on civilians of military activities from July 1993 until April 1996 between Israel and Hezbollah; our 1997 report, Operation Grapes of Wrath: the Civilian Victims, examined the conduct of the IDF and Hezbollah during the escalation of military activities in April 1996.

Our investigations are guided by international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war, which can be found in treaties such as the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and by customary international law. The aim of our investigations is to provide an impartial account of the adherence to the law of all parties to a conflict-including non-state actors such as Hezbollah-and to document serious violations of that law. Human Rights Watch researchers are trained in the laws of war and professional investigation techniques, and have many years of experience working in conflict zones.

During the 2006 conflict, Human Rights Watch issued a preliminary report of its findings, Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon. The report was based on Human Rights Watch's extensive on-the-ground investigations into some two dozen incidents in which IDF bombing and missile attacks killed civilians. It concluded that the IDF consistently committed indiscriminate attacks in which it failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians and that some of those responsible had committed possible war crimes. The report also concluded that in some cases, the timing and intensity of the attack, the absence of a military target, as well as return strikes on rescuers suggested that individual Israeli combatants may have deliberately targeted civilians, although Human Rights Watch has no evidence that this was done as a matter of policy. The report explicitly recognized the limitations of its findings because the ongoing fighting limited the information and investigative opportunities available to researchers: "Human Rights Watch does not claim that the findings are comprehensive; further investigation is required to document the war's complete impact on civilians and to assess the full scope of the IDF's compliance with and disregard for international humanitarian law."[22]

After the imposition by the United Nations Security Council of the ceasefire that ended hostilities, Human Rights Watch researchers immediately embarked on a more extensive investigation of the IDF's and Hezbollah's conduct during the war, a process of investigation that took five months to complete. Human Rights Watch researchers visited over 50 villages, towns, and locations to assess the impact of the war on the civilian population of Lebanon, and interviewed over 355 persons to get as accurate a picture as possible about individual incidents. We selected these villages and towns because civilians had died in them. The end of hostilities dramatically improved the research climate, as researchers were able to locate and interview witnesses in the privacy of their own homes and to conduct on-site visits to attack sites and cemeteries around Lebanon.

Human Rights Watch researchers followed a standard methodology to investigate the impact of the war on civilians throughout Lebanon. In each village, town, or location investigated by Human Rights Watch, our investigators first established the total number of persons reportedly killed, civilian and combatant. The researchers then interviewed local officials as well as family members and eyewitnesses to the incidents in which persons were killed, to establish the exact circumstances of those killings. In the majority of villages visited, our researchers were able to investigate every death in the village.

We conducted all interviews separately and independently from each other, so witnesses were normally unaware of what others had already told Human Rights Watch. Each interview normally lasted about one hour, and was designed to gather enough factual detail to assess the consistency of, and corroborate information given by, different witness accounts. Human Rights Watch asked interviewees for as much information as they had about attacks. We attempted to ask each person the same set of questions about an attack, but on some occasions witnesses could not provide answers to particular questions, such as the location of Hezbollah fighters or weapons, simply because they did not have such information available to them. In each instance, Human Rights Watch researchers endeavored to find multiple witnesses to individual events, in order to allow for corroboration and the checking for consistency of accounts.

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`Imad Sulaiman Ahmad, mukhtar of Hadatha, shows the damage sustained in town from Israeli airstrikes. 2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

In some cases in this report, particularly in cases where Lebanese witnesses discuss Hezbollah abuses, we have withheld the names of the witness and other identifying information to protect these witnesses from possible retaliation. To ensure that witnesses would speak candidly about both Israeli and Hezbollah abuses, Human Rights Watch researchers conducted all interviews in as private a setting as possible, and explained to witnesses that they could chose to remain anonymous to prevent relatiation. In all cases, the identities of the witnesses are on file with Human Rights Watch.

In addition to the detailed interviews, Human Rights Watch also conducted on-site investigations of attack sites, examining them for signs of Hezbollah presence or the types of weapons used. For each site visited, Human Rights Watch researchers photographed the site, documented any forensic evidence found, and collected the GPS coordinates.

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A banner announcing the death of a Hezbollah combatant in the village of Yatar. It reads: "We present our condolences to the owner of era and time [religious reference] for the martyrdom of the mujahid brother Muhammad Hussain Haydar Ja`far 'Malak'." The use of Hezbollah symbols and the terms "martyrdom," "mujahid brother," and the giving of the nom de guerre "Malak" identify this individual as a Hezbollah combatant. 2006 Wissam Al Salibi for Human Rights Watch

Whenever possible, Human Rights Watch researchers also visited the cemeteries where those killed in Israeli strikes were buried, to examine whether their gravestones identified them as civilians or as "martyrs" or "fighters" for Hezbollah or other armed groups. Our researchers also examined the many "martyr" posters found throughout Lebanon to establish whether certain individuals killed were civilians or combatants.

The information collected by Human Rights Watch researchers from cemeteries and "martyr" posters proved important in corroborating whether an individual was a civilian, combatant, or Hezbollah official. In southern Lebanon and elsewhere in the country, many consider it an honor for persons who died in the conflict to be identified as a "martyr" or "fighter," with little likelihood that a Hezbollah fighter would be buried as a civilian. Human Rights Watch did not find any cases in which known combatants or Hezbollah officials killed in the conflict were buried as civilians, or where the family or Hezbollah officials denied a person's status as a fighter or Hezbollah official.

Burial practices also distinguish between civilian members of Hezbollah or other militant organizations, who are buried merely with a Hezbollah (or other militant organization's) symbol on their grave stone, and Hezbollah fighters (or fighters from other militant groups), who are buried as military "martyrs" with distinct markings on their grave stones and Koranic verses different from those used on the graves of Hezbollah civilian members (or other civilians). Hezbollah commanders and elite fighters who died in combat have additional markings on their grave stones, such as an identification of their leadership position (e.g., "the martyr leader," al-shahid al-qa'id) or noms de guerre given to full-time Hezbollah fighters.

 

The tombstone of Hezbollah fighter `Ali Abdullah Suli in Taibe. The tombstone is marked as that of a Hezbollah combatant, with the official Hezbollah symbols and a description of the deceased as a "Martyr Leader." It provides his nom de guerre "Mr. Safi" and states that he died in the Taibe fighting. Human Rights Watch researchers visited graveyards throughout Lebanon to assist them in distinguishing between civilians and combatants who died in the conflict.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

 

The tombstone of a civilian, Hussain Ahmad Nasrallah, who died in Taibe after being shot by Israeli ground troops. The graves of civilians did not bear Hezbollah symbols, and killed civilian were not claimed as martyrs by Hezbollah or other armed groups. Human Rights Watch researchers visited graveyards throughout Lebanon to assist them in determining the status of individuals who died in the conflict.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

The same applies for the much smaller number of militants from the Amal party and the Lebanese Communist Party who died fighting in the conflict, although it appears that at least in one case, Amal tried to claim two non-combatant members killed in the war as "martyrs" in order to bolster its status as a militant organization.

The visits to cemeteries provided an important safeguard against potential misrepresentations by witnesses. For instance, in our Fatal Strikes report issued during the war, eyewitnesses were not always forthcoming about the identity of those that died, and in the case of Srifa, misled our researchers. After the conflict, a visit to the graveyard made it possible to establish that most of those killed in Srifa were actually combatants because they were buried as "martyrs," not civilians.

Human Rights Watch researchers, using corroborative visits to the cemetaries, did not find any other cases where witnesses deliberately tried to mislead us on whether casualties were civilian or militants.

In addition to interviewing persons who witnessed attacks, Human Rights Watch also conducted numerous interviews with various officials, including Lebanese military and humanitarian officials; Hezbollah members and officials; UNIFIL and other United Nations officials; members of the Lebanese Civil Defense and the Lebanese Red Cross who were present at various recovery efforts, as well as their spokespersons; representatives of international and local humanitarian organizations; doctors and officials at various hospitals that received the wounded and the dead; international and local journalists and photographers; and diplomats, academics, and other policy makers.

To further check the accuracy of our research, Human Rights Watch reviewed all publicly available information about the incidents it investigated, including statements of the IDF and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; international, Israeli, and Lebanese newspapers, wire services, and magazines (in English, Hebrew, and Arabic); statements by local and international organizations; and reports by local and international human rights and other investigative agencies (such as the UNHRC's Commission of Inquiry) to ensure that there were no accounts that contradicted our own findings. Whenever we found contradictory or additional information, Human Rights Watch carried out additional investigations and interviews to determine the accuracy of our information. Where we could not resolve factual contradictions, this report reflects the competing accounts and makes it clear that there are contradictory accounts of individual incidents.

Human Rights Watch researchers sought information from Israeli officials, including the IDF and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about the various attacks investigated by Human Rights Watch, as well as any evidence to support claims of Hezbollah shielding practices in these attacks. Human Rights Watch provided Israeli officials with a complete list of place names, GPS coordinates, and times of the attacks it was investigating (Lebanese and Israeli place names do not always correspond, and attacks are normally logged by GPS location and time of attack, not the name of the location). Human Rights Watch received only a limited response to its queries to Israeli officials, but this report reflects those responses where relevant. In addition, the report reflects any public IDF statements.[23]

Human Rights Watch investigators also investigated the conduct of Hezbollah inside Lebanon during the conflict, including allegations of abuses against the Lebanese population during the war. This report focuses on the behavior of Hezbollah with respect to its conduct inside Lebanon; Civilians under Assault: Hezbollah's Rocket Attacks on Israel during the 2006 War focuses specifically on Hezbollah's rocket campaign against Israel.

A note on terminology: we use the term "Hezbollah fighter" or "combatant" to identify Hezbollah military personnel who took an active part in combat, as opposed to non-military Hezbollah members, who we refer to simply as "Hezbollah members." Hezbollah is a huge, multi-faceted organization in Lebanon. It has both a military wing (known as the "Islamic Resistance" or al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya) and non-military organizations, such as its political party, its educational institutions, and its social welfare organizations, including hospitals. Because most Lebanese civilians distinguish between the Hezbollah organization as a whole and its military or "resistance" wing, this report keeps the term "resistance" when witnesses used it during quoted interviews. The use of the word "resistance" in this report is not meant to imply a Human Rights Watch position on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of Hezbollah's military campaign against Israel.

Like other Lebanese political parties, Hezbollah has thousands of members who are not actively involved in any aspect of its military operations. While Hezbollah combatants are legitimate military targets, ordinary members of Hezbollah, as well as Hezbollah officials not directing or engaged in military activities, are not legitimate military targets. The term mukhtar identifies a local official in Lebanon who performs various administrative tasks such as birth registrations or authentication of documents. In Lebanese villages, mukhtars know a lot about the community they serve and represent an important source of information.

In accordance with its institutional mandate, Human Rights Watch maintains a position of strict neutrality on matters concerning the legitimacy of resorting to war because we find it the best way to promote our primary goal of encouraging all sides in the course of the conflict to respect international humanitarian law. Accordingly, this report does not address whether Hezbollah or Israel was justified or acting legally in their decisions to go to war or to escalate the war. We look only at how they complied with their legal duties to spare civilians the hazards of that war.

IV. Legal Standards Applicable to the Conflict

A. Applicable International Law

The armed conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in July-August 2006 fell within a body of law called international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war. The sources of humanitarian law are treaty law and customary law, which binds both states and non-state armed groups.

The most relevant treaty law to the 2006 conflict is the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to which virtually all states are party, including Israel and Lebanon. Article 2 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions provides for the full applicability of the conventions when there is an armed conflict between High Contracting Parties (that is, states), or when there has been a partial or total occupation of a High Contracting Party (even when that occupation meets with no resistance from the state).[24] At least to the extent of armed hostilities between the states of Israel and Lebanon and Israeli control over Lebanese territory, the 2006 conflict was an international armed conflict. In general, the 1949 Geneva Conventions provide for the security and well being of persons no longer taking part in the hostilities, namely captured combatants, the wounded, and civilians in the control of belligerent forces. They also provide special protections, for instance, to medical personnel and hospitals.

There has been controversy over the humanitarian law applicable to Hezbollah. Unless Hezbollah forces are considered to be a part of the Lebanese armed forces, demonstrated allegiance to such forces, or were under the direction or effective control of the government of Lebanon,[25] there is a basis for finding that hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah are covered by the humanitarian law rules for a non-international (that is, non-intergovernmental) armed conflict.[26] Under such a characterization, applicable treaty law would be common article 3 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions (the "treaty within a treaty"), which protects captured combatants and civilians from murder, cruel and inhuman treatment, being held as hostages, and unfair trials. Whether captured Hezbollah or Israeli fighters would be entitled to the protections of the Third Geneva Convention for prisoners of war, the Fourth Geneva Convention for protected persons, or only the basic protections of common article 3, would depend on the legal characterization of the conflict and a factual analysis of Hezbollah and its relationship to the Lebanese armed forces. Such an analysis is not necessary for analyzing the conduct of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, the focus of this report.[27]

International humanitarian law on the conduct of hostilities, traditionally known as "Hague law" because historically treaties regulating combat were drafted there, is set out in the Hague Regulations of 1907[28] and the First Additional Protocol of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions (Protocol I).[29] Protocol I, which provides the most detailed and current codification of the conduct of hostilities during international armed conflicts, was not directly applicable to the 2006 conflict because Israel is not a party to the treaty. Nevertheless, many of the provisions of Protocol I have been recognized by states, including Israel, to be reflective of customary international law.[30] Thus the legal analysis applied in this report frequently references norms enshrined in Protocol I, but as an important codification of customary law rather than as a treaty obligation. Customary humanitarian law as it relates to the fundamental principles concerning conduct of hostilities is now recognized as largely the same whether it is applied to an international or a non-international armed conflict.[31]

B. Protections for Civilians and Civilian Objects

International humanitarian law limits permissible means and methods of warfare by parties to an armed conflict and requires them to respect and protect civilians and captured combatants. "Means" of combat refers generally to the weapons used, while "methods" refers to the manner in which such weapons are used.

The First Additional Protocol of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions (Protocol I)[32] and the 1907 Hague Regulations lay out the law that protects civilians during armed conflict.[33] Most of the relevant provisions of both treaties are considered customary law, rules of international law that are based on established state practice and are binding on all parties to an armed conflict, whether they are state actors or non-state armed groups.[34]

The two fundamental tenets of international humanitarian law are those of "civilian immunity" and "distinction." [35] They impose a duty, at all times during the conflict, to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and to target only the former. Article 48 of Protocol I states, "the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives."[36] While Protocol I recognizes that some civilian casualties are inevitable, parties to a conflict may not target civilians and civilian objects and may direct their operations against only military objectives.

Civilian objects are those that are not considered military objectives.[37] Military objectives are combatants and those objects that "by their nature, location, purpose or use, make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage."[38] In general, the law prohibits direct attacks against what are by their nature civilian objects, such as homes and apartments, places of worship, hospitals, schools, or cultural monuments, unless they are being used for military purposes.[39]

International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate attacks. Examples of indiscriminate attacks are those that "are not directed at a specific military objective" or that use means that "cannot be directed at a specific military objective."[40]

One form of prohibited indiscriminate attack is area bombardment. Any attack, whether by aerial bombardment or other means, that treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village, or other area containing a concentration of civilians and civilian objects, is regarded as an indiscriminate attack and prohibited. Similarly, if a combatant launches an attack without attempting to aim properly at a military target, or in such a way as to hit civilians without regard to the likely extent of death or injury, it would amount to an indiscriminate attack.[41] Indiscriminate attacks are "of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction." Article 51(4) and Article 51(5) of Protocol I enumerate five kinds of indiscriminate attacks: those that 1) are not directed at a "specific military objective," 2) cannot be directed at "a specific military objective," 3) have effects that violate the Protocol, 4) treat separate urban military objectives as one (carpet bombing), or 5) violate the principle of proportionality (described below).

Also prohibited are attacks that violate the principle of proportionality. Disproportionate attacks are those that are "expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians [or] damage to civilian objectives ... which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated" from that attack.[42] The expected danger to the civilian population and civilian objects depends on various factors, including their location (possibly within or near a military objective), the accuracy of the weapons used (depending on the trajectory, the range, environmental factors, the ammunition used, etc.), and the technical skill of the combatants (which can lead to random launching of weapons when combatants lack the ability to aim effectively at the intended target).[43]

International humanitarian law requires that the parties to a conflict take constant care during military operations to spare the civilian population and to take all feasible precautions to avoid or minimize the incidental loss of civilian life as well as injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.[44] In its authoritative Commentary on Protocol I, the International Committee of the Red Cross explains that the requirement to take all "feasible" precautions means, among other things, that the person launching an attack is required to take the steps needed to identify the target as a legitimate military objective "in good time to spare the population as far as possible."

These precautions include:

  • Doing "everything feasible to verify" that the objects to be attacked are military objectives and not civilians or civilian objects. If there are doubts about whether a potential target is of a civilian or military character, it "shall be presumed" to be civilian.[45] The warring parties must do everything feasible to cancel or suspend an attack if it becomes apparent that the target is not a military objective.[46]
  • Taking "all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods" of warfare so as to avoid, and in any event minimize, "incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects."[47]
  • When circumstances permit, giving "effective advance warning . . . of attacks which may affect the civilian population."[48]
  • "When a choice is possible between several military objectives for obtaining the same military advantage," carrying out the attack that may be "expected to cause the least danger to civilian lives and civilian objects."[49]
  • Avoiding "locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas."[50]
  • Endeavoring "to remove the civilian population ... from the vicinity of military objectives."[51]

International humanitarian law does not prohibit fighting in urban areas, although the presence of civilians places greater obligations on warring parties to take steps to minimize harm to civilians. Humanitarian law prohibits belligerents from using civilians to shield military objectives or military operations from attack. "Shielding" refers to intentionally using the presence of civilians to render certain points, areas, or military forces immune from military attack.[52] Taking over a family's house and not permitting the family to leave for safety so as to deter the enemy from attacking is a simple example of using "human shields."

The prohibition on shielding is distinct from the requirement that all warring parties take "constant care" to protect civilians during the conduct of military operations by, among other things, taking all feasible precautions to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.[53] Such a determination will depend on the situation. Placing ammunition dumps in the center of a town during peacetime is a clear violation. Storing ammunition in civilian areas during fighting will be lawful or unlawful depending on a various factors, such as whether the warring faction took proactive steps to remove civilians from the vicinity, and whether other locations that did not endanger civilians presented themselves. Unlawfully placing forces, weapons, and ammunition within or near densely populated areas amounts to shielding only when there is a specific intent to use the civilians to deter an attack.

With respect to individual responsibility, serious violations of international humanitarian law, including deliberate, indiscriminate, and disproportionate attacks harming civilians, when committed with criminal intent are grave breaches (see Additional Protocol I) or, in common parlance, war crimes. Individuals may also be held criminally liable for attempting to commit a war crime, as well as assisting in, facilitating, aiding or abetting a war crime. Responsibility may also fall on persons planning or instigating the commission of a war crime.[54] Commanders and civilian leaders may be prosecuted for war crimes as a matter of command responsibility when they knew or should have known about the commission of war crimes and took insufficient measures to prevent them or punish those responsible.[55]

V. Background to the Israel-Hezbollah war

A. Hezbollah's "Operation Truthful Promise"

At about 9 a.m. on July 12, 2006, Hezbollah fighters crossed into Israeli territory and attacked an IDF convoy patrolling the border, killing three IDF soldiers and taking two captured IDF soldiers back into Lebanon. The Hezbollah operation appears to have been well-planned, as it was preceded by diversionary Hezbollah rocket fire on IDF positions at the coast and near the Israeli town of Zarit.[56] Almost immediately after the attack, an IDF Merkava tank sent into Lebanon to seek to retrieve the captured soldiers ran into a massive anti-tank mine, estimated to contain as much as 300 kilograms of explosives, killing three IDF soldiers and wounding a fourth. An eighth IDF soldier was killed in the fighting that followed to retrieve the bodies and wounded from the tank.[57]

Dubbed "Operation Truthful Promise" by Hezbollah, the raid fulfilled Hezbollah leader's Hassan Nasrallah's longstanding aim to take IDF soldiers hostage in order to pressure Israel to release remaining Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons,[58] and to seek the return of the disputed Israeli-occupied Sheba` Farms area to Lebanese control.[59] Immediately following the raid, Hezbollah stated that it would return the abducted soldiers to Israel through "indirect negotiations" resulting in a "trade" with Lebanese prisoners held in Israeli prisons.[60]

Human Rights Watch has criticized Hezbollah for illegally refusing to confirm the fate of the two abducted soldiers or to permit the International Committee of the Red Cross access to them. We have also criticized Hezbollah for holding these detainees as hostages whose release is conditioned on Israel's release of a large number of its detainees.[61]

B. Israel's "Operation Change of Direction"

After the abduction of the two soldiers, Hezbollah perhaps expected a response from Israel limited to several days of air strikes on Hezbollah targets, followed by a prisoner exchange negotiation, as had happened during prior hostage-taking incidents.[62] Instead, Israel mounted a full-scale military offensive not only to retrieve the captured soldiers, but also to clear Hezbollah from its northern border.

Prime Minister Olmert declared Hezbollah's raid into Israel and the capture of the two IDF soldiers an "act of war" by the government of Lebanon, and stated that "Lebanon is responsible and Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions."[63] Amir Peretz, Israel's Defense Minister, stated that the IDF would launch a military offensive that would continue until the Lebanese Army had replaced Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, saying that "if the government of Lebanon fails to deploy its forces, as is expected from a sovereign government, we shall not allow any further Hizbollah to remain on the borders of the state of Israel."[64] The IDF's Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, bluntly stated that the Israeli offensive would "turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years" if the abducted soldiers were not immediately returned.[65]

According to Halutz, the Israeli offensive in Lebanon had four major objectives: obtaining the release of the two kidnapped soldiers, "to remodel the security situation along the [Israeli-Lebanese] border and to prevent the Hezbollah from reaching Israeli territory," "to weaken the Hezbollah organization," and to get the "Lebanese government to exercise its sovereignty over its own [territory] and activities that emanate from its territory."[66]

Almost immediately after the abductions of the soldiers, IDF warplanes began bombing bridges, roads, and suspected Hezbollah positions.[67] While the first bombing raids appear to have focused on preventing Hezbollah from transferring the captured IDF soldiers away from the south by cutting off roads and other lines of communication, Israel soon launched a country-wide offensive against Hezbollah. On July 13, Israel imposed a total land, sea, and air blockade on Lebanon that would continue until September, well after the ceasefire began on August 14, 2006. Israeli warplanes bombed the runways and fuel tanks of Beirut's international airport on the grounds that the "airport is used as a central hub for the transfer of weapons and supplies to Hezbollah," and that the IDF wanted to prevent the transfer of the captured IDF soldiers to Iran or Syria.[68]

During the first stage of the war, from July 12 to July 23, Israeli forces relied almost exclusively on a massive aerial, naval, and artillery bombardment campaign, attempting to degrade Hezbollah's military capacity by targeting its forces, facilities, and rockets, while at the same time pressuring non-Hezbollah elements of Lebanese society to "turn against" and neutralize Hezbollah.[69] This was not the first time that Israel had attempted to raise the cost to the Lebanese population of permitting Hezbollah to operate in its midst. In its 1993 "Operation Accountability" and 1996 "Operation Grapes of Wrath" bombing campaigns, Israeli forces had sought to inflict serious damage on villages in southern Lebanon as a means to pressure the Lebanese population and government to turn against Hezbollah.[70]

VI. Hezbollah Conduct during the War

Hezbollah was responsible for numerous serious violations of the laws of war during its conflict with Israel. Its fighters indiscriminately fired thousands of rockets into Israel, killing 43 Israeli civilians (as well as 12 Israeli soldiers), which is documented in a separate Human Rights Watch report, Civilians under Assault.[71] Hezbollah also at times endangered Lebanese civilians by failing to take all feasible precautions to avoid firing rockets from populated areas, mixing with the Lebanese civilian population, and storing weapons and ammunition in populated areas. Hezbollah fighters fired rockets on an almost daily basis from the close proximity of UN observer posts in southern Lebanon, an act of shielding, at least in part, that endangered UNIFIL troops by drawing retaliatory Israeli fire on the nearby UN positions. Each of these violations is detailed below.

Human Rights Watch did not find evidence, however, that the deployment of Hezbollah forces in Lebanon routinely or widely violated the laws of war, as repeatedly alleged by Israel. We did not find, for example, that Hezbollah routinely located its rockets inside or near civilian homes. Rather, we found strong evidence that Hezbollah had stored most of its rockets in bunkers and weapon storage facilities located in uninhabited fields and valleys. Similarly, while we found that Hezbollah fighters launched rockets from villages on some occasions, and may have committed shielding, a war crime, when it purposefully and repeatedly fired rockets from the vicinity of UN observer posts with the possible intent of deterring Israeli counterfire, we did not find evidence that Hezbollah otherwise fired its rockets from populated areas. The available evidence indicates that in the vast majority of cases Hezbollah fighters left populated civilian areas as soon as the fighting started and fired the majority of their rockets from pre-prepared positions in largely unpopulated valleys and fields outside villages.

Israeli officials have made the serious allegation that Hezbollah routinely used "human shields" to immunize its forces from attack and thus bears responsibility for the high civilian toll in Lebanon. Apart from its position near UN personnel, Human Rights Watch found only a handful of instances of possible shielding behind civilians, but nothing to suggest there was widespread commission of this humanitarian law violation or any Hezbollah policy encouraging such practices. These relatively few cases do not begin to account for the Lebanese civilians who died under Israeli attacks.

When examining the practice of shielding, it is important to distinguish the serious humanitarian law violation of human shielding-the intentional use of civilians or other protected individuals to shield a military objective from attack-from the separate violation of endangering the civilian population by unnecessarily carrying out military operations in proximity to populated areas. We documented a number of instances where Hezbollah's actions endangered the civilian population but we did not find evidence that such practices were done with the intent of using civilians as shields.

While not required by the humanitarian law applicable during the conflict, the failure of Hezbollah fighters to wear uniforms or other insignia distinguishing them from the civilian population did doubtlessly place civilians at greater risk. Since Hezbollah fighters regularly appeared in civilian clothes, Israeli forces would have had difficulty distinguishing between fighters and other male, fighting-age civilians, and such difficulty increased the dangers of IDF operations to the civilian population of Lebanon. However, the failure of Hezbollah fighters to consistently distinguish themselves as combatants does not relieve Israeli forces of their obligation to distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians and to target only combatants.

A. Background: Hezbollah's Structure, Base of Support, and Military Secrecy

Hezbollah is a multifaceted militant Shi`ite political organization, whose activities in Lebanon extend far beyond military confrontation with Israel. Hezbollah is often described as a "state within a state" in Lebanon. It is represented in the Lebanese Parliament and in many municipalities throughout Lebanon, and enjoys genuine grassroots support in most of the Shi`a south, Beirut's Shi`a dominated southern suburbs, and Shi`a villages in the Beka` Valley adjoining Syria. Hezbollah is also responsible for extensive social and welfare programs focused on Shi`a communities in Lebanon and operates its own businesses; many Shi`a clerics in Lebanon openly support Hezbollah. Support for Hezbollah in Lebanon is far from universal even within the Shi`a community. Many Lebanese are suspicious of Hezbollah's religious roots and its links to Syria and Iran and would prefer if Hezbollah disarmed or if its military wing was incorporated into the Lebanese army.

Although Hezbollah operates openly as a militant political organization, the activities of its military wing, the "Islamic Resistance" (al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya), are shrouded in secrecy.[72] That secrecy itself serves an important military purpose for Hezbollah, as Hezbollah knows that Israel has relied extensively on intelligence and infiltration of militant groups and targeted strikes against militant leaders. In closely guarding any information about its military strategy, Hezbollah limits Israel's ability to target its leaders, members, and military installations. This strategy of secrecy significantly affected Israel's ability to target Hezbollah from the air, as Israel often lacked the intelligence information to target Hezbollah personnel and installations.

Hezbollah's fighters adhere to a strict code of silence and carefully guard their military information. During the 2006 war, Hezbollah's fighters gave almost no interviews to foreign or local reporters, often simply walking away without comment when approached by journalists. No local or foreign correspondents-not even those seen as sympathetic to Hezbollah-accompanied Hezbollah fighters during military operations.

Hezbollah enjoys considerable popular support from the Shi`a rural population of southern Lebanon in particular, but also in other Shi`a parts of Lebanon, including the Beka` Valley and the southern suburbs of Beirut. Although many Shi`as in Lebanon support political organizations other than Hezbollah, including Amal and the Lebanese Communist Party, many Shi`as in Lebanon as well as many Lebanese from other confessional groups support Hezbollah as a "resistance" organization to Israel and credit its armed activities with ending Israel's long occupation of southern Lebanon (1978-2000).[73] The extent of both Hezbollah's support and its control is evident in the prominent displays of Hezbollah flags in almost every Shi`a village in southern Lebanon, and the "martyr" posters depicting Hezbollah and Amal fighters who have died in battles with Israel lining main streets. At the same time, many Lebanese-Shi`a, Sunni, Christian, Druze, and nonsectarian-are deeply opposed to Hezbollah, considering Hezbollah a tool of Syrian and Iranian influence, and accusing Hezbollah of drawing all of Lebanon into regular and unnecessary conflict with Israel.

B. Hezbollah's Weapons Storage

Human Rights Watch documented a number of cases where Hezbollah violated the laws of war by storing weapons and ammunition in populated areas and making no effort to remove the civilians under their control from the area. Humantarian law requires warring parties to take all feasible precautions to protect civilian populations in areas under their control from the affects of attacks.[74] This includes avoiding deploying military targets such as weapons and ammunition in densely populated areas,[75] and when this is not possible, removing civilians from the vicinity of military objectives.[76] As one commentator writes:

Commanders will ... have to ask themselves before locating troops in a populated area whether it would not be feasible to do otherwise. So much depends on the circumstances at the time: the urgency or otherwise of the moment, the tactical situation, the level and density of the civilian population, the overall deployment or battle plans and many other factors.[77]

Intentionally using civilians to protect a military objective from attack would be shielding.

On July 13, at around 4:05 a.m., an Israeli air strike on the village of Bar`ashit demolished the home of Najib Hussain Farhat, a lottery card seller, and the unoccupied neighboring home of his brother, who had moved to Beirut in 1996. The air strike killed Najib, 54, and his 16-year-old daughter, Zainab, and severely injured his wife, son, and daughter. According to a well-informed source in the village, Hezbollah had rented the basement of the unoccupied home and had enlarged it into a "warehouse" to store large numbers of weapons. Neither Hezbollah nor Najib's relatives had informed Najib about the Hezbollah weapons cache next door, so he had not felt the need to evacuate his home when war broke out. The surviving relatives complained to Hezbollah officials about this incident, and they were met first with denials and then with threats from Hezbollah that it would withhold compensation to the family if they spoke out publicly:

After the incident, the family had a fight with Hezbollah. At first, Hezbollah denied the allegations, but when the whole town learned of the incident, they finally admitted it. The person they complained to is also in charge of compensation, and he delayed the payment to the family. The family has stopped speaking out because they are afraid they will lose the compensation.[78]

Some of the most serious allegations of Hezbollah placing weapons inside populated civilian areas emerged from the Sunni border village of Marwahin. According to the villagers of Marwahin, they began having problems with Hezbollah fighters and weapons infiltrating their village almost as soon as the war started. One witness described how two Hezbollah fighters, one dressed in military camouflage and a second in civilian clothes, came to Marwahin on July 12, the day of the abduction of the two IDF soldiers, and began scouting the village. An Israeli helicopter was overhead, looking for Hezbollah targets. One witness told Human Rights Watch that Zahra Abdullah, 52, one of the women who later died in a July 15 Israeli strike, shouted at the fighters to leave, saying that if they were spotted, the helicopter would attack the village.[79]

The Hezbollah fighters ignored her, the witness said, and returned later that day with a white van packed with weapons. They parked it next to the village mosque, where it remained until it was destroyed by an Israeli strike.[80] Unknown to the villagers, Hezbollah had also placed a large cache of rockets and other weapons in the home of a villager who was sympathetic to Hezbollah (the weapons cache was destroyed in an Israeli air strike).[81] Following the war, Human Rights Watch researchers found both the destroyed van and the destroyed weapons cache in the home, both still carrying the remains of rockets, rocket propelled grenades, and other weaponry. The storage of arms in a populated area endangered civilians in violation of the international humanitarian law requirement that Hezbollah take all feasible precautions to spare civilians during the armed conflict. However, Human Rights Watch was unable to discover evidence shedding light on whether that was done with the intent to use civilians to render the weapons immune from attack as would be required to make a legal case of shielding.

Similarly, Hezbollah's actions in the village again endangered civilians three days following the initial incident on July 12. On July 15, around 7 or 8 a.m., according to her surviving relatives, Zahra Abdullah told them that she spotted three Hezbollah fighters carrying weapons and rockets behind her home, hiding the weapons in blue blankets. She again confronted the fighters, telling them, "Please, there are kids inside this home." One of the Hezbollah fighters turned his automatic weapon on Zahra, and told her to "shut up and go inside." Zahra returned to her home, crying.[82] That day, many villagers fled from Marwahin following Israeli orders to evacuate the village. Twenty-three fleeing civilians from Marwahin, including Zahra Abdullah, were killed in an Israeli air strike on their convoy (see below).

Human Rights Watch has also received credible information that Hezbollah stored weapons in civilian areas in the southern suburbs of Beirut. One southern suburb resident told Human Rights Watch she visited a weapons storage facility on the second floor of an apartment building in the southern suburb of the Dahieh.[83] The same resident said that she witnessed Hezbollah transfering some of the weapons to a bomb shelter beneath a building where civilians had sought refuge. The Hezbollah militants covered the weapons with sheets, with the help of some of the civilians sheltering in the basement. According to the same witness, Hezbollah fighters also took shelter with the civilians in the basement.[84] The use of a civilian shelter in this manner at least endangers civilians in violation of the requirements of international humanitarian law and suggests an intent to use civilians as a shield against attack.

Human Rights Watch has no evidence to suggest that the placement of such weapons caches and Hezbollah fighters in Dahieh was systematic or widespread. In those instances Hezbollah stored weapons and deployed fighters in such a densely populated neighborhood, it was committing a serious violation of the laws of war, and if it purposefully used civilians to forestall Israeli attacks, was committing shielding. While Israel would have been justified in attacking the Hezbollah weapons caches and sheltering Hezbollah fighters, it remained under an obligation to ensure that its attacks were not indiscriminate or disproportionate-or to cancel the attack. Even in light of the evidence of a Hezbollah military presence in the Dahieh, Israel's massive destruction of the area was certainly both indiscriminate and disproportionate.

In the 94 incidents involving civilian deaths that Human Rights Watch investigated, we found evidence in only one case involving civilian deaths that Hezbollah weapons were stored in the building. Rather, it appears from our interviews and a review of publicly available reports on Hezbollah's military strategy that Hezbollah had stored most of its weapons and ammunition, notably rockets, in bunkers and weapon storage facilities located in the fields and the valleys surrounding villages.

Nicholas Blanford, the Beirut-based correspondent for The Times of London, The Christian Science Monitor, and Time magazine, described how Hezbollah prepared extensive fighting positions in rural, largely unpopulated areas of southern Lebanon:

Other than the permanent observation posts along the Blue Line, such as the fortified position on Shaikh Abbad hill near the village of Houla, most of Hizbollah's construction activities were shrouded in secrecy and kept to remoter tracts of the border [where] the group established mini security zones, off-limits to the general public. There were persistent reports over those six years of residents of villages in remote parts of the border being kept awake at night by distant explosions as Hizbullah dynamited new bunkers and positions. The extent and thoroughness of this military infrastructure was underestimated by observers and by the IDF, despite the latter enjoying extensive reconnaissance capabilities through overflight by jets and drones as well as possible assets on the ground in south Lebanon. Israeli troops came across some of these bunkers during the war, finding spacious well-equipped rooms 25 feet underground with side tunnels, storage chambers and TV cameras mounted at the entrance for security.[85]

A few months after the war, Blanford and a team of BBC journalists separately located and entered some of the Hezbollah bunkers in southern Lebanon, finding them undamaged from the war.[86] A number of villagers confirmed to Human Rights Watch the establishment of bunkers in areas off-limits to them. In the village of `Ain Ebel, villagers told Human Rights Watch that Hezbollah started digging in 2000 in the fields behind the village and had placed a number of fields adjacent to the village "off limits" to the local villagers.[87]

Hezbollah never denied its extensive preparations for war. In August 2006, at the end of the conflict, Shaikh Na`im Qassem, the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, told al-Manar television that "over the past six years, we have been working day and night to prepare, equip, and train because we never trusted this enemy [Israel]."[88]

C. Hezbollah's Rocket Firing Positions

In most southern Lebanese villages visited by Human Rights Watch, local villagers consistently stated that Hezbollah fighters had not fired rockets from within the village, but from nearby fields and orchards, or from more remote uninhabited valleys. On a few occasions, Human Rights Watch was able to establish through eyewitness interviews that Hezbollah fighters did fire directly from inhabited villages, a practice that would have put the civilian population of those villages at great risk of Israeli counterfire. While international humanitarian law recognizes that fighting from or near populated areas is permissible if there are no feasible alternatives, Hezbollah did have alternatives when it fired from inside villages in the [majority] of cases examined by Human Rights Watch. This is evidenced by the fact that Hezbollah had bunkers and positions outside villages and was able to actually use them a great deal of the time.

Human Rights Watch was able to confirm a number of cases where Hezbollah fighters fired from inside populated areas of villages, possibly drawing deadly retaliatory Israeli strikes that caused civilian casualties. On July 18, at 12:45 at night, an Israeli air strike hit two civilian homes in the center of `Aitaroun, killing nine members of the `Awada family.[89] According to surviving members of the family,[90] Hezbollah fighters had been firing rockets at Israel from approximately 100 to 150 meters away from their home around 10:15 p.m. that night (2 hours prior to the Israeli strike). Some of the members of the `Awada family had already abandoned another home on the outskirts of `Aitaroun because Hezbollah had been firing rockets from nearby that home:

Two days before the attack, [an `Awada family member] saw Hezbollah firing rockets from 50 meters away from her house, which is on the outskirts of the village. She saw them setting up the rockets and launching them from 50 meters away. She then fled her house and came to the house in the center of the village because she thought it would be safer there...
The night of the attack, Hezbollah was firing from inside the village. They should have stayed out of the village, not fired from inside. The men of the town should have talked to the fighters . From 100 or 150 meters away from our house, from inside the village, they were firing rockets. At 10:15 p.m., they were firing rockets from near our house. We heard the missiles going out.[91]

"We were sleeping; it was about 12:45 at night. Some were in the shelter, but we were in our home," said Manal Hassan `Alawiyya, a neighbor. "Suddenly we heard a plane flying low. The plane dropped a bomb, and all the windows in our house were blown out. My fianc took me down to the shelter, and he went to help the people at the house."[92]The strike killed nine members of the `Awada family: Hassan Mahmud `Awada, age 43, a shoemaker and clothes shop owner; his son Hussain Hassan `Awada, three; his sister Jamila Mahmud `Awada, 45; his sister's husband, Musa Naif `Awada, 45, a schoolteacher; and their five children `Ali Musa `Awada, 17; `Abir Musa `Awada, 16; Hassan Musa `Awada, 12; Maryam Musa `Awada, 10; and Muhammad Musa `Awada, six. Thirteen other occupants of the home survived, including six children and five women. None of the people in the house had any connection to Hezbollah.

According to a villager from `Aitaroun, most of the civilians fled `Aitaroun after Hezbollah began to fire rockets from inside the village and the deadly Israeli air strikes on the two homes in the village on July 16 and 17: "When our house was hit, almost all of the civilians left the village. Hezbollah continued to fire rockets from inside the village."[93]

Human Rights Watch also established that Hezbollah fighters fired rockets nearby homes in the mixed Christian-Shi`a village of Yaroun, located just one kilometer north of the Israeli border. A witness from the village showed Human Rights Watch researchers the center of Yaroun, which Israeli strikes had virtually completely destroyed, and explained:

Hezbollah were shooting from the houses on the hill [in the center of town] with their Katyushas. The people were still in the town then, but not in the houses on the hill; the closest inhabited house was probably about 100 meters away. That neighborhood [where they were firing from] was almost completely destroyed. They were also shooting from the [unpopulated] valley behind the village. We can't go there now because of the [Israeli unexploded] cluster bombs.[94]

However, in most cases investigated by Human Rights Watch, Hezbollah fighters located themselves and their weapons outside populated areas, at positions often prepared years in advance of the conflict, and had only a fleeting presence in populated areas. A young Hezbollah fighter in Zebqine village explained that Hezbollah militants had prepared "the infrastructure"-caves to store rockets and launchers, access roads, and launching sites-in the rural valleys surrounding Zebqine for the past six years, and had pre-positioned the rocket launchers and rockets in these positions before the war:

We have two valleys from which we fired Ra`ed missiles at Israel, one on each side of the village. We've been preparing the infrastructure and the roads for six years ... The rockets are stored in the valleys.[95]

On one occasion, he said, a truck carrying Hezbollah militants in Zebqine had mounted at least one rocket launcher on a Mitsubishi truck, and during the war the truck broke down inside Zebqine as Hezbollah was moving the mobile rocket launcher from one valley to another, passing through the village. Israeli drones quickly located the missile launcher, and warplanes launched an immediate strike, destroying the truck and four nearby empty residences: "The rocket launcher was just being moved from one valley to the other," he explained.[96]

According to villagers and officials interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Hezbollah fighters stayed mostly outside the villages during the war, firing their rockets from the pre-prepared positions outside the villages. (Hezbollah fighters did confront Israeli troops on the ground when the Israeli troops entered Lebanon near the end of the war, after most civilians in the area had fled; some of the fiercest and deadliest fighting involved ground combat in the border villages of Maroon al-Ras, Bint Jbeil and `Aita al-Sha`ab.)

According to the former mukhtar of Hadatha, Hajj Abduljalil Salman Nasr, who remained in his village until the initial 48-hour ceasefire on July 31, 2007 and is not associated with Hezbollah, the village leadership had prohibited Hezbollah fighters from entering his village, and so Hezbollah had fought from prepared positions in the surrounding valleys:

At the time I was present in the village, the resistance was not inside the village. It was prohibited for them to fire rockets from inside the village; they had to go outside the village. The villagers do not allow the resistance to shoot from inside the village. The fighters made a lot of caves where they could hide [outside the village]. They have a Landrover with 8-12 missile launchers mounted on it, and their caves are at least two meters deep. When they launch, they move the vehicle out and back in. So the missile launcher stays in the field. It is prohibited to bring such weapons into the village; the villagers do not allow it because it would bring a catastrophe on them.[97]

A Hezbollah logistics and communications officer who remained in Hadatha throughout the war and participated in the fighting in the area supported the mukhtar's version of events. He told Human Rights Watch: "We were firing rockets from outside the villages. We did not fire one missile from a civilian area [in Hadatha]. However, when the direct confrontations took place, the fighting did take place between the houses. There were two houses in the village where we would go to bake bread."[98]

In the village of al-Jibbain, located just north of the Israeli border, 81-year-old `Ali Muhammad `Akil, a tobacco farmer, told Human Rights Watch about the Hezbollah fighters and rocket positions around his village. He explained that Hezbollah fighters did move through his village on occasion during the war, but that he had not seen them fire rockets from the village:

There is no Hezbollah position inside the village; they just move around. They fire their rockets from outside the village and from the edges of the village. Then Israel fires back. When Hezbollah fires a rocket from near a village, Israel fires back at the village.

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of four Hezbollah fighters in al-Jibbain-the only fighters killed in that village-lend support for `Akil's description of their activities. On August 3 or 4, an Israeli air strike killed four Hezbollah fighters (Hassan Sami Musalamani, `Ali Sami Musalamani, Hassan Ahmad `Akil, and `Abbas Ahmad `Akil) in an uninhabited valley some 900 meters from the nearest homes, apparently as they were firing rockets at Israel. Human Rights Watch researchers tried to visit the area where the four militants were killed, but a municipal official (who consulted with a Hezbollah commander on his mobile phone) prevented them from doing so until the site could be "cleaned up."[99]

The case of the village of `Ain B`al is a typical example. According to a villager of `Ain B`al, "We told [Hezbollah] not to fire from our town, and they agreed and fired from the orchards."[100] A second villager from `Ain B`al, Hussain `Ali Kiki, told Human Rights Watch how a cluster bomb injured his legs and killed his friend, `Ali Muhammad Abu `Eid, after the war when they returned to their orchard between Batulay and Ras al-`Ain (villages adjacent to `Ain B`al). He described the presence of Hezbollah rocket launching pads in the nearby fields:

The field I was in at the time I was injured did not have launching pads. However, fields next to it did. At the beginning, the Israelis were firing most of the cluster bombs on places where there were rocket launchers. But after that, they started throwing them everywhere.[101]

Human Rights Watch found similar cases of rocket launcher locations throughout the vast banana and citrus groves located along the coast south of Tyre. In the village of Mansouri, Hezbollah militants had fired rockets from banana plantations located along the coast; Israeli return fire resulted in the destruction of a beachside home occupied by the militants and damage to nearby civilian structures, including a private guesthouse.[102] In the village of QuLaila, just north of Mansouri, an unexploded Israeli cluster bomb injured the foot of 49-year-old Salih Ramez Karashet in his citrus orchard. He explained that Hezbollah had used his orchard to fire rockets: "There was definitely a military objective in the orchards. When we returned to the orchards [after the war], we found the remains of Hezbollah rocket launchers and exploded rockets."[103] On August 6, IDF commandos raided a building on the outskirts of Tyre that a Hezbollah team occupied, firing long-range rockets from nearby citrus groves into Israel. The raid killed at least two Hezbollah fighters, but the launching of long-range rockets continued from those same citrus orchards until the end of the war.[104]

Israel's own firing patterns in Lebanon support the conclusion that Hezbollah fired large numbers of its rockets from tobacco fields, banana, olive and citrus groves, and more remote, unpopulated valleys. Throughout southern Lebanon, Israel subjected such agricultural areas to heavy bombardment with 155mm and 77mm artillery rounds, as well as with M-26 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) with M77 submunitions, a form of cluster weapon designed specifically to suppress, neutralize, and destroy launch locations. Israeli radar was able to locate some Hezbollah launch locations after a rocket was airborne, allowing IDF artillery teams to respond with artillery rounds and M77 submunition fire as an area-effect weapon, in an attempt to kill the launch crews as they escaped and to disable the rocket launcher itself. A large number of the groves and agricultural lands contaminated by duds and marked by artillery impact rounds from such strikes were located at least at the periphery of populated areas, although other suspected Hezbollah launching sites targeted by artillery and M77 cluster rounds were in much more remote and uninhabited valleys.

During and immediately after the war, Hezbollah cleared up a number of military sites that Israel had hit, removing destroyed rocket launchers and other weapons evidence. According to a top international demining official in Lebanon, "We did find a couple of Katyusha [rocket launchers] while cleaning up, but Hezbollah has generally cleaned things up themselves."[105]

D. Claims of Hezbollah "Human Shielding" Practices

Israeli officials have repeatedly accused Hezbollah of using the Lebanese civilian population as "human shields" by deploying their forces-fighters, weapons, and equipment-in civilian areas for the purpose of deterring IDF attack. On many occasions, Israeli officials blamed these alleged shielding practices as the primary cause for Lebanese civilian deaths. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website carries a typical statement:

The Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon have purposely hidden themselves and stockpiled their missiles in residential areas, thus endangering the surrounding populations. Indeed, many of the missiles recently fired at Israel were stored and launched from or near private homes, commandeered by Hizbullah terrorists wishing to shield their actions behind civilians in order to thwart Israel's response.[106]

Similarly, in response to the July 30 Israeli Air Force strike on the village of Qana that killed 27 people, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz blamed Hezbollah for the deadly incident, stating "The Hezbollah organization places Lebanese civilians as a defensive shield between itself and us while the IDF places itself as a defensive shield between the citizens of Israel and Hezbollah's terror. That is the principal difference between us."[107] On July 19, the IDF stated that "Hezbollah terrorists have turned southern Lebanon into a war zone, and are operating near population centers there, using civilians as human shields."[108] On the same day, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, told CNN: "We are trying to minimize hurting civilians, but when Hezbollah uses civilians as human shields, sometimes civilians will get hurt."[109]

As discussed in the legal chapter of this report (see above), the laws of war specifically prohibit the use of civilians as "human shields" to prevent the enemy from attacking:

The presence or movement of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favor or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.[110]

A key element of the humanitarian law violation of shielding is intention: the purposeful use of civilians to render military objectives immune from attack.

As noted above, we documented cases where Hezbollah stored weapons inside civilian homes or fired rockets from inside populated civilian areas. At minimum, that violated the legal duty to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians the hazards of armed conflict, and in some cases it suggests the intentional use of civilians to shield against attack. However, these cases were far less numerous than Israeli officials have suggested. The handful of cases of probable shielding that we did find does not begin to account for the civilian death toll in Lebanon. (The related issue of Hezbollah's illegally using several UN posts near the Lebanon-Israel border as shields is discussed in the next section.)

In addition to its own research, Human Rights Watch carefully reviewed local and international press accounts, IDF and Israeli government statements, and the work of various independent think tanks to evaluate allegations of human shielding by Hezbollah. While the Israeli government and certain commentators have described Hezbollah shielding as widespread, they have not provided convincing evidence to support such allegations.[111] The Israeli government provided some video footage taken from drones showing Hezbollah fighters firing rockets from what appear to be civilian structures, or entering such structures, but the footage gives no indication whether these structures were inhabited by civilians or located in then-populated areas.

The Israeli government's allegations seem to stem from an unwillingness to distinguish the prohibition against human shielding-the intentional use of civilians to shield a military objective from attack-from that against endangering the civilian population by failing to take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian harm, and even from instances where Hezbollah conducted operations in residential areas empty of civilians. Individuals responsible for shielding can be prosecuted for war crimes; failing to fully minimize harm to civilians is not considered a violation prosecutable as a war crime.[112]

To constitute shielding, there needs to be a specific intent to use civilians to deter an attack. For example, during the 2003 conflict in Iraq, Human Rights Watch documented the use of human shields by Iraqi forces. Witnesses observed irregular Iraqi armed forces (known as fedayeen) confronting coalition troops with women and children as human shields, lining up women and children in front of their vehicles to prevent coalition troops from attacking them, and placing women and children on their vehicles when attacking coalition positions.[113]

Many of the allegations of widespread shielding highlight cases that, upon closer examination, do not show that they are said to demonstrate. For example, one of the most widely reported incidents of alleged human shielding by Hezbollah occurred in the village of `Ain Ebel, a Christian town approximately five kilometers from the Israeli border and a former stronghold for the Israeli-backed South Lebanese Army (SLA), a force opposed to Hezbollah.[114] Christian villagers fleeing the village of `Ain Ebel complained about Hezbollah tactics, telling the New York Times that "Hezbollah came to [our village] to shoot its rockets . . . They are shooting from between our houses."[115] Another villager told a blogger that Hezbollah fired at a convoy of fleeing civilians to prevent them from leaving because it wanted to use the civilians of `Ain Ebel as "human shields."[116]

Human Rights Watch visited `Ain Ebel multiple times to investigate these allegations. Our investigation revealed that Hezbollah violated the prohibition against unnecessarily endangering civilians when they took over civilian homes in the populated village, fired rockets close to homes, and drove through the village in at least one instance with weapons in their cars.[117] However, the available evidence does not demonstrate human shielding-the purposeful use of civilians to deter an attack-in `Ain Ebel. Hezbollah did not seize any inhabited houses in the village; even witnesses that criticized Hezbollah's behavior agreed that Hezbollah took over only houses that had no one in them.[118] While Hezbollah fired rockets from within the village, none of the witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch claimed that Hezbollah fired from or near homes that were populated at the time, or fled into populated areas of the village after firing their rockets. According to a local villager, Hezbollah's firing took place from fields next to the village that it had taken over after the Israeli withdrawal in 2000, and where it had placed bunkers and rocket launchers.[119] Hezbollah had prevented villagers from visiting these fields, in part because it feared the villagers might report on its activities.

We also interviewed individuals who were in a convoy that reportedly came under Hezbollah attack, allegedly to keep them from fleeing the village. On July 24,around 9:30a.m., a convoy of 17 cars containing villagers from `Ain Ebel and persons displaced from other neighboring villages came under machine-gun fire as their convoy crossed a hilly area on the immediate outskirts of `Ain Ebel, referred to as Tal Massoud. The area was the scene of earlier machine-gun fire between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli soldiers. Individuals in the convoy told Human Rights Watch that the fire came from the north side of the road, from behind a restaurant named "Grand Palace," and that the fire must have come from Hezbollah as Israeli troops had not yet made it to that side of the road.[120] The fire hit the first five to six cars in the convoy and injured up to 11 civilians. There were contradictory reports about whether anyone died, with some witnesses stating that no one died, while others thought that a Shi`ite man from `Aitaroun died.[121] None of the individuals interviewed saw the men who fired on them.

Despite the gravity of the incident, it is unclear whether Hezbollah fired on the convoy to prevent the villagers from leaving, or whether the villagers were caught in crossfire between Hezbollah and the IDF. Ambulances transferred the wounded to a Hezbollah-run hospital, Salah Ghandur, for treatment; the wounded later walked to Tibnine before ambulances transferred them to safety in Tyre.[122] Other cars left `Ain Ebel in the following days without any problems.[123]

According to almost all of the witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch throughout Lebanon, Hezbollah fighters and officials evacuated their offices as soon as the conflict began and often warned other occupants in the same building to also evacuate. Even when not warned, militants, as well as residents in pro-Hezbollah neighborhoods or living close to known Hezbollah officials, often evacuated their homes of their own accord, knowing from past Israeli bombing campaigns that Israel would target the homes and offices of Hezbollah officials and militants.

For example, Mukhtar `Adil Amar, the village leader of Mashghara, a mixed Shi`a and Christian village in the southern Beka` Valley, explained to Human Rights Watch: "The Hezbollah [members] were not staying in their homes. When the war started, they all left . A house in the lower neighborhood was hit, the house of [a Hezbollah member], but no one died in that strike."[124] Michel Habbush, a Christian worker at the electricity company in Mashghara, confirmed the Mukhtar's account in a separate interview:

The upper neighborhood of Mashghara doesn't have many Hezbollah members. Most of the Hezbollah members lived in the lower neighborhood, and that neighborhood was empty since the beginning of the war . Those who are in Hezbollah left at the beginning of the war, because they knew they were in danger. The people living near Hezbollah members, they also left their homes immediately when the war started.[125]

Human Rights Watch did not document any cases where Hezbollah fighters returned to their home villages with the intention of using a civilian presence to shield themselves from attack. While many Hezbollah fighters, often fighting near their own villages, remained in contact with their families and sometimes visited them, and while several Hezbollah fighters died together with civilians in Israeli strikes on villages, in the cases we examined, eyewitnesses told us that the fighters were killed while checking on or assisting villagers.

E. Hezbollah Firing from Near UN Positions

Although Human Rights Watch found only a limited number of cases where Hezbollah fighters fired weapons from populated civilian areas, there is strong evidence to suggest that Hezbollah fired much more frequently from the vicinity of UN outposts in southern Lebanon. According to reliable UNIFIL records, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets on an almost daily basis from close proximity to UN observer posts in southern Lebanon, often drawing retaliatory Israeli fire on the nearby UN positions as a result. There are two likely motives for this conduct, which are not mutually exclusive. On the one hand, the hills on which most observation posts are located are also good places from Hezbollah's perspective for firing on Israel. On the other hand, Hezbollah commanders may have at times selected those positions for firing because the presence of UN personnel made it more difficult for Israel to counterattack. Insofar as the latter consideration motivated Hezbollah combatants, that would constitute shielding.

Peacekeeping forces are not parties to a conflict, even if they are usually professional soldiers. As long as they do not take part in hostilities, they are entitled to the same protections under the laws of war afforded to civilians and other non-combatants.[126] Deploying military forces or materiel near a UN base or outpost would violate at the very least the duty to take all feasible precautions to avoid harm to noncombatants if there were feasible alternatives. Intentionally using the presence of peacekeepers to make one's forces immune from attack amounts to human shielding.[127]

The UNIFIL statements issued during the conflict demonstrate that Hezbollah fighters fired from the vicinity of UN positions on a near daily basis and that this frequency increased as the fighting intensified.[128]

  • On July 19-20, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the immediate vicinity of the UN positions in Naqoura and Maroon al-Ras. The IDF responded with shelling of the areas, and 10 IDF artillery shells fell inside the UN position at Naqoura, while four IDF artillery shells fell inside the UN position in Maroon al-Ras, causing extensive material damage to both UN positions.[129]
  • On July 25-26, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of four UN positions: `Alma al-Sha`ab, Tibnine, Bar`ashit, and al-Tiri. The same period, an Israeli precision-guided missile destroyed a UN observer post at Khiam, killing four UN observers (a case discussed below), but there was no Hezbollah firing reported from near this position.[130]
  • On July 26-27, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of four UN positions: Marwahin, `Alma A-Sha`ab, Bar`ashit, and al-Tiri.[131]
  • On July 27-28, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of five UN positions: `Alma a-Sha`ab, al-Tiri, Beit Yahoun, and Tibnine. UNIFIL noted that "[t]he number of troops in some Ghanaian battalion positions is somewhat reduced because of the increased safety risk of troops due to frequent incidents of Hezbollah firing from the vicinity of the positions, and shelling and bombardment close to the positions from the Israeli side."[132]
  • On July 28-29, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of UN positions on six occasions: Tibnine (twice), al-Tiri, Beit Yahoun, and `Alma Sha`ab (twice).[133]
  • On July 29-30, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of three UN positions: Tibnine, al-Tiri, and Bar`ashit. Hezbollah fighters also fired small arms from the vicinity of two UN positions: `Alma al-Sha`ab and al-Duhayyra.[134]
  • On July 30-31, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of three UN positions: `Alma al-Sha`ab (where Hezbollah fighters also fired small arms from the vicinity of the UN position), Tibnine, and al-Tiri, leading to IDF aerial bombardment in the vicinity of the `Alma al-Sha`ab UN position.[135]
  • On July 31-August 1, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of three UN positions: Tibnine, Haris, and al-Tiri.[136]
  • On August 1-2, Hezbollah fighters fired four rockets from the vicinity of a UNIFIL team and Lebanese Army Engineering Contingent sent to the village of Srifa to assist with the recovery of bodies from the rubble. The IDF responded with shelling, forcing the withdrawal of the UNIFIL team from the recovery effort. Hezbollah fighters also fired rockets from the vicinity of three UNIFIL positions: Tibnine, al-Tiri, and `Alma al-Sha`ab.[137]
  • On August 2-3, two Hezbollah rockets aimed at Israeli targets struck the UNIFIL position in Houla, causing extensive material damage but no casualties. Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of four UN positions: `Alma al-Sha`ab, Marwahin, Tibnine, and al-Tiri.[138]
  • On August 3-4, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of two UN positions: `Alma al-Sha`ab and al-Tiri.[139]
  • On August 4-5, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of one UN position, Tibnine.[140]
  • On August 5-6, a Hezbollah mortar round fell on the Headquarters of the Chinese UNIFIL contingent at Hinniyya, wounding three Chinese observers. Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of three UN positions: Tibnine, al-Tiri, and Beit Yahoun.[141]
  • On August 6-7, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets twice from the vicinity of the UN position in Houla, and also fired multiple rockets from the vicinity of the UN position in Tibnine, leading to IAF air strikes on the area around the UN position.[142]
  • On August 7-8, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of the UN position in Tibnine, leading to IAF air strikes on the area around the UN position for a second day.[143]
  • On August 8-9, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of two UN positions, al-Tiri and Tibnine.[144]
  • On August 9-10, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from close by the UN position in Houla, and from the vicinity of three UN positions: Labouneh, Tibnine, and al-Tiri. Four Hezbollah mortar rounds landed inside the UNIFIL position at Deir Mimess, causing extensive material damage.[145]
  • On August 10-11, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of four UN positions: Labouneh, Tibnine, Bar`ashit, and Haris. Hezbollah fighters also fired upon a UNIFIL armored car moving north of Naqoura, and a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket fell on the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, causing material damage and lightly wounding a French soldier.[146]
  • On August 11-12, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets from the vicinity of two UN positions: Tibnine and al-Tiri.[147]
  • On August 12-13, UNIFIL did not report any cases of Hezbollah fighters firing rockets from the vicinity of UN positions, but did note that a Hezbollah missile fell directly inside the UN position in Ghanduriyeh, causing material damage but no casualties.[148]
  • On August 13-14, the last period of fighting prior to the cessation of hostilities, UNIFIL did not report any cases of Hezbollah fighters firing rockets from the vicinity of UN positions, but did note that Israeli forces fired at least 85 shells directly inside UN positions at Tibnine, Haris, al-Tiri, and Marun al-Ras, causing "massive material damage to all positions."[149]

As noted above, Hezbollah should take immediate steps to ensure that this illegal conduct is not replicated in any future conflict.[150]

F. Hezbollah Combatants in Civilian Clothes

On the few occasions that Human Rights Watch researchers encountered Hezbollah fighters in the field during the conflict, those Hezbollah fighters were invariably dressed in civilian clothes, and often had no visible weaponry on them. Especially away from the frontlines, Hezbollah fighters appear to have operated in small cells of fighters, dressed in civilian clothes and maintaining contact with each other as well as Hezbollah fighters in other cells with handheld radios.[151] Away from active areas of combat, Hezbollah fighters were normally unarmed, keeping their weapons out of sight until needed. Only during active confrontations with Israeli forces did some Hezbollah fighters, particularly Hezbollah's elite fighters, fight in military uniforms.[152]

While the humanitarian law applicable during the Israeli conflict with Hezbollah placed no obligation on those participating in the hostilities to wear uniforms,[153] the routine appearance of Hezbollah fighters in civilian clothes and their failure to carry their weapons openly put the civilian population of Lebanon at risk. Since Hezbollah fighters regularly appeared in civilian clothes, Israeli forces would have had difficulty distinguishing between fighters and other male, fighting-age civilians, and such difficulty increased the dangers of IDF operations to the civilian population of Lebanon. However, the failure of Hezbollah fighters to consistently distinguish themselves as combatants does not relieve Israeli forces of their obligation to distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians and to target only combatants.[154] The difficulty of making that distinction does not negate Israel's obligation. In cases of doubt, a person must be considered a civilian and not a legitimate military target.[155]

VII. Israeli Conduct During the War Civilian Deaths

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was responsible for serious violations of the laws of war during its conflict with Hezbollah. Israeli attacks in Lebanon resulted in the deaths of at least 1,109 Lebanese, the vast majority of whom were civilians. This report is based on in-depth investigations of over 94 separate cases of Israeli air, artillery, and ground attacks that claimed 510 civilian lives and 51 combatants, or nearly half of the Lebanese deaths in the conflict.

Human Rights Watch's research shows that the primary reason for the high Lebanese civilian death toll during the conflict was Israel's frequent failure to abide by a fundamental obligation of the laws of war, the duty to distinguish at all times between military targets that can be legitimately attacked, and civilians, who are not subject to attack. This was compounded by Israel's failure to take adequate safeguards to prevent civilian casualties.

Our research into more than 94 attacks shows that Israel often, even though not deliberately attacking civilians, did not distinguish between military objectives and civilians or civilian objects as required by humanitarian law. The chief cause of this wrongful and deadly selection of targets was Israel's assumption that Lebanese civilians had observed its warnings to evacuate all villages south of the Litani River, and thus that no civilians remained there. As a result, Israel targeted any person or vehicle south of the Litani River on the grounds that they were part of the Hezbollah military apparatus. Israel also engaged in widespread bombardment of civilian areas that was indiscriminate, which endangered many of the civilians who had remained behind. In addition, in the Dahieh section of southern Beirut, this danger of this presumption was compounded by the Israeli tendency to treat all people and buildings associated with Hezbollah, however vaguely, as legitimate military targets.

The officials best positioned to explain the reasons for the high civilian casualty toll are the Israeli military officials who reviewed and decided what to target and participated in post-strike battle damage assessments (BDAs). During past research projects into the civilian casualties caused by the air wars in Kosovo (1999), Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq (2003), Human Rights Watch researchers obtained from US, NATO, and coalition military personnel relevant information that helped identify the specific causes for the civilian casualty figures in those conflicts. However, despite repeated requests from Human Rights Watch, Israeli officials refused to allow Human Rights Watch to interview the relevant Israeli military officials who could provide such information.[156]

A. Israel's False Presumption of No Civilian Presence and Ineffective Warnings to Evacuate, With Resultant Indiscriminate Bombardment and Indiscriminate Targeting of All Visible Persons or Vehicles in Southern Lebanon or the Beka` Valley as "Hezbollah"

(i) False Presumption of No Civilian Presence

Israeli officials often justified their extensive bombardment of southern Lebanon by advancing the erroneous assumptions that (i) all civilians had fled the areas under attack and (ii) only Hezbollah members or their supporters remained in the south and therefore anyone who remained was a legitimate military target. For example, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz stated on July 28 that "Bint Jbeil was aerially bombed and [hit with artillery] to the extent that we calculated to be sufficient [before introducing ground troops]. This is not a humanitarian issue, as Bint Jbeil was empty of citizens and surrounded by terrorists both inside and out."[157] The IDF also applied this argument to justify its bombardment of the southern suburbs of Beirut. On July 17, Eliezer Shkedi, commander of the IAF justified the massive, nightly IDF air raids on apartment buildings in the suburbs by stating that "in the center of Beirut there is an area which only terrorists enter into."[158]

It is questionable whether Israeli officials really believed the assumption that there were no Lebanese civilians left in southern Lebanon, or simply adopted such a formal assumption to defend their actions. Evidence suggests that Israeli officials knew that the assertion that all civilians had fled was erroneous. At the time of the Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon, stories about Lebanese civilians dying in Israeli strikes or trapped in southern Lebanon filled the Israeli and international media. In addition, foreign embassies were in regular contact with Israeli diplomats with requests to assist with the evacuation of their nationals caught in the fighting in southern Lebanon. And in some instances, Israel seemed to know exactly how many people remained in a village. On July 24, Dan Halutz, the IDF chief of staff, estimated that 500 residents remained in Bint Jbeil despite IDF warnings to leave.[159]

Israel must have known from its past conflicts in southern Lebanon that a civilian population is rarely able or willing to leave its homes according to timetables laid down by a belligerent military.[160] Reporting 10 years ago on fighting between Hezbollah and Israel during July 1993, Human Rights Watch found that it was "reasonably foreseeable that a segment of the population might not flee, and it was entirely foreseeable that in particular the old and indigent would not be able to evacuate their homes, especially considering the brevity of time between the first warnings and the beginning of the shelling."[161] In this war, not only were these outcomes foreseeable, they were based on the precedents of Israel's previous wars in Lebanon. Israel should have known that civilians would remain in their villages throughout the war and should, at the very least, have modified its targeting practices in light of the reports of increasing civilian deaths. Considering Israel's experience in past conflicts in Lebanon and the real time information of civilian deaths streaming through the media, Israel's decision to treat southern Lebanon effectively as a free-fire zone would make Israel responsible for indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Commanders who knowingly or recklessly ordered such attacks would be subject to prosecution for war crimes.

Even if civilians who remained did so because they were Hezbollah supporters-a claim contradicted by Human Rights Watch's research, which found that most of those who remained behind stayed because they were too old, poor, or sickly to leave-Israel would not have been justified in attacking them. The political leanings of the civilian population in a given area or village is irrelevant as far as their civilian status is concerned. Only civilians who directly participate in hostilities, that is, commit acts that by their nature or purpose are likely to cause harm to the personnel and equipment of the enemy (or provide direct combat support to combatants) are subject to attack. Otherwise they are protected against attack like any other civilian.

Israel's position that anyone who remained in southern Lebanon was a legitimate military target was based in part on Israeli claims that the IDF had sufficiently warned civilians to leave. On July 27, Israeli justice minister Haim Ramon said that Israel had given civilians in southern Lebanon ample time to quit the area, and therefore anyone still remaining there could be considered a Hezbollah supporter: "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah."[162]Commenting on attacks on Hezbollah infrastructure in Baalbek, he said that once the IDF has asked the civilians to evacuate, it is permissible to bomb those areas.[163]

While international humanitarian law requires effective advance warning to the civilian population prior to an attack where circumstances permit,[164] those warnings do not relieve Israel from its obligations at all times to distinguish between combatants and civilians and to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from harm. That is, issuing warnings in no way entitled the Israeli military to treat those civilians who remained in southern Lebanon as legitimate targets of attack or to ignore their presence for considerations of distinction and proportionality.[165]

Despite the many Israeli warnings, a significant number of Lebanese civilians remained in every village in the south. Many were too afraid to travel on the roads, because Israeli attacks targeting persons on the roads occurred on a daily basis, even when those fled immediately after warnings. Others did not have transport to flee, as vehicles gradually emptied out of the south or were destroyed on the roads, or they could not afford the extremely high fares charged by drivers willing to take the risk, often amounting to thousands of US dollars per vehicle. Many of those who stayed behind were too old, infirm, or sick to be moved, and they died in disproportionate numbers from air strikes during the war. And many rural Lebanese civilians had their life savings invested in their homes, livestock, and agricultural fields, and so were unwilling to leave these precious resources behind.

After the war, Daniel Carmon, the deputy Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, defended Israel's actions in Lebanon by arguing that "There is hardly any distinction between Hezbollah and the civilian population [in southern Lebanon]. This whole region was a region in which you could not make the distinction between one and the other."[166] In fact, even if it was difficult for Israel to distinguish between civilians and Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon because Hezbollah fighters frequently did not wear distinguishing uniforms or bear arms openly, Israel was required by a fundamental obligation of the laws of war to distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians, and to refrain from launching attacks if it could not be sure that it was targeting combatants rather than civilians, or if the anticipated harm to civilians would have been disproportionate to the military gain Israel hoped to achieve. The difficulty of making such distinctions did not negate Israel's obligations.

(ii) Ineffective Warnings to Evacuate

Israel's assumption that the civilian population had emptied southern Lebanon is especially problematic because Israel's warnings were often ineffective. Under international humanitarian law, a warning should notify the civilian population of the dangers of an imminent attack, but should also give them a realistic opportunity to evacuate the area.[167]

The IDF initially issued warnings to the residents of southern Lebanese villages to leave, followed by increasingly urgent warnings for all civilians south of the Litani River to evacuate their homes and head to areas north of the Litani for their safety. However, Israel failed generally to give affected Lebanese civilians a realistic opportunity to evacuate.

First, most warnings reviewed by Human Rights Watch did not provide sufficient time for people to evacuate, especially given that most roads in southern Lebanon remained under bombardment. For instance, in Marwahin, the IDF gave only a two-hour warning before a threatened attack and hit a convoy fleeing Marwahin.[168] IDF warnings often either gave an unrealistically short time frame for civilians to leave the area, or where so vague as to give almost no indication to the civilian population of how or when they were supposed to evacuate.

Second, despite repeated appeals from United Nations and other humanitarian officials, Israel failed to create safe passage corridors for evacuating civilians.[169] Israel claims to have created humanitarian corridors during the conflict, but these corridors existed only in northern Lebanon to allow humanitarian agencies the ability to move humanitarian supplies to Beirut and did not extend into the active conflict zone in southern Lebanon. And even these limited humanitarian corridors focused on the movement of humanitarian supplies, not on safe evacuation routes for civilians.

Third, Israeli forces on numerous occasions attacked civilians fleeing southern Lebanon, which gave civilians two dangerous options: staying put or driving on the road. A villager from `Aitaroun, who lost his mother when his car came under attack, told Human Rights Watch the difficulty he faced in making his decision:

We were scared during the bombing so we had all assembled in the depot [storage facility] across the street. After the second [deadly IDF attack in `Aitaroun], we got really scared. It became difficult to come and go I had received calls from relatives in Beirut to leave. On Tuesday July 18, my neighbor and two other cars left. We were worried about leaving and decided to wait until we saw if they made it.[170]

The fear that had prevented people from fleeing became apparent when thousands of people took to the road after Israel announced a 48-hour suspension of air strikes starting on July 31.

Fourth, many warning flyers were too general to be helpful and did not provide specific instructions or a time-frame for civilians to evacuate. For example, on July 25, the IDF issued the following flyer and issued the same warning in pre-recorded phone calls to Lebanese officials (emphasis in original):

To the People of Lebanon

Pay Attention to these instructions!

The IDF will intensify its activities and will heavily bomb the entire area from which rockets are being launched against the State of Israel.

Anyone present in these areas is endangering his life!

In addition, any pickup truck or truck traveling south of the Litani River will be suspected of transporting rockets and weapons and may be bombed.

You must know that anyone traveling in a pickup truck or truck is endangering his life.

The State of Israel

The flyer simply stated that anyone present in areas from which rockets are being launched was in danger, without identifying where those areas were. It did not identify possible safe roads. Another IDF flyer dropped on July 27 ordered all villagers south of the Litani, an area home to some 500,000 people, to move northward (the same order was also made in a separate flyer on July 25)[171] (emphasis in original):

To residents of the region

For your personal safety

Read this announcement and act accordingly

Rockets are being fired against the State of Israel from your area.

The Israeli Defense Forces will operate at full force against these terrorist groups effective immediately.

For your own safety, you must leave immediately, and travel northwards. Anyone who remains is putting himself in danger.

The State of Israel

In the words of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate Israeli attacks on Lebanon, "[i]f a military force is really serious in its attempts to warn civilians to evacuate because of impending danger, it should take into account how they expect the civilian population to carry out the instruction and not just drop paper messages from an aircraft."[172]

(iii) Indiscriminate Targeting of All Visible Persons or Movement of Persons or Vehicles as "Hezbollah" in Southern Lebanon and the Beka` Valley

Coupled with its wrongful assumption that southern Lebanon had been emptied of its civilian population, the Israeli military also seems to have determined that any vehicular or personal movement in southern Lebanon could be considered the movement of Hezbollah forces, and often targeted vehicles and other movements of persons on that basis. A blanket warning by the IDF on August 7 to the Lebanese population best summarized this assumption: "all vehicles, of any type, traveling [south of the Litani River] are liable to be attacked, endangering those traveling in the vehicles. Any person who violates these instructions endangers himself and his passengers."

As explained above, however, a large number of civilians did remain in southern Lebanon. Many were ill or bedridden, or were taking care of sick or elderly relatives, stayed behind to look after livestock, or simply were too poor to leave. Although these civilians remained inside their shelters for most of the time, on occasion they had to move within their homes and shelters or outside to get food, water, or other supplies. In many instances, Israeli drones and warplanes then struck their shelters after noticing the movement. In many of the instances documented by Human Rights Watch, Israeli air strikes killed civilians soon after they entered or exited a shelter. In all likelihood, the Israelis were not even aware of the number of civilians inside the shelter when deciding to launch an attack, and had made no evident effort to find out.

In one typical case, Sa`da Nur al-Din, a 53-year-old housewife, was staying in a shelter below a home in al-Ghassaniyeh with some 40 other civilians. At about 6 p.m. on July 25, she briefly left the shelter and drove her car to collect some food items from her home, as food supplies were running out inside the shelter. As she returned to the shelter, an Israeli drone fired a missile at her car just as she entered the parking area next to the shelter. The drone strike severely damaged the car and wounded Sa`da, but she survived the attack.[173]

 

Sa`da Nur al-Din, 53, with her car which was hit by an Israeli drone-fired missile as she drove to collect food supplies in al-Ghassaniyeh on July 25, 2006. She escaped with minor injuries.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch documented many similar attacks that appeared to be based solely on the movement of persons or vehicles. For instance, on August 10, Israeli warplanes struck a home in the village of Rabb al-Talatine, killing four women, soon after the women had carried a wounded relative (one of the four women killed) from one home to another home. On August 7, an Israeli air strike killed five civilians in Insar, apparently after they left a home on foot after an evening of socializing.

(iv) Indiscriminate Bombardment

Israel's bombardment of southern Lebanon was widespread. Israeli warplanes launched some 7,000 attacks against targets in Lebanon, supplemented by massive artillery and naval bombardments.[174] Israeli air strikes completely destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of homes during its bombing campaign. In some villages, homes completely destroyed in the Israeli bombardment numbered in the hundreds: 340 homes completely destroyed in Srifa; 215 homes completely destroyed in Siddiquine; 180 homes complete destroyed in Yatar; 160 homes completely destroyed in Zebqine; more than 750 homes completely destroyed in `Aita al-Sha`ab; more than 800 homes completely destroyed in Bint Jbeil; 140 homes completely destroyed in Taibe. The list throughout Lebanon's southern region is extensive. According to many people interviewed by Human Rights Watch, much of this destruction-like the massive barrage of cluster munitions fired into southern Lebanon-took place in the final days of the war.

Although Israel destroyed many of the homes with precision-guided missiles, there is no evidence of a Hezbollah military presence throughout these villages that would have justified this enormous "collateral damage." As explained above, Human Rights Watch's research indicates that the vast majority of Hezbollah rockets and fighters were placed outside these villages.

In addition to the targeted strikes against people or homes assumed to be affiliated to Hezbollah, Israel carried out a massive number of strikes on the area from where Hezbollah launched rocket attacks, even if the launchers were long gone, with apparent disregard for possible civilian casualties or the destruction of civilian property. Area denial, the targeting of a land area to deny it to the enemy, is a permissible tactic under humanitarian law, but it remains subject to the prohibitions on indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. Area denial traditionally concerns closing off land to the enemy to block communications and movement (such as a mountain pass) or for tactical advantage (channeling an attack or guarding a retreat).[175] As one influential scholar notes, however, while a specific land area can be regarded as a military objective, "[a]dmittedly, the incident of such locations cannot be too widespread: there must be a distinctive feature turning a piece of land into a military objective (e.g. an important mountain pass; a trail in the jungle or in a swamp area; a bridgehead; or a spit of land controlling the entrance of a harbor)."[176]

In an article published in Haaretz on April 2, 2007, two senior military correspondents reported that, following the war, an IDF internal investigation found that "the Artillery Corps shot approximately 170,000 munitions [shells] during the war, most of it [fired] to the approximate direction of the areas of launching. How many Hezbollah people were hit as a result? A senior officer in the Armored Corps says that if it turns out that five were killed he would be surprised."[177]

In the vast majority of the cases of civilian homes destroyed by Israeli strikes, the homes were empty, and there were no civilian casualties. However, as mentioned above, many civilians did not leave their villages, and a number of them died inside their houses, their bodies found under the rubble after the end of the war. The widespread bombardment showed little attempt to discriminate between military objectives and civilians and civilian structures. Nor does it seem that proper assessments were made of relative anticipated military advantage and civilian harm.

B. Attacks on Presumed Hezbollah Targets and Inadequate Precautions

(i) Hezbollah Targets

Israeli officials have repeatedly stated that Israel considers all parts of Hezbollah-its military wing, the Islamic Resistance, as well as its extensive political, social, and welfare branches-to be part of an integrated terror organization. As a result, Israel designated any person or office associated with Hezbollah, regardless of whether such persons took an active part in hostilities or merely supported Hezbollah's political or welfare activities, as legitimate military targets. During the conflict, IDF spokesperson Jacob Dallal told the Associated Press:

[Hezbollah] is a terrorist institution, a terrorist organization that has to be debilitated and crippled as much as possible and that means [destroying] its infrastructure, that means its television, its institutions . In the war on terror in general, it's not just about hitting an army base, which they don't have, or a bunker. It is also about undermining their ability to operate . That ranges from incitement on television and radio, financial institutions and, of course, other grass-roots institutions that breed more followers, more terrorists, training bases, obviously, schools.[178]

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council on July 21, 2006, Israel's permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Dan Gillerman, also rejected any distinction between Hezbollah's military and political structures, describing Hezbollah as a "cancer" that had to be "removed without any trace":

The world has learned how deeply [Hezbollah] has penetrated Lebanese society . We have been aware, for years, of this deadly, cancerous growth, insidiously invading this beautiful, potentially prosperous country, and we have warned about the danger repeatedly . This cancer must be excised. It cannot be partially removed or allowed to fester. It must be removed without any trace, or, as cancers do and will, it will return and spread, striking and killing again.
We are told of a so-called "political branch" of [Hezbollah]. Do not be misled by this ruse-an attempt to paint a kinder face on cold-blooded terrorists who are intent on cold-blooded murder. The [Hezbollah] member of parliament and the terrorist in the hills launching rockets at Israeli civilians both have the same strategy and goal. These labels cannot be allowed to give legitimacy to a gang of thugs.[179]

The IDF's own summary of its bombing campaign identifies some 1,800 air strikes, out of a total of some 7,000, that were carried out against "Hezbollah-associated structures," a category distinguished from the 300 air strikes carried out against "Hezbollah military infrastructure (headquarters, bases, and rocket-launchers)."[180] While the IDF summary does not define "Hezbollah-associated structures," our research indicates that a large number of private homes of civilian Hezbollah members were targeted during the war, as well as a variety of civilian Hezbollah institutions such as schools, welfare agencies, banks, shops, and political offices, in addition to Hezbollah military infrastructure and the homes of Hezbollah combatants.

In many of the villages and towns visited by Human Rights Watch, villagers identified the homes of Hezbollah civilian officials, empty at the time of the air strikes, that had been destroyed by Israeli air strikes. Since most civilian as well as military Hezbollah officials evacuated their homes as soon as the war started in anticipation of Israeli air strikes targeting them-even their neighbors often evacuated their homes for the same reason-the death toll associated with air strikes targeting actual Hezbollah civilian officials is low. The death toll in southern Beirut was also low despite the massive destruction caused by Israeli bombardment, because entire neighborhoods such as the Dahieh were completely evacuated in anticipation of Israeli air strikes.

Human Rights Watch did document a few cases in which civilians were killed during air strikes on civilian Hezbollah-affiliated targets during the war. On July 13, the first day of massive air strikes, Israeli warplanes destroyed the home of Shaikh `Adil Muhammad Akash, an Iranian-educated Shi`a cleric believed to be associated with Hezbollah, killing him, his wife, his 10 children aged between 2 months and 18 years, and their Sri Lankan maid. There is no evidence (and the IDF has not alleged) that Shaikh Akash was involved in Hezbollah military activities, and according to villagers he was solely a religious leader in Dweir village. On July 23, an Israeli warplane fired at the Nabi Sheet home of Dr. Fayez Shukr, a former Minister of State (1995-1996), a leading member of the Lebanese Ba'ath Party and a political ally of Hezbollah, killing his 71-year-old father.

In most cases in which civilian deaths did occur as Israel attempted to target civilian (or even military) Hezbollah officials, the main reason for the deaths was Israel's use of unreliable or dated intelligence that led to the misidentification of a particular building as Hezbollah-related, or Israel's failure to take adequate precautions to limit civilian casualties during strikes on presumed Hezbollah targets, particularly the homes of suspected Hezbollah militants.

Israel's broad definition of legitimate Hezbollah targets is particularly evident in the pattern of attacks on the densely populated southern suburb of Beirut, Dahieh. In their attacks on this largely Shi`ite district of high-rise apartment buildings, Israeli forces attacked not only Hezbollah military targets but also the offices of Hezbollah's charitable organizations, the offices of its parliamentarians, its research center, and multi-story residential apartment buildings in areas considered supportive of Hezbollah.[181] Human Rights Watch research did establish that Hezbollah maintained a weapon storage facility in at least one civilian apartment building in the Dahieh, and that armed Hezbollah fighters sheltered together with civilians in at least one civilian basement in the Dahieh, but did not find widespread evidence of such unlawful Hezbollah practices which would have justified the extent of Israeli bombardment of this civilian area.

Statements by Israeli officials strongly suggest that in launching its massive attacks in southern Beirut, the IDF did not limit itself to Hezbollah military targets, as required by the laws of war. Such statements when by persons in the chain of command may be evidence of criminal intent necessary for demonstrating the commission of a war crime. These government statements suggest that, contrary to the laws of war, the entire neighborhood was targeted because it was seen as pro-Hezbollah, and that some of the attacks may have been unlawful retaliation for Hezbollah attacks against Israel. Following the July 16, 2006, Hezbollah rocket strike on the Haifa train station that killed eight workers, Israel's Defense Minister Amir Peretz was quoted as stating, shortly before the IDF mounted a fierce bombardment of Dahieh: "For those who in live in the Hezbollah neighborhood in Beirut and feel protected-the situation has changed." [182] Further, according to a senior Israeli Air Force officer, "the equation was created by [IDF Chief of Staff] Halutz that every rocket strike on Haifa would be answered by [Israeli Air Force] missile strikes on 10 12-story buildings in the [Dahieh]," although the IDF later tried to deny that Halutz had made such an equation.[183]

IDF warplanes also attacked Hezbollah's TV station, al-Manar, and its radio station, Nour. The law considers media installations potential dual-use facilities during hostilities, as they can have both a military and civilian application. However, media installations become legitimate military targets only if they make "an effective contribution to military action" and their destruction offers "a definitive military advantage."[184] While al-Manar TV and Nour radio certainly served as propaganda outlets for Hezbollah, Human Rights Watch is not aware of any IDF allegation that the broadcaster engaged in direct support of military activities such as by directing troop movements. When the IDF attacked al-Manar's broadcasting facilities on the night of July 12, it issued a statement which did not refer to any direct military role by al-Manar:

The Al-Manar station has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hizbullah, and has also helped the organization recruit people in its ranks.[185]

Supplying propaganda for Hezbollah does not make al-Manar a legimitate military target.[186] No other information available to us would justify the attack.

International humanitarian law forbids direct attacks against "civilian objects," such as homes and apartments, places of worship, hospitals, schools, or cultural monuments, unless the building is being used for military purposes, or persons within the building are taking a direct part in the hostilities.[187] Simply because a civilian building may have some association with Hezbollah does not make it a legitimate military target. Even if a legitimate target exists within a building, the attacking party must still make a proportionality assessment, ensuring that the expected value of destroying the military object to be attacked outweighs the likely impact of the attack on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

(ii) Inadequate Precautions in Attacking Presumed Hezbollah Targets

International humanitarian law requires warring parties to do everything feasible to verify that targets are military objectives.[188] Israel's campaign against presumed Hezbollah leaders and forces failed in its objectives but was a primary cause of civilian casualties in the conflict. Despite destroying or damaging tens of thousands of homes during its bombing campaign, many of them in precision-guided strikes against presumed Hezbollah targets, Israel failed to kill a single national Hezbollah leader and was unable to destroy or neutralize Hezbollah forces. An examination by Human Rights Watch of the circumstances in which more than 150 Hezbollah fighters died-probably approximately more than half of the total number of Hezbollah fighters killed in the conflict-shows that the vast majority died in ground-based firefights with Israeli forces, not in the widespread air strikes on residential areas during the early stages of the conflict.[189] By contrast, almost all of the civilians killed during the conflict either died inside homes bombed by Israel or in civilian cars while trying to flee.

Particularly at the beginning of the war, Israel used hundreds of precision-guided bombs to demolish homes where Israeli intelligence must have indicated a Hezbollah target. However, in the vast majority of these cases, Israeli intelligence was plainly wrong: the buildings targeted had no Hezbollah presence or links inside. Even during its first bombing raids on July 13, when Israel would have targeted the structures for which it had the strongest intelligence information, Israeli air strikes hit some Hezbollah weapons stores and homes of Hezbollah militants, but also a significant number of homes with no Hezbollah links at all, killing dozens of civilians. This pattern of precision-guided strikes on civilian homes would continue throughout the war, indicating that Israeli intelligence on Hezbollah targets was severely flawed, that the IDF took insufficient action to address the problem, or that the IDF simply stopped caring about civilian casualties after it issued warnings to the civilians to evacuate and wrongfully assumed that those who remained behind were all Hezbollah militants.

The IDF's own investigations into the conduct of the war confirm this view. In an article published in Haaretz on April 2, 2007, two senior military correspondents reported that, following the war, an IDF internal investigation revealed that the IDF's Northern Command had only 83 Hezbollah targets on its list of potential targets, and that these targets ran out by the fifth day of the war, on July 16, 2006.[190] The article goes on to state that following the exhaustion of prepared targets:

The solution that was to put together, as it becomes clear from an [internal] investigation that was conducted after the war in the intelligence corps and the IAF [Israel Air Force], was the rapid creation of new targets as the war progressed. In the case of launchers that were localized while firing, the success was high (IAF [sources] are proud that every mid-range launcher which fired rockets was destroyed promptly thereafter). But a large portion of the other targets which were attacked were futile targets which were created out of nothing, points that were marked based on various analyses, without it being clear that they contain a valuable target.[191]

The most devastating example of a failure to take adequate precautions was the attack on the last night of the war on the Imam Hassan building complex, in the Rweiss neighborhood of southern Beirut. The massive air strike involved an estimated 20 large missile strikes on the housing complex, killing at least 40 persons. Human Rights Watch found no evidence that senior Hezbollah officials were present at the complex or of underground bunker structures during an inspection of the site on October 30, 2006, and witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch stated that they did not believe senior Hezbollah officials had visited the complex during the war, or that there was any other Hezbollah association with the complex.

Another typical example of failure to take adequate precautions was the Israeli attack on the town of al-Ghaziyeh on August 7 and 8. Israeli warplanes bombed a number of targets in the town, killing a total of 26 persons. It appears that many of the targets were associated with a local Hezbollah leader from the town, Amin Khalifa. Israel bombed his neighbor's house and the homes and shops of his brothers, none of whom were Hezbollah combatants. All indications are that Khalifa himself was not in al-Ghaziyeh during the war, including on the days that the attacks took place.[192]

In addition, the Israeli bombing campaign against Hezbollah personnel failed to take into account the predictable reality that almost all Hezbollah members, military and civilian, had abandoned their homes as soon as the war started, clearly aware from previous experience, such as the 1993 Operation Accountability and 1996 Operation Grapes of Wrathbombing campaigns that Israel would target Hezbollah members and infrastructure.[193] A typical example was Israel's strike on a three-story apartment building in Bint Jbeil on July 15 that led to the death of two civilians. Hezbollah had rented an apartment in the building, but it had been empty since the war began. The only people left in the building were two civilians unrelated to Hezbollah, who were killed in the air strike: Khalil Ibrahim Mrouj, age 85, and his daughter, Najwa Khalil Mrouj, 60.[194]

Even civilians living near potential Hezbollah targets immediately evacuated their homes in most cases, aware of the danger. Generally, it was the civilians who did not live close to Hezbollah targets that chose to remain in their homes, and all too often were completely surprised by the attacks that occurred. Time and again, survivors of deadly attacks told Human Rights Watch, "We stayed in our homes because we believed we would be safe."

Human Rights Watch previously investigated a similar but more restrictive targeting practice, used by the US military against senior Iraqi leadership targets during the 2003 war. The US practice differed significantly in scope from the Israeli practice in Lebanon, as the US limited itself to targeting a small group of very senior Iraqi leaders (including President Saddam Hussain and his deputies), while Israel appeared to be targeting the entire infrastructure of Hezbollah. Our investigation of US targeting of Iraqi leaders concluded:

The United States used an unsound targeting methodology that relied on intercepts of satellite phones and inadequate corroborating evidence .... This flawed targeting strategy was compounded by a lack of effective assessment both prior to the attacks of the potential risks to civilians and after the attacks of their success and utility. All of the fifty acknowledged attacks targeting Iraqi leadership failed. While they did not kill a single targeted individual, the strikes killed and injured dozens of civilians.[195]

The civilian cost of Israel's much wider targeting of the entire Hezbollah organization, including its political and social welfare institutions, was much greater than that of the more limited US campaign targeting the Iraqi leadership, but was based on similar faulty intelligence.

VIII. Civilian Casualty Incidents Investigated by Human Rights Watch

During the course of five months of research in Lebanon and Israel, Human Rights Watch investigated in depth the deaths of over 561 persons during Israeli air and groundstrikes, and collected information about an additional 548 deaths, thus accounting for a total number of 1,109 deaths (approximately 860 civilians and approximately 250 combatants[196]) from the 34-day conflict. Our research is the most comprehensive available documenting how, and why, civilians died during the conflict.

In order to give as complete a picture of the Israel military campaign as possible, this section provides details on 94 attacks involving the deaths of 510 civilians and 51 Hezbollah fighters that we investigated in depth. The relevant details of these attacks-date, time, place, GPS coordinates, deaths, and mode of attack-are also summarized in a table annexed to this report.

Most of the cases described suggest humanitarian law violations; however, the mere fact of civilian casualties does not mean that a humanitarian law violation occurred. While many of these attacks involved solely civilian deaths with no evidence of military objectives, others did strike a legitimate military target. Accordingly, not all of the cases included in this chapter involve violations of the laws of war by Israeli forces since we also include cases of legitimate military strikes by the Israeli forces that resulted solely in combatant casualties (from Hezbollah or other military groups), or combatant and collateral civilian casualties.

In other cases included in this chapter, unlawful Hezbollah actions-including the unlawful storage of weapons in civilian homes and firing of rockets from populated civilian areas-contributed directly to deadly Israeli counterstrikes. Because the media reported some of these cases as involving only civilian casualties, we have included them in this report to clarify the circumstances. Our findings make clear that not all civilian casualties are indicative of a violation of the laws of war. However, as demonstrated in the case studies below, the vast majority of cases involving civilian casualties involved solely civilian casualties, with no evidence of any military objectives in the vicinity.

There still is no complete list of all deadly attacks that took place inside Lebanon during the 34-day conflict, as many Israeli strikes were and continue to be unreported and undocumented. In almost all of the southern Lebanese villages visited by Human Rights Watch, researchers found new, previously undocumented and unreported cases of civilian and Hezbollah deaths. Human Rights Watch did not visit every village in southern Lebanon, and it is nearly certain that there are many more cases of civilian deaths that are not included in this report or reported elsewhere.

In many cases of civilian and Hezbollah deaths, moreover, there were no witnesses, and no reliable information exists regarding the circumstances of the deaths. This is especially true in the case of deaths involving Hezbollah fighters, since Hezbollah often refused to discuss the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their fighters. There are also many cases of civilians, especially elderly civilians, who were found dead in the rubble of their homes after the war, without any witnesses knowing exactly when and why the home had been struck. In addition to the cases of 510 civilian and 51 Hezbollah deaths documented by Human Rights Watch in this section of the report, Human Rights Watch obtained some information about an additional 548 deaths, mainly from visiting graveyards and reviewing hospital records, but does not know the exact circumstances of those deaths. Taken together, Human Rights Watch can thus account for a total of 1,109 deaths (approximately 860 civilians and approximately 250 combatants) from the 34-day conflict.

This chapter breaks the deaths into several categories: those due to attacks striking civilian homes, those due to attacks on civilian vehicles fleeing the conflict, collateral civilian deaths in strikes on infrastructure, and unlawful killings by Israeli ground forces. Each section includes a discussion of legitimate attacks on Hezbollah military targets, in order to give as complete a picture of the Israeli campaign as possible.

A. Attacks on Civilian Homes

Following the initial bombing on July 12 of southern roads, bridges, villages, and Hezbollah targets for the stated purpose of preventing Hezbollah from moving the two captured IDF soldiers, Israel began a more widespread bombing campaign against suspected Hezbollah targets just before 4 a.m. on July 13, carrying out pinpoint strikes on suspected Hezbollah members' homes and weapons stores. Israel claims to have destroyed most of Hezbollah's long-range missiles in this early-hour raid (which reportedly lasted 34 minutes).[197] Human Rights Watch found that many of those strikes killed only civilians, although at least one hit a Hezbollah weapons store.

Killing of 10 Civilians in Baflay, July 13

At around 3:50 a.m. on July 13, two air strikes completely destroyed the two-story home of Munir Zain, and killed 10 persons inside. Zain was a farmer who also owned a truck used to collect the garbage in his village of Baflay, 10 kilometers east of Tyre. Ahmad Roz, a 46-year-old salesman who lived just 150 meters from the Zain home, described the attack to Human Rights Watch:

There was a big air strike between Baflay and al-Shehabiyye. We could see that attack from our home and were watching. Suddenly we heard a loud noise and saw a bright flash. Our doors were blown open. All we saw coming from the Zain house was smoke. Then there was a second strike.[198]

Munir Zain's cousin, Qasim Zain, a 24-year-old who worked for the Lebanese Civil Defense and assisted with the recovery effort after the strike, recalled being dumbfounded by the level of destruction. "Everything was destroyed; the biggest pieces we found were single bricks. I've witnessed the result of a lot of air strikes, but had never seen anything like this. The entire area was covered with grey dust, and the two-story building was completely flat."[199]

Those killed in the attack include: Munir Zain, 47; his wife Najla, 42; his five children `Ali, 19, a Lebanese army soldier; Wala, 18; Hassan, 13; Fatima, seven; and Hussain, four; two Kuwaiti nationals who had arrived a week earlier, Haidar bin Nahi, 40, Munir's son-in-law, and Abdullah bin Nahi, 70, Haidar's father; and a Sri Lankan maid whose name was unknown to witnesses.[200]

The villagers of Baflay and the Zain family denied that Munir or his family had any links to Hezbollah. His cousin, Qasim, said:

I was surprised that it was my uncle's house that was hit Munir was a farmer with livestock, and he also used to collect the garbage. He was not involved with the resistance, and if he was with the resistance he would not have stayed in his house. All the Hezbollah people left their homes on the first day, with their families.[201]

Other villagers also said that Munir had no connection to Hezbollah, and that there was no Hezbollah military activity in the vicinity of his home at the time of the attack.[202] Hezbollah has not claimed any of the people killed in the attack as fighters or martyrs; there are no Hezbollah martyr posters for the family, and they have been buried as civilians, a strong indication that they had no links to Hezbollah.

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the Zain home. A field visit to the Zain home reveals a possible explanation. It is located at the very outskirts of Baflay, at the end of a dead-end road with an unpopulated valley and olive groves behind it; Munir had his garbage truck parked next to the home. It is possible that the IDF mistook the location of the home and the presence of the truck as signs of a Hezbollah rocket firing position, as Hezbollah often fired truck-mounted missiles from unpopulated areas on the outskirts of villages. The initial wave of Israeli strikes reportedly targeted Hezbollah's long- and medium-range missiles. According to a report compiled by the IDF-affiliated Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Hezbollah fired a number of rockets from and near Baflay during the war.[203] However, all the villagers interviewed by Human Rights Watch were consistent in stating that there was no Hezbollah military activity in the vicinity of Munir's home prior to the attack, so it is unlikely the Israeli attack was in response to evidence of actual Hezbollah rocket fire from the location.

Killing of Four Civilians in Srifa, July 13

At around 3:50 a.m. on July 13, an IDF air strike demolished the home of 34-year-old `Akil Merhi, a Brazilian-Lebanese dual national, killing him, his wife, and his two young children. Fatima Musa, a Srifa resident who lived just next to the Merhi home, described what happened that night to Human Rights Watch:

First they hit a school building at night, from Wednesday [July 12] to Thursday [July 13], starting at around 3:30 to 4 a.m. Then, they hit the house just behind us. We didn't hear the airplanes, we just heard the rocket [explosion]. We were sleeping and woke up when the house lit up from the explosions. My son was shivering with fear.[204]

Akil Merhi was a Brazilian-Lebanese businessman who lived and worked in Brazil, and had returned to Srifa for a summer holiday just one month prior to his death. He was well-known in Srifa for his generosity to his home village and used much of his business earnings to help develop Srifa, but was not affiliated with Hezbollah. According to his relatives, Merhi, like many Lebanese, had spent the night discussing the July 12 Hezbollah abductions and the subsequent events with his friends in Srifa, who included Shi`a religious figures, "Sayyids and Shaikhs," but "it was not a Hezbollah meeting."[205] Merhi left his friend's house at 3 a.m; his home was struck as soon as he entered it and turned on the light: "When he entered the house and turned on the light, the missile came, so they were targeting him," a cousin recalled. "He was still dressed in his [going-out] clothes when we found his body."[206]

In a statement, the IDF claimed to have struck "two Hezbollah bases" in Srifa on that day.[207]

The family of four killed in the attack were all Brazilian-Lebanese dual nationals: `Akil Merhi, 34; his wife Ahlam Jaber, 25; and their children `Abd al-Hadi, 9, and Fatima, 4. Hezbollah claimed neither `Akil nor his wife as martyrs or fighters, and they are buried as civilians. There are no "martyr" posters of the Merhis to suggest any Hezbollah affiliation.

According to villagers, fire from Israeli warplanes initially prevented them from recovering the bodies from the rubble. According to one witness:

The first time some villagers tried to get the bodies out, a warplane fired another missile on the home. Eventually we were able to get the bodies out, but that was about noon. The bodies were buried in the village around 5 p.m.[208]

There was no Hezbollah activity around the home when the second missile struck, the villagers said.

Wounding of Three Civilians during Attack on Home of Hezbollah Military Official, al-Shehabiyye, July 13

At about 3:50 a.m. on July 13, an Israeli air strike hit the home of Mahmud Baydun, a 45-year-old welder who was also a village-level Hezbollah military official in al-Shehabiyye, a village located about 10 kilometers east of the southern port city of Tyre, on the main highway to Tibnine. Baydun was at home with his wife and five children at the time of the attack. The attack injured three of Baydun's sons: Samih, 20, Muhammad, 17, and Ahmad, 10, none of whom were affiliated with Hezbollah.[209] By remaining in his home, Mahmud Baydun endangered the lives of his civilian family members. Even if Israel was targeting a legimate military target (Mahmud Baydun, a Hezbollah military official) in the strike, Israel would be responsible for taking into account the likely civilian casualties of attacking him in his home in determining whether the military gain of attacking him there outweighed the civilian harm.

Killing of 13 Civilians in Dweir, July 13

On Thursday, July 13, at about 4:00 a.m., Israeli warplanes struck the home of Shi`a cleric Shaikh `Adil Muhammad Akash, killing the cleric and 11 members of his family. Shaikh Akash was an Iranian-educated cleric believed to have been affiliated with Hezbollah, but there is no indication that he took part in hostilities or had a commanding role, either of which would have made him a legitimate military target. Hezbollah members in Dweir told Human Rights Watch that Shaikh Akash was not involved in Hezbollah military activities, stating that he was simply a religious figure in the village.[210] However, Shaikh Akash does appear on a poster of Hezbollah "martyrs" from the village, indicating he had links with Hezbollah; however, an association alone does not establish combatant status.

Shaikh Akash taught at a Shi`a religious seminary in Saida that an Israeli air strike destroyed on July 23. According to some residents of Saida-a mostly Sunni town that generally does not support Hezbollah-the seminary where Shaikh Akash taught was a "Hezbollah mosque," and some have made unconfirmed and questionable claims that Hezbollah used the seminary to store weapons.[211]

The first missile demolished the two-story home located on the edge of Dweir, in a sparsely populated area on the road to Jibchit. A second missile fired minutes later failed to explode. According to an eyewitness who lived nearby, the Shaikh and his family had returned to the home just twenty minutes before the strike-many Lebanese families had spent that night visiting friends to discuss the events of the previous day and the war that had started. The strike killed Shaikh `Adil Muhammad Akash; his wife Rabab Yasin, 39; and 10 of their children: Muhammad Baker, 18; Fatima, 17; Zainab, 13; `Ali Rida, 12; Ghadir, 10; Muhammad Hassan, 7; Sara, 5; Batul, 4; Nur al-Huda, 2; and Safa', two months. The family's Sri Lankan maid, whose name is unknown to Human Rights Watch, also died in the attack.

Human Rights Watch found no evidence of Hezbollah military activity during a visit to the bomb site, and Dweir residents also denied that there had been any Hezbollah military activity around the home. The village of Dweir is located too far from the Israeli border (40 kilometers) to serve as an effective launching pad for short or mid-range rockets.

The apparent targeting of Shaikh Akash exemplifies Israel's targeting of individuals affiliated with Hezbollah regardless of whether they were participating in military hostilities. Should Israel have information otherwise, they should make it public, as well as information justifying an attack that caused so many civilian deaths. This attack on someone who was by all accounts a civilian cost the lives of thirteen civilians, nine of them children.

Killing of Six Civilians in Shhour, July 13

At approximately 4:00 a.m. on July 13, several missiles struck the home of German-Lebanese dual national Mustafa Khashab, a 43-year-old car dealer in Germany who had come to Lebanon on June 28 for his summer holiday in his native village. The strike demolished Khashab's home, and killed Khashab and five of his relatives: his wife Najwa `Ali al-Medani, 37; their daughter Yasmin, 14; a cousin, Sara Ahmad Yasin, 16; Mustapha's father, `Ali Amid, 73; and his sister, Khadija `Ali, 48. Mustafa Khashab's 12-year-old son Ahmad, who was in the bathroom at the time of the attack, was the only survivor and was transferred to Germany for critical medical treatment soon after.

According to his relatives, rescue workers, and village officials, Khashab had no links to Hezbollah, and there was no Hezbollah activity in or near his home prior to the attack.[212] An aunt of Mustafa who had visited the home on the evening prior to the attack and left at about 11 p.m. did not notice any unusual activity.[213]

Khashab had left Lebanon at age 14 to seek a better life and had permanently settled in Germany. He had built a home in his native village and often returned for summer vacations. For the rest of the year, his parents occupied the house. Khashab and the relatives who died with him are buried as civilians, and there are no indications on their graves and no martyr posters to suggest membership in Hezbollah.

Israeli officials have offered no explanation for the attack on Mustafa Khashab's home. However, one possible reason for the attack is that Khashab's brother, Safi Khashab, is a "higher-up" member of Hezbollah in Beirut, according to two sources interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Shhour. The sources did not specify if Safi Khashab was active on the military or civilian side of Hezbollah.[214] Although Safi Khashab normally resides in Beirut and does not keep a home in Shhour, he was visiting his brother in Shhour on July 12, and left the village that night. Mustafa also tried to leave Shhour to take his family to safety north of Tyre, but he was unable to make his way there because air strikes had destroyed the road.[215] A relative told Human Rights Watch: "They tried to leave together, but Mustafa's car was too heavy so he couldn't cross [the river]. He decided to sleep here and then leave the next day. He was afraid that night, because of the noise from the drones and the fighter jets."[216]

The Israeli authorities should provide information as to why they believed the Khashab home was a valid military objective, including whether they believed Safi Khashab had a military role with Hezbollah, whether they believed him to be present at the time of the attack and what efforts were made to determine the extent of a civilian presence, and what calculation of expected military advantage and civilian harm led them to authorize the attack.

Killing of Two Civilians in Strike on Hezbollah Arms Storage Facility, Bar`ashit, July 13

On July 13, at around 4 a.m., an Israeli air strike on the village of Bar`ashit demolished the home of Najib Hussain Farhat, a lottery card seller, and the unoccupied neighboring home of his brother, who had moved to Beirut in 1996. The air strike killed Najib Hussain Farhat, 54, and his 16-year-old daughter, Zainab, and severely injured his wife, son, and daughter.

According to a well-informed source in the village, Hezbollah had rented the basement of the unoccupied home and had enlarged it into a "warehouse" to store large numbers of weapons. Neither Hezbollah nor Najib's relatives had informed Najib or his family about the Hezbollah weapons cache next door, so they had not felt the need to evacuate their home when war broke out. The surviving relatives complained to Hezbollah officials about this incident, and were met first with denials and then with threats from Hezbollah that it would withhold compensation to the family if they spoke out publicly:

After the incident, the family had a fight with Hezbollah. At first, Hezbollah denied the allegations, but when the whole town learned of the incident, they finally admitted it. The person they complained to is also in charge of compensation for the family, and he delayed the payment to the family. The family has stopped speaking out because they are afraid they will lose the compensation.[217]

By storing weapons in the village prior to the start of hostilities and not warning residents of the danger, Hezbollah violated the humanitarian law prohibition to avoid locating military objectives in densely populated areas.

Killing of 12 Civilians in Zebqine, July 13

At 8:20 a.m. on July 13, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at the home of Na`im Bzeih, the late mayor of the village of Zebqine (who died in 2001), located some five kilometers north of the Israel-Lebanon border. At the time of the attack, 14 members of the Bzeih family had gathered in the house because it was an old stone house with a strong foundation and thick walls. Darwish, the 42-year-old son of the late mayor, was standing on a balcony when the attack took place, and recalled:

Suddenly, I found myself in a pile of rubble. The blast of the explosion blew me 10 meters away, across the road. Everyone on the ground floor had been killed. I didn't even hear the explosion; I just flew into an olive grove and woke up covered with dust and shrapnel, bleeding.[218]

Twelve people died in the attack, including six women and five children: Fatima, 78, Na`im's wife; Taniya, 64, his sister; Maryam al-Hussaini, 54, his daughter-in-law; Su`ad Nasur, 39, Darwish's wife; Amal, 44, Na`im's daughter; Na`im Wa'il, 18, a grandson; Kholud, 18, a granddaughter; Farah, 14, a granddaughter; `Aziza, 11, a granddaughter; Malik and his twin Muhammad, 17, grandsons; and Hussain, 12, a grandson. All of them were buried as civilians, and Hezbollah has not claimed any of them as fighters or martyrs. It did claim three other men from the village, who died on separate occasions, as fighters.

The Bzeih family denied any links to Hezbollah. Darwish, who was wounded in the attack, said: "My father died in 2001. He was the mukhtar for 35 years and never belonged to any political party. He had no links with Hezbollah. All of us are independent; we are not with Hezbollah. All of the villagers were surprised when our house was hit, because people know we are not Hezbollah."[219] A respected human rights activist, who personally knew the late mayor and his family, independently told Human Rights Watch that the family had no links to Hezbollah.[220]

Darwish also confirmed there was no Hezbollah movement or activity around the house at the time of the attack: "There were no Hezbollah people around the house or firing from anywhere. We were on the balcony and didn't see anything."[221]

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the Bzeih home. According to the Erlich report, Hezbollah fired two rockets from Zebqine houses during the war.[222] However, Hezbollah had not yet begun launching large numbers of rockets at Israel when the attack on the Bzeih home took place, so it is unlikely that the Israeli strike was in response to Hezbollah rocket fire.

Killing of Two Civilians and One Hezbollah Fighter, Yatar, July 13

At 3 p.m. on July 13, an Israeli air strike demolished a home in Yatar, killing three persons inside. Among those killed was an active Hezbollah fighter, 21 year-old Muhammad `Ali Najib Suidan.[223] In addition to Muhammad, the strike killed two civilians: his cousin `Ali Muhammad `Akil, 25, who was a Hezbollah supporter but not a fighter,[224] and Muhammad's mother, Arwa Jamil, 56.[225] The civilians accepted the risk of attack by allowing their cousin, a combatant, into their home, and thus became collateral casualties during a legitimate military strike on a combatant.

Killing of Four Civilians, including US-Lebanese National, in a Building with an Empty Hezbollah-Rented Apartment, Bint Jbeil, July 15

At about 8:55 a.m. on July 15, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a three-story building in Bint Jbeil, a large town near Lebanon's border with Israel. According to Jamal Sa`ad, a 45-year-old bus driver who lived next door to the building: "We were inside our house, and the situation was pretty normal. I looked out and saw an Israeli drone in the sky. One second later, there was a huge explosion next door."[226] The attack killed Khalil Ibrahim Mrouj, age 85, popularly known as Hajj Abu Naji,[227] and his daughter, Najwa Khalil, 60.

According to Bint Jbeil villagers, neither of the victims had any links with Hezbollah: "Hajj Abu Naji was not Hezbollah; he was an old man who didn't work anymore. The Hajj just lived in his house with his daughter."[228] Both were buried as civilians in Bint Jbeil and are not claimed as martyrs by Hezbollah. However, a neighbor told Human Rights Watch that Hezbollah rented an apartment in the same three-story building, but it had been empty since the war had begun:

We were expecting this house to be attacked. It was a three-story building, and Hezbollah had rented an apartment on the third floor. We knew it was rented by Hezbollah, but not what for. But there were no weapons inside Since the first day of the war, there was no one from Hezbollah in that building The Hajj who died was not related to Hezbollah, and he was not the owner of the apartment rented to Hezbollah.[229]

After the strike, the villagers searched all over the village for the two missing people, before realizing they had been inside the collapsed three-story building. They then mounted a rescue effort: "There were fears that the place would be attacked again, but people started the rescue effort and it grew bigger."[230]

While villagers were attempting to dig the bodies out of the rubble, an Israeli drone fired a missile at the rescue party, killing two rescuers: Bilal Hreish, 31, a US-Lebanese dual national, and Mahmud Muhammad al-Sa`id Ahmad, 28. Both were members of Hezbollah's unofficial civil defense (which is distinct and operates separately from the Lebanese government's civil defense organization) and properly wore civilian clothes.[231] The drone strike wounded many others, including two of Hajj Mrouj's sons and a 16-year-old boy, Hashim Kazan, who told Human Rights Watch how he was wounded in the second attack:

The [unofficial Hezbollah] civil defense was there to help us [recover the bodies.] Originally, there were about 50 people at the rubble trying to help us, but then there were only about 10. We were on the rooftop of the house when we were hit. I didn't hear anything, I just heard the explosion.[232]

Following the deadly attack, the rescue effort was abandoned and the bodies were recovered only at the end of the war, on August 16.

Hezbollah's rental of building space did not transform the apartment building into a military objective. Even if Hezbollah were occupying the building at the time, it still would have been necessary for the IDF to determine whether it was being used for military purposes. By apparently basing their attack on dated intelligence information, Israel failed to take all necessary precautions to determine whether this civilian object was a valid military target at the time of attack. Even if the Hezbollah apartment was a legitimate target (for example, by serving a military role) Israel also should have taken into account the likely civilian casualties of attacking the apartment building in determining whether the military gain of attacking the Hezbollah office outweighed the civilian harm.

The drone attack on the rescue party, involving several bulldozers operating in broad daylight to remove the rubble, appears to have been a deliberate attack on civilians. Israeli drones, some of which have the ability to transmit live video footage back to their operators, should have made it possible for the operators to see the rescue party.

Killing of Two Civilians, Houla, July 15

On July 15, around 8 p.m., an Israeli Apache helicopter fired two missiles into the home of Ibrahim Slim,[233] a wage laborer, in the village of Houla, located on the Israel-Lebanon border, about 25 kilometers east of Tyre. According to Slim, the situation in Houla was relatively calm at the time, with cars and people out on the street. His son `Ali, a 30-year-old van driver, had returned from visiting a friend with his motorcycle just 10 minutes before the attack, and the family of 14 was just sitting down to dinner when the missiles struck.[234] The helicopters had been circling over the area for about an hour prior to launching the missiles.

The attack by guided missiles destroyed most of the home, as the missiles entered through the front door and exploded inside. The attack killed two young women: Salma Slim, 23; and Ibrahim's daughter-in-law Zainab Hassan Fakih, 22, the mother of a 7-month-old girl. It also injured two people: `Ali Slim, the 30-year-old van driver, and his brother in law `Ali Sa`ad, age unknown.

Ibrahim told Human Rights Watch that neither he nor his sons were involved with Hezbollah: "I don't know why my home was attacked. I am not with Hezbollah, and my sons are not involved with them. I've always prohibited my sons from being involved with Hezbollah or the resistance."[235] Other villagers, interviewed separately by Human Rights Watch, also denied that anyone in the family had links to Hezbollah. "Neither he nor his children were involved with Hezbollah, nor was there any [Hezbollah] resistance in the town at the time," said his neighbor, `Ali Rizak.[236] Human Rights Watch saw no Hezbollah symbols inside the remnants of the Slim home during a visit. Both women who died in the attack were buried as civilians.

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the Slim home. According to the Erlich report, Hezbollah fired two rockets from within Houla houses during the war, on an unspecified date.[237] However, there is no evidence that the Slim home was one of these houses.

Killing of Three Hezbollah Fighters, Yatar, July 16

At 5 p.m. on July 16, an IDF air strike demolished a civilian home in the village of Yatar, located some four kilometers north of the Israeli border. The air strike killed three Hezbollah fighters: Hassan `Ali Karim, 22; Hussain `Ali Qurani, 21; and Muhammad Hussain Ja`far, 23. The graves of the three men clearly identified them as Hezbollah "martyrs," not civilians. Hezbollah representatives attempted to prevent Human Rights Watch from investigating the deaths, but a relative of one of the men killed told Human Rights Watch that the men had stored a Hezbollah rocket launcher inside the home when they were attacked:

They were actual Hezbollah fighters. They died as fighters. They had a missile launcher inside the house. They were not firing the missile launcher from the house. They would go fire it and then come back to the house. Hezbollah took the [destroyed] rocket launcher away afterwards.[238]

Although the use of a civilian home to store a rocket launcher places civilians at risk by making it more likely that the IDF will attack ostensible civilian structures thinking that they are serving a military purpose, the Hezbollah fighters in this particular case were staying in a home without a civilian presence, and civilians had largely abandoned the neighborhood. "The area was empty,"according to the deputy mayor, a leftist independent unaffiliated with Hezbollah.[239] The Israeli strike targeting three Hezbollah fighters who were actively engaged in firing rockets was a legitimate military strike.

Killing of Eight Civilians in Tyre (Sidon Institute), July 16

Between 12 and 1 p.m. on July 16, Israeli air strikes hit a residential apartment building at the outskirts of Tyre and an adjoining house owned by Marwan Hussain Shahin, a Palestinian who operated a butcher shop near the Bass refugee camp. The building (which people often refer to as the Sidon Institute because it used to house the educational facility) and house were located next to banana groves behind the Jabal `Amel hospital.

One of the residents of the building was Yasir `Alawiya, an accountant who used to work at the Hezbollah-affiliated Islamic Institution for Education and Learning (al-Mu'assasa al-Islamiyya lil-Tarbiyya Wal-Ta`lim), and at the time of the attack worked for al-Qard al-Hassan, an Islamic bank linked to Hezbollah. There is no evidence that Yasir Alawiya took part in Hezbollah's military activities. His prior affiliation with a Hezbollah-affiliated organization, or his employment at an Islamic bank, even if Hezbollah-linked, did not make him a legitimate military target.

Eight members of the `Alawiya family died in the attack on the apartment building.Yasir Alawiya lost his wife, Marwa al-Hajj Hassan, 26, and his two children, Batul, 5, and `Abbas, 4. Yasir's brother, `Ali, also lost his wife and three children as they had sought shelter in Yasir's apartment: Husn Jaffal, 26, Zainab 9, Hussain, 8, and Aya, 5.[240] Yasir and `Ali's mother, Maryam Ibrahim, 80, also died in the attack. The Shahin home adjacent to the building was empty, as its inhabitants had left it the previous night after the banana groves next to their house had come under attack.[241]

A neighbor of the `Alawiya family said that there was no Hezbollah presence in the building.[242] Human Rights Watch's investigation on the use of the groves behind the hospital could not conclusively establish whether Hezbollah had used those specific banana groves to fire rockets, although the fact that these same banana groves had come under Israeli attack the night prior to the attack on the Sidon Institute may suggest that Hezbollah rocket fire had originated from there. Another possibility is that the target was the microfinance institution affiliated with Hezbollah, al-Qard al-Hassan, located in a neighboring building.[243]

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the building and home.

Killing of 14 Civilians in Tyre, July 16

Between 5 and 6 p.m. on July 16, two Israeli air strikes hit a residential apartment building that housed the Lebanese government's civil defense offices in Tyre (unaffiliated with Hezbollah) on its first floor, collapsing the top four floors of the building.[244] The apartment of Sayyid `Ali al-Amin, the Shi`a mufti of the Tyre and Jabal `Amel regions, and the offices of former member of parliament, Muhammad `Abd al-Hamid Baydun, were also in the building. Neither al-Amin nor Baydun is affiliated with Hezbollah-al-Amin is a frequent and outspoken critic of Hezbollah-nor were they present in the building at the time of the attack.

Human Rights Watch is not aware of any potential military target in the building, and Israeli officials have given no explanation for the attack. The building did have a number of large communication antennas on its roof, which may have been the target of the attack. The strikes also damaged three neighboring apartment buildings, eight to 10 stories high.

A report compiled by the IDF-affiliated Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center mistakenly identifies the civil defense force offices in the building as "the Hezbollah headquarters in Tyre," but offers no evidence to support that assertion. The misidentification of this building in the report, which is almost exclusively based on a review of Israeli intelligence, may have formed the basis for the attacks and demonstrates the failure of the IDF to take adequate precautions to ensure the attack was on a valid military target.

In Lebanon, civil defense (which are affiliated with the Lebanese state, not with Hezbollah) mostly carry out activities such as firefighting and providing medical and humanitarian assistance during crises. Human Rights Watch found no evidence that Lebanese civil defense took part in hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel, or that Hezbollah fighters were in the building or storing military equipment there.

According to two residents of the apartment building interviewed by Human Rights Watch, the building residents were mostly teachers and doctors from the nearby hospital.[245] A building resident and the director-general of the civil defense both told Human Rights Watch that Hezbollah had no presence in the buildings attacked.[246]

Zakaria `Alamadin, 18, had just left the basement of the apartment building when an Israeli missile hit the building, wounding him. "Everything just went dark and things were falling on me," he said.[247] Among those killed in the basement of the building were Zakaria's father, Muhammad Hussain, a 55-year-old teacher, and Zakaria's 15-year-old brother, `Ali Muhammad.

Muhammad Alamadin, his son `Ali, and seven others killed as a result of the attack were transferred to Tyre public hospital where they were temporarily buried during a public ceremony on July 21. The names of the other seven buried were: Najib Shamsuddin, `Ali Shamsuddin, Haitam Hassan Muzyid, 34, Hussain Hassan Muzyid, 38, `Alia Wehbi, 40, Sally Wehbi, and Ayman Daher.[248] A tenth victim, one-year-old Lin `Ali Safeedin, was taken to a Saida hospital and then buried in her home village of Sham`a.[249]

A civil defense official in Tyre told Human Rights Watch on August 1 that two bodies remained trapped in the rubble of the collapsed top floors of the building, including the body of an unidentified woman.[250] When Human Rights Watch visited the civil defense building that day, the smell of decomposing bodies remained.[251] Following the end of the war, four more victims were identified, for a total of 14 persons killed: Muhammad Yusif Ibrahim, 58; Ibrahim Saksouk, age unknown; Zainab Fakhury, 66; and Kundbsejen Runjani, a Sri Lankan maid.

Ten staff members of the Lebanese civil defense and 25 volunteers were inside the civil defense offices at the time of the attack.[252] According to a civil defense official in Tyre, the attack injured eight members of the civil defense team, including the head of the civil defense center, `Abbas Ghorayeb, who was hospitalized in critical condition but has since recovered.[253]

Speaking after his recovery to Human Rights Watch, `Abbas Ghorayeb explained that dozens of families from neighboring villages had sought shelter in the basement of the civil defense building, believing that it would be safe from attack. Because Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah was speaking on television at the time of the attack, many families had gone inside to listen to his speech, which probably reduced the death toll of the attack.

The civil defense officials were busy organizing a recovery effort following an earlier air strike at the Sidon Institute (see prior case) when two missiles struck their building, one on top and another on the side at street level. Following the strike, falling rubble caused additional casualties and fatalities, covering the area surrounding the building in rubble up to one meter deep. Like the other witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Ghorayeb told Human Rights Watch that there was no Hezbollah presence in the building: "There was nothing in relation to Hezbollah there."[254]

 

The civil defense headquarters in Tyre, after Israeli airstrikes on July 16, 2006, that killed 14 civilians and woundedmany more. Israeli intelligence misidentified the building as the "Hezbollah Headquarters" in Tyre. 2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

Another witness, a twenty-year-veteran of the civil defense unit, gave a more detailed overview of the civilian nature of the building and the lack of any military target inside the building in a separate interview with Human Rights Watch:

The building was a 14-story building, and it was full [of civilians in the basement]. Under us, there was a big hall, a warehouse almost, used as a shelter. There were lots of displaced people who were sheltering there because they believed the civil defense headquarters would not be targeted. The upper six floors that were destroyed were empty; there was no one there except a woman and her Sri Lankan maid.
The building was civilian. There was nothing [Hezbollah] in it. We have a long history in that building. On the first floor, next to our office, there is an office of ex-minister Muhammad `Abd al-Hamid Baydun. The offices of the Mufti of Tyre and Jabal Amel's are on the sixth floor; they were not hit. On the eighth floor, there was the apartment of the director of Tibnine government hospital, a Lebanese Army colonel.
There was no Hezbollah around. The entire neighborhood was appalled by the attack on our building. The people living in these buildings would have evacuated the area if they had suspected any Hezbollah presence, just as they did in the case of the buildings that housed the offices of Shaikh Nabil Qaouk, he is with Hezbollah, and his building was destroyed.[255]

Civil defense organizations play a key role in the protection of the civilian population. International humanitarian law provides that they and their personnel must be respected and protected.[256] The same protections apply to civilians in the course of responding to appeals from the authorities to perform civil defense functions, even though they are not formal members of civilian civil defense organizations. Objects used for civil defense purposes may not be destroyed or diverted from their proper use. The protection to which civil defense organizations and personnel are entitled shall not cease unless they commit, outside of their proper tasks, acts harmful to the enemy.[257]

Because there is no evidence that the Lebanese civil defense committed any acts "harmful to the enemy,"[258] or that hostile acts had taken place from their installations, the attack on the civil defense building and its personnel constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law. The building was marked with a sign outside indicating that the civil defense had its offices there. A high-ranking civil defense official told Human Rights Watch that the building was not marked on the roof with the internationally recognized distinctive sign for civil defense, an equilateral blue triangle on an orange background.[259]

The IDF has stated that it targeted "the headquarters of the [Hezbollah] organization in Tyre."[260] This assertion is contradicted by witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch and field visits by Human Rights Watch researchers.

Killing of 12 Civilians, including Seven Canadian-Lebanese Dual Nationals, in `Aitaroun, July 16

At 5:50 p.m. on July 16, an Israeli warplane fired missiles into two homes in `Aitaroun, located just one kilometer north of the Israel-Lebanon border, killing 12 members of the al-Akhrass family. Among the dead were seven Canadian-Lebanese dual nationals who were residents of Montreal, but had arrived in their ancestral village of `Aitaroun for their summer holiday just 12 days before the Israeli offensive began.[261] A woman who lived 300 meters away from the al-Akhrass homes described the attack to Human Rights Watch:

For the first two days after the kidnapping of the [Israeli] soldiers, we heard planes and bombs, but there was no attack on the village. Starting on the third day, they started bombing the field around `Aitaroun. We could hear the bombs fall, and they were starting fires in the fields. There was a family from Canada; they had come just a few days before the war. They were in the kitchen hiding when a bomb hit their house. It was around 6 or 7 p.m. We suddenly heard a plane flying low; it dropped a rocket, and there was a big explosion, with rubble flying in the air. We were only about 300 meters away. People ran towards the house to try and save them, but they only found parts of bodies When we tried to save them, a helicopter would appear in the sky and a warplane would fly around. So we got scared and stayed away. We recovered between six and eight bodies, but we were told there may be more, and they were all in pieces. The shaikh buried them immediately. There were young women among them.[262]

Twelve people died in the attack: `Ali Hassan al-Akhrass, 36, who worked as a pharmacist in Montreal; his wife Amira, 24; and their four children Saya, 7, Zainab, 6, Ahmad, 3, and Salam, 1; and another woman, Haniya al-Akhrass, 55, all Canadian-Lebanese dual nationals. Also killed were four elderly relatives and a young woman, who were all residents of `Aitaroun: Fuda al-Akhrass, 63; `Ali Ahmad al-Akhrass, 65; Muhammad al-Akhrass, 86; Hassan al-Akhrass, 85; and Manal Rislan, 17.[263] All were buried as civilians, and Hezbollah did not claim any of the al-Akhrass dead as fighters or martyrs. Two seriously wounded members of the al-Akhrass family were taken to Canada for medical treatment: Fatima al-Akhrass, 58, lost an eye in the attack, and Ahmad Hassan al-Akhrass, 30, suffered severe burns on his body.

Survivors of the al-Akhrass family said that no one in the family had any links to Hezbollah, and that there were no Hezbollah members or weapons in the vicinity of the house at the time of attack. A family member explained:

We are not involved with the resistance, we are business people. We don't get engaged in politics; we just try and make money. None of our houses were rented out to Hezbollah, because our family has money so we don't need to rent out our apartments. And no one was passing in the area when the attack took place; there was no Hezbollah presence.[264]

Three villagers interviewed separately by Human Rights Watch also said that the al-Akhrass family had no connection to Hezbollah. They also denied that Hezbollah was active in the vicinity of the house or inside the village at the time of the attack. "There was no presence of the [Hezbollah] resistance inside the village," one witness said, "The positions of the resistance are around the village, not inside the village."[265] A second witness told Human Rights Watch: "I don't know why their house was targeted, because there was no resistance there."[266] A third villager explained that while `Aitaroun was right on the frontlines, Hezbollah was not firing from within the village itself at the time of the attack.[267]

`Aitaroun villagers interviewed after the war told Human Rights Watch that on the night of the attack on the al-Akhrass home, Hezbollah was firing only from the outskirts of `Aitaroun. According to these witnesses, Hezbollah did not begin firing from inside the village until around 10:15 p.m. on July 17 (see case below), a day after the attack on the al-Akhrass home.[268]

According to the Erlich report, Hezbollah fired 18 rockets from within `Aitaroun houses during the war.[269] However, there is no evidence that the al-Akhrass home was one of these houses.

The Israeli government expressed its regret over the deaths and said that "Israel was fighting Hizbullah and attacking its targets, and was being as careful as possible not to hurt innocent civilians."[270]

Killing of Nine Civilians in `Aitaroun following Hezbollah Rocket Fire, July 18

On July 18, at 12:45 a.m., an Israeli air strike hit two homes in the center of `Aitaroun, killing nine members of the `Awada family.[271] According to surviving members of the family, Hezbollah fighters had been firing rockets at Israel from approximately 100 to 150 meters away from their home a few hours earlier, at around 10:15 p.m. Some of the members of the `Awada family had already abandoned another home on the outskirts of `Aitaroun, because Hezbollah had been firing rockets from nearby that home:

Two days before the attack, [an `Awada family member] saw Hezbollah firing rockets from 50 meters away from her house, which is on the outskirts of the village. She saw them setting up the rockets and launching them from 50 meters away. She then fled her house and came to the house in the center of the village because she thought it would be safer there.
The night of the attack, Hezbollah was firing from inside the village. They should have stayed out of the village, not fire from inside. The men of the town should have talked to the fighters . From 100 or 150 meters away from our house, from inside the village, they were firing rockets. At 10:15 p.m., they were firing rockets from near our house. We heard the missiles going out.[272]

"We were sleeping; it was about 12:45 at night. Some were in the shelter, but we were in our home," said Manal Hassan `Alawiyya, a neighbor "Suddenly we heard a plane flying low. The plane dropped a bomb, and all the windows in our house were blown out. My fianc took me down to the shelter, and he went to help the people at the house."[273]

Nine members of the `Awada family were killed in the strike: Hassan Mahmud, age 43, a shoemaker and clothes shop owner; his son Hussain, three; his sister Jamila, 45; his sister's husband, Musa, 45, a schoolteacher; and their five children `Ali, 17; `Abir, 16; Hassan, 12; Maryam, 10; and Muhammad, six. Thirteen other occupants of the home survived the strike, including six children and five women. None of the people in the house had any connection to Hezbollah.

According to the `Awada family, most of the civilians fled `Aitaroun after Hezbollah began to fire rockets from inside the village and the deadly Israeli air strike on their home: "When our house was hit, almost all of the civilians left the village. Hezbollah continued to fire rockets from inside the village."[274]

Killing of Three Civilians in Tallousa, July 18

At about 9 a.m. on July 18, Israeli war planes attacked the home of the mukhtar of Tallousa, a village located some 20 kilometers east of Tyre.[275] The strike surprised the family while they were about to sit down for breakfast, and partially destroyed the home. The attack killed three persons: the mother of the mukhtar, Bahiyya Sulaiman Turmus, 80; `Ali Nabil Turmus, 20, who suffered from a serious birth defect and was unable to walk or work; and Basil `Imad Turmus, seven, a Brazilian-Lebanese dual national who was on summer vacation in the village when the war broke out.[276] All three are buried in the village as civilians, and Hezbollah has not claimed them as martyrs.

Although the family and the villagers all claim that the mukhtar and his family had no connections to Hezbollah, further Human Rights Watch research puts this claim in doubt. According to a witness interviewed by Human Rights Watch, the mukhtar's son, `Adil, previously had been a Hezbollah combatant, was captured by Israel, and was part of a prisoner exchange between Hezbollah and Israel prior to the war. `Adil had learned Hebrew in Israeli prison and began working for Hezbollah's al-Manar television after his release. However, `Adil was not in the village at the time of the attack, and there does not appear to have been a Hezbollah presence inside the home at the time of the attack.[277] In any event, even if `Adil had been present in the village, he would not necessarily have been a legitimate military target, as there is no evidence that he was taking direct part in the hostilities or was an active member of the Hezbollah militia.

Killing of One Civilian, Yatar, July 18

At about 4 p.m. on July 17, Israeli warplanes bombed and destroyed eight homes in the village of Yatar. Seven of the homes were empty at the time of the attack, but in the eighth home, the air strike killed Hussain Slim, a 26-year-old severely handicapped man who was bedridden and unable to sit, walk, or talk. His mother Munira Salih, 55, a widow, had just left the home 10 minutes before the strike and returned to find her home destroyed and her handicapped son buried under the rubble, where his remains would not be recovered until two days after the war. According to Munira, only she and her son remained in the neighborhood; the other houses in the area had been vacated since the beginning of the war. She had not seen any Hezbollah fighters or weapons in the area of the home, which is in a different neighborhood than the one where Israel killed three Hezbollah members in an air strike (see above).[278] Hussain is buried as a civilian, and Hezbollah has not claimed him as a "martyr."

Killing of Eight Civilians, Sil`a, July 19

At about 2 a.m. on the morning of July 19, Israeli warplanes carried out a number of bombing raids on the village of Sil`a, destroying many homes. Zainab Ayyoub, 69, a relative who lived in one of the homes attacked in the raid, related what had happened to Human Rights Watch:

The evening before, we were sitting outside around a table. At around 10 p.m., an Apache helicopter came. My brother's son said, "Let's go inside." There was no electricity since the start of the war, so we used candles. When the Apache arrived, we went inside the house, closed the doors and blew out the candle. Around 11 or 11:30 p.m., we went to sleep.
Around 2 a.m., the aerial strikes began all over the neighborhood The bombing became stronger; all of the windows in our house were broken. We went down screaming in fear, I came down and saw a window had fallen on my brother's son and he was wounded in his arms. My brother's legs were also wounded and bleeding.
I asked where to go, and he said let's go in the bathroom. All four of us went into the bathroom. We waited there until the raid ended, afraid the house would be destroyed and we would all die. It lasted for about an hour. All of the doors were blown open, and we couldn't open the gate easily; it was stuck because of the rubble . Around 3:30 a.m., [the village] was just a huge pile of rubble.[279]

Eight people died in the strikes. Five died in the home of Mustafa Ayyoub, age 69, a farmer: Mustafa himself, his wife `Aliye, 57, his sister Zainab, 50, her husband, Mustafa Na`im, 60, and a neighbor, Deeb Na`im, 65. Three died in the home of Nizam Ayyoub, 25, a car mechanic: Nizam himself, his wife Jamile, 20, and their son Ahmad, age one.

According to the villagers, none had any relations with Hezbollah. According to Zainab Ayyoub, who survived the attack: "Nizam was not involved with the resistance. I swear to God, none had any relationship with the resistance. The old people also had nothing to do with the resistance."[280] All eight victims were buried as civilians, and none has been claimed by Hezbollah as a "martyr." According to the four villagers interviewed by Human Rights Watch, there was no Hezbollah presence in the village at the time of the attack.[281]

Killing of 17 Militants and Five Civilians, Srifa, July 19

Around 3:30 a.m. on July 19, at least three Israeli warplanes struck at least 13 homes in the "Moscow" neighborhood of Srifa, firing multiple missiles and collapsing the homes. "At 3:30 a.m., the attacks started," said Qassim Mustafa Nazal, a resident. "We suddenly heard bombs, one hit, then two hits at the same time, overall between 12 to 16 rockets hit the Moscow neighborhood."[282]

Rescue workers were unable to reach the village and recover the bodies during the war, and continuing strikes by Israeli warplanes and helicopters prevented the local villagers from recovering the bodies themselves. During the war, Human Rights Watch researchers separately interviewed six Srifa residents and briefly visited the site of the strikes on July 31, during the two-day interim ceasefire. During that visit, while shellfire continued around the village, we found no evidence of Hezbollah activity or weapons in the area. The villagers we interviewed all stated that those killed in the attack were civilians, not Hezbollah fighters, and that the neighborhood that had been hit was not a Hezbollah neighborhood. The only visible body under the wreckage, that of an elderly woman, seemed to confirm their testimony. After this preliminary investigation, Human Rights Watch reported in Fatal Strikes that an estimated 26 civilians had been killed in Srifa. This allegation turned out to be wrong.[283]

When Human Rights Watch returned to Srifa after the war, on September 18, 2006, the relatives of the dead immediately stated that the majority of those who had been killed were armed local militants from Hezbollah, Amal, and the Lebanese Communist Party, who had been preparing to resist an incursion by Israeli forces into the village.

Among the homes hit were three separate homes in which Hezbollah, Amal, and Lebanese Communist Party fighters were living. The strike on the home where the Amal fighters were living killed two civilians, Kamal Diab Jaber, 53 (the owner of the house) and his mother Manahil Najdi, 80, and six armed Amal militants: Kamal's three sons Mahmud, 33, `Ali, 30, and Ahmad, 27, as well as Bilal Hamudi, 27, `Ali Za`rour, 30, and `Ali Nazel, 28. At the Hezbollah house, the strike killed four Hezbollah militants (no civilians were present in this house): Hisham Hamudi, 26-28, Wasim Najdi, 28, `Imad Jaber, 27, and `Ali Najdi, 26. Two Hezbollah militants survived the air strike, but an Israeli drone-fired missile later killed them as they attempted to flee the scene of the attack: Fadi Kamaluddin, 29, and Muhammad Kamaluddin, 20. At the house of the Lebanese Communist Party fighters, four armed Communist Party militants died, together with four unarmed persons. The armed Communist Party militants were Ahmad Najdi, 37, Muhammad Najdi, 27, `Ali Najdi, 27, and Hassan Krayim, 24. The unarmed persons in the same house were `Abbas Amin Dakrub, 20, `Abbas Mahmud Dakrub, 25, `Ali Haidar, 20, and `Ali Hassan Sabra, 17. The Communist Party has claimed only the four armed party members as "martyrs," suggesting the other four persons who died in the home were civilians.[284]

Human Rights Watch regrets the serious inaccuracy in its initial Fatal Strikes report, concluding that those killed in Srifa were civilians, not fighters. In researching this report we have sought to safeguard against such errors by reinvestigating all of the cases described in Fatal Strikes and seeking out additional sources and types of evidence. We have sought to corroborate all witness testimonies with extensive site inspections and visits to graveyards to establish whether victims were civilians or combatants, and an exhaustive media search to check for any inconsistencies. The militants killed in Srifa were buried as military "martyrs," not civilians.

Killing of Seven Civilians, Nabi Sheet (Beka` Valley), July 19

At 7:10 a.m. on July 19, an Israeli war plane fired a missile at a two-story building in the village of Nabi Sheet, demolishing the building and killing seven civilians gathered inside. The only survivor of the attack, 21-year-old Bushra Shukr, told Human Rights Watch that her family and their neighbors had been sleeping at the time of the attack: "I was still sleeping at the time. I woke up in the intensive care unit of the hospital with wounds to my stomach and legs."[285]

Those killed in the attack were all civilians: Bushra's mother, Khadija Musawi, 43, and her children Muhammad Hussain Shukr, 23, a law student at Zahle University; Bilal Hussain Shukr, 20, an accountant at a technical college; Talal Hussain Shukr, 18, and Yasin Hussain Shukr, 16, students. Also killed were two neighbors: `Ali Sulaiman Shukr, in his 40s, a carpet salesman, and his wife Hala Shoucair.

All of the victims were buried as civilians, and Hezbollah has not claimed any as fighters or martyrs. Bushra's father lives in Canada and was not in Lebanon during the summer. According to the surviving sister, "None of my brothers were in Hezbollah None of the apartments [in the building] had any Hezbollah people."[286] She was not aware of any weapons in any of the other apartments.

A pro-Hezbollah businessman in Nabi Sheet told Human Rights Watch that the family had no relationship to Hezbollah: "Everyone in Nabi Sheet is with Hezbollah in principle. But none of the people killed had any active role in Hezbollah, not on the military side or on the political side."[287]

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the Shukr home. Bushra's uncle, Bilal Shukr, was a Hezbollah fighter but he died in the mid-1980s fighting in southern Lebanon.[288] Khadija Musawi was also a close relative of Abbas al-Musawi, the Hezbollah secretary-general assassinated by Israel in February 1992, but she herself had no role in Hezbollah.

Killing of Four Civilians, `Ainata, July 19

On July 19, taxi driver Musa Darwish and two relatives drove some villagers to safety in Tyre, returning with a load of bread for the remaining villagers of `Ainata. They returned to `Ainata around 11:30 a.m. and distributed the bread among the villagers, before returning home shortly after noon to watch television.[289] About 15 minutes after the men returned home, an Israeli warplane attacked, first firing a missile into a nearby olive grove and then firing a missile directly at the home, demolishing the structure. Four family members were killed: the taxi driver Musa Darwish, 42; his daughter Amal, 16; her cousin Zeynab, 16; and another cousin Salwa Samih Dakrub, 21. Three other family members were wounded. All of the dead were buried as civilians, and Hezbollah has not claimed any of the dead as fighters or "martyrs."

According to the surviving relatives, Musa Darwish and the others at his house had no links to Hezbollah-they were political supporters of the Amal party-and were not involved in any militant activity. "He was a driver and used to drive people away from the village, and when he came back he used to bring food for us and other villagers," his niece recalled. She was adamant that there had been no firing of rockets from near their home: "The fighters were not firing from near here Our families would never accept Hezbollah firing rockets from near our homes."[290] Musa's brother, `Ali, who was in a house next to the one where Musa died, recalled that "before firing its missiles, the airplane did a low flyover. We thought it was going to hit Hezbollah posts on the hills [outside the village], but the plane turned and came back and hit the house."[291] The homes are isolated on the outskirts of the village, and there are no neighbors nearby that could have been the target of the attack. `Ali also denied seeing any Hezbollah fighters around the houses.[292] It appears that Israeli forces targeted the homes because of the movement of Musa's taxi in the area.

Killing of Three Civilians, Debbine Marja`youn, July 19

At 7 p.m. on July 19, an Israeli Apache helicopter fired three missiles into the home of Dawood Khaled, 40, in Debbine Marja`youn, located on the outskirts of the southern town of Marja`youn. At the time of the attack, Dawood was on the roof of his house connecting an electrical wire to his neighbor's generator, while his six children, whose ages were between 14 and one, were inside the house.[293] The helicopter missiles killed Dawood Khaled, 40; his daughter `Abla, nine, and his son Ahmad, age one. His daughters Huda, 13, and Huweida, eight, were gravely injured and remained hospitalized when Human Rights Watch visited the family three-and-a-half months after the attack. All of the dead are buried as civilians.

According to Dawood's widow, Hamida Khaled, who was uninjured in the attack because she was feeding the family's cows at the time, the family was not affiliated with Hezbollah or Amal, and there was no Hezbollah missile firing taking place from near the home, which is located on the outskirts of the village. She speculates that the Apache helicopter may have attacked because it spotted her husband on the roof of the house.[294] Dawood's sister, in a separate interview, also told Human Rights Watch that her brother was a farmer who was not involved with Hezbollah, and that Hezbollah was active outside but not inside the village. She told Human Rights Watch that, to her knowledge, there was no Hezbollah military activity near her brother's home.[295]

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the Khaled home. According to the Erlich report, a number of rockets were fired from houses in Debbine Marja`youn during the war.[296] However, there is no evidence that the Khaled home was used for that purpose, or that rockets were fired close to the house.

Killing of One Civilian, `Aita al-Sha`ab, July 20

At about 6 a.m. on July 20, an Israeli Apache helicopter fired two missiles at a civilian shelter in the village of `Aita al-Sha`ab, located on the Lebanon-Israel border. According to Nehme Rida, 50, 24 civilians were living in the shelter at the time of the attack, all of them civilians. Nehme admitted that his son Muhammad Rida, 24, a Hezbollah fighter who died during the war, used to visit his relatives every two or three days at the shelter. He said that his son was not present at the shelter on the day of the attack.[297]

According to Nehme, he and his brother, Hassan, 58, had woken up at sunrise to pray and read the Koran, and were sitting just outside the shelter when the attack occurred:

There was continuous artillery fire, fighter jets were flying overhead. We heard three helicopters. They went to the end of the town, and when they came back they attacked. They fired two missiles at us. We were sitting at the door of the shelter. I was injured, and my brother [Hassan] died . The missile hit a broken-down car in front of us. There were no fighters in the area, nothing. The resistance was inside the village,[298] but not in our area.[299]

Hassan was buried as a civilian, and Hezbollah has not claimed him as a fighter or a "martyr." The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the Rida home.

Killing of Three Civilians, `Aita al-Sha`ab, July 21

At about 2 p.m., an Israeli airplane fired a missile at the home of Rida Rida, an elderly villager in his seventies, demolishing the home and killing all three persons inside. The family had stayed in `Aita al-Sha`ab because Zahra Rida, Rida's wife who was also in her seventies, was bedridden and could not easily be moved from the home. The Israeli air strike killed Rida, his wife Zahra, and their son Ahmad, who was in his forties. According to a neighbor who was in `Aita al-Sha`ab at the time of the attack but did not witness the strike, Rida "had no sons in the resistance, and there was no one else staying at his house."[300] `Aita al-Sha`ab is the Lebanese border village closest to the site of the July 12 Hezbollah attack and abduction of two IDF soldiers that sparked the war. During the war, the IDF heavily bombarded `Aita al-Sha`ab, which also saw some of the most intense urban combat between IDF ground forces and Hezbollah fighters. As we were unable to locate a surviving witness who was in the vicinity of the home at the time of the air strike, Human Rights Watch was unable to ascertain whether Hezbollah forces were fighting in the vicinity of the home. We can only state with certainty that the three casualties of the attack were buried as civilians, and that no Hezbollah combatants died alongside them.

Killing of Two Hezbollah Fighters and One Elderly Woman, Zebqine, July 21

On July 21, an Israeli air strike killed the Hezbollah commander for Zebqine, Ahmad Bzeih, and his cousin `Adnan Bzeih, also a Hezbollah fighter, while they were checking on 80-year-old Khayriyye Kamil Bzeih at her home. The elderly woman was also killed in the attack.[301] Hezbollah combatants are legitimate targets for a military strike, even when there is no ground combat taking place at the time of the strike, as was the case in Zebqine. Even if the Hezbollah fighters had a strictly humanitarian motive in visiting Khariyye Bzeih, they endangered the elderly woman by co-mingling with her as combatants.

Killing of One Civilian in Nabi Sheet, July 23

At about 5:30 a.m. on July 23, an Israeli warplane fired two missiles at the home of Dr. Fayez Shukr in Nabi Sheet, in what appears to have been an attempt to assassinate Shukr. Dr. Fayez Shukr is a leading member of the Lebanese Ba`ath Party, which is politically allied with Hezbollah, and was a Minister of State in 1995-1996.[302] However, there is no evidence that Shukr took part in hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, meaning that he was not a legitimate military target. The attack also destroyed the house next to the Shukr home, and the village hussainiyya [a Shi`a religious building] was damaged. These two structures were empty at the time of the attack.

Dr. Shukr was not at home at the time of the attack, having left his home the night before to return to his office in Beirut. The massive explosion demolished the home, fatally wounding his father, Shehab Fayez Shukr, 71, who died from his wounds soon after being pulled from the rubble. The elderly man was not politically active.[303]

Killing of Two Civilians, Shehin, July 23

At about 11 a.m. on July 23, an Israeli air strike destroyed the empty summer home of `Ali `Awada in the village of Shehin, located just south of the Israel-Lebanon border, close to Marwahin. No one was killed in the `Awada home, but the powerful explosion killed two women sitting across the road: Munira Ghaith, 57, and her daughter Raja, 29, a local schoolteacher.[304] Muhammad Ghaith, 65, Munira's husband, who works as a farmer, was seriously wounded in the attack.

According to his neighbors, `Ali `Awada, a father of seven, works as a hotel concierge in Beirut, has no links to Hezbollah, and did not rent out his summer house to anyone.[305] According to the same neighbor, "there was no resistance in the neighborhood, and [the victims] had nothing to do with Hezbollah."[306] The neighbor also told Human Rights Watch that he never saw any weapons being transported to `Awada's house.[307] The two women were buried as civilians.

Killing of Five Civilians in Yaroun, July 23

At 4:15 p.m. on Sunday July 23, an Israeli air strike hit the home of 75-year-old Farhat Farhat in the village of Yaroun, located two kilometers north of the Israel-Lebanon border, completely destroying Farhat's home and five adjacent, empty homes. The air strike killed all five persons in Farhat's home: Farhat, 75; his wife Badiya Sa`ab, 70; their daughter-in-law Zainab Khanafer, 43, and Zainab's two children, Zahra, age five, and Dana, six months old. All of the victims were buried as civilians in Yaroun.[308]

According to Farhat's neighbor Rashad Ja`far, who was at home and had 45 civilians sheltering in his home at the time of the attack, there was no Hezbollah military activity connected with the Farhat house:

The Israelis hit the house out of ignorance. People were coming in and out of the house, and the Israeli drone must have seen this. This is the only explanation as to why they hit the home, because Farhat is an old man. He has eight kids, and they all live overseas . There were no weapons [and] we didn't see any Katyushas [rockets] being fired from our area.[309]

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the Farhat home.

Killing of 11 Civilians in al-Hallousiye, July 24

At about 5:45 a.m. on July 24, Israeli warplanes mounted a massive strike on a series of homes in the center of al-Hallousiye village, located some 10 kilometers northeast of the coastal city of Tyre. The warplanes carried out several bombing raids on the targeted neighborhood, destroying between seven and 10 buildings, including a three-story building, and killing 11 civilians.

According to several survivors interviewed by Human Rights Watch, hundreds of civilians from al-Hallousiye had fled to the neighborhood in the belief that it was safer, abandoning their homes on the outskirts of the villages because of Israeli shelling and bombing raids around the village. Muhammad Mu'anis, a 36-year-old farmer who lost his 12-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter in the attack, explained to Human Rights Watch: "We thought it would be safer there, because the Israelis were attacking the homes on the outskirts of the village. At the center of the village, we had some 250 people, many of them children-all of the houses were full with people."[310] Although they considered the center of the village to be safer, not everyone believed that the center of the village would not be struck. Some of the families even decided to split up between different houses, according to the village shaikh, who lost his wife and four children in the attack: "We were expecting the Israelis to hit the civilians, so we decided to split up the families, so if the attack occurred in one place, some of the families would survive."[311]

The Israeli air strike first hit a home with 18 civilians inside, killing two persons and wounding the 16 survivors. When the Israeli warplanes returned for additional bombing raids minutes later, they demolished a large three-story building where some 45 civilians had gathered, believing that the large building would survive even in case of an attack. Nine civilians were killed when the three-story building was attacked. Out of the 11 dead in the two raids, five were children, five were women, and the only man was 69 years old. The victims, all buried as civilians, were Maryam Hamid, age 45, the wife of the village shaikh, and her four children: Zainab, 22, `Ali, 13, `Abbas, nine, and Khadija, six; Khalthoum Hajali, 86, her daughter Nahiya Mu'anis, 65, and her granddaughter Ibtisam Hamid, 45; Muhammad Mu'anis, 12, and his sister `Atika Mu'anis, 9; and Anise Saloum, 69. None of the dead were claimed as martyrs or fighters by Hezbollah.[312]

The villagers all said that there was no Hezbollah presence in the attacked neighborhood, located at the center of the village. Muhammad Mu'anis, who lost two children in the attack, told Human Rights Watch: "There were no Hezbollah fighters there with us. You can talk to anyone in our village; there were no fighters with us."[313] Shaikh Muhammad Hamid, the village spiritual leader who is not affiliated with Hezbollah and lost his wife and four children in the attack, was equally adamant: "Not a single resistance [Hezbollah] fighter was in the village; they were all outside the village . The resistance fires from outside the village, not from inside the village. There were no fighters in those homes, or around the homes. Hezbollah and Amal are from the people, but there were no military centers or any fighters in that area . These are our homes, and we want to protect them."[314] The Erlich report, which reviewed intelligence data that radar-tracked rocket launchers in southern Lebanon, does not mention rockets fired from within the village of al-Hallousiye, or any other Hezbollah-related activity.[315]

Killing of Four Hezbollah Fighters and Eight Civilians in Two Separate Strikes, Haris, July 24

At about 5 p.m., two air strikes 10 minutes apart targeted two homes located 100 meters apart on the same street in the village of Haris. The first strike hit a home where four Hezbollah fighters were having a meeting, killing all of them. The second strike 10 minutes later demolished a home with only civilians inside, killing all eight members of a family.

The first strike apparently hit a home where four members of a Hezbollah fighting unit were meeting, killing the commander of the unit, Musa Zalghut "Bakr," 40, and three fighters in the unit: Shadi Muhammad al-Rez "Malak," 21, Muhammad Ahmad Rizaq "Hadi," 25, and Muhammad Wafiq Daqiq "Sajid," 19. All four are buried in Haris as Hezbollah fighters.[316] There were no civilians inside the home used by the Hezbollah militants.

Ten minutes later, the Israeli warplane carried out a second strike on a home just 100 meters down the street from the home of the Hezbollah fighters. The second home attacked was occupied solely by civilians, and eight civilians were killed: Khalil Jawad, 77; his wife Zainab Jawad, 63; his daughter Rawa' Jawad, 33; his daughter-in-law Nazmiye Yahya, 50, and her four children Ahmad, 26, Mahmud, 20, `Akil, 18, and Batul, 16. All of the victims of the second strike were buried as civilians, and none have been claimed by Hezbollah as fighters or "martyrs." According to the villagers, there was no Hezbollah military presence in the second house targeted.[317] The Hezbollah military presence in the populated neighborhood endangered the civilians in the area, in violation of the legal duty to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians the hazards of war. However, the presence of armed Hezbollah militants in a civilian neighborhood did not absolve Israel of the duty to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and to target only the former.

Killing of 15 Civilians and Two Wounded Hezbollah Fighters, `Ainata, July 24

At about noon on July 24, an Israeli air strike demolished a home at the center of `Ainata, killing 15 civilians and two wounded Hezbollah fighters sheltering in an internal room.

According to relatives, two wounded Hezbollah fighters fled from the frontline fighting and came to the house of 34-year-old Fayez Khanafer in `Ainata. Fayez attempted to provide the wounded fighters with some first aid and to evacuate them to Saida, but could not find a driver willing to take them. On the morning of July 24, Fayez moved the wounded fighters and his entire family to the home of Muhammad `Ali Khanafer in the center of `Ainata. A few hours after Fayez moved into the home, it was struck by Israeli missiles and destroyed.

Fifteen civilians died inside the home, as well as the two wounded fighters. The 15 civilian dead were: Fayez Khanafer, 34, his wife Rima Samhat, 35, and their four children `Ali, age seven, Abdullah, six, Muhammad, three, and Dumu`, two; Maryam Fadlallah, 55, and her daughter Zahra, 17; Yemene Fadlallah, 40, and her son Khodr, age four; Almaza Hassan Fadlallah, 77; Zainab Khanafer, 78; `Afifa Khanafer, 50; Muhammad `Ali Wehbi, 82, and Kamila Khanafer, 61. The two Hezbollah fighters who died were Ahmad Jagbir, 19, from Bar`ashit village, and Muhammad `Atwe, 24, from Chakra village.[318]

Some of the 15 civilians who died in the bombing had links to Hezbollah, but could not be considered combatants as they did not take an active part in the hostilities. Fayez Khanafer, while not a member of Hezbollah, had provided shelter and first aid to the two wounded Hezbollah fighters who came to his home. Maryam Fadlallah was a Hezbollah activist (her son Amir had been killed in Bint Jbeil while fighting for Hezbollah). Both Maryam and her daughter Zahra decided to stay behind in `Ainata in part to bake bread for Hezbollah fighters, according to their relatives.[319] None of the civilians could be considered directly participating in the hostilities as defined by international humanitarian law, and thus could not be targets of attack.

The Hezbollah fighters, being wounded and evidently not participating in the fighting, would be considered hors de combat (outside the fighting) and thus not a valid target of attack. As one laws of war expert has written with respect to the protection of wounded soldiers on the battlefield, "it is only those who either stop fighting, or are prevented by their wounds from fighting, who are protected. Those who carry on fighting despite their wounds are not protected from attack."[320] The IDF Laws of War in the Battlefield states: "The wounded are regarded as persons who have stopped taking part in the fighting and they shall not be harmed."[321]

Even if the IDF believed it could lawfully attack the wounded combatants (or failed to realize their hors de combat status), it should have taken into account the likely civilian casualties of attacking them in a civilian home in determining whether the military gain of attacking them there outweighed the civilian harm.

Killing of Four UN Observers, Khiam, July 25

Around 7:30 p.m. on July 25, an Israeli precision-guided missile directly hit the clearly marked and well-known observer post of the UN's Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) near Khiam, demolishing a three-story building at the base and killing four unarmed United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) observers. The observers killed were Lt. Col. Du Zhaoyu, 34, from China; Lt. Cdr. Jarno Mkinen, 20, of Finland; Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, 43, of Canada; and Major Hans-Peter Lang, 44, of Austria.

The attack on the post came after 14 Israeli aerial bombs and artillery shells had fallen nearby, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said.[322] There was no Hezbollah presence or firing near the UN position during the period of the attack. According to the United Nations, the UN Force Commander in southern Lebanon, General Alain Pelligrini, was in "repeated contact with Israeli Army officers throughout the afternoon, pressing the need to protect that particular UN position from firing."[323]

In a statement issued immediately after the attack, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed shock at the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the "clearly marked UN observer post." He called it a "coordinated artillery and aerial attack" and urged Israel to conduct an investigation.[324]

Israel expressed "deep regret" over the incident and rejected allegations it had deliberately targeted the UN post.[325] Prime Minister Olmert promised to conduct a thorough investigation. "It is inconceivable for the UN to define an error as an apparently deliberate action," he said.[326] Secretary-General Annan accepted the Israeli government's assurance that the attack was not deliberate but regretted that Israel would not allow the UN to participate in the investigation.[327] After a UN Board of Inquiry conducted its own limited investigation, a terse statement issued by the Secretary-General noted the lack of cooperation received from the IDF: "The Board did not have access to operational or tactical level IDF commanders involved in the incident, and was, therefore, unable to determine why the attacks on the UN position were not halted, despite repeated demarches to the Israeli authorities from UN personnel, both in the field and at Headquarters."[328]

This was the first deadly attack on UN observers in southern Lebanon during the 2006 conflict, but Israeli forces had struck at or near other clearly marked UN positions since the beginning of the fighting. Hezbollah had regularly (and, in all likelihood, unlawfully) fired at Israeli targets from near UN positions, but in many cases (including the deadly Khiam attack) Israeli fire struck UN posts in the absence of any Hezbollah presence.

On July 24, four Ghanaian UNIFIL observers were lightly injured when an Israeli tank shell fell inside their UN post at Rmeish, one of six incidents of IDF fire on or close to UN positions recorded that day (UNIFIL did not report a Hezbollah presence near the Rmeish UN post that day).[329] On July 16, UNIFIL recorded 17 instances of IDF fire on UN observer posts, including two direct hits inside UNIFIL observer posts. One IDF tank shell seriously wounded an Indian peacekeeper inside a UN post.[330] On July 17, a UNIFIL medical team came under IDF fire while trying to retrieve the bodies of 16 civilians killed by an Israeli strike on the road between al-Biyada and Sham`a as they fled the village of Marwahin (see below).[331] Even if Hezbollah was in the area of the UN during these attacks, the IDF apparently did not take adequate care to avoid harm to UN personnel and installations.

The magnitude of IDF attacks that hit close to UN positions in southern Lebanon is well documented in UNIFIL's own daily reports. UNIFIL's summary of attacks on its positions on July 19, for example, gives a troubling overview of just how often Israeli shells landed on their positions, as well as the actions of Hezbollah fighters that endangered UNIFIL personnel:

There were 31 incidents of firing close to UN positions during the past 24 hours, with three positions suffering direct hits from the Israeli side. 10 artillery shells impacted inside the UN position of the Ghanaian battalion on the coast of Ras Naqoura, causing extensive damage. Four artillery shells impacted inside the patrol base of the Observer Group Lebanon in the Marun el Ras area, including three direct impacts on the building which caused extensive damage and cut electricity and communications connections. At the time of the shelling, there were 36 civilians inside the position, most of whom were women and children from the village of Marun el Ras. There were no casualties. One artillery shell impacted inside the UNIFIL Headquarters compound in Naqoura, causing extensive damage and danger to the UNIFIL hospital where doctors were operating at the time. Splinters of artillery shells also damaged the boundary wall of the Naqoura camp. Extensive shelling damage was reported in the Ghanaian battalion position south of Alma Ash Shab. Hezbollah firing was also reported from the immediate vicinity of UN positions in the Naqoura and Marun el Ras areas at the time of the incidents.[332]

Peacekeeping forces are not parties to a conflict, even if they are usually professional soldiers. As long as they do not take part in hostilities, they are entitled to the same protection from attack afforded to civilians.[333] Thus deliberate or indiscriminate attacks on peacekeepers are a violation of international humanitarian law. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has explicitly included intentionally directing attacks on peacekeeping personnel as a war crime.[334]

Killing of Two Civilians, Kafra, July 26

At about 4 p.m. on July 26, Israeli warplanes hit several neighboring homes in Kafra, located 10 kilometers southeast of the coastal town of Tyre. Ayyad Merhi, 48, a van driver who survived the attack, explained that he had stayed in the village to look after his elderly parents, since his mother was bedridden and could not be moved, and his father refused to leave his native village. He told Human Rights Watch how the attack occurred:

On that Wednesday, things had been quiet. We were sitting around in safety. The first hit that day came on the [empty] house of Ahmad and `Ali Hijazi, who are our neighbors. Then, they attacked the house of our neighbor, Muhammad Musa `Ez al-Din. It was around 4 p.m. I went to see my van; a tree had fallen on it. Seven or eight minutes later, they attacked our house from upstairs. There was smoke. I went outside to get some air. The second hit was in the middle of the house. I had time to jump into the garden in front of the house. They also hit my brother's house, which is next to ours. I sat under a fig tree until things got quieter. I called out for my parents, but there was no answer.[335]

The attack killed his father Muhammad Merhi, 78, and his mother Latifah Abu Zayd, 72. Both are buried as civilians in Kafra.[336]

According to Ayyad Mustafa, there were no Hezbollah military operations nearby: "Hezbollah was not firing from close to the house; their rockets were coming from the valleys."[337] The other four destroyed homes were all empty, as the families had fled to Beirut. The attack was the first IDF strike on the village of Kafra.

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike. According to a report compiled by the IDF-affiliated Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Hezbollah fired 17 rockets from within houses in Kafra during the war.[338] However, there is no evidence that the firing came from near the Merhi home or that Hezbollah fired rockets from the village on July 26.

Killing of Six Civilians, Hadatha, July 27

At 3:30 p.m. on July 27, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at an abandoned women's Shi`a religious center (a hussainiyya) in Hadatha, located some 15 kilometers southeast of the coastal city of Tyre. According to the mukhtar of the village, the abandoned religious center was not affiliated with Hezbollah. After hitting the center, the planes returned and demolished an adjacent three-story home. Hajj `Abd al-Jalil Nasir, 73, the former mukhtar of the village who was at his home just 50 meters away, recalled the attack to Human Rights Watch:

We felt like an earthquake had happened. Every person who stayed in my house thought we had been targeted ourselves. We knew there were people in that house because all of the villagers were sheltering in the houses with more than two stories [for safety.]
When the bombing calmed down, we went to see what happened. We saw the house and the hussainiyya completely destroyed. The dead remained under the rubble until the end of the war.[339]

Those killed in the attack were Mustafa Nasir, 80; his sister Naimeh, 60, and her husband Hussain Sabra, 58; Yusif Mansur, 73, and his wife Zainab Sabra, 75, and their daughter Samia Mansur 50. All were buried as civilians in Hadatha.[340]

The former mukhtar of Hadatha, Hajj `Abd al-Jalil Nasir, who remained in his village until the 48-hour ceasefire and is not associated with Hezbollah, told Human Rights Watch that Hezbollah fighters had been prohibited from entering his village and had fought from existing positions in the surrounding valleys:

At the time I was present in the village, the resistance was not inside the village. The villagers do not allow the resistance to shoot from inside the village; they had to go outside the village. The fighters made a lot of caves where they could hide [around the village]. They have a Land Rover with 8-12 missile launchers mounted on it, and their caves are at least two meters deep. When they launch, they move the vehicle out and back in. So the missile launcher stays in the field. It is prohibited to bring such weapons into the village. The villagers do not allow it because it would bring a catastrophe on them.[341]

The Erlich Report, which radar-tracked rocket launchers in southern Lebanon, does not mention any rockets fired from within the village of Hadatha.[342]

Killing of Six Civilians, al-Numeiriyya, July 29

At about 2:30 p.m. on July 29, `Adnan Harake, age 43, a 20-year veteran of the Lebanese Civil Defense, briefly left his home in al-Numeiriyya to go buy bread and other food supplies in the center of the village. When he returned 30 minutes later, he found that Israeli warplanes had reduced his home to rubble, killing his second wife and four children as well as a neighbor. "I left a nice house and my family," Harake told Human Rights Watch, "and a few minutes later I returned to a pile of rubble."

Six people were killed in the attack: Harake's second wife Sawsan Mehdi, 30; and his children Ranim, 17; `Ali, 13; Rida, 11; and Hadi, age eight; as well as his neighbor Naif Abdullah Bdeir, 56. All were buried in al-Numeiriyya village as civilians, and none were claimed by Hezbollah as fighters or "martyrs."

Al-Numeiriyya is a small village located about half-way between the coastal cities of Tyre and Saida and the inland city of Nabatiye, too far away from the Israeli border to serve as a launching site for short-range rockets. The house was located along the main road out of al-Numeriyya towards Dweir, and had a small agricultural supplies shop on the bottom floor; the apartment of Naif Abdullah Bdeir, a real estate agent without Hezbollah affiliation, on the first floor; and Harake's apartment on the second floor. According to Harake, a neighboring building was empty and unused at the time of the attack. According to Harake, there was no Hezbollah presence, rockets, or weapons nearby: "We didn't have a missile launcher, nothing of the sort, no [Hezbollah] flags, nothing. It was just a normal house. Me and my neighbor, we had nothing to do with Hezbollah . The second building was empty. They may have seen people moving; maybe that is why the attacked. There were no trucks parked nearby."[343]

Killing of 27 Civilians, Qana, July 30

Around 1 a.m. on July 30, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the village of Qana. Among the homes struck was a three-story building in which 63 members of two extended families had sought shelter. The home collapsed and killed 27 people, including 16 children.

Initial reports after the attack put the death toll at 54, which was based on the register of 63 persons who had sought shelter in the building that was struck, and the rescue teams' ability to locate only nine survivors. Relying on multiple interviews with rescuers and village officials as well as media accounts, Human Rights Watch issued a press release on July 30 that also put the death toll at "at least 54 civilians." But a Human Rights Watch inspection of the Qana site and our interviews conducted at the Tyre hospital on August 1 and 2 established that the actual death toll of the attack was lower. Human Rights Watch learned after a visit to Qana that at least 22 people escaped the basement; 27 are confirmed dead (a 28th person from Qana died at the hospital around the same time, but was not in the building that was attacked). No more bodies were recovered since the immediate recovery effort. There is no indication that the rescuers and village officials intentionally attempted to mislead the media and Human Rights Watch researchers by intentionally giving inflated death tolls; rather, an innocent misinterpretation of the register of persons in the building and a lack of due diligence in checking the death count by the media and Human Rights Watch's researchers are responsible for the error.

Two families had sought shelter in the house because it was one of the larger buildings in the area and had a reinforced basement, according to the deputy mayor of the town, Dr. `Issam Matuni.[344]

According to Muhammad Mahmud Shalhoub, a 61-year-old farmer who was in the basement during the attack, 63 members of the Shalhoub and Hashim families went to hide in three ground-floor rooms of the three-story building when the first missile struck the village around 6 p.m. on July 29. He explained how, around 1 a.m. on July 30, after heavy bombing in the village, an Israeli missile hit the ground floor of the home:

It felt like someone lifted the house. The ground floor of the house is 2.5 meters high. When the first strike hit, it hit below us and the whole house lifted, the rocket hit under the house. I was sitting by the door. It got very dusty and smoky. We were all in shock. I was not injured and found myself [thrown] outside. There was a lot of screaming inside. When I tried to go back in, I couldn't see because of the smoke. I started pushing people out, whomever I could find.
Five minutes later, another air strike came and hit the other side of the building, behind us. After the second strike, we could barely breathe and we couldn't see anything. There were three rooms in the house where people were hiding [on the ground floor]. After the first strike, a lot of earth was pushed up into the rooms. We only managed to find some people [alive] in the first room.[345]

Shalhoub told Human Rights Watch that there were no Hezbollah fighters present in or near the home when the attack took place. Israeli bombs had cut all four roads into Qana, he said, which would have made it difficult if not impossible for Hezbollah to move rocket launchers into the village. "If they [the IDF] really saw the rocket launchers, where did it go?" Shalhoub said. "We showed Israel our dead; why don't the Israelis show us the rocket launchers?"

Ghazi `Aydaji, another Qana villager who rushed to the house when it was hit at 1 a.m., gave an account consistent with Shalhoub's. He and others removed a number of survivors from the building after the first strike, he said, but they could remove no one else after the second strike hit five minutes later. "If Hezbollah was firing near the house, would a family of over 50 people just sit there?" he asked.[346]

Human Rights Watch researchers visited Qana on July 31, the day after the attack, and did not find any destroyed military equipment in or near the home. None of the dozens of international journalists, rescue workers, and international observers who visited Qana on July 30 and 31 reported seeing any evidence of a Hezbollah military presence in or around the home around the time that it was hit. Rescue workers recovered no bodies of apparent Hezbollah fighters from in or near the building.

After the incident, Israeli officials expressed regret over the civilian deaths and said Israel would conduct an investigation. Various officials said that Hezbollah fighters were to blame for firing rockets near the building, and that the IDF had warned civilians to leave.[347] Various Israeli spokespersons gave contradictory statements about the attack: one spokesperson stated that the bombs had missed a Hezbollah target 300 meters away, while another said that the house had been the target because Hezbollah fighters had used the house. Several officials also stated that the second explosion had taken place only hours later, in the early morning hours, and suggested that a Hezbollah rocket stored inside may have caused that explosion. All of these contradictory statements were ultimately not repeated when Israel released the findings of its investigation.

IDF spokesperson Jacob Dallal blamed Hezbollah for the civilian deaths, stating that "Hezbollah used the village of Qana as a base to launch rockets and it bears responsibility that this area is a combat zone," but not offering any evidence linking the specific building struck to Hezbollah rocket fire.[348] An unnamed senior Israeli air commander said the IDF had hit the building with a precision-guided bomb on the assumption that it was sheltering Hezbollah crews that had fired missiles at northern Israel, and denied that the IDF had targeted civilians: "Had we known there were that many civilians inside, we certainly would not have attacked [the house]."[349] When asked how the military knew about the rockets but not the presence of civilians in the building, the commander said the IDF was "capable of detecting missile launches because they are very dynamic," while the civilians were not seen because they had been hiding in the building for some days.[350] His statement is contrary to the account of Muhammad Mahmud Shalhoub, above, who said the families went into the house to hide when the aerial attack began around 6 p.m. on July 29, not days before the attack. The IDF has never released any evidence to support the Israeli air commander's contention that Hezbollah had fired rockets from the area. Nor does the alleged fact of Hezbollah's use of "the village of Qana as a base to launch rockets" justify a direct attack twice on a civilian building.

On August 1, one of Israel's top military correspondents wrote in Haaretz that, while the Israeli Air Force investigation into the incident was ongoing, "questions have been raised over military accounts of the incident." He elaborated that the IDF changed its original story and that "it now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence of Hezbollah men at the time."[351]

According to the lists of the Lebanese Red Cross and the Tyre hospital, as well as a Human Rights Watch visit to the Qana burial site on September 14, 2006, the 27 victims of the Qana bombing were: Husna Hashim, 75; Mahdi Mahmud Hashim, 68; Ibrahim Hashim, 65; Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 55; `Afaf al-Zabad, 45; Nabila `Ali Amin Shalhoub, 40; Tayssir `Ali Shalhoub, 39; Khadija `Ali Yussef, 31; Maryam Hassan Mohsen, 30; Lina Muhammad Mahmud Shalhoub, 30; `Ola Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 25; `Ali Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 17; Hussain Ahmad Hashim, 12; Houra' Muhammad Qassem Shalhoub, 12; `Ali Muhammad Qassem Shalhoub, 10; Ja`far Mahmud Hashim, 10; Qassem Samih Shalhoub, nine; Yahya Muhammad Qassem Shalhoub, nine; Qassem Muhammad Shalhoub, seven; Raqiteh Mahmud Shalhoub, seven; Ibrahim Ahmad Hashim, seven; Yussef Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, six; Zainab Muhammad `Ali Amin Shalhoub, six; Fatima Muhammad Hashim, four; `Ali Ahmad Hashim, three; Zahra' Muhammad Qassem Shalhoub, two; and `Abbas Ahmad Hashim, nine months.

A mass burial of 30 bodies took place in Qana on August 18. The burial involved all 27 victims of the Qana bombing, as well as three Hezbollah fighters who had been killed outside Qana in fighting unrelated to the bombing (one of the three fighters was buried in a graveyard in a different neighborhood of Qana).[352] Only one of the 27 Qana victims-17-year-old `Ali Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub-was buried with a Hezbollah flag draped over his coffin, a common practice for Hezbollah symphatizers, regardless of whether they are simple supporters, military fighters, or non-military members. According to his relatives, he was a Hezbollah sympathizer, not a Hezbollah fighter, and his grave stone does not identify him as a military "martyr."[353]

Killing of Three Civilians, al-Luweizeh, August 1

At about 4 p.m. on August 1, Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets over the village of al-Luweizeh, located in a mountainous region about 10 kilometers north of Nabatiyeh, stating that they were about to launch an air raid on the village and ordering the villagers to immediately leave their homes and go north.[354] While some villagers heeded the warnings, others remained in their homes, reassured by the fact that Israel had declared a 48-hour ceasefire following the Qana incident.

At about 4:50 p.m., 36-year-old Rahab Hashim left her home next to the town's square, and got into her car to go collect her husband for a late lunch. As she drove away, an Israeli missile struck the home she had just left, demolishing the home and knocking her unconscious. A girl and two women inside the home were killed: Rahab's 12-year-old daughter Hanadi; Rahab's sister-in-law Ilham, 38; and Rashida Muqalid, 60, who was bedridden. All three dead were buried as civilians. Three young boys were seriously wounded in the attack, including a 16-year-old who remained in a coma for twelve days.

According to the villagers, the family had no connections to Hezbollah. The owner of the house, who lost his daughter in the attack, works for the Lebanese Red Cross. A neighbor speculated:

I think the house was hit because people were moving around. The sons of the old woman left just before the attack, but they were not resistance fighters . The people in that house were not pro-Hezbollah. No trucks were parked there, just the pickup of her son who works for the Red Cross. His daughter is one of the dead. He had come to fix the water.[355]

While humanitarian law requires effective advance warning to the civilian population prior to an attack where circumstances permit, those warnings do not in any way relieve the warring party from its obligations at all times to distinguish between combatants and civilians and to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from harm. Issuing warnings in no way entitled the Israeli military to treat those civilians who remained in al-Luweizeh as legitimate military targets or to ignore their presence for reasons of distinction and proportionality.

Killing of Two Hezbollah Fighters, One Hospital Nurse, Two Armed Communist Party Members and 11 Civilians, Jamaliyeh and Baalbek, August 1

Starting at about 9:30 p.m. on August 1, hundreds of Israeli commando troops backed by Apache helicopters and war planes launched a major raid on the Hezbollah-aligned Dar al-Hikma Hospital in Jamaliyeh, a village on the outskirts of the city of Baalbek in the Beka` Valley, as well as a separate raid inside Baalbek itself.

According to the IDF, "the target of the raid was a hospital known to be used by the Hezbollah terror organization as one of its headquarters. Hezbollah weapons, computers, computer storage media, and a large amount of vital intelligence materials were seized. Ten terrorists were killed during the operation, and five others were captured by Israeli forces. There were no IDF or civilian casualties."[356] In fact, most of those killed were civilians, including a family of six Syrian Kurdish farm workers, and the captured "terrorists" turned out to be civilians as well. Instead of a "precise surgical raid" claimed by the IDF, the operation appears to have been based on questionable intelligence and had a disproportionate impact on civilians.

The raid started with intensive bombardment of the roads around the Dar al-Hikma hospital between 9:30 and 10:15 p.m., cutting off all the access roads to the hospital. The Israeli commandos were then dropped by helicopters and made their way on foot to the hospital. According to the director of the Dar al-Hikma hospital, the IDF commandos shot dead a nurse at the hospital, Atif Amhaz, as he tried to flee and also wounded two armed security guards. As the commandos took control of the hospital, Hezbollah militants tried to ambush them. Two Hezbollah militants were killed during the ensuing firefight. An Israeli drone hit one with a missile as he approached the hospital, and Israeli small arms fire killed a second after he fired at the Israeli troops. Human Rights Watch saw Hezbollah "martyr" posters for only the nurse and the two Hezbollah militants around Jamaliyeh, suggesting that they were the only three Hezbollah-affiliated persons to die in the commando raid. Others killed, as noted below, were a group of armed men, who were valid military targets, and civilians in their vicinity. Our research does not support the IDF claim that "ten terrorists" were killed.[357]

The Israeli commandos searched every room in the hospital, confiscating the hospital files and computer disks, and also reportedly discovered AK-47 rifles and other unspecified small arms at the hospital. They did not take any prisoners. The hospital director freely admitted that his hospital had links to Hezbollah and speculated that the IDF may have carried out the raid because it believed the two kidnapped IDF soldiers were being kept at the hospital, or that the hospital was treating important wounded Hezbollah commanders or officials.[358]

International humanitarian law provides that parties to a conflict must protect and respect medical units, such as military and civilian hospitals, in all circumstances. They lose their protection if they are used for military purposes outside of their humanitarian function that is "harmful to the enemy."[359] The presence of armed guards or small arms and ammunition taken from the wounded would not be a basis for a hospital losing its protection; using a hospital to store ammunition or shelter able-bodied combatants would be such a basis. Some states specifically prohibit using medical units for military purposes or consider the improper military use of privileged buildings, such as hospitals, to be a war crime.[360] The protection due hospitals ceases, however, only after due warning and a reasonable time limit, and that warning has gone unheeded.[361] Further investigation is needed before conclusions can be reached with respect to this incident.

While the Israeli operation was underway in Jamaliyeh, nearly 100 residents fled their homes on the main road nearby and gathered at the home of Mukhtar Hussain Jamal al-Din, a staunch supporter of the Lebanese Communist Party. Almost all of those inside the home were women and children, and the men gathered outside under trees to alleviate some of the crowding inside. According to the mukhtar, two of the men outside the home, 18-year-old Maxim Jamal al-Din, the son of the mukhtar, and 58-year-old `Awad Jamal al-Din, were armed with AK-47s.[362]

Around 2:00 a.m., Israeli helicopters appear to have spotted the large group of men sheltering under the trees outside the mukhtar's home, as it fired six Hellfire missiles at them. The missiles killed all three of the Lebanese Communist Party members (Maxim Jamal al-Din, `Awad Jamal al-Din, who were both armed, and Hassan Jamal al-Din, who was unarmed) as well as three unarmed men and a boy: Naji Jamal al-Din, 45, a furniture maker; his son Muhammad Najdi Jamal al-Din, 12; Malik Jamal al-Din, 22, a painter; and Hussain al-Mekdad, 42, a public transport worker.[363] Several others, including a 76-year-old man and the mukhtar's 19-year-old daughter, were injured in the attack. The three dead members of the Lebanese Communist Party were claimed as "martyrs" by the party.

The mukhtar and other relatives argued to Human Rights Watch that the Israeli helicopters had unlawfully attacked the armed men at the house because the armed men had not engaged the Israeli commandos or fired at the helicopters, and had "merely" been prepared to confront the Israeli soldiers if they entered the neighborhood of the home. However, such an interpretation misunderstands the laws of war: the two armed men were combatants under the laws of war, and the IDF could lawfully fire upon. The two combatants endangered the lives of the civilians by mixing with them, as the combatants could be legitimately attacked by the IDF. The four unarmed bystanders killed in the attack put themselves at risk by mixing with combatants during an Israeli military operation, and must be considered collateral casualties to a legitimate Israeli military strike.

Around 3:30 a.m., Israeli helicopters fired a missile at a Syrian Kurdish farmer's family that was attempting to flee its tent for the safety of a nearby home owned by a Lebanese man. The farmers had come to Lebanon to work as seasonal agricultural laborers and resided in tents in a field approximately one kilometer away from the Jamal al-Din house. According to the relatives of the family, five families of farmers had been sheltering in fear in their tents since the commando raid began shortly after 9:00 p.m., hearing constant explosions and Israeli aircraft and helicopters in the air. "The children were crying, and everyone was afraid," Mahmud Sukar, 37, recalled to Human Rights Watch, "at around midnight, Talal's family came outside. His wife was crying, and the children were afraid. They wanted to leave but didn't know where to go."[364]

At 3:30 a.m., Talal Chibli decided it was unsafe to remain in the tents and ran with his family towards the relative safety of a nearby Lebanese home. Just 30 meters from his home, an Israeli Apache helicopter fired a missile at the family. Six members of the family were killed: Talal Chibli, 40 (who died seven hours later); his wife Maha Sha`ban, 32; and their children Muhannad, 13, Muayyad, 12 (who died at 7:30 a.m. from his wounds), Asma', age six, and Muhammad, four. Three children survived with grave wounds: Muthana, age nine (who remained hospitalized one month after the attack when Human Rights Watch visited the scene of the incident), Mus`ab, age five, and Batul, eight months.

The Syrian farmworkers had no links to Hezbollah and were not participating in the hostilities. "There was no resistance [Hezbollah] here; no one fired at the Israelis when they landed," Isma`il al-Hammud, a relative of those killed, recalled. "Our tents were shaking from the explosions. The Israelis would fire at anything that moved. At least three dogs died around here [from the gunfire]."[365] "We have nothing to do with resistance [Hezbollah]; we are Syrian workers," Mahmud Sukar, another relative, told Human Rights Watch, "we don't know anything about these activities."[366]

At the same time as the commando raid on Dar al-Hikma hospital, Israeli commandos also raided al-`Usaira, a neighborhood in Baalbek, located about five kilometers away (in its reports on the raids, the IDF designated the two raids as a single operation). At around 10:15 p.m., Israeli warplanes began bombing homes in al-`Usaira, demolishing many homes. At around 11:45 p.m., about 50 to 60 Israeli commandos entered a home with 12 civilians inside.

The object of the raid remains unclear. However, it appears that the Israeli commandos were looking for someone named Hassan Nasrallah, the same name as the secretary-general of Hezbollah. But the Hassan Nasrallah they found was a 54-year-old local shopkeeper who was not related to the leader of Hezbollah. As soon as they entered the home, they asked the shopkeeper in broken Arabic, "Are you Hassan Nasrallah?"[367] The Israeli commandos took Hassan Nasrallah and the five other men in the house, including his 14-year-old son. The men were taken up the mountain behind Baalbek, where they saw hundreds of additional commandos and waiting Israeli helicopters.

During the transfer, Israeli soldiers allegedly threatened and beat several of the detained men with rifle butts. Muhammad Nasrallah, the 14-year-old, told Human Rights Watch that an Israeli officer told him: "If you tell me who is in the resistance, I will let you go to your mother." He replied that they were all civilians. The officer then threatened the boy: "You see your father here? If you don't tell me who is in the resistance, I will kill him and you."[368] In a separate interview with Human Rights Watch, Hassan Nasrallah also said that the soldiers had threatened his son.[369] They then told him to find his own way back home. He spent several hours walking back while Israeli drones and warplanes bombarded the neighborhood.

Israeli soldiers allegedly repeatedly beat Bilal Nasrallah, Hassan's 31-year-old son, with rifle butts as they walked up the mountain. Muhammad Shukr, their 46-year-old neighbor, had his head smashed into a wall while being handcuffed and was bleeding profusely.[370] The soldiers then loaded the men on the helicopters and took them to an undisclosed detention center in Israel.

At the Israeli prison, Israeli officials repeatedly interrogated the men and accused them of being Hezbollah members. They repeatedly accused Hassan Deeb Nasrallah's son, Bilal Nasrallah, of being the son of the Hezbollah Secretary-General, even though his father was with him. Bilal recalled his first interrogation to Human Rights Watch:

I spent 18 hours in the investigation room alone; it was a very difficult interrogation. They did provide me with food and water. They focused on whether I was the son of [Hezbollah leader] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Then, they focused on whether I was an official in Hezbollah. I am not Hezbollah. I am busy with my work and my house, and don't even attend their festivals.[371]

According to one of the detained men, when he asked the interrogators what would happen to them, the interrogators told the men they would keep them in detention in order to exchange them for the captured Israeli soldiers.[372] Israeli interrogators questioned all of the men multiple times, but apparently had no information implicating the men in Hezbollah activities, and never presented any evidence during the interrogations.

On August 16, Israeli human rights lawyer Leah Tzemel of the Public Committee Against Torture gained access to the detained men, retained them as her clients, and brought a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court to obtain their release. On August 21, rather than answering the Supreme Court application, Israel released the five men without publicity. They took the men to the Israel-Lebanon border and handed them over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, who passed them on to UNIFIL, who in turn transferred the men to Lebanese military intelligence.

Dan Halutz, the IDF's Chief of Staff, appeared less than certain about the results of the commando raid when he issued a statement afterwards: "The end result of this undertaking is still unclear to us, because we collected a lot of materials and we still need to analyze them, to decipher them, and to understand what we brought with us . But I have no doubt that we will find further benefits of this operation, because part of them are still hidden from view since we haven't had time to verify the quality of the items we brought."[373] Following the release of the five men, an unnamed Israeli official admitted to the New York Times that they had been wrong: "We captured five people we thought were involved with Hezbollah. Under questioning, it turned out we were wrong. So we turned them over to the UN."[374]

Killing of Four Fighters and Three Civilians, al-Jibbain, August 3

On August 3 or 4, an Israeli helicopter strike killed three Hezbollah fighters: Hassan Sami Musalamani, `Ali Sami Musalamani, and Hassan Ahmad `Akil, and one Amal fighter, `Abbas Ahmad `Akil, in an uninhabited valley some 900 meters from the nearest homes of the village of al-Jibbain, located close to the Israeli border. Hezbollah was apparently using the location to fire rockets at Israel. Human Rights Watch researchers tried to visit the area where the four militants died, but a municipal official, who consulted with a Hezbollah commander on his mobile phone, prevented them from doing so until the site could be, in the words of the municipal official, "cleaned up."[375]

A tobacco farmer who was present in the neighborhood during the war told Human Rights Watch about Hezbollah fighters and rocket positions around his village. He explained that Hezbollah fighters moved through his village on occasion during the war, but that he had not seen them fire rockets from within the village:

There is no Hezbollah position inside the village; they just move around. They fire their rockets from outside and the edges of the village. Then Israel fires back. When Hezbollah fires a rocket, Israel fires back at the same village.[376]

Around the same time as this attack, Israeli helicopters also attacked civilian homes on the outskirts of the village closest to the valley from where rockets were fired. An Israeli Apache helicopter fired at least three Hellfire missiles at the home of 70-year-old Qassim Mahmud `Akil, killing him, his 81-year-old wife Khadija Ghanem, and their 42-year-old daughter, Maryam `Akil.[377] According to a cousin, who had left the house just an hour before the attack, there was no Hezbollah presence in the area of Qassim's house, only in the uninhabited valley outside the village.[378]

Killing of 25 Syrian Kurdish Farmworkers, al-Qa` (Beka` Valley), August 4

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 4, Israeli warplanes attacked a warehouse and the residence of a janitor on the al-Wifaq farm in al-Qa`, located in the no-man's zone along the Lebanese and Syrian border. The missiles struck the warehouse as Syrian farmworkers were eating their lunch inside, killing 25. At the time of the attack, the farm was busy harvesting apricots, and a refrigerated truck had left the property at about 11:30 a.m. with a load of apricots. An Israeli drone had been flying over the farm as farm workers loaded the refrigerated truck, according to the farm manager.[379]

All of the 25 persons killed were Syrian Kurds who had come as seasonal laborers to assist with the harvest: Muhammad Abdo `Aliko, 67; Muhammad Muhammad `Aliko, 23; Abdullah Bakir, 53; Itan Bakir, 21; Muhammad Yacoub, 28; Nidal Yacoub, 23; Rachid Ma'dan, 26; `Aziza Ma'dan, 19; Muhammad Mustafa, 25; Almaza Brim, 52; Shaikh Otman Haidar, 17; Ahmad Rachid, 46; Jamil Rachid, 24; Choukri Rik'kas, 27; Mazkin Rik'kas, 19; Awkah Rik'kas, 17; Rachid Ayoush, 23; Mustafa Ayoush, 16; Hassan Ayoush, 27; Assad Sido, 35; Farid Sido, 19; Hanane Ahmad, 24; Rojine Sido, 17; Wahid Shiho, 37; and Khalif al-Heza' Hamid, 26. The attack injured nine others.[380]

IDF spokesperson, Jacob Dallal, stated after the attack that they based the decision to target the building on the movement of the refrigerated truck: "The air force spotted a truck that was suspected to have been loaded with weapons cross from Syria into Lebanon on a route that is routinely used to transport weapons. The truck entered a building and remained inside for an hour, then left and returned to Syria." Dallal explained that they targeted the building after the departure of the truck.[381]

There is no indication that the warehouse was ever used for any purpose other than farming. The owners of the farm are a Sunni Muslim and a Maronite Christian with no links to Hezbollah. Television crews were present during the recovery effort after the attack and filmed no weapons or missiles being removed from the destroyed warehouse, only the bodies of farmworkers. "There was nothing to attack here," the farm manager told Human Rights Watch, "no Hezbollah, and no weapons."[382] The police chief of al-Qa`, a Maronite Christian, also said that there had been no Hezbollah presence or weapons on the farm, and stated that it would have been impossible for Hezbollah to move weapons through the official Lebanese border post nearby.[383]

Killing of Three Civilians, Taibe, August 5

At approximately 6 p.m. on August 5, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at the home of Hani Abdo Marmar in the village of Taibe. Marmar was a farmer and owned cows. The strike killed Marmar, 48, his wife Nahiya Karim, 36, and their daughter Aya, age two. All three were buried as civilians in Taibe. Hezbollah claimed none as fighters or martyrs.[384]

According to another daughter who had left the village on July 23, "My father decided to stay as he had cows here and he had to feed them. My stepmother stayed with him. No one knew what was going to happen."[385] The mukhtar of the village, Hussain Kazem, told Human Rights Watch that Marmar was a civilian who had stayed behind to take care of his cows.[386] Human Rights Watch was unable to find witnesses to verify whether Hezbollah combatants were in the vicinity or stored weapons nearby. The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike on the building and home.

Killing of Five Civilians, Insar, August 7

At 12:30 a.m. on August 7, an Israeli warplane fired a missile into the home of 50-year-old Ibrahim Zain Assi in the village of Insar, located approximately halfway between the coastal cities of Tyre and Saida. According to the mukhtar of the town, Zakaria Safawi, Insar had been relatively quiet during the war, and the attack took the town by surprise: "We considered the town to be calm, because there was no resistance based here. Some people had left, but many had stayed."[387]

The strike killed Ibrahim Zain Assi, 50, a notary; his daughters Ghina, 24, who worked at the Beirut airport, and Maya, 21, a law student at the Lebanese University in Saida; Ibrahim's sister-in-law, Hasna Qubeisi, 40; and his neighbor Marwan `Ali Assi, 37, a school bus driver. All of the dead were buried as civilians in Insar, and none was claimed by Hezbollah or other militant parties as a fighter or "martyr."[388] According to his family and the mukhtar of the village, the dead had no relationship to Hezbollah.

The sister and father of Ibrahim believe the house was hit because Ibrahim had received many visitors on the night of the attack: relatives, neighbors, and friends who had come over to talk, drink tea, and smoke the traditional sheesha waterpipes. Some of the visitors had left just shortly before the attack, and Ibrahim had been talking to his neighbor Marwan who was just leaving at the time of the attack.[389]

Killing of Seven Civilians, al-Ghassaniyeh, August 7

At about 2:25 a.m. on August 7, an Israeli warplane fired two missiles at a two-story building in al-Ghassaniyeh, located about half way between the coastal cities of Tyre and Saida. The strike killed seven persons: Abdullah Khalil Tohme, 58; his wife Fatima Muhammad Mukhaddar, 55; and their son Muhammad, 25; their neighbors Nur Hassan Salih, 19, Muhammad Qasim Hamud, 31, and Sulaiman Qasim Hammud, 25; and Hussain Haidar `Amer, 17, who was visiting from the village of Saksakiyye.[390]

Although their relatives and villagers told Human Rights Watch that all seven of the men were civilians, Muhammad Qasim Hammud and his brother Sulaiman are buried with the inscription "Martyrs of the Resistance Legions of Amal," indicating they were fighters for Amal. Amal "martyr" posters depicting the two men with automatic weapons were also visible in the town.

 

Relatives mourn at the graves of six villagers killed by an Israeli airstrike in al-Ghassaniyeh on August 7, 2006. A seventh victim was buried in his home village.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

When asked about the identification of the men as fighters, several villagers and relatives of the men insisted that all the dead were civilians, and that the two men were buried with Amal honors and issued martyr posters because they were political supporters of Amal, but not active fighters. (At the same time, the witness identified Ahmad Nimr Danaf, another villager killed in the war, as an Amal fighter). One of the neighbors told Human Rights Watch: "Because the family is pro-Amal, the party decided to give them an Amal funeral and put up "martyr" posters, but those pictures [depicting the men with weapons] are computer generated."[391]

This adamant denial by relatives and other villagers that the men were fighters is unusual. In other cases where fighters died in the war, families proudly affirmed their status, considering it a family honor. The denials in this case suggest that Amal, because of its more limited role in the Israel-Hezbollah war, decided to claim non-combatants members as "martyrs," as this would assert its militancy and inflate its role in the conflict.

One of the neighbors told Human Rights Watch that "there was no military presence around the house."[392]

Killing of 16 Civilians, al-Ghaziyeh, August 7

On August 7 and 8, Israeli warplanes bombed a number of targets in al-Ghaziyeh, a large town just south of the coastal city of Saida, killing a total of 26 persons, all of them civilians (one person killed was a Hezbollah member, but not a fighter). It appears that many of the targets were associated with a national-level Hezbollah leader from the town, Amin Muhammad Khalifa.[393] It is not clear whether Khalifa was active in Hezbollah's military or civilian structures. Among the targets hit was his neighbor's house and the homes and shops of his brothers. Amin Khalifa was not in al-Ghaziyeh during the war, including at the time the attacks that took place; the air strikes killed only civilians.

The attacks on al-Ghaziyeh shocked many of the town's residents because they had considered their town to be safe, uninvolved in the Israel-Hezbollah fighting. In fact, many displaced persons from southern Lebanon had come to al-Ghaziyeh to seek a safe haven from the war. `Ali Deeb Zabad, a retired Lebanese Army officer with no links to Hezbollah, who fled from Borj al-Shemali to al-Ghaziyeh during the war (and lost his sister in the bombing, as described below), told Human Rights Watch: "There was no Hezbollah military presence in Ghaziyeh. The whole time I was there, there was not one bullet fired. People felt comfortable there . Ghaziyeh was full of people [who had fled to the town from other villages]; it had one-and-a-half times its normal population."[394]

The Zabad family had fled from Borj al-Shemali for safety in al-Ghaziyeh during the 48-hour ceasefire, renting an apartment next to `Ali Zabad's sister Siham's house. In the early morning of August 7, Siham invited `Ali over for coffee, but he declined because he had already drunk several cups at his home. At 7:55 a.m., two Israeli air strikes hit Siham's home. The air strikes killed five people: Siham, 43, her daughter Wafa' al-Cha`er, 39, her grandson Hadi Ja`far, 1, and her cousin Nadia, 39. Also killed was `Ali Muhammad Layla, 23, a neighbor who was sitting on his balcony across the street and was killed by shrapnel. All five dead are buried as civilians.[395] Eight others, including Siham's three sons, ages 25 to 17, were injured in the attack but survived. According to `Ali Deeb Zabad, none of his family members had ties to Hezbollah, and none of the apartments in the three-story building struck were associated with Hezbollah.[396]

About 20 minutes later, the Israelis struck twice more, targeting a series of shops in the town square and a home just 100 meters away belonging to a civilian, Hassan Ahmad Badran, age 77. Both targets may have had some connection to Amin Khalifa, the Hezbollah official; Khalifa's brother Ibrahim owned the shops, and the home was close to Khalifa's empty home. Hassan Badran, who lost most of his relatives in the strike on his home, recalled to Human Rights Watch how he had gone out of his home just before the attack to buy some food for his family. As he was greeting the shopkeepers in the town square, an Israeli air strike destroyed the shops in front of him. "Dust covered the area, and we couldn't see anything. My son Ahmad went to hide under a car, and he was screaming for me, 'Father! Father!' When he saw me, he said, 'Praise God.' We didn't know that our own house had also been attacked."[397] The attack killed three shopkeepers: Ahmad Mustafa Ghadar, 46; Hussain `Abbas Yuni, 39; and Muhammad Ahmad Qa`in, 65. All those killed were buried as civilians in al-Ghaziyeh.[398]

When Hassan Badran returned home after the attack, he found his own home reduced to rubble in the simultaneous air strike, killing most of his family inside. Eight members of his family died in the home: Rakiya, 67, his wife of fifty years; his six children (some by a younger second wife) Layla, 49, Zainab, 46, `Ali, 19, Hanin, 16, Manal, 14, and Hassan, 10, and his granddaughter (daughter of Layla) Maryam Fadil Halal, 28.[399] All are buried as civilians. Hassan told Human Rights Watch that there were no fighters or weapons in the home.[400] However, the home is located just 50 meters away from the then-empty home of Hezbollah official Amin Khalifa.

 

Hassan Ahmad Badran, 77, with a photomontage of his wife, six children, and a grandchild who were killed in an August 7, 2006 Israeli airstrike on his home in al-Ghaziyeh.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

Even if Amin Khalifa's position in Hezbollah made him a legitimate military target (Human Rights Watch has no information to suggest that this was the case), his family home was not necessarily a military objective. Israel would have had to take all feasible precautions before attacking the house to verify that the target was a military objective, such as Khalifa's being present at the time. Even then Israel would have had to determine that the likely military gain of such an attack would have exceeded the expected loss of targeting a single house in a crowded village.

Killing of One Civilian, Houla, August 7

At about 10 a.m. on August 7, Israeli war planes launched a number of air strikes on buildings surrounding a hussainiyya (Shi`a religious building) in the village of Houla, located on the Israeli-Lebanese border 25 kilometers east of Tyre. Addressing an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Beirut that day, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora spoke of a "horrific massacre" in Houla, leaving "more than 40" persons dead. However, Siniora corrected himself later the same day, stating that updated information from rescue workers had established one person, not 40, had died in the Houla attack.[401]

According to `Aziza Shukair, 51, who was wounded in the attack, the air strikes first hit the hussainiyya, then a neighboring building in which 15 civilians were sheltering, and then a third building, after the 15 civilians from the second building fled there, as well as a fourth empty building near the second building. The air strikes killed Hassan `Ali al-Hajj, 65, while he was running between two buildings to seek shelter during the attack. The 15 civilians were temporarily trapped in the basement when the building they were sheltering in collapsed following the strikes, but all survived with minor injuries.[402]

According to Shukair, there was no Hezbollah presence in the neighborhood at the time of the attack: "In our area, there was no resistance. They were far away from the town. Our area was a safe area, because there is nothing [military targets] here. The resistance fought from outside the village, in the hills, and there was no one at the hussainiyya. A lot of people had left the village, but we had to stay because we had livestock."[403]

The IDF has offered no explanation for the strike. According to the Erlich Report, Hezbollah fired two rockets from within houses in Houla during the war.[404] The Erlich report does not specify when these rockets were fired or whether they were fired from the buildings targeted by the IDF attack on August 7.

Killing of Nine Civilians, Brital (Beka` Valley), August 7

Between 7:30 and 8 p.m. on August 7, a massive Israeli strike in the middle of Brital, located eight kilometers south of Baalbek in the Beka` Valley, demolished a butcher shop and an adjoining mini-market, and sprayed shrapnel into homes hundreds of meters away from the site of the explosion.[405] The attack killed eight people, all young, who had gathered in the center of the village to socialize and use the public phone, according to village officials: `Abbas Salih, 18, the owner of the butcher shop; `Abbas Tlays, 20; `Abbas Sawan, 17, and his twin sister Ghazalah Sawan, 17; Muhammad al-Ajami, 16; Hawra' al-Ajami, 12; Hawra' Isma`il, 29; and the pregnant Fatima Mazlum, 17.

One of the mukhtars of the village, Qasim Salih, 65, tried to take one of the wounded to a hospital in Baalbek after the attack. An Israeli missile struck the car as it was driving to the hospital, killing the mukhtar and further wounding his passenger, who survived the attack. All of those killed in the attack were buried as civilians, and none was claimed by Hezbollah or other militant factions as a "martyr."[406]

The attack on Brital was unexpected by the local villagers, because of the peculiar situation of Brital. It is the birthplace and home of Shaikh Subhi Tufayli, a former secretary-general of Hezbollah (1989-1991). Hezbollah expelled Shaikh Tufayli in 1998 when he founded a civil disobedience campaign against the Lebanese government called the "Revolution of the Hungry." In January 1998, the Lebanese army raided his headquarters, killing his son-in-law Khudr Tlays (a former member of Parliament for Hezbollah) and effectively disarming the Tufayli faction. Since 1998, the Lebanese authorities kept an active arrest warrant for Shaikh Tufayli and an active military presence around Brital, including a military checkpoint at the entrance of the village.

It is thus unlikely that there were Hezbollah fighters inside Shaikh Tufayli's political headquarters, or that his supporters were cooperating with Hezbollah. The IDF may have sought to target Shaikh Tufayli because of his strong opposition to Israel-he had repeatedly criticized Hezbollah for muting its attacks against Israel. But it is unlikely that he or his followers took an active part in the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah because of the continuing tensions between Hezbollah and the Tufayli faction, as well as the active and continuous Lebanese Army presence around Brital.[407] None of those killed in the air strike was a known supporter of Shaikh Tufayli or Hezbollah. None of the individuals interviewed told Human Rights Watch about the presence of any other fighters.

Killing of 39 Civilians, Chiah (Southern Beirut), August 7

At 8:10 p.m. on August 7, Israeli warplanes fired at least four missiles at three multi-level apartment buildings in the Chiah neighborhood of southern Beirut, which had not been previously attacked during the conflict. The Chiah neighborhood was overflowing with refugees who had escaped from other parts of southern Beirut considered to be more dangerous because of their association with Hezbollah, and from southern Lebanon. The attack was one of the deadliest of the war, killing at least 39 civilians. According to one resident, Israel did not drop any leaflets prior to the attack warning the civilians to leave the area.[408]

According to multiple witnesses, Israeli drones had been flying over the Chiah neighborhood all day on August 7. According to several witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch, several shots were fired from an automatic rifle shortly before the attack, either because of a local dispute or because some men decided to fire at the Israeli drone. The Chiah neighborhood is not a Hezbollah stronghold, and did not house Hezbollah fighters at the time of the attack. Experienced fighters would have been unlikely to fire ineffective automatic rifles at a distant drone, as the drones are too high in the sky to be hit by automatic rifle fire.[409] Shortly after the gunfire in the neighborhood, Israeli missiles struck.

Even if the gunfire drew the drone missile attack, the Israeli forces were obliged to minimize civilian harm by not causing civilian loss disproportionate to the expected military advantage. The drone footage taken during the day would have shown that the neighborhood was packed with civilians, unlike the almost abandoned parts of Dahieh that Israeli warplanes had previously subjected to daily bombardment. Given the crowded neighborhood and the small risk posed by the ground fire, Israel would need to show that its missile attacks could be expected to bring a significant military gain.

The missiles demolished two multiple story homes and severely damaged a third, killing many of the displaced persons who were sheltering in the basements of the buildings. The 39 civilians confirmed killed in the strike (ages provided where available) were: Ghazaleh Hussain `Awada Nasser al-Din; Ahmad Hassan Kanj, 14; Rida Nimer Nasser al-Din; Fatima Ahmad Wehbi, 22; Muhammad Fadi Wehbi, 2; Muhammad Abdullah Taha, 31; Abdullah Muhammad Taha, 1; Jamil Hussain Rmeity, 60; Mustafa Hussain Rmeity, 45; Muhammad `Ali Rmeity, 21; Na`im Merhi Rmeity, 68; `Ali Na`im Rmeity, 30; Riham `Ali Rmeity, 4; Sa`adiyya Hussain Rmeity, 55; Ibtisam Hussain Rmeity, 41; Maryam Hussain Rmeity, 43; Malak `Ali Rmeity, 14; Fatima `Ali Rmeity, 18; Fatima Mustafa Youniss, 80; Sobhia Kamil Bilun, 43; Kawthar Jamal Rmeity, 20; Hussain `Ali Erra'i, 16; Zahra Mahmud al-Abdullah, age one; Zainab Mahmud al-Abdullah, five; Fatima `Abbas Shehade, 30; `Ali Ahmad Mohsen; and Hussain Ahmad Mohsen. Dalal Muhammad She'aito; Hana Ibrahim Hatoun Nasser al-Din; Salwa Khalil Nasr; Wa`ed `Ali Wehbi; Hussain `Ali Wehbi; `Ali Ibrahim Wehbi; Hassan `Ali Wehbi; Suzanna Tah; Racha `Ali `Abbas; Hussain `Ali `Abbas; Suzanne Abdullah `Abbas; and Maya Said Yatim Rmeity, 26. All of the victims were buried as civilians, and none has been claimed as a fighter or "martyr" by Hezbollah.[410]

The IDF did not issue any statement on the Chiah attack.

Killing of 10 Civilians, al-Ghaziyeh, August 8

The day after Israeli air strikes killed 16 people in al-Ghaziyeh, more air strikes took place on the town, including air strikes during the funeral procession for those killed the day before. In three separate incidents, another 10 civilians were killed.

At about 3 p.m. on August 8, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at the home of Mahmud Khalifa, 38 (unrelated to Amin Khalifa, the Hezbollah leader from the same town), the owner of the town's main pharmacy. Mahmud had just closed his pharmacy for the day and had returned home. The attack killed seven people: Mahmud, his wife Ibtisam Dawood, 30, and their three children, Hussain, age 10, Fatima, five, and Ahmad, two; and the parents of Ibtisam: Mahmud al-Dabul, 75, and Abdi Muhammad Nasrallah, 70 (both buried in their home village of `Ainata).

Mahmud Khalifa is the only member of the family who is buried with Hezbollah honors (including a nickname, "Fazim"), and who is claimed as a "martyr." His coworkers at the pharmacy acknowledged that he was a town-level political member of Hezbollah, but said that he was neither a fighter nor otherwise involved in Hezbollah's military operations during the 2006 war. Most Hezbollah officials evacuated their families from their homes in anticipation of IDF attacks; Mahmud Khalifa's decision to remain in his home with his family and keep his pharmacy open suggests he did not consider himself a target for attack-evidence that he was not an active Hezbollah military official at the time.

Around the same time, Israeli missiles fired from either drones or helicopters struck the funeral procession for the victims killed the day before, as well as a second private graveyard owned by the Khalifa family. Ibrahim Khalifa, the owner of the shops that were bombed in the village square the day before (and brother of local Hezbollah official Amin Khalifa), recalled: "We were in the cemetery, and they attacked us there first. We were carrying the coffins to bury them, and missiles fell on us; three missiles fell near us. Nobody died that time, but they also bombed another cemetery, and a small girl, Malika, was killed there."[411]

A pregnant woman, Khadija Hujeizi, 25, was standing on the balcony of her father's home, located at the edge of the second cemetery, holding her daughter. She watched her father and husband running back from the funeral procession after the missile strikes. Suddenly, an Israeli missile fired from a helicopter struck less than two meters away, gravely injuring her and her fetus (she lost the fetus soon after the attack). Her two-year-old daughter Malika died in her arms.[412] According to Khadija, there was no Hezbollah presence in or near the house.

About one hour afterwards, at 4 p.m., four Israeli missiles demolished the homes of Rida and Ahmad Khalifa, who were brothers of Hezbollah leader Amin Muhammad Khalifa (whose national-level role in Hezbollah was summarized above, in the case study of the August 7 air strikes on al-Ghaziyeh). According to Ibrahim Khalifa, another brother, neither was a Hezbollah member. At Rida's home, all six members of the family survived the air strike. Those in Ahmad's home were not as lucky: Ahmad, 67, an Australian-Lebanese dual national and a welder, and his wife Ibtisam al-Areibeh, 51, were instantly killed. According to his brother Ibrahim, "One of our brothers [Amin] is in Hezbollah; he is a leader in Hezbollah. Because of one brother in Hezbollah, they targeted our whole family. But his house was never hit. Amin was not in town when the attacks took place, and he does not have a house next to where the attacks took place on our family. Amin told all of his neighbors to leave the neighborhood, and he himself left on the first day of the war."[413]

Killing of Six Civilians and One Hezbollah Member, Mashghara (Beka` Valley), August 9

At 2 a.m. on August 9, an Israeli air strike demolished an inhabited home in the southern Beka` village of Mashghara, killing seven civilians. Earlier that night, Israeli warplanes began bombing the roads around the village at about 10:30 p.m., cutting off all access roads. Muhammad `Amar, 21, who lived in the house next door, recalled to Human Rights Watch what had happened that night:

We were sitting outside, under the stairs, and noticed they kept bombing the roads around the village until 1 a.m. We were sitting outside, and then my father told us to come in .... I was standing by the door, and my cousin and father were inside. Suddenly, we felt a big explosion, and all of us fell on top of each other It all became dusty, and we couldn't see anything. We left the room and climbed on top of the rubble.[414]

The attack killed seven people: Hassan Sader, 47, an employee at the local electricity office; his wife Zainab Al-Sayyid, 39, a schoolteacher; his mother Zainab Sader, 71; his aunt Fatima Sader, 70; his brother `Ali Sader, 38, a farmer; `Ali's pregnant wife Nadia Qasim, 35; and a visiting French-Lebanese dual national relative, Muhammad Deeb Sader, 43.

While some original press accounts of the attack claimed that Hassan Sader was a local Hezbollah official, Human Rights Watch did not find any evidence of this.[415] One of those killed, Muhammad Deeb Sader, was buried as an ordinary Hezbollah member, but without military honors.[416] Villagers denied that he was a fighter and noted that he had been living in France for 12 years and had just come back.[417]

Killing of Five Civilians, Rabb al-Talatine, August 10 (date unknown for 5th victim)

On August 10, Israeli war planes destroyed a home in the village of Rabb al-Talatine, located on the Israel-Lebanon border, some 25 kilometers south of the coastal city of Tyre, killing four women. According to a local official, the women had stayed in the village to look after their family's livestock and then became trapped when the bombardment and ground fighting became too fierce. One of the women, Fatima Barakat, 31, was wounded by shrapnel during an earlier strike. An Israeli air strike killed her and the three other women while they were trying to move her to a different house. The four women killed were Fatima, her mother Khadija, 66, her grandmother Naife, 81, and their relative Amsha Hammud, 84. No Hezbollah fighters died in the attack, and there is no indication they were present around the home at the time of the attack. In all likelihood, the women were spotted by Israeli surveillance while they were moving the wounded woman and attacked because of this movement. All of the victims were buried as civilians.[418]

A fifth elderly woman, Fatima `Ali Fakih, 62, also died during the bombardment of the town, although the date of her death is unknown. During the conflict, she was staying with relatives but returned home to check on things. After the war, her body was found inside her demolished home.[419]

Killing of Five Civilians, Borj al-Shemali, August 13

At 3:50 a.m. on August 13, an Israeli war plane fired a missile at a home in Borj al-Shemali, demolishing the structure and killing five sleeping civilians inside. `Abbas `Ali Zain, 43, a tractor driver who lost his wife and three children in the attack, explained that he had moved his family to his father-in-law's home because his own home was located near orange groves at the outskirts of the village, and there had been repeated Israeli air strikes on the groves. When the strike hit the home, he recalled, "I didn't hear anything, I just woke up to everything falling on me."[420]

Those killed in the attack were `Abbas's first wife, Zainab `Ali Tawila, 37; his sons Abdullah, 16, and Zain al-Abadin, 13, and his daughter Wafa, 10, who, he recalled bitterly, "was born on the last day of the 1996 war, and died on the last day of the 2006 war." Also killed was the Sri Lankan maid of the family, Raniya Josef, 27.[421] All are buried as civilians in Borj al-Shemali (except the Sri Lankan maid, who was buried in a Christian cemetery in Tyre).

None of the people inside the home was Hezbollah-affiliated, and the family members were political supporters of the Amal party. "I'm a peaceful person, I have nothing to do with fighting," `Abbas told Human Rights Watch.[422] It remains unclear why the home was attacked. There was no Hezbollah activity in or in the vicinity of the home at the time of the strike, and no weapons were stored in the home.

Killing of 36 Civilians and Four Hezbollah members, Imam Hassan Building Complex, Rweiss (Southern Beirut), August 13

At 2:35 p.m. on August 13, Israeli war planes mounted one of the largest air strikes of the war on the Imam Hassan building complex in the Rweiss neighborhood of southern Beirut, a mostly Shi`a area previously untouched by Israeli bombing raids. The Imam Hassan Building complex consisted of eight 10-story buildings with three apartments on each floor, housing some 240 families. The attack involved an estimated 20 missile strikes on the housing complex, and destroyed it, killing at least 40 persons.

According to a local shopowner who was present at the time of the attack, the electricity had come back on at about 2 p.m., and many of the residents of the building complex had gone up to to check on their apartments, shower, collect food items, and then return to the shelters in a neighboring school and a shoe factory. Many of the families knew the UN Security Council had imposed an end to the fighting the next day, August 14, and had bought cleaning products to clean their apartments in anticipation of the end of the war.[423] Without warning, Israeli air planes mounted multiple raids on the complex, collapsing the multi-story buildings on the residents. Eighteen-year-old Hassan al-Tirani returned to the complex to find his building destroyed, his father buried in the rubble. "When it happened, I came home right away," he told Human Rights Watch. "I can't describe to you how I felt. Your home, your friends, your parentsyou come and you don't find anything left. We lived here for 12 years."[424]

Almost all of the victims were civilians, including many women and children who had returned to clean their homes. The strike also killed a low-ranking local Hezbollah military official, `Ali Hassan Kdouh, who lived in the building complex (his tomb identifies him as a Hezbollah "martyr leader"), as well as three low-ranking Hezbollah members who happened to be visiting the complex: Muhammad Harb, `Ali Charara, and Muhammad Charara.[425] It is unknown whether the three low-ranking Hezbollah members played any military role in Hezbollah.

It is unlikely that Israel would have launched such a massive strike to kill such low-ranking Hezbollah officials. More likely, it had faulty intelligence that senior Hezbollah leaders were present at the complex, or that the complex had underground bunkers to hide senior Hezbollah officials. A Hezbollah official told Human Rights Watch that they believed a non-Hezbollah Lebanese minister had passed on false information to Israel, via the US embassy, that senior Hezbollah leaders were gathered at the complex, a charge Human Rights Watch was unable to confirm or disprove.[426] After the attack, Israel claimed to have killed a senior Hezbollah official, Sajad Dawir.[427] But this official appeared after the war to confirm that he was still alive. And in any event, the killing of a single Hezbollah official could not have justified targeting a civilian complex with the attendant and predictable large civilian toll. There is no evidence that senior Hezbollah officials were present at the complex, and Human Rights Watch did not find any evidence of underground bunker structures during an inspection of the site on October 30, 2006.

The people killed in the attack have been indentified as follows (ages provided where available): Hussain Ahmad Kassam Terhini, "Abu `Ali", 45; Fatima al-Shami, 50; Ahmad Marzouk, 20; Hisham `Abd al-Razak; Hassan Makki, 32; wife of Hassan Maki, name unknown; his children, `Ali Hassan, under 12; Sarah, under 12; Maryam, under 12; Laila Rachid Chahrour; Nancy Ahmad Ghadar, 15; Yehya Ahmad Ghadar, infant; Issa al-Tirani "Abu Ahmad", 62; Hajj `Ali Nur al-Din, 40; his wife, Randa, in her forties; their children Yasir, 18; Hussain, 17; Ibrahim, 13; Asmahan Muhammad Fakih; Muhammad `Ali Farhat, 40; Ahmad `Ali Kassem; Khadija Mahmud Kassem; Hussain Ahmad Kassem, an infant; `Ali Hassan Kdouh, "Krayem", in his forties, (buried as a Hezbollah "Martyr Leader"); Mahmud Hussain; Muhammad Harb (a Hezbollah member); `Ali Charara (a Hezbollah member); Muhammad Charara, 23, (a Hezbollah member); Muhammad Chebib Mahmud; Muhammad Hassan Farhat, in his seventies; Mahmud Muhammad Farhat, in his thirties. Several others are known to have died but their bodies were never recovered: Muhammad Mouaness ("Abu Ghassan"), 57; his son Hassan, 32; Rif`at Nassif Nasrallah, in his thirties; Yousif al-Hajj, "Abu `Ali", in his fifties; Sa`adeh Chahrour; Ahmad Terhini; `Ali Koudsi; Mustafa Fneich; and Muhammad Haidar.[428]

Killing of Six Civilians, Brital (Beka` Valley), August 13

Following the unexpected August 7 air strike on Brital that killed nine people, many families fled their homes and sought safety with relatives. Five families totaling 24 persons, including 12 children, sought safety in the home of `Ali Hussain Mazlum, 70, the owner of a furniture factory. Among those who sought safety at his house was his son-in-law, the head of the Brital municipality, `Abbas Isma`il. "The house had nothing to do with Hezbollah, so we thought we were completely safe," `Abbas Isma`il recalled to Human Rights Watch, "It was a nice house with a big yard for the children to play in."[429]

At 11:15 p.m. on August 13, a single missile fired from an Israeli war plane destroyed the two-story home. `Abbas Isma`il told Human Rights Watch:

Most of my relatives were already asleep. I was still watching television. At 11:15 p.m., the house was targeted. There was one explosion. I didn't even hear it; I just woke up under the rubble. It targeted the foundation of the house, at the bottom corner. When the bomb hit, it destroyed the whole house except for the kitchen.[430]

The attack killed six people: `Ali Hussain Mazlum, 70, the owner of the house; his sister Fatima, 58; his daughter-in-law Zainab Muhammad Shmeiss, 36; her daughters Ala'a, 18, and Fatima, 6; and Ammar `Uthman, 30, a displaced person from Baalbek who had sought safety in Brital.[431] The attack wounded 18 others, three of them so seriously that they were still receiving medical treatment one month after the attack. All of the dead were buried as civilians.

`Abbas Isma`il and other municipal officials-who had no Hezbollah, Amal, or other religious symbols in their offices, unlike many other Shi`a municipal offices in Lebanon-said there was no Hezbollah or any other military presence in the village at the time of the attacks. They explained in detail the 1998 dispute with Hezbollah and the Lebanese authority that had led to the demilitarization of the village and the location of a permanent Lebanese army checkpoint at the entrance of the village. "I would not have placed myself and my children in danger if there were any Hezbollah activities nearby," `Abbas Isma`il explained, "During the war, I went on [Lebanese] television to tell people that our village was safe, and we welcomed displaced persons . There is no operative existence of Hezbollah in our village, and we did not allow anyone to bring weapons to our village because we didn't want to be in danger."[432]

B. Attacks on Vehicles and Fleeing Civilians

Killing of Twenty-three Civilians Fleeing Marwahin, July 15

On July 15, an Israeli strike on a convoy of vehicles containing civilians fleeing from the Lebanese border village of Marwahin killed twenty-three people, including 14 children and seven women (two of whom were pregnant).[433] Because of the high death toll and the accusations against Israel, the United Nations, and Hezbollah about their respective roles in the incident, Human Rights Watch carried out a detailed investigation. Some of the information contained below has already been discussed above in the chapter on Hezbollah violations during the war, but is repeated here for the sake of completeness of the narrative.

Marwahin is a Sunni village located on the border with Israel. The village is not a Hezbollah stronghold. According to the villagers of Marwahin, they began having problems with Hezbollah fighters and weapons infiltrating their village almost as soon as the war started. One witness described how two Hezbollah fighters, one dressed in military camouflage and a second in civilian clothes, came to Marwahin on July 12, the day of the abduction of the two IDF soldiers, and began scouting the village. An Israeli helicopter was overhead, looking for Hezbollah fighters. Zahra Abdullah, 52, one of the women who later died in July 15 Israeli strike, shouted at the fighters to leave, saying that if the helicopter spotted them, it would attack the village.[434]

The Hezbollah fighters ignored her, returning later that day with a white van packed with weapons, and parking it next to the village mosque, where it remained until it was destroyed by an Israeli strike.Unknown to the villagers, Hezbollah had also placed a large cache of rockets and other weapons in the home of a villager who was sympathetic to Hezbollah, and whose name is known to Human Rights Watch.[435] Following the war, Human Rights Watch researchers found both the destroyed van and the destroyed weapons cache in the home, both still carrying the remains of rockets, rocket propelled grenades, and other weaponry.

On July 15 around 7 or 8 a.m., Zahra spotted three Hezbollah fighters carrying weapons and rockets behind her home, hiding the weapons in blue blankets. She again confronted the fighters, telling them, "Please, there are children inside this home." One of the Hezbollah fighters turned his automatic weapon on her, and told her to "shut up and go inside." Zahra returned to her home, crying.[436]

Around the same time that Zahra confronted the Hezbollah fighters, the Israeli army ordered the villagers (in Arabic) to immediately evacuate the village, using loudspeakers attached to the Israeli transmission towers located along the border.

According to Salih Ibrahim Ghannam, who was in phone contact from Beirut with those in Marwahin that morning, the villagers tried to seek safety at a nearby post manned by the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL):

I was in phone contact with my relatives in the village. Around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. on that day, my relatives called to say that the Israelis had warned they should evacuate in two hours. The Israelis had spoken on loudspeakers in Arabic from across the border, which is nearby. My relatives said they would go to the UNIFIL post beside the village. They went to the outpost and stayed there for two hours, but after two hours, UNIFIL said they had orders not to let them in.[437]

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan later acknowledged that UN officials refused assistance to the Marwahin villagers, but denied responsibility for subsequent events, saying that those who were killed later that day in an Israeli strike were "unrelated" to the group that approached the UN for protection: "Contrary to what was reported in the media, these were not the same civilians who had approached UNIFIL for shelter previously."[438]

However, Human Rights Watch's investigations established that some of those who died were indeed part of the group who had been rebuffed by the UN officials at the observation post. Others who died were also waiting for the UN's response, even though they had not gone to the UN post themselves. Wissam Abdullah, a 15-year-old survivor of the strike, explained to Human Rights Watch that the whole village was waiting to hear what the response of the UN observers would be: "Some people decided to go to the UN position and walked there. We waited at the central square of the village. There were many people there waiting, waiting for an answer [from the United Nations]. Then people came back and they said, 'The United Nations will not take us.'"[439] His father, Muhammad, who was not in the village at the time but remained in constant cellphone contact with his relatives, gave a similar timeline in a separate interview:

The villagers went to the center affiliated with the UN truce force [UNTSO] at 9:15 a.m. and spoke with three officers of different nationalities. They did not agree to let them in. At that point, the group of villagers split into two. One group went to the UNIFIL post and another group went back to the village square to wait for the UNIFIL answer. The UNIFIL people said, "We will count you and let you in." An officer from UNTSO then went to the UNIFIL post and told them not to allow [the civilians] in so as to avoid another Qana massacre.[440]

It is possible that the UN officers had explicit orders not to allow civilians to seek shelter at their base during times of active hostilities, orders that the UN had implemented after an Israeli attack on the UNIFIL barracks in Qana in 1996 that killed over 100 civilians sheltering there.[441] The UN should investigate whether UN officers on the scene could have taken action that would have better protected the civilians, given that a number of members of the larger group died in the ensuing Israeli attack.

Confronted with Hezbollah militants in their town, ordered to evacuate immediately by Israel, and unable to find protection with the United Nations, a group of civilians packed into a convoy of three vehicles to flee their village: `Ali Abdullah's white Daihatsu pickup had 27 people, `Ali Seif's brown Mercedes had six people, and a blue Mercedes whose owner is unknown contained an unknown number of people. The passengers in all three vehicles waved white flags to make sure the Israelis didn't mistake them for Hezbollah fighters. The convoy first drove to the neighboring village of Umm al-Tut; there, they waited for an hour to see if a car that had gone ahead of their convoy had made it to Tyre safely. When they received a cellphone call telling them that the car ahead of them had safely reached Tyre, they decided to proceed.[442] The blue Mercedes split off from the convoy at this point and took a different road.

As the two remaining cars reached the coast just before Bayyada, on a bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the pickup truck overheated and broke down. The convoy could hardly have taken a worse place to stop; an Israeli gunship was located just offshore, and the Israeli Navy had been placed on high alert for attacks against their ships. Just the evening before, Hezbollah had stunned the Israeli Navy by attacking one of their most advanced gunboats, the IDF missile ship Ahi Hanit, with a C-802 Silkworm anti-ship cruise missile, killing four IDF sailors and crippling the ship. The C-802 is a 715-kilogram laser-guided missile, a sophisticated weapon, and its use took the IDF by surprise.[443]

The sudden appearance of two parked vehicles, including a pickup truck, in line of sight of another Israeli warship the morning after this attack probably caused the Israelis to assume the broken-down civilian convoy was another Hezbollah missile firing team preparing to attack their ship, notwithstanding the white flags on the cars (which may not have been visible from the ship.)

`Ali, the driver of the pickup truck, ordered the children to get out of the back of the pick-up so that the Israelis would realize they were civilians (some of the passengers were at this point too tired to get out of the truck). After the drivers desperately tried to restart the pickup for about seven minutes, a missile suddenly struck the cab of the pickup, killing `Ali and his elderly mother. Two survivors told Human Rights Watch that they believed the Israelis ship offshore fired the first missile at them, but the accuracy of the strike and the relatively limited damage caused suggests that an unseen Israeli drone overhead might have fired it instead, as there was little likelihood of a dead-on strike on the truck from the ship.[444] The initial strike wounded many of the children and women in the convoy, but they survived and attempted to crawl to safety.

One survivor, 15-year-old Wissam Abdullah, described how after that first attack, an Israeli Apache helicopter appeared and now attacked the fleeing civilians, firing at least four missiles at them and spraying them with machine-gun fire:

I was injured from the first missile. The shrapnel hit me in my right thigh, and the explosion made me fly out of the pickup truck. The shrapnel had cut an artery, and the blood started flowing . Then, an Apache came; I saw it with my own eyes. It was flying at medium height. The Apache fired [a missile] at the pickup and then fired [a missile] at the brown Mercedes. My sister Mirna was in the truck. I went to help her, but the Apache fired a missile between us [killing Mirna,] and it threw me backwards. I think there were four missiles fired by the Apache. It also used machine-gun fire-there were still people alive and it fired at them with its machine guns. I pretended I was dead. I hid in the grass and pretended I was dead.[445]

Humanitarian law requires that warring parties take constant care in the conduct of military operations to minimize harm to civilians. Not only must they do everything feasible to verify that targets are military objectives, but once it becomes apparent that the target is not a military objective, they must do everything feasible to cancel or suspend an attack.[446] Thus even if the IDF had a justifiable basis for the initial attack on the vehicles (and it is far from clear that the IDF should not have been seen the civilian nature of the vehicles using visual enhancing devices), the IDF should have halted the helicopter attack as soon as it was apparent that the target was not a military objective.

The attack left 23 people dead: `Ali Abdullah, the driver of the car, 60; his mother, Sabha Hassan Abdullah, in her eighties; San`a Abdullah, 35 (who was pregnant); Zahra Abdullah, 52, the mother who had confronted the Hezbollah fighters repeatedly, died with two of her children: Hadi Abdullah, age six, and Mirna Abdullah, 13; Muhammad `Ali Abdullah, 17, Zahra's son-in-law; five siblings: `Ali Kamel Abdullah, 15; Hussain Kamel Abdullah, 13; Hassan Kamel Abdullah, 12; Muhammed Kamel Abdullah, 10; Lama Kamel Abdullah, eight; Muhammed Ghannam, 45, his wife Suha Ghannam, 35 (who was seven months pregnant), and their six children: Qasim Ghannam, 17; Mustafa Ghannam, 15; Hassan Ghannam, 14; Zainab Ghannam, 10; Fatima Ghannam, nine, and Duha Ghannam; and Maryam Ibrahim Abdullah, 27. Two additional persons died in the brown Mercedes: Latifa Abu Hawle, in her sixties, and Fawziyyeh Abu Hawle, 75.[447] Four children survived the strike on the pickup truck, and four adults survived the strike on the brown Mercedes.

All of the persons killed in the attack were buried as civilians. Angry residents from Marwahin clashed with Hezbollah representatives who tried to attend the funeral, arguing that they were partly to blame for the deaths. In the words of Muhammad Abdullah, who lost his wife Zahra and two children in the attack: "I hold everyone responsible for the deaths of my family: the United Nations, Israel, and Hezbollah."[448]

About two hours after the attack, Lebanese ambulances reached the scene and evacuated some of the wounded and dead. Later, UNIFIL retrieved an additional 16 bodies from the scene and stated that their medical teams came under fire during the rescue operation.[449] A photographer for an international news agency arrived at the scene approximately two hours after the attack, after the Lebanese ambulances and before UNIFIL, and told Human Rights Watch that he found a white pickup truck and a passenger car completely destroyed, and counted sixteen bodies at the scene, many of them children.[450] There was no evidence of any Hezbollah presence either in the vehicles attacked or at the scene where the attack took place.

Killing of Three Civilians, Sheem, July 16

At about 10 p.m. on the evening of July 16, an Israeli warplane targeted five transport trucks parked in an open area operating as an informal truck stop between the Sunni Muslim villages of Shmeiss and Sheem. The villagers at the truck stop specialized in truck repairs, and all five of the trucks had their cargo area uncovered and were unloaded. Human Rights Watch researchers inspected the destroyed trucks during a site visit on September 23, and found no evidence to suggest that any military cargo was being carried by the trucks, such as evidence of secondary explosions. According to the residents, who are Sunni Muslims unaffiliated with Hezbollah, the five trucks were simply commercial vehicles that had been parked there and had no connection to Hezbollah.

The initial air strike destroyed the five trucks and the main road and sprayed a neighboring residential apartment building with shrapnel. The shrapnel and broken glass wounded at least 28 of the residents there, including two who had serious injuries: Munifa Darwish, 70, and her Sri Lankan maid, Malika. Neighbors quickly evacuated the two, and a neighbor, Samir Ahmad Abdullah, 42, put them in his car to take them to the hospital. Another relative accompanied them in a separate car.

As they left the apartment building in his car, about 10 minutes after the initial attack, the Israeli warplane returned and attacked again, this time firing a missile close to the vehicle. The strike killed Samir, Munifa, and Malika. The relative in the other car survived the attack with massive injuries and remained hospitalized at the time of Human Rights Watch's visit to the site two months later.[451]

Killing of Five Civilians Smuggling Fuel in Beka` Valley, July 19

During the night of July 18-19, at about 3 a.m., Israeli drones struck three separate vehicles smuggling fuel along the Syrian-Lebanese border. The Lebanese smugglers, all of them Sunni Muslims with no links to Hezbollah, had traveled to the Syrian border over dirt mountain roads to fill up large fuel containers on their pick-up trucks with diesel, which was in short supply following Israel's imposition of a total air, sea, and land embargo on Lebanon. Five people died in the drone strikes.

At about 3 a.m., an Israeli drone struck a pickup truck with a container of smuggled diesel as its driver was unloading the diesel at a gas station in the village of Ham, having just returned from the Syrian border. The strike killed two brothers in the truck, Faidullah Mustafa, 27, and Shahid Mustafa, 23.[452] Around the same time, an Israeli drone struck two pickups loaded with smuggled diesel driving on a mountain road between the Syrian border and the Lebanese village of Maaraboun, killing all three persons in the vehicles: Diab Yahya, 27, his cousin Muafaq Yahya, 32, and their neighbor Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad, 40.[453] All of the victims were unaffiliated with Hezbollah.

Civilians transporting fuel unconnected to any fighting are not directly participating in hostilities and thus cannot be subject to direct attack.[454] While fuel can be a valid military objective, and thus a legitimate target of attack, it would need to be shown not only that the fuel could effectively support the adversary's military operations, but that its destruction offered the attacker a definite military advantage.[455] There was no evidence that the fuel in these incidents was being or would have been used for military purposes, as it was delivered to civilian fuel stations in Sunni villages.

Killing of Six and Wounding of Eight Civilians Fleeing `Aitaroun, July 19

Villagers began fleeing `Aitaroun, a village located just one kilometer north of the Israel-Lebanon border, after two major IDF strikes there killed 12 civilians on July 16 and another nine civilians on July 18 (see above). As explained by one of those who fled in a convoy, Husam Haidar: "After the second massacre, we got really scared. It became difficult to come and go. The owner of the gas station insisted on leaving. I had received calls from relatives in Beirut to leave."[456]

On July 18, a three-car convoy left `Aitaroun at about 3 p.m. and safely reached the Chouf mountains surrounding Beirut, a mostly non-Shi`a area that was virtually unaffected by the bombing. The next morning, another three-car convoy left `Aitaroun at about 8 a.m. with 16 people, flying white flags.

As the convoy drove between Bazouriye and Hosh, just on the outskirts of the coastal city of Tyre, an Israeli drone attacked them. Husam Haidar, a teacher who was in the third car in the convoy, told Human Rights Watch:

At Bazouriye, debris blocked the main road. There was a cardboard marker with the direction for Tyre written on it. There we went ahead towards Tyre. We drove for 500 meters. Then the first car driven by Said lit up brightly, and we heard an explosion. A second later, a missile hit Ghassan's car, which was the second car.
We panicked and ran out of our car and hid in a fruit orchard. Suddenly a missile came between us. It hit my wife in the left arm and cut her main artery and some nerves. She lost a finger in her left hand. My daughter had blood all over her face. Shrapnel injured her legs, chest, and shoulder.
My mother was not yet hurt. She stood up [after the explosion] and was walking to the fruit orchard. Another missile hit, and I next saw my mother lying on the ground. She had lost her leg and arm and died 10 minutes later. My father lost a finger and received shrapnel in his leg.[457]

Four people inside the first car died: Sa`id Hamze `Abbas, in his fifties; Fatima `Abbas, 45; Sara Wasef `Abbas, age one; and `Aliya Mansur, 45. The two other passengers were wounded but survived. A second car in the convoy was also hit, killing the driver Ghassan Fakih, 35, and wounding two passengers. Husam's mother Laila Haidar, also killed in the attack, was 67. The four other passengers were severely hurt.

There was no Hezbollah presence in the convoy, according to one of the survivors, herself gravely wounded in the attack: "There were no fighters in the cars, no weapons, just civilians trying to escape."[458] She said there was no Hezbollah presence in the area where they were attacked: "There was nothing around the area where we were attacked, only fruit orchards-no people and no fighters, it was an empty area."[459] Husam Haidar told Human Rights Watch:

None of us are military, and there were no weapons in the car. In the area around where we were attacked, I did not see any military [Hezbollah] presence. Until now, I try to analyze what happened, and I still don't have an answer. We were clearly civilians; we had white flags. Other cars passed after us and nothing happened to them.[460]

The IDF has not given any explanation for the attack or any information regarding any Hezbollah activity in the vicinity of the convoy at the time of its attack.

Killing of Three and Wounding of 14 Civilians Fleeing al-Tiri, July 23

Heavy Israeli bombardment in al-Tiri, located between Bint Jbeil and Tibnine, had trapped 49 members of the extended Sh`aito family in a single home since the beginning of the war. Running out of food, the family decided to leave the village after hearing evacuation orders from the IDF. On July 21, the family contacted the Lebanese Red Cross for assistance with evacuation, but the Red Cross was unable to reach the village. On July 22, 32 family members, including most of the children present in the house, packed into a jeep and two cars, leaving 17 family members behind without transportation. The first convoy made it safely to Tyre.

On July 23, the remaining family members convinced a taxi driver to take them to Tyre in a van, paying US$1,000 for the drive. The family waved a large white flag outside the van, and many of the family members held smaller white cloths, to indicate their civilian status.[461]

 

The remains of a civilian van near Kafra, hit by an Israeli drone-fired missile on July 23, 2006. The van contained 17 civilians of the Sh`aito family fleeing their homes in al-Tiri. Three family members died and 14 were wounded. 2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

As the van passed Kafra, it was hit by an Israeli strike. Musbah Sh`aito, who was sitting next to the driver but survived, told Human Rights Watch: "I heard a noise like a blown tire, and the van started swerving. I told the driver to slow down, and he said, 'We've been hit!' The van stopped, and the driver and I got out. As the driver was calling on me to help get the wounded out, a second missile hit the car."[462] Apparently an Israeli drone, unseen in the sky, fired the missiles.

Three persons died in the missile attack: Nazira Sh`aito, about 70; her son Muhammad Amin Sh`aito, 53; and the family's Syrian janitor, Zakwan [family name unknown], in his mid-forties. Their bodies remained in the vehicle after the attack until the 48-hour ceasefire because recovery teams could not reach the area for days after the incident. The attack wounded the 14 other family members, including several who required extensive hospitalization.

According to Musbah Sh`aito, "When we were hit, there was no one around-no resistance [Hezbollah], nothing. The only person we saw on the road was a wounded driver by the side of the road, asking for help."[463] Passengers driving through an area would not necessarily know whether Hezbollah fighters were generally active in the area. However, the IDF has not offered any explanation for the attack or any information regarding Hezbollah activity in the vicinity of the van at the time of its attack.

Killing of Two and Wounding of Four Civilians Fleeing Mansouri, July 23

The Srour family, which resides in Germany, was vacationing in the seaside village of Mansouri, 10 miles south of Tyre, having arrived two days before the fighting in Lebanon began.[464] On July 23, the family attempted to travel in a three-car convoy to Tyre, waving white flags, to evacuate to Germany. At about 10:30 a.m., an Israeli helicopter or drone fired at the vehicle some four kilometers south of Tyre, near the village of Ma`liye. Darwish Mudaihli, 38, the hired driver of the car, died instantly, as did his brother-in-law, Muhammad Srour, 36. The car caught on fire with the bodies of Darwish Mudaihli and Muhammad Srour inside.

Muhammad Srour's children, Ahmad, age 15; `Ali, 13; Mahmud, eight; and eight-month-old Maryam were severely burned during the attack and were evacuated to Germany for specialized medical treatment. There was no sign of Hezbollah military activity or weapons in the vicinity, relatives of the victims familiar with the circumstances of the attack told Human Rights Watch, and no one in the family had any connections to Hezbollah.[465] The IDF did not offer any explanation for the attack or any information regarding any Hezbollah activity in the vicinity of the van at the time of its attack.

Wounding of Nine Civilians Fleeing Mansouri, July 23

Shortly after the attack on the Srour family (above), an Israeli Apache helicopter hit a second civilian car in the same area. Zain Zabad, a 45-year-old fruit farmer, had also driven up from Mansouri, attempting to evacuate his wife and four children. On the way, the family picked up a man who had been wounded when an air strike hit his car in Qlaile, and two more wounded people in Ma`liye (the same area as the Srour attack), who were hit by an Israeli helicopter strike while riding a motorcycle. `Ali Ja`far, a 21-year-old day laborer who was injured in the strike on his motorcycle, told Human Rights Watch:

When I was hit, there was nothing around, no resistance [Hezbollah]. I was driving in shorts with my bag over my back, looking like a civilian . I was driving the motorcycle and suddenly it just melted in my hands. There was a missile from a helicopter . [Zain Zabad's car] stopped to take us away; its driver was from our village.[466]

Subsequently, a munition fired from an Israeli Apache helicopter struck Zain Zabad's car just 40 meters from the Najem hospital, wounding all nine persons inside.[467] The attack on the Zabad family took place within sight of the Najem Hospital. The IDF did not offer any explanation for the attack or any information regarding any Hezbollah activity in the vicinity of the car at the time of its attack.

Wounding of Six Ambulance Drivers and Three Patients, July 23

On July 23, at 11:15 p.m., Israeli forces attacked two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances in Qana, almost certainly with missiles fired from an Israeli drone flying overhead.

The ambulances, which had Red Cross flags illuminated by a spotlight mounted on the ambulance, were transferring three wounded Lebanese civilians from one ambulance to the other when the missiles struck. Some websites subsequently claimed that the attack on the ambulances "never happened" and was a Hezbollah-orchestrated hoax.[468] In response, Human Rights Watch researchers carried out a more in-depth investigation of the Qana ambulance attacks and issued a separate report on its findings.[469] The information below summarizes the main findings of Human Rights Watch's investigation:

At about 9:30 p.m., Israeli forces fired artillery shells near the Tibnine home of Ahmad Fawaz, 41, a car mechanic. The attack injured five members of the Fawaz family: Ahmad Fawaz; his twin sons Muhammad and Ali, 13; his wife Fatima; his mother Jamila, 80.[470] All five were transferred to the Tibnine hospital, where they received first aid. Shortly after 10:30 p.m., the Tibnine Hospital asked the Red Cross to prepare to transfer the three most seriously wounded-Ahmad, Muhammad, and Jamila-to Tyre for further treatment.

The Lebanese Red Cross officials in Tibnine made contact with their counterparts in Tyre; they decided to dispatch a second ambulance from Tyre to meet the Tibnine ambulance mid-way in Qana to take the wounded so that the Tibnine ambulance could return to its base.

The ambulance crews interviewed by Human Rights Watch reported that both ambulances were clearly marked and identifiable as ambulances from a great distance. Painted white, they had large red crosses painted on their sides and roof. They each had a large Red Cross flag attached to the roof, illuminated by a spotlight mounted on the roof. The ambulances also had a piercing, flashing blue light designed to be visible at a great distance, even at night. The ambulance personnel confirmed that they had left their lights and sirens on during the entire operation, as standard procedure.[471]

The two ambulances arrived in Qana around the same time and parked close to each other in the central square. The ambulance crews quickly transferred the three wounded from the Tibnine ambulance to the Tyre ambulance. As one of the Red Cross members was closing the back door of the Tyre ambulance, a missile most likely fired from an Israeli drone struck the rear of the roof of the ambulance that was now holding the wounded.[472]

The missile traveled from the roof of the Tyre ambulance through the gurney on which Ahmad Fawaz was strapped, severing his leg, and then through the floor of the ambulance deep into the pavement of the road. Ahmad Fawaz recalled to Human Rights Watch that he was knocked unconscious by the first attack, but soon awoke to realize he had lost his leg:

When I woke up, there were still explosions, but farther away from us . I extended my hand to my leg and realized I had lost my leg. It was my right leg. I did not feel anything. I also received shrapnel to my left leg, and it was broken. My left knee cap was also affected . I stayed in the ambulance for one and a half hours.[473]

Muhammad received additional shrapnel wounds to his chest and head from the attack on the ambulance, and Jamila sustained serious shrapnel wounds.[474] All of the ambulance workers managed to run away from their vehicles and sought shelter in a nearby building.

Minutes later, a second missile, again most likely from an Israeli drone, hit the Tibnine ambulance right through the middle of the Red Cross emblem on its roof. The ambulance crews stayed in the basement of the building for an hour and 40 minutes. At 1:15 a.m., a new ambulance crew from Tyre finally managed to reach Qana and evacuate the wounded patients and ambulance crews.

International humanitarian law provides that medical transports used exclusively for medical transportation must be respected and protected at all times. They lose their protection only if they are being used outside their humanitarian function to commit acts harmful to the enemy.[475] There is no basis for concluding that Hezbollah was making use of the ambulances for a military purpose, and Human Rights Watch is not aware of any allegations by the IDF or in the media that Lebanese ambulances were misused for military purposes during the 2006 war.[476]

Killing of One Civilian Traveling to Buy Food, Supplies, and Medication, July 24

On the morning of July 24, Hassan Ibrahim al-Sayyid, a 26-year-old man from the village of Beit Leef, was killed when an Israeli helicopter or drone fired on him while he was driving his motorcycle. Hassan's sister, Husen al-Sayyid, told Human Rights Watch that Hassan had left his village to buy food, candles, and medication from a neighboring village for his brother, who was receiving dialysis treatment.[477] The weapon hit Hassan's motorbike on the road between Kafra and Siddiquine. According to his sister, Hassan was not a member of Hezbollah. Hassan's corpse was transferred to Tyre's public hospital after the attack.[478] Human Rights Watch was unable to determine whether he was later buried as a civilian or as a "martyr." The IDF did not issue any statements about this attack.

Killing of Seven Civilians, Marja`youn Convoy, August 11

Marja`youn, a large, mostly Christian town located south of the Litani River and six miles north of the Galilee panhandle, was largely spared the impact of the war. According to Karim Michel Rached, the mukhtar of Jdeidet Marj`ayoun, one of the neighborhoods of the city, local security officials had reached an agreement with Hezbollah, largely abided by, to stay out of the city during the war.[479] Another villager from Jdeidet Marja`youn told Human Rights Watch: "When the war started, it was between Hezbollah and Israel. We stayed in our homes. There is no Hezbollah here, because they don't have supporters. The closest Shi`a village is five minutes away by car. We were reassured that Israel would not target us, and so we stayed in our homes."[480]

However, according to a number of local residents interviewed by Human Rights Watch, members of the Syrian Nationalist Party fought against Israeli commandos who landed in Marja`youn near the end of the war, ignoring the objections of local residents who feared that the town would be bombed in retaliation.[481] On the evening of August 9, Israeli commando forces landed in Marja`youn and began an operation to take control. Fighters from the Syrian Nationalist Party briefly confronted the Israeli commandos, but then abandoned their positions inside the village after coming under Israeli fire. The Israeli shelling wounded several residents. By August 10, the Israeli commandos had taken firm control of Marja`youn, and the local officials, anticipating fierce fighting between the Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters (who called off their earlier commitment not to enter Marja`youn following Israel's invasion of the town), worked with the local Lebanese Army commander, Colonel `Adnan Daoud, to organize a large-scale evacuation of the village. A local official explained the decision to evacuate:

Our problems started Wednesday [August 9] at 7 p.m. The Israelis shelled Marja`youn with 155mm shells, the night of their invasion. They came in on Thursday morning. There was a panic. People stayed inside their homes, talking on their phones and cellphones. The communications between the people in the town concluded that the situation was unbearable. The hospital was closed; there was no electricity. No ambulances could move because it would be targeted. The base of the joint security force [headed by Colonel `Adnan Daoud] was being evacuated, and we were expecting operations by Hezbollah against the Israelis, which meant that we would be shelled.[482]

Colonel `Adnan Daoud, working through the Lebanese Army's Directorate of Intelligence and UNIFIL intermediaries, contacted the IDF to seek safe passage for a convoy to evacuate the civilians as well as his Lebanese Army soldiers and Internal Security Forces (i.e. police) from Marja`youn. According to all of the Lebanese officials and civilians interviewed by Human Rights Watch, as well as UNIFIL official statements, the convoy obtained permission from the Israeli authorities before proceeding north. A statement issued by UNIFIL after the incident confirmed that "[a]t the request of the Lebanese government, UNIFIL was in contact with the IDF to facilitate the withdrawal of the Lebanese Joint Security Forces from Marja`youn [on August 11]. Israeli forces informed UNIFIL that they agree[d] to such a request."[483] After the incident, the IDF issued a statement that it had received the request, but had not authorized it: "It is important to note that a request for the passage of the convoy was submitted to the IDF coordination apparatuses prior to its departure and was not authorized."[484]

Human Rights Watch believes that the IDF's claim that it had not authorized the movement of the convoy is implausible. Lebanese authorities and UNIFIL kept the convoy waiting for hours while they sought Israeli authorization for its passage, and, according to both the Lebanese authorities and UNIFIL, let it proceed only after they obtained the Israeli authorization. During the conflict, UNIFIL had set up a regular channel of communication and standard operating procedures with Israeli authorities to seek authorization for its movements, and it is extremely unlikely that UNIFIL would have violated these procedures by agreeing to escort an unauthorized convoy.

As word of the convoy spread, hundreds of civilian cars gathered from Marja`youn as well as from the villages surrounding Marja`youn. By the time the convoy departed around 4 p.m. on August 11, it consisted of at least 87 vehicles of Lebanese Joint Security Forces (JSF), 10 vehicles of Lebanese Internal Security Forces, and several hundred civilian vehicles, stretching for miles along the road.[485] Two UNIFIL armored personnel carriers led the convoy until it departed out of UNIFIL's area of operations in southern Lebanon and then continued without UNIFIL escort.[486] The Lebanese army deployed its personnel along the route to direct the massive convoy to safety.

At about 10 p.m., the front of the convoy came under fire from Israeli drones in the area of Kefraya, in the Beka` Valley. Laila Najem, who was wounded in the attack, recalled what happened to Human Rights Watch:

We got to the Beka` Valley and decided to get out of our cars and rest. Then the raid happened. The first missile fell near the Colonel [Daoud]'s vehicle, four cars in front of us. We were in a valley with no houses or trees. People left their cars and ran. The second strike was next to our car [and wounded us with shrapnel]. The third strike killed Elie Salameh and Colette Makdissi, the wife of the mukhtar [Karim Michel Rached].[487]

Mukhtar Karim Michel Rached recounted to Human Rights Watch how he lost his wife in the attack:

The first strike hit the front of the convoy, near the permanent Lebanese army post in Kefraya . I was in the middle of the convoy. The strike stopped the convoy. My belief is that they were aiming at Colonel Daoud, the head of the security forces . We stopped and got out of our cars. A second missile flashed. I called my cousin who was at the front of the convoy. He told me, "They have attacked us, run away." We decided to turn off our lights, to turn around the car and go back. I started off and then a missile fell behind me, 10 meters away. It killed my wife. It shattered all of the windows in our car.[488]

The attack killed six or seven people:[489] the wife of the mukhtar, Colette Ibrahim Makdissi, 51; Elie Salameh, 45; Michel Jbayleh, a Lebanese Red Cross volunteer who was struck while assisting the wounded;[490] Khaled Abdullah; and Kamil Tahtah. It injured at least 32 others.

Following the attack, the IDF issued a statement explaining that it had:

identified suspicious movement along a route forbidden for travel which had been used by Hezbollah to transport rockets and other weaponry. Acting on suspicion that these were Hezbollah terrorists transporting weaponry an aerial attack was carried out. Further inquiry into the incident following information from UNIFIL has concluded that the movement was of a convoy that had left Marja`youn earlier.[491]

The IDF response is inconsistent with the facts on the ground. By its own admission, the IDF had received a request for the passage of the convoy (although it denies giving authorization). Moreover, the IDF had an obligation under the laws of war to do everything feasible to ensure that the targets attacked were a military objective. The fact that IDF was on notice that a large civilian convoy was heading north from Marja`youn, coupled with the observation of such a large convoy, with many civilian cars flying white flags and heading north, was a clear basis for canceling the attack.

Killing of Two Lebanese police and Five Lebanese Army Soldiers, Jamaliyeh Road (Beka` Valley), August 14

 

A passenger van hit by an Israeli airstrike near Jamaliyeh on August 14, 2006, killing two Lebanese policemen and five Lebanese army officers.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

On the morning of August 14, just hours before a UN-imposed ceasefire came into effect, a white civilian van left from the Beka` Valley villages north of Baalbek, heading towards Beirut. Inside the van were three Internal Security Services police officers, two civilians, and eight members of the Lebanese Army. The police and army officers were all on their way to their duty stations in Beirut. One of the police officers, Rabi` `Abbas al-`Attar, 27, who was wounded in the attack and lost his brother, `Ali `Abbas al-`Attar, 32, also a police officer, explained to Human Rights Watch why they had decided to travel to work before the formal ceasefire came into effect: "We were waiting for the ceasefire, but we didn't hear any planes in the sky and we saw that people were moving [driving] on the road, so we decided it was safe to move and go to work."[492]

 

The family of Lebanese police officer `Ali `Abbas al-`Attar, one of two policemen and five Lebanese army officers killed in an Israeli airstrike on a van leaving Jamaliyeh on August 14, 2006.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

As the van reached Jamaliyeh, just outside Baalbek, they found the road damaged by an earlier Israeli air strike, and turned off on a little dirt road around the destroyed section of roadway. At about 6:05 a.m., an Israeli drone fired one missile into the van, killing seven persons inside: Hussain Qabbar, Lebanese Army sergeant; Nabih Sallum, Lebanese Army sergeant; `Ali `Abbas al-`Attar, Internal Security Force sergeant; Ibrahim Haidar, Lebanese Army; Rashid al-Mukdad, Internal Security Force officer; Michel Abboud, Lebanese Army; and Hussain Nasr al-Din, Lebanese Army. The missile wounded the other six persons in the van, including the driver, Muhammad al-Helani, who lost a leg.[493]

Insofar as Israel was a war with Lebanon, Lebanese army soldiers are combatants under international humanitarian law. However, because the Lebanese army did not take a direct part in the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, any attack on them that caused harm to civilians or civilian objects would almost necessarily be considered a disproportionate attack. Police personnel are normally considered civilians, but if taking part in military operations they can lose their civilian status.

C. Civilian Casualties During Attacks on Infrastructure

Israel conducted numerous attacks against non-residential infrastructure during the armed conflict, including commercial buildings, roads, and bridges. For instance, Israel destroyed an estimated 107 bridges and overpasses throughout Lebanon, justifying these attacks as necessary to impede Hezbollah movement of personnel and rockets.[494] These attacks killed and wounded numerous civilians.

Under international humanitarian law, civilian infrastructure such as bridges are considered dual-use facilities-and can be targeted-if they directly contribute to the war effort and their destruction offers a concrete military advantage. Attacks on dual-use facilities are bound by the same prohibitions on indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks as attacks on purely military targets. Because dual-use facilities often have significant civilian functions-an electrical plant may supply electricity to a large population-there can be particular concern that their destruction will cause harm to civilians far in excess to the anticipated military gain and thus be disproportionate. And a warring party remains under an obligation to choose means of attack that avoid or minimize damage to civilians.

Killing of Five Civilians, Borj al-Shemali, July 16

At noon on July 16, an Israeli air strike targeted an empty building formerly used as a soap factory in Borj al-Shemali, located on the outskirts of the southern port city of Tyre. The massive explosion destroyed the building and struck several neighboring homes, causing five civilian deaths in a home located just next to the factory.

Fifteen members of the Zayyat family were inside their apartment next to the factory, watching television and sitting around talking. "We were not too worried because the Israelis said they wouldn't target civilians," one family member recalled. When the missile struck five meters away from the home, the apartment of the Zayyat family collapsed: "Within a second, everything in our apartment fell on our heads, we all ended up with mostly head wounds. Five walls were just ripped away; the only things remaining were the [reinforced] pillars."[495] The attack killed five members of the family, all of them women or children: Rukaya `Awada, 70, the matriarch of the family; her daughter Hanan Ramiz Zayyat, 45; her daughter-in-law Hanan `Ali Zayyat, 33; her grandson Hadi Zayyat, 14; and her granddaughter Reham Atwi, 10. Another daughter, Nouha Zayyat, 34, remained in a coma with severe head wounds two months after the attack and was not expected to recover when Human Rights Watch visited.[496] Nine other family members were also seriously injured.

The Zayyat family is certain that the abandoned soap factory was empty and that Hezbollah was not using it as a weapons storage facility: "No one was storing weapons inside or even using the building," Haidar Zayyat told Human Rights Watch, explaining that the factory had been empty for years and that the family had not noticed any movement in or out of the building that might have suggested it was used as a weapons storage facility. The family blamed Israel's use of extremely powerful weapons in a densely populated area for the deaths: "They were targeting a soap factory that had not been operating for three years. If they wanted to target the factory, they should have limited their attack, because there were civilian homes nearby."[497]

Killing of One Civilian during Air Strike on al-Ghaziyeh Bridge, July 17

At about 9 a.m. on July 17, Israeli warplanes bombed the al-Ghaziyeh highway bridge, located just south of Saida on the coastal highway. The strike killed Zuheir Muhammad al-Baba, 58, a leatherworker and father of five children. Zuheir had gone to Saida to ask his brothers for some money and was on his way back to al-Ghaziyeh when the bridge was hit, burning him to death in his car.[498] There was no Hezbollah presence on or near the bridge, so the bridge itself was the probable target of the attack. He was buried as a civilian in Saida.

Killing of Twelve Civilians during Attack on Rmeileh Bridge, July 18

On July 18, Israeli air strikes destroyed the Rmeileh Bridge, located on the main coastal highway about four kilometers north of Saida. The air strike also hit a van and a Mercedes whose passengers were trying to flee to safety in Beirut, killing all 12 passengers in the cars. Nine civilians from Deir Qanoun al-Nahr died in the van: Mustafa `Ez al-Din, 48, a real estate salesman, his wife Ibtisam Zalzali, 43, and their two children, Ibrahim, 14, and Musa, 12; Abdullah Hariri, in his forties; Deebe Zalzali, 38, and her two children Muhammad and Darin, ages unknown; and Kifah `Aseileh, in his forties. Three civilians also died in the Mercedes, but their names and ages are unknown to Human Rights Watch.[499] According to their relatives, all of those who died in the van were civilians, and are buried as civilians, not Hezbollah "martyrs."[500]

Following the strike, the bodies from the van were taken to the Southern Medical Center in Saida. Based on the appearance of the bodies-blackened corpses with hair and skin intact-a Belgian-Lebanese doctor, Bachir Cham, accused Israel of having used chemical weapons, saying that the victims were "black as shoes, so [Israel] definitely is using chemical weapons."[501] Lebanese Health Minister Muhammad Khalifa later confirmed that the Lebanese authorities had sent samples from the bodies to foreign laboratories for testing.[502] The tests came back inconclusive. However, there is almost no chance that a chemical weapon would have been used in the particular attack that killed the 12 victims at Rmeileh bridge. The target of the attack was a reinforced concrete bridge, and chemical weapons are useless against such a target.

Killing of 11 Civilians during Attack on al-Hayssa Bridge (northern Lebanon), August 11

On the early morning of August 11, Israeli warplanes launched a number of attacks against bridges and roads in northern Lebanon, attempting to cut the roads between Syria and Lebanon (they had cut roads and bridges leading to Syria from the Beka` Valley earlier in the conflict, leaving only the access roads to Syria through northern Lebanon).

At about 4:40 a.m., an Israeli warplane fired a missile at the al-Hayssa bridge, located in northern Lebanon on the `Akkar highway leading to the Syrian borderpost at al-Abboudiye. The bomb destroyed the bridge, but sprayed shrapnel throughout the small village of al-Hayssa, wounding a number of people. Many villagers, awakened by the explosion, rushed to the area of the destroyed bridge after hearing screaming from wounded persons in nearby homes.

Ten minutes after the initial attack, at about 4:50 a.m., the Israeli warplane returned and carried out a second raid on the bridge. Mehsin Yasin Ma`la, 42, whose son died in the attack, recalled to Human Rights Watch what happened:

My family used to sleep outside during the war because we were afraid of the missiles . At 4:40 a.m., while I was rolling a cigarette, the first missile fell. Shrapnel flew all over the place, injuring my sons and daughters, and the women and children started to cry.
We heard a lot of screaming coming from the bridge, so we ran to help those who were screaming. Between the first and second missile were 10 minutes. By the time we got there, we didn't hear the missile or the airplane. The pressure of the blast just threw me and my son one or two meters up in the air. We were both injured, and I was asking my son, 'Where is your brother?' When we got away from the bridge, my son found his brother dead, with his arm and head broken. He covered his face and then we were taken to the hospital.[503]

The second bombing raid killed 11 civilians, and wounded many others. Those killed were: `Ali Muhammad Mehsin, 45; `Abd al-Karim `Ali Melhim, 48; `Ali Muhammad Melhim, 32; Fadi Muhammad Melhim, 25; `Ali Mehsin Melhim, 19; `Ali Muhammad Akumi, 25; Rashid Mahmud Hassan, 50; `Ali Hassan Mneimeh, 40, Ma`la Mehsin Ma`la, 16; `Ali `Abud Jrayssy, 36; and `Ali Sulaiman Ma`la, 42. Dozens of others received shrapnel wounds, and three villagers were seriously wounded: one teenager lost his arm, another 13-year-old lost a leg, and a 40-year-old farmer lost his arm.[504]

The air strike was evidently aimed at the bridge, not at any Hezbollah presence in the village (which is composed of Sunnis and followers of the minority `Alawite interpretation of Shi`a Islam). The second strike on the bridge raises concerns that the IDF should have anticipated that, after the first strike, civilians would have rushed to the bridge to assist the wounded. By attacking again almost immediately, the IDF failed to take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian casualties.

D. Deaths from Artillery Strikes

Human Rights Watch did not fully investigate the use of artillery by the IDF in the 2006 conflict. However, almost everywhere Human Rights Watch researchers traveled in southern Lebanon, evidence of artillery strikes was visible on roads, fields, orchards, and inside villages themselves. Almost every house in many villages within artillery range of Israel (or Israeli positions inside Lebanon) bore evidence of artillery strikes on its exterior walls. While civilian casualties from shelling appears to have been far less than from air attacks, we examined a number of such cases.

Killing of Two Children, Rmeish, July 19

During the conflict, many residents from Shi`a border villages fled to neighboring, non-Shi`a villages. In the case of the village of `Aita al-Sha`ab-the Lebanese village closest to the place where Hezbollah captured the two IDF soldiers, and the scene of some of the fiercest fighting-many of the civilians fled immediately to nearby Rmeish, a predominantly Christian village.

The Christian Salem family had 26 displaced persons from `Aita al-Sha`ab staying at their home in Rmeish, in addition to the six members of the Salem family itself. Their neighbors had a similar number of displaced persons, all of them civilians from `Aita al-Sha`ab, the vast majority women and children.[505]

At 1 a.m. on July 19, the neighborhood of Rmeish in which they lived, near the center of the village, came under intensive Israeli shelling. At least six 155mm artillery shells hit the Salem house, and four penetrated inside the room where the children of the displaced people were sleeping. Two siblings were killed by the explosions: Zainab Salah Jawad, 7, and her brother Qawsar Salah Jawad, 4.

According to the Christian owner of the house, there were no Hezbollah members inside the home, and the neighborhood was a Christian one that did not support Hezbollah.[506] While the Salem family did not notice any firing from around their part of the village, they told us that some villagers had told them that "something was fired from the neighborhood" but Human Rights Watch was unable to confirm this.[507]

Killing of Two Civilians in `Aitaroun, July 21

In many villages in southern Lebanon, elderly persons often remained behind during the war, in part because they were unable to move easily, or they preferred risking death in their homes to the humiliations of being displaced. In one such case in `Aitaroun, five elderly persons ended up remaining: Maryam Muhammad Tawbe, 70; her 98-year-old blind mother, `Aliyeh Mustafa; her nieces Maryam Mustafa Tawbe, 65 and Atife Tawbe, in her fifties; and her uncle `Ali Tawbe, 85.

At about 7 p.m. on July 21, the house they were sheltering in came under a heavy barrage of Israeli 155mm artillery shells, which exploded against the wall of the house as well as in the garden surrounding it. The legs of Maryam Mustafa Tawbe, 65, were sheared off by shrapnel, and she bled to death immediately after the attack. Shrapnel also hit `Ali Tawbe, 85, in the chest; he survived only until the next morning. Atife Tawbe and Maryam Muhammad Tawbe received serious shrapnel wounds to their legs, but survived without any access to medical treatment until after the end of the fighting. For the next eight days, the three surviving women lived with the decomposing bodies of their two relatives, unable to leave the home because of the heavy shelling and bombardment of the town, until help was able to reach them during the 48-hour ceasefire.[508] According to the survivors, there was no Hezbollah presence in the home when it was shelled.[509]

Killing of One Civilian, Yatar, July 26

Abdullah Qaik, 82, was unable to flee his native village of Yatar because he had been bedridden and unable to walk since a fall one year earlier. During the war, his wife remained in the village to look after him, but spent most of her time in a safer shelter located some 200 meters from their house. On July 26, she left her husband at 3 p.m. When she returned an hour later, an artillery shell had exploded close to the house, and her husband had bled to death from shrapnel and broken glass wounds to his legs from the explosion. He was buried as a civilian.

According to the wife, there were no Hezbollah fighters in the shelter or near her home, but she had seen Hezbollah fighters inside the village: "The shabab [Hezbollah fighters, literally "the youth"] would sit on the verandas of certain houses. They also stayed in two or three houses in the village where they slept. They came and took the radio from our house during the war."[510] The mixing of Hezbollah fighters with the civilian population clearly endangered the civilian population of the village, and may have contributed to the artillery strike that killed Abdullah Qaik.

Killing of One Civilian, Arzun, July 29

On July 29, heavy Israeli artillery shelling hit the village of Arzun, located about nine kilometers east of the coastal city of Tyre. Artillery shells fell all over the village in an indiscriminate nature, according to one of the villagers, "There was no military objective [in the shelling.] The whole village was being struck indiscriminately."[511]

At about 11 a.m., one of the shells hit the home of 82-year-old Ibrahim `Abdo Turmus, who was bedridden and unable to flee during the war, killing him instantly. The same shell also injured his son Hassib Turmus, 36, and `Ali Mughniyyeh, 22, a neighbor, who had come to the house to look after and feed Ibrahim Turmus.[512]

Hezbollah fighters were present in the village during the attack, and had taken over a school building in the village.[513] Neither Ibrahim nor his son and neighbor were affiliated with Hezbollah but were instead civilian supporters of Amal.

The IDF did not issue a statement on this attack.

E. Shooting Deaths by IDF Ground Forces

IDF military operations in Lebanon were not limited to artillery, air, and naval bombardment. From the early days of the conflict, Israeli commandos and ground forces operated on Lebanese territory, confronting Hezbollah fighters on the ground in Lebanon and attempting to seize control of a significant number of villages and towns in southern and south-eastern Lebanon.

Human Rights Watch research established that the ground fighting, not the bombardment, in Lebanon was the deadliest part of the conflict for both Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters. At least 104 of the total 119 Israeli soldiers killed in the conflict died in ground combat inside Lebanon. Similarly, Human Rights Watch research found that the vast majority of Hezbollah fighters killed in the conflict were killed either in firefights with Israeli ground forces, or by close air support (mostly Israeli drones and helicopers) accompanying Israeli ground forces.

Despite the weeks of fierce ground combat, Israeli forces gained only a precarious foothold in Lebanon. In the border regions of Maroon al-Ras, Bint Jbeil, and `Aita al- Sha`ab, Israeli forces failed to gain effective control despite weeks of fighting and massive destruction of those border villages.

In the course of its research, Human Rights Watch regularly encountered evidence that Israeli soldiers had used, and often vandalized, civilian homes in the villages and towns they fought in. Human Rights Watch found homes that Israeli soldiers had temporarily occupied, as evidenced by the presence of discarded Hebrew food packages and Israeli military supplies, in `Ainata, Hadatha, Haris, `Aita al-Sha`ab, and Taibe. Such use is not improper under humanitarian law. However, the owners of homes occupied by Israeli soldiers during the conflict often complained of vandalism, offensive grafitti, and wanton destruction carried out by the Israeli soldiers. Visits by Human Rights Watch to a number of these homes confirmed this. Humanitarian law prohibits destruction of private property, except when required by imperative military necessity, and pillage.[514]

On at least two occasions, Israeli ground troops appear to have unlawfully shot and killed Lebanese civilians. In each case, the Israeli soldiers implicated in the killing were not engaged in hostilities at the time, should have been able to identify the Lebanese they shot as civilians, and faced no apparent threat from those individuals.

Shooting of One Civilian, `Ainata, July 27

During late July, Israeli soldiers took up a position in the home of `Abbas Khanafer in `Ainata, located near the Israeli border between the villages of `Aitaroun and Bint Jbeil, and based themselves on the upper floors of the three-story building. `Abbas Khanafer's mother, Badriyyat Khanafer, and his two sisters, Maryam and Taghrid Khanafer, remained in a neighboring building that also belonged to the family, but the men of the family decided to move out of the area, afraid the Israeli soldiers would mistake them for Hezbollah fighters. According to Badriyyat Khanafer and her daughter Taghrid, the Israeli soldiers knew that there was a group of women living in the building next door (about twenty meters of gardens and fields separate the two homes), as the women would start screaming whenever the Israeli soldiers opened fire on targets.[515]

On July 27, at about 10 a.m., 65-year-old Badriyyat and her daughters had gone to the basement of the home occupied by the Israeli soldiers to fetch some cooking materials, and had returned to the next-door home without problem. They did not know that Israeli soldiers had taken refuge in the house. In the early afternoon, Maryam Khanafer, 36, decided to return again to the basement and first floor of the Israeli-occupied home to fetch her one-year-old daughter's portable toilet. Her mother explained to Human Rights Watch, "I told her not to go, but she said, 'My daughter is dying to go to the bathroom,' and said she'd be right back."[516] Maryam wrapped a white sheet around her to indicate her civilian status and left.

Maryam Khanafer made it safely into the home and found her daughter's toilet. On her way back, in the middle of the open garden and field separating the two homes, the Israeli soldiers fired at least three bullets at her from the upper floors of the building, killing her instantly. Her mother recalled:

I was in the house when they shot her. After the first bullet, I started screaming . I heard them [the Israeli soldiers] shout in Arabic, Idrizz `al-wati [a popular Arabic expression, literally meaning "fire low," but more accurately translated as "fire frequently"] Then they shot at our house, but we were not injured . I pulled her from the garden to the entrance of our house. I went by myself; my older daughter refused to go. When I was pulling her, they were still firing. There was blood on my head; there was so much blood everywhere. I called my older daughter to help once I brought Maryam['s body] back.[517]

Maryam's body remained at the entrance of the home until the Red Cross came to collect it several days after her death.

The apartment occupied by the Israeli soldiers had been partially cleaned and repaired by the time of Human Rights Watch's investigation of the incident, but the refuse left behind by the Israeli soldiers outside the home-large amounts of Hebrew-language food containers, Israeli army supplies, and cigarettes-left no doubt that Israeli soldiers had been inside the building for an extended period.

The available evidence suggests the shooting of Maryam Khanafer was a deliberate and unlawful killing of a civilian. Israeli soldiers shot Maryam Khanafer from a relatively close distance from which they should have easily identified her as a civilian, wrapped in a white sheet, and carrying a child's portable toilet. While it is unclear whether there were any attacks on the IDF position in the `Ainata home prior to the shooting, there was no hostile fire at the time of the attack. The IDF has not commented on this case. The troubling circumstances of this case require a full and impartial investigation, and those responsible for the killing should be held accountable for their actions.

Shooting of Four Civilians, Taibe, August 6

Four members of the Nasrallah family-Ahmad `Ali Nasrallah, 81; his wife Muhsina `Ali Jumaa, 83; their son Hussain Ahmad Nasrallah, 54; and their daughter Nazha Ahmad Nasrallah, 58-had moved to the basement shelter of their neighbor Said Hussain Nehle, 76, in the town of Taibe, located near the Israeli border some 40 kilometers east of Tyre.They remained there for about one week until they decided to go check on their home and bake some bread to eat on the morning of August 6. (The Nasrallahs have no relation to the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah is a common family name in Lebanon).

According to Nehle, there was still heavy artillery and missile fire taking place around Taibe when Muhsina and Nazha left to go check on their home, located about 100 meters away from Nehle's home, at about 11 a.m. When the two didn't return by noon, Ahmad asked Hussain to go check on them. At about 12:30 p.m., when none of them had returned, Ahmad himself left his neighbors home to go find out what happened: "Ahmad put on his hat and left, about half an hour after his son left," Nehle recalled to Human Rights Watch.[518]

None of his neighbors returned that day, and Nehle spent the evening alone in his basement. The next morning, when the bombardment briefly eased, Nehle decided to go to the Nasrallah's home to see what was happening. He described to Human Rights Watch what he saw:

When the bombing calmed down, I went to their house and found them dead. I saw their bodies near the entrance of the house, just three meters away from the house. The mother and the son were next to each other. I couldn't see the father and the daughter at first. I walked a bit further and found the father. His daughter had reached the patio. The father's body was mutilated and there was a lot of blood. They had been shot from inside the house, and from an adjacent apartment. When I reached them, I heard someone speaking Arabic in a Druze accent. He told me to shut up and leave. I couldn't see the person who was speaking, or those inside [the house], but they were inside.[519]

According to Nehle and a surviving son of the family, they found Nazha on the patio at the top of the stairs; Muhsina and Hussain at the bottom of the stairs; and Hassan in the garden just to the right of the patio, probably fallen there by the force of the explosion that killed him.[520]

Human Rights Watch conducted a detailed inspection of the home. The property consists of a large home, with an attached smaller adjacent apartment on the left front side. In front and on the right side of the large home there is a wrap-around patio that extends to the adjacent apartment, and is reached by stairs on the right side. Human Rights Watch found evidence that Israeli forces had occupied the house and adjacent apartment; they had left behind a large amount of IDF army provisions and Hebrew-language food containers and cigarettes, as well as Israeli bullet and grenade cartridges with Hebrew markings. They had also damaged much of the furniture in the house, and used it to fortify their position.

The forensic evidence examined by Human Rights Watch at the scene suggests that the Israeli soldiers shot the four members of the Nasrallah family from positions inside the small apartment adjacent to the main house. All of the bullet and grenade impact rounds were located on the wall of the front of the main house, along the patio, and the empty bullet casings were located by the windows of the small apartment, indicating that the bullets were fired from inside the small apartment in the direction of the family members on the patio and the steps.

The empty bullet and grenades found at the scene were all Israeli-manufactured. Human Rights Watch found an impact crater caused by a 40mm grenade round fired by the M203 grenade launcher that attaches to the standard M16 assault rifle, which probably caused the mutilation injuries to the body of Ahmad, as well as several empty 40mm grenade cartridges with Hebrew markings. The bullets found at the scene were all standard 5.56mm ammunition for the M16 rifle, and 7.62mm bullets for the heavier Negev SAW rifle.

Significantly, Human Rights Watch found no evidence that the Israeli soldiers had ever been attacked during their occupation of the Nasrallah home. The only bullet scars on the building were focused around the immediate area where the family died, and there was not a single bullet scar on any other part of the building indicating incoming fire. A careful search of the property did not locate any evidence of an attack on the building, either during the time the family returned or at any other time.

 

The casing of an Israeli-manufactured 40mm grenade found at the Nasrallah home in Taibe, where Israeli soldiers shot dead four elderly members of the Nasrallah family, all of them civilians. 2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

 

Discarded Israeli-manufactured bullet cartridges and 40mm grenade casings found by Human Rights Watch at the Nasrallah home in Taibe, where Israeli soldiers shot dead four elderly members of the Nasrallah family, all of them civilians.

2006 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

The investigation conducted by Human Rights Watch strongly suggests that the shooting deaths of the family members were unjustified and unlawful. From the close distance at which the Israeli soldiers shot the four civilians dead-less than five meters-it must have been clear to them that they were shooting at elderly civilians, not combatants. All four of the victims were unarmed, and there is no evidence of an attack on the Israeli soldiers. The troubling facts of this shooting incident demand an independent and impartial investigation of the soldiers involved, and accountability for those responsible.

Acknowledgements

This report is based on investigations carried out by Human Rights Watch researchers throughout the conflict (July 12-August 14, 2006), as well as in the months after the conflict (August-December 2006). The research was conducted by Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, Nadim Houry, Lebanon and Syria researcher in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) division of Human Rights Watch, and Wissam Al Saliby, consultant to Human Rights Watch. The report was written by Peter Bouckaert and Nadim Houry. Additional research was contributed by Lucy Mair, researcher for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in MENA; Jonathan Fox, consultant to Human Rights Watch; Eric Goldstein, research director in MENA; Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst in the emergencies program; and Leeam Azulay-Yagev, associate in the program office of Human Rights Watch.

The report was edited by Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of MENA; James Ross, legal and policy director; Joseph Saunders, deputy program director; and Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. Members of the arms division of Human Rights Watch provided input and analysis on issues related to arms. Human Rights Watch associates Assef Ashraf, Thodleen Dessources, Tarek Radwan, and Leeam Azulay-Yagev, as well as intern Shir Alon, assisted with research, production, and administrative support.

Human Rights Watch would like to thank the eyewitnesses and victims of the attacks documented in this report who agreed to be interviewed at great length. Many of them lost relatives and neighbors during the war and experienced the destruction of their own homes. Despite their hardships, these men and women patiently answered our difficult questions. Their cooperation is deeply appreciated.

Appendix I

List of Attacks Investigated

Date

Time

Place

GPS

Names of Dead

Mode of Attack

1.

July 13

03:50

Baflay

Lat N 33 15' 25.42"

Lon E 35 22' 01.65"

1. Munir `Ali Zain, 47

2. Najla Houdruj Zain, 42

3. `Ali Munir Zain, 19 (army soldier)

4. Wala Munir Zain, 18

5. Hassan Munir Zain, 13

6. Fatima Munir Zain, 7

7. Hussain Munir Zain, 4

8. Haidar bin Nahi, 40, Kuwaiti, husband of Hurriya Munir Zain

9. Abdullah bin Nahi, 70, Kuwaiti, father of Haidar.

10. Sri Lankan maid, name unknown

Airplane strike on house

2.

July 13

03:50

Srifa

Lat N 33 16' 33.41"

Lon E 35 24' 04.66"

1. `Akil Bahij Mer`i, 34, Brazilian national

2. Ahlam Amin Jaber, 25

3. Fatima Zahra `Akil Mer`i, 4

4. `Abd al-Hadi `Akil Mer`i, 9

Airplane strike on house, right after `Akil Mer`i returned home.

3.

July 13

03:50

al-Shehabiyye

Not available

No Fatalities

Wounded

1. Muhammad Mahmud Baydun, 17

2. Samih Mahmud Baydun, 20

3. Ahmad Mahmud Baydun, 20

Airplane strike on house of Hezbollah member Mahmud Baydun

4.

July 13

04:00

Dweir

Lat N 33 22' 39.40"

Lon E 35 24' 52.41"

1. `Adil Muhammad Akash

2. Rabab Yasin, 39

3. Muhammad Bakar Akash, 18

4. Muhammad Hassan Akash, 7

5. Fatima Akash, 17

6. `Ali Rida Akash, 12

7. Ghadir Akash, 10

8. Zainab Akash, 13

9. Sara Akash, 5

10. Batul Akash, 4

11. Nur al-Huda Akash, 2

12. Safa' Akash, 2 months

13. Sir Lankan maid, name unknown

Airplane strike on house

5.

July 13

04:00

Shhour

Lat N 33 17' 48.21"

Lon E 35 22' 35.46"

1. Khadije `Ali Khashab, 48

2. `Ali Amid Khashab, 73

3. Mustafa `Ali Khashab, 43

4. Najwa `Ali al-Medani, 37

5. Yasmin Mustafa Khashab, 14

6. Sara Ahmad Yasin, 16

Airplane strike on house

6.

July 13

04:00

Bar`ashit

Lat N 33 10' 37.56"

Lon E 35 26' 29.27"

1. Najib Hussain Farhat, 54

2. Zainab Najib Farhat, 16

Airplane strike on house, Hezb weapons store in neighboring house

7.

July 13

08:20

Zebqine

Lat N 33 09' 53.92"

Lon E 35 16' 02.05"

1. Fatima Bzeih, 78

2. Taniya Bzeih, 64

3. Maryam al-Hussaini, 54

4. Su`ad Nasur Bzeih, 39

5. Amal Na`im Bzeih, 44

6. Na`im Wa'el Bzeih, 18

7. Kholud Muhammad Bzeih, 18

8. Farah Muhammad Bzeih, 14

9. `Aziza Muhammad Bzeih, 11

10. Malek `Ali Bzeih, 17

11. Muhammad `Ali Bzeih, 17 (twin of Malek)

12. Hussain `Ali Bzeih, 12

Airplane strike on house

8.

July 13

15:00

Yatar

Lat N 33 09' 16.73"

Lon E 35 19' 54.69"

1. Arwa Jamil Suidan, 58

2. `Ali Muhammad Akil, 25 (buried with Hezbollah insignia, but witnesses said he was just a member and not a fighter)

3. Muhammad `Ali Najib Suidan, 21(Hezbollah Fighter)

Airplane strike on house

9.

July 15

08:55

Bint Jbeil

Lat N 33 07' 04.30"

Lon E 35 26' 20.95"

1. Khalil Ibrahim Mrouj, 85

2. Najwa Khalil Mrouj, 60 (daughter)

3. Bilal Hreish, 31, member of Hezbollah civil defense

4. Mahmud Muhammad al-Sa`id Ahmad, 28, member of Hezbollah civil defense

Airplane strike on building killing Khalil and Najwa. Hezbollah rented an empty apartment in the same building. Attack follwed by another airstrike that killed two rescuers.

10.

July 15

11:00 (approx)

Sham`a-Biyada road

Lat N 33 09' 29.80"

Lon E 35 11' 34.84"

1. `Ali Abdullah, 60

2. Muhammad Abdullah, 15

3. Sabha Abdullah, 80s

4. Sana' Abdullah, 35 (pregnant)

5. `Ali Kamel Abdullah, 14

6. Muhammad Kamel Abdullah, 13

7. Hussain Abdullah, 10-11

8. Hassan Abdullah, 9

9. Lama Abdullah, 1-2

10. Zahra Abdullah, 52

11. Hadi Abdullah, 6-7

12. Mirna Abdullah, 13

13. Maryam Abdullah, 29

14. Muhammad Ghannam, 35

15. Suha Abdullah, 30 (pregnant)

16. Qassim Ghannam, 17

17. Mustafa Ghannam, 15

18. Hussain Ghannam, 14

19. Zainab Ghannam, 10

20. Fatima Ghannam, 9

21. Duha Ghannam, 7

22. Latifah Abu Hawle, 60s

23. Fawziyyeh Abu Hawle, 75

Warship/helicopter strike on fleeing civilians (2 vehicles) from Marwahin

11.

July 15

20:00

Houla

Lat N 33 12' 40.42"

Lon E 35 31' 05.94"

1. Salma Ibrahim Slim, 23

2. Zainab Hassan Fakih, 22 (mother of 7 month old baby)

Apache Helicopter strike, Hellfire missiles

12.

July 16

12:00

Borj al-Shemali

Lat N 33 15' 51.68"

Lon E 35 14' 14.60"

1. Rukaya `Awada, 70

2. Hanan Ramiz Zayyat, 45

3. Hanan `Ali Zayyat, 33

4. Hadi Mahmud Zayyat, 14

5. Reham Majid `Atwi, 10

Airplane strike on next-door abandoned soap factory.

13.

July 16

12:00 1:00

Tyre, building behind Jabal Amel Hospital

Lat N 33 16' 668''

Long E 35 13' 142''

1. Maryam Ibrahim `Alawiya, 80

2. Husn Jaffal, 27

3. Zainab `Ali `Alawiya, 9

4. Hussain `Alawiya, 8

5. Aya `Alawiya, 5

6. Marwa al-Hajj Hassan, 26 (Wife of Yasir `Alawiya)

7. Batul Yasir `Alawiya, 5

8. `Abbas Yasir `Alawiya, 4

Airplane strike on building

14.

July 16

17:00

Yatar

Lat N 33 09' 04.51"

Lon E 35 19' 44.54"

1. Muhammad Hussain Ja`far, 23, Hezbollah fighter

2. Hassan `Ali Karim, 22, Hezbollah fighter

3. Hussain `Ali Muhammad Qurani, 21, Hezbollah fighter

Airplane strike on house after fighters spotted moving rocket launcher

15.

July 16

17:00-18:00

Tyre, Civil Defense building

Not available

1. Muhammad Hussain Alamadin, 55, teacher

2. `Ali Muhammad Alamadin, 14

3. Najib Shamsuddin, age unavailable

4. `Ali Shamsuddin , 34

5. Haytham Hassan Muzyid, 34

6. Hussain Hassan Muzyid, 38

7. `Alia Wehbi, 40, F

8. Sally Wehbi, 7

9. Ayman Daher, 35, holds Brazilian nationality, had just arrived to Lebanon

10. Lin `Ali Safeedin, 1

11. Muhannad Yusif Ibrahim, 58

12. Ibrahim Saksouk, Body parts found, age unknown

13. Zainab Fakhury, 66

14. Kund'bsejen Runjani, Sri Lankan maid

Airplane strike on civil defense building, Tyre

16.

July 16

17:50

`Aitaroun

Lat N 33 06' 57.20"

Lon E 35 28' 24.57"

1.`Ali Hassan al-Akhrass, 36

2. Fuda Hassan al-Akhrass, 63

3. `Ali Ahmad al-Akhrass, 65

4. Saja `Ali al-Akhrass, 7

5. Zainab `Ali al-Akhrass, 6

6. Ahmad `Ali al-Akhrass, 3

7. Salam `Ali al-Akhrass, 1

8. Amira Rislan, 24

9. Manal Rislan, 17

10. Haniya Muhammad al-Akhrass, 55

11. Muhammad Mahmud al-Akhrass, 86

12. Hassan Mahmud al-Akhrass, 85

Airplane strike on home

17.

July 16

22:00

Sheem

Lat N 33 38' 30.33"

Lon E 35 28' 40.72"

1. Samir Ahmad Abdullah, 42

2. Munifa Darwish Darwish, 70s

3. Sri Lankan maid, Malika, age unknown

Airplane strikes on parked trucks in the mountains, 3 killed in 2nd strike while trying to get medical assistance.

18.

July 17

09:00

al-Ghaziyeh bridge

Not available

1. Zuheir Muhammad al-Baba, 58 (buried in Saida)

Airplane strike on bridge. Civilian killed while crossing

19.

July 17

Unknown

Kfar Dounin

Lat N 33 13' 887"

Long E 35 24' 399"

1. Hussain al-Mikdad, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

2. Hezbollah fighter from Yatar, name unknown, age unknown

Killed by drone after firing rockets

20.

July 18

00:45

`Aitaroun

Lat N 33 07' 06.79"

Lon E 35 28' 13.38"

1. Hassan Mahmud `Awada, 43

2. Hussain Hassan `Awada, 3

3. Jamila Mahmud `Awada, 45

4. Musa Naif `Awada, 45

5. `Ali Musa `Awada, 17

6. Abir Musa `Awada, 16

7. Hassan Musa `Awada, 12

8. Maryam Musa `Awada, 10

9. Muhammad Musa `Awada, 6

Airplane strike on house, after Hezbollah fired rockets nearby

21.

July 18

09:00

Tallousa

Lat N 33 13' 58.07"

Lon E 35 29' 08.56"

1. Bahije Sulaiman Turmus, 80

2. `Ali Nabih Turmus, 21

3. Basil Imad Turmus, 7 (Brazilian-Lebanese)

Airplane strike on house. Son of owner of house was a former prisoner in Israel, and now works for al-Manar.

22.

July 18

Unknown

Rmeileh bridge

Lat N 33 35' 50.93"

Lon E 35 23' 18.78"

1. Mustafa `Izz al-Din, 48

2. Ibtisam `Ali Zelzli, 43 (wife)

3. Ibrahim Mustafa `Izz al-Din, 14

4. Musa Mustafa `Izz al-Din, 12

5. Abdullah Hariri, 40s, from Kfar Donan buried there

6. Deebe `Abd al-Hussain Zelzli, 38

7. Muhammad Nasir Zalzali

8. Darin Nasir Zalzali

9. Kifah `Aseileh, 40s

10. Hassan Jamil Saleh

11. Suheila Daou

12. unknown in Mercedes

Airplane strike on Rmeileh bridge

23.

July 18

16:00

Yatar

None

1. Hussain Yusif Slim, 26, disabled

Airplane strike on house

24.

July 18

Unknown

Bazouriyeh, Tyre

Not available

1. Hassan Wahib Yassin "Bilal" "Martyr Leader", 36,

buried in Majdel Selem

Died in airstrike on Hezbollah operations room

25.

July 19

01:00

Rmeich

Lat N 33 04' 39.87"

Lon E 35 22' 11.87"

1. Qawsar Salah Jawad, 4, from `Aita al-Sha`ab

2. Zainab Salah Jawad, 7, from `Aita al-Sha`ab

Artillery Shells on house where they had sought refuge

26.

July 19

02:00

Sil`a

Lat N 33 15' 18.72"

Lon E 35 22' 48.67"

1. Deeb `Abed Na`im, 65

2. Mustafa Hassan Ayyoub, 67

3. Mustafa `Ali Na`im, 60

4. Nizam Muhammad Ayyoub, 25

5. `Aliya Yusif Ayyoub, ~60

6. Zainab Hassan Ayyoub, 50

7. Jamila Muhammad Mansur, 20

8. Ahmad Nizam Ayyoub, 1

Airplane strikes on 2 houses

27.

July 19

03:00

Ham, Beka`

Lat N 33 52' 18.82"

Lon E 36 12' 08.22"

1. Faydallah Ahmad Mustafa, 27

2. Shahib Ahmad Mustafa, 23

Drone strike on car smuggling fuel

28.

July 19

03:00

Maaraboun, Beka`

Lat N 33 50' 50.42"

Lon E 36 12' 30.62"

Lat N 33 50' 51.92"

Lon E 36 12' 28.42"

1. Diab Rashid Yahya, 27

2. Muwaffaq `Ali Yahya, 32

3. Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad, 40

Drone strike on 2 cars smuggling fuel

29.

July 19

03:30

Srifa

Lat N 33 16' 56.63"

Lon E 35 23' 55.40"

1.Bilal Hassan Hamudi, 27, AMAL combatant

2. Kamel Diab Jaber, 53, civilian supporter of AMAL

3. Mahmud Kamel Jaber, 33, AMAL combatant

4. `Ali Kamel Jaber, 30, AMAL combatant

5. Ahmad Kamel Jaber, 27, AMAL combatant

6. Manahil Najdi, 80

7. `Ali Mahmud Za`rour, 30, AMAL combatant

8. `Ali Nazel Nazel, 28, AMAL combatant

9. Hisham Muhammad Hamudi, 26-28, Hezbollah combatant

10. Wassim Taleb Najdi, 28, Hezbollah combatant

11. Imad `Ali Jaber, 27, Hezbollah combatant

12. `Ali Najdi, 26, Hezbollah combatant

13. Fadi Kamaluddin, 29, Hezbollah combatant

14. Muhammad Kamaluddin, 20, Hezbollah combatant

15. Ahmad Salim Najdi, 37, Communist Party combatant

16. Muhammad `Ali Najdi, 37, Communist Party combatant

17. `Ali Hussain Najdi, 27, Communist Party combatant

18. `Abbas Amin Dakrub, 20 civilian supporter of Communist Party

19. `Abbas Mahmud Dakrub, 25 civilian supporter of Communist Party

20. `Ali Muhammad Haidar, 20 civilian supporter of Communist Party

21. Hassan Krayim, 24, Communist Party combatant

22. `Ali Hassan Sabra, 17 civilian supporter of Communist Party

Airplane strike on series of houses. Fadi and Muhammad Kamaluddin hit by drone missile while fleeing after attack.

30.

July 19

07:10

Nabi Sheet

Lat N 33 52' 29.59"

Lon E 36 06' 56.11"

1. Khadija al-Musawi, 43

2. Muhammad Hussain Shukr, 23

3. Bilal Hussain Shukr, 20

4. Talal Hussain Shukr, 18

5. Yasin Hussain Shukr, 16

6. `Ali Sulaiman Shukair, 40s

7. Hala Choucair, age not available

Airplane strike on house

31.

July 19

08:30

Near Bazouriye

Not available

1. Sa`id Hamze `Abbas, 50s

2. Fatima Khalil `Abbas, 45

3. Sara Wasef `Abbas, 1

4. `Aliya Hussain Mansur, 45

5. Ghassan Fakih, 35

6. Layla "Shaikh Hussain" Haidar , 67

Drone strike on 3 cars fleeing `Aitaroun

32.

July 19

13:00

`Ainata

Lat N 33 07' 40.90"

Lon E 35 26' 43.60"

1. Musa Ahmad Darwish, 42

2. Amal Musa Darwish, 16 (daughter)

3. Zainab Said Darwish, 16

4. Salwa Samieh Dakrub, 20

Airplane strike on house

33.

July 19

15:00

Blida

Not available

1. Maryam Ibrahim, 60s

IDF cluster strike

34.

July 19

19:00

Debbine Marja'youn

Lat N 33 21' 730"

Lon E 35 36' 332"

1. Dawood al-Khaled, 40

2. `Abla Dawood al-Khaled, 9

3. Ahmad Dawood al-Khaled, 1 year and 8 months

Apache Helicopter strike

35.

July 20

06:00

Aita al-Cha`ab

Not available

1. Hassan` Abd al-Rida, 58

Apache Helicopter Hellfire missiles

36.

July 21

14:00

Aita al-Cha`ab

Not available

1. Rida Rida, 70s

2. Zahra Rida, 70s, bedridden

3. Ahmad Rida, 40s

Airplane strike on house

37.

July 21

19:00

`Aitaroun

Lat N 33 06' 53.24"

Lon E 35 28' 13.65"

1. Maryam Mustafa Tawbe, 65

2. `Ali Hassan Tawbe, 85

Artillery strike inside `Aitaroun

38.

July 21

Unknown

Zebqine

Not available

1. Ahmad Rida Bzeih,44, head of municipality, Hezbollah combatant

2. Adnan Hassan Bzeih, 44, Hezbollah combatant

3. Khayriyye Kamel Bzeih, 80

Airplane strike on home while fighters went to check on old woman; old woman wounded and died in Saida hospital

39.

July 23

05:35

Nabi Sheet

Lat N 33 52' 26.74"

Lon E 36 06' 50.25"

1. Shehab Fayez Shukr, 71 y.o.

Airplane strike on home of Ba`ath party official. Father of official died in attack.

40.

July 23

10:30

Kafra

Lat N 33 10' 15.93"

Lon E 35 18' 59.74"

1. Nazira Sh`aito, 70s

2. Muhammad Amin Sh`aito, 53

3. Zakwan (last name unknown), Syrian, mid-40s

Airstrike, probably drone, on civilian vehicle

41.

July 23

10:30

Ma`liye

Not available

1. Darwish Ma`ruf Mudaihli, 38

2. Muhammad Hani Srour, 36

Apache Helicopter strike on civilian vehicle

42.

July 23

~11:00

Ma`liye

Not available

No fatalities. Nine wounded.

Helicopter strike on civilian vehicle

43.

July 23

11:00

Shehin

Lat N 33 07' 33.06"

Lon E 35 15' 19.82"

1. Munira Sayyed Ghaith, 57

2. Raja Muhammad Ghaith, 29

Airplane strike on empty neighboring house

44.

July 23

16:15

Yaroun

Lat N 33 04' 52.63"

Lon E 35 25' 23.62"

1. Farhat Muhammad Farhat, 75

2. Badiya Nimer Saab, 70

3. Zainab Abdullah Khanafer, 43

4. Zahra Hassan Farhat, 5

5. Dana Hassan Farhat, 6 months

Airstrike on house

45.

July 23

23:15

Qana

Lat N 33 12' 24.38"

Lon E 35 18' 04.61"

No fatalities. 6 wounded.

MK strike on 2 ambulances

46.

July 24

05:45

al-Hallousiye

Lat N 33 18' 21.27"

Lon E 35 19' 42.09"

1. `Atika Munzer Mu'anis, 9

2. Muhammad `Ali Munzer Mu'anis, 11

3. Anise Yusif Saloum, 69

4. Maryam Wahib Hamid, 45

5. `Ali Muhammad Hamid, 13

6. Zainab Muhammad Hamid, 12

7. Khadija Muhammad Hamid, 6

8. `Abbas Muhammad Hamid, 9

9. Khaltoum Muhammad Haj`Ali, 86

10. Nahiya Hussain Mu'anis, 65

11. Ibtisam Muhammad Hamid, 45

Airplane strike on several adjoining homes

47.

July 24

Morning

Kafra-Siddiquine road

None

1. Hassan Ibrahim al-Sayyid, 26

Airstrike on motorcycle-unclear if plane, drone, or helicopter

48.

July 24

17:00

Haris

Lat N 33 10' 42.73"

Lon E 35 22' 35.63"

1. Musa Hussain Zelghout "Bakr", 40, Hezbollah combatant

2. Shadi Muhammad el-Rez "Malak", 21, Hezbollah combatant

3. Muhammad Ahmad Rizaq "Hadi", 25, Hezbollah combatant

4. Muhammad Wafiq Daqiq "Sajid", 19, Hezbollah combatant

Airplane strike on house while combatants were having meeting with commander

49.

July 24

12:00 (noon)

`Ainata

Lat N 33 07' 43.69"

Lon E 35 26' 25.11"

1. Fayez Abdullah Khanafer, 34

2. Rima Abdulamir Samhat, 35

3. Muhammad Fayez Khanafer, 3

4. Abdullah Fayez Khanafer, 6

5. `Ali Fayez Khanafer, 7

6. Dumu` Fayez Khanafer, 2

7. Maryam Fadlallah, 60, civilian supporter of Hezbollah

8. Zahra Ibrahim Fadlallah, 17 civilian supporter of Hezbollah

9. Yemene Ayyoub Fadlallah, 40

10. Khodr Amir Fadlallah, 4

11. Almaza Hassan Fadlallah, 77

12. Zainab Muhammad Hussain Khanafer, 78

13. `Afifa Abdullah Khanafef, 50

14. Muhammad `Ali Wehbi, 82

15. Kamela Khanafer, 61 (wife)

16. Ahmad Hassan Jagbir, 19 wounded Hezbollah combatant from Bar`achit

17. Muhammad Menaf `Atwe, 24, wounded Hezbollah combatant from Shakra

Airplane strike on house with two wounded Hezbollah fighters and 2 Hezbollah activists

50.

July 24

17:00

Haris

Lat N 33 10' 46.02"

Lon E 35 22' 40.63"

1. Khalil `Ali Jawad, 77

2. Zainab Hussain Jawad, 63

3. Nazmiye `Abbas Yahya, 50

4. Rawa' Khalil Jawad, 33

5. Ahmad `Afif Jawad, 26

6. Mahmud `Afif Jawad, 20

7. `Akil `Afif Jawad, 18

8. Batul `Afif Jawad, 16

Airplane strike on home, 10 minutes after strike on Hezbollah fighters 100 meters away.

51.

July 25

19:30

Khiam UNOGL post

Not available

1. Lieutenant Colonel Du Zhaoyu, 34, from Jinan, People's Republic of China.

2. Lieutenant-Commander Jarno Mkinen, 29, from Kaarina, Finland.

3. Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, from Canada

4. Major Hans-Peter Lang, 44, from Styria, Austria.

IDF precision guided missile strike

52.

July 26

15:00

Yatar

Not available

1. Abdullah As`adullah Qa`ik, 82, wheelchair bound

Artillery strike on house

53.

July 26

16:00

Kafra

Not available

1. Muhammad Ahmad Mer`i, 78

2. Latifah Mustafa Abu Zayd, 72

Airplane strike on house

54.

July 27

09:00

`Ainata

Lat N 33 07' 22.25"

Lon E 35 27' 04.07"

1. Maryam Abdullah Khanafer, 36

Shot by IDF soldiers occupying her home

55.

July 27

15:30

Hadatha

Lat N 33 09' 56.83"

Lon E 35 23' 21.48"

1. Mustafa Abdullah Nasir, 80

2. Naimeh Abdullah Nasir, 60

3. Samia Yusif Mansur, 50

4. Yusif Ahmad Mansur, 73

5. Zainab Tawfiq Sabra, 75

6. Hussain Muhammad Sabra, 58

Airplane strike on home, next to abandoned women's Hussainiya

56.

July 29

11:00

Arzun

Not available

1. Ibrahim `Abdo Turmus, 82

Artillery strike

57.

July 29

14:30

al-Numeiriyya

Lat N 33 24' 39.04"

Lon E 35 25' 08.85"

1. Sawsan Yasin Mehdi, 31

2. Ranim `Adnan Harake, 17

3. `Ali `Adnan Harake, 13 (son)

4. Rida `Adnan Harake, 11 (son)

5. Hadi `Adnan Harake, 8 (son)

6. Naif Abdullah Bdeir, 56

Airplane strike on house

58.

July 30

01:00

Qana

Lat N 33 12' 56.58"

Lon E 35 17' 55.76"

1. Husna Hashem, 75

2. Mahdi Mahmud Hashem, 68

3. Ibrahim Hashem, 65

4. Ahmad Mahmud Hashem, 55

5. `Afaf al-Zabad, 45

6. Nabila `Ali Amin Shalhoub, 40

7. Tayssir `Ali Shalhoub, 39

8. Khadija `Ali Yusif, 31

9. Maryam Hassan Mohsen, 30

10. Lina Muhammad Mahmud Shalhoub, 17

11.`Ula Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 25

12. `Ali Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 17

13. Hussain Ahmad Hashem, 12

14. Hawra' Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 12

15. `Ali Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 10

16. Ja`far Mahmud Hashem, 10

17. Qassim Samih Shalhoub, 9

18. Yahya Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 9

19. Qassim Muhammad Shalhoub, 7

20. Raqieh Mahmud Shalhoub, 7

21. Ibrahim Ahmad Hashem, 7

22. Yusif Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 6

23. Zainab Muhammad `Ali Amin Shalhoub, 6

24. Fatima Muhammad Hashem, 4

25. `Ali Ahmad Hashem, 3

26. Zahra' Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 2

27. `Abbas Ahmad Hashem, 9 months

2 IDF airplane strikes on home

59.

July 30

Unknown

Bent Jbeil

None

1. `Ali Muhammad Abu Aleiwi, 42, Hezbollah combatant, from Insar

Died in unknown circumstances fighting in Bent Jbeil.

60.

Aug 1

16:50

al-Luweizeh

Lat N 33 27' 36.81"

Lon E 35 32' 10.60"

1. Rashida Muhammad `Ali Muqalid, 60s

2. Ilham Salam Hashim, 38

3. Hanadi Ghalib Hashim, 12

Airplane strike on house

61.

Aug 1

21:30

Jamaliyeh,

Beka`

Lat N 34 02' 58.89"

Lon E 36 11' 17.16"

1. Maxim "`Ali" Jamal al-Din, 18, combatant in Communist Party

2. `Awad Jamal al-Din, 58, combatant in Communist Party

3. Hassan Jamal al-Din, 18

4. Naji Jamal al-Din, 45

5. Muhammad Naji Jamal al-Din, 12

6. Malik Jamal al-Din, 22

7. Hussain Yusif al-Mekdad, 42

Helicopter hellfire missiles on men sitting outside home. One killed by drone strike

62.

Aug 1

21:30

Jamaliyeh hospital,

Beka`

Not available

1. Atif Amhaz, nurse, shot in chest

2. Rida Midlej, Hezbollah comabatant shot by RPG while attacking IDF

3. Wissam Ahmad Yaghi, Hezbollah combatant hit by drone while confronting IDF raid

IDF commando raid, drone strikes

63.

Aug 2

3:30

Jamaliyeh,

Beka`

Not available

1.Talal Chibli, 40

2. Maha al-`Issa Sha`ban, 35

3. Muhanad Talal Chibli, 14

4. Muayyad Talal Chibli, 12

5. Asma Talal Chibli, 6

6. Muhammad Talal Chibli, 4

IDF Helicopter hellfire missiles on Syrian Kurd family fleeing

64.

Aug 3-4

11:00

al-Jibain

Lat N 33 07' 27.28"

Lon E 35 14' 06.91"

1. Qassim Mahmud `Akil, ~80

2. Khadija Qassim Ghanem, 80-81 (wife)

3. Maryam Qassim `Akil, 42 (daughter)

Helicopter Hellfire strike (at least 3 hellfire missiles near home)

65.

Aug 3-4

11:00

al-Jibain

900 meters from attack on civilian (see above)

1. Hassan Sami Muselmani, Hezbollah combatant

2. `Ali Sami Muselmani, Hezbollah combatant

3. Hassan Ahmad `Akil, Hezbollah combatant

4. `Abbas Ahmad `Akil, Amal combatant

Artillery/Helicopter attack 900 meters outside village-HRW not permitted to visit site

66.

Aug 4

14:00

al-Qa`, Beka`

Lat N 34 23' 20.08"

Lon E 36 30' 04.16"

1. Muhammad `Abdo `Aliko, 67

2. Muhammad Muhammad `Aliko, 23

3. Abdallah Mohsen Hamid Bakir, 53

4. Itan Abdallah Mohsen Bakir, 21

5. Muhammad Abdallah Mohsen Yacoub, 28

6. Nidal Abdallah Mohsen Yacoub, 23

7. Rachid `Izzat Ma'dan, 26

8. `Aziza `Izzat Ma'dan, 19

9. Muhammad `Uthman Mustafa, 25

10. Almaza Muhammad Brim, 52

11. Shaikh `Uthman Muhammad al-Shaikh Haidar, 17

12. Ahmad Jamil Rachid, 46

13. Jamil Ahmad Rachid, 24

14. Choukri `Abd al-Hamid Rik'kas, 27

15. Mazkin, `Abd al-Hamid Rik'kas, 19

16. Awkah `Abd al-Hamid Rik'kas, 17

17. Rachid Nash'at Ayoush, 23

18. Mustafa Nash'at Ayoush, 16

19. Hassan Jamil Ayoush, 27

20. As`ad Mustafa Sido, 35

21. Farid Hassan Sido, 19

22. Hanane `Uthman Ahmad, 24

23. Rujeina Hassan Sido, 17

24. Wahid Khalil Shiho, 37

25. Khalif al-Heza' Hamid, 26

Airstrike on warehouse

67.

Aug 5

18:00

Taibe

Not available

1. Hani `Abdo Marmar, 48

2. Nahiya Muhammad Karim, 36

3. Aya Hani Marmar, 2

Airplane strike on home

68.

Aug 5

Unknown

Zebqine

Not available

1. Muhammad Musa Barakat, 21, Hezbollah combatant

Airplane strike on house

69.

Aug 6

11:00

Taibe

Lat N 33 16' 17.78"

Lon E 35 31' 13.94"

1. Ahmad `Ali Nasrallah, 81

2. Muhsina `Ali Jumaa, 83

3. Nazha Ahmad Nasrallah, 58

4. Hussain Ahmad Nasrallah, 54

Shot by IDF soldiers occupying their home

70.

Aug 7

00:30

Insar

Lat N 33 22' 42.45"

Lon E 35 21' 12.93"

1. Ibrahim Zain `Assi, 51

2. Marwan `Ali Ahmad `Assi, 36

3. Hasna Mahmud Qubeisi, 36

4. Ghina Ibrahim `Assi, 24

5. Maya Ibrahim `Assi, 21

Airplane strike on home

71.

Aug 7

02:25

al-Ghassaniyeh

Lat N 33 24' 56.37"

Lon E 35 21' 24.94"

1. Abdullah Khalil Tohme, 58

2. Fatima Muhammad Mukhaddar, 55

3. Muhammad Abdullah Tohme, 24

4. Sulaiman Qassim Hamud, 35*

5. Muhammad Qassim Hamud, 31*

6. Nur Hassan Saleh, 19

7. Hussain Haidar `Amer, 17

Airplane strike on home

* = Their gravestones identify them as "Martyrs of the resistance legions of Amal," but the families claim they are not fighters.

72.

Aug 8

7:55

al-Ghaziyeh

Not available

1. Hadi Hussain Ja`far, 2

2. Wafa' `Omar al-Sha`ir, 28

3. Siham Deeb Zabad, 53

4. Nadia Ahmad Zabad, 39

5. `Ali Muhammad Layla, 23

Airplane strike on home (`Ali died on balcony across the street)

73.

Aug 7

08:15

al-Ghaziyeh town square

Not available

1. Ahmad Mustafa Ghadar, 46

2. Muhammad Ahmad Qa'in, 65-body never recovered

3. Hussain `Abbas Juni, 39

Airplane strike on shops owned by Ibrahim Khalifa, brother of Hezbollah leader Amin Khalifa.

74.

Aug 7

08:20

al-Ghaziyeh

Lat N 33 31' 03.70"

Lon E 35 22' 09.39

1. Rakiyya Nasir Badran, 67

2. Zainab Hassan Badran, 46

3. Layla Hassan Badran, 49

4. Maryam Fadil Halal, 27

5. Manal Ahmad Hassan Badran, 14

6. Hassan Ahmad Hassan Badran, 10

7. Hanin Ahmad Hassan Badran, 16

8. `Ali Ahmad Hassan Badran, 19

Airplane strike on home, located close to home of Hezbollah leader Amin Khalifa.

75.

Aug 7

10:00

Houla

Lat N 33 12' 30.30"

Lon E 35 30' 51.65"

1. Hassan `Ali al-Hajj, 65-70

Airplane strikes (6 raids) on neighborhood

76.

Aug 7

19:30 20:00

Brital, Beka`

Not available

1. `Abbas Hassan Toufic Saleh, 18

2. `Abbas `Ali Hussain Tlays, 20

3. `Abbas Khodr Sawan, 17

4. Muhammad Sulaiman al-Ajami, 16

5. Ghazalah Khodr Sawan, 17 (twin of `Abbas)

6. Hawra Hussain al-Ajami, 12

7. Hamda Maflah Ismail, 29

8. Fatima `Ali `Abbas Mazloum, 17 (pregnant)

9. Qassim Muhammad `Abbas Saleh, 63 (Mukhtar)

Airplane strike on butcher shop

77.

Aug 7

20:10

Chiah, Dahieh, Beirut

Not available

1. Ghazaleh Hussain `Awada Nasser al-Din, age not available

2. Ahmad Hassan Kanj, 14

3. Rida Nimer Nasser al-Din, age not available

4. Fatima Ahmad Wehbi, 22

5. Muhammad Fadi Wehbi, 2

6. Muhammad Abdullah Taha, 31

7. Abdullah Muhammad Taha, 1

8. Jamil Hussain Rmeity, 60

9. Mustafa Hussain Rmeity, 45

10. Muhammad `Ali Rmeity, 21

11. Na`im Mer`i Rmeity, 68

12. `Ali Na`im Rmeity, 30

13. Riham `Ali Rmeity, 4

14. Sa`adiyya Hussain Rmeity, 55

15. Ibtisam Hussain Rmeity, 41

16. Maryam Hussain Rmeity, 43

17. Malak `Ali Rmeity, 14

18. Fatima `Ali Rmeity, 18

19. Fatima Mustafa Youniss, 80

20. Sobhia Kamel Bilun, 43

21. Kawthar Jamal Rmeity, 20

22. Hussain `Ali Erra'i, 16

23. Zahra Mahmud al-Abdallah, F, 1

24. Zainab Mahmud al-Abdallah, 5

25. Fatima `Abbas Shehade, 30

26. `Ali Ahmad Mohsen, age not available

27. Hussain Ahmad Mohsen, age not available

28. Dalal Muhammad She'aito, age not available

29. Hana Ibrahim Hatoun Nasser Al-Din, age not available

30. Salwa Khalil Niser, age not available

31. Wa`ed `Ali Wehbi, age not available

32. Hussain `Ali Wehbi, age not available

33. `Ali Ibrahim Wehbi, age not available

34. Hassan `Ali Wehbi, age not available

35. Suzanna Taha, age not available

36. Racha `Ali `Abbas, age not available

37. Hussain `Ali `Abbas, age not available

38. Suzanne Abdallah `Abbas, age not available

39. Maya Said Yatim Rmeity, 26

Airplane strike on apartment building.

78.

Aug 8

10:00

Majdel Selem

None

1. Ahmad Nimer Rahal, 66

2. Hassan Fares Melhem "Siraj", 27, Hezbollah combatant

Airstrike on home while being visited by Hezbollah fighter

79.

Aug 8

15:00

al-Ghaziyeh

Not available

1. Malika `Ali Jubaili, 2

Drone or helicopter strike during funeral for other victims of al-Ghaziyeh

80.

Aug 8

15:00

al-Ghaziyeh

Not available

1. Mahmud Ahmad Khalifa "Fazim," Hezbollah member, 38

2. Ibtisam Mahmud Dawood, 30

3. Hussain Mahmud Khalifa, 10

4. Ahmad Mahmud Khalifa, 2

5. Fatima Mahmud Khalifa, 5

6. Mahmud al-Dabul, 75 (father of Ibtisam, buried in `Ainata)

7. Abdi Muhammad Nasrallah, 70 (mother of Ibtisam, buried in `Ainata)

Airplane strike on house. Mahmud Khalifa was a former Hezbollah fighter, but had not been called up and was keeping his pharmacy open-if he had been active in fighting, he would not have stayed with his family.

81.

Aug 8

16:00

al-Ghaziyeh

Lat N 33 30' 51.52"

Lon E 35 21' 53.81"

1. Ahmad Muhammad Khalifa, 67, Australian-Leb

2. Ibtisam Muhammad al-Areibeh, 51

Airplane strike on house, brother of Hezbollah leader Amin Khalifa

82.

Aug 9

02:00

Masghara,

Beka`

Lat N 33 31' 47.97"

Lon E 35 39' 12.94"

1. Muhammad Deeb Sader, 43, French Lebanese.*

2. Zainab Hassan Sader, 71

3. Hassan Ahmad Sader, 47

4. Zainab Faisal Amin Said, 39,

5. `Ali Ahmad Sader, 38

6. Nadia As`ad Qassim, 35 (pregnant)

7. Fatima Hassan Sader, 70

Airplane strike on home.

* Muhammad Deeb Sader buried as Hezbollah members but without the military honors give to Hezbollah combatants

83.

Aug 10

Unknown

Rabb al- Talatine

Lat N 33 15' 04.23"

Lon E 35 31' 10.73"

1. Fatima Muhammad Barakat, 21

2. Khadija Hussain Barakat, 66

3. Amsha Hussain Hammud, 84

4. Naife Abdullah Barakat, 81

Airplane strike on house

84.

Aug 11

04:40

al-Hayssa

Lat N 34 35' 48.03"

Lon E 36 03' 45.74"

1. `Ali Muhammad Mehsin, 45

2. `Abd al-Karim `Ali Melhim, 48

3. `Ali Muhammad Melhim, 32 (member of Internal Security Forces)

4. Fadi Muhammad Melhim, 25

5. `Ali Mehsin Melhim, 19

6. `Ali Muhammad Akumi, 25

7. Rashid Mahmud Hassan, 50

8. `Ali Hassan Mamma, 40

9. Ma`la Mehsin al-Yassini, 16

10. `Ali `Abud Jrayssy, 36

11. `Ali Sulaiman Ma`la, 42

Airplane strike on bridge-the people were killed during a 2nd strike 10 minutes later, when they were helping the wounded.

85.

Aug 11

Starting 8 a.m.

al-Tiri

None

1. Fatima Jamil Sh`aito, around 60

Airplane attack on house

86.

Aug 11

22:00

Marja`youn Convoy, in Kefraya

Not available

1. Colette Ibrahim Makdissi, 51

2. Elie Salameh, 45

3. Michel Jbayleh, a Lebanese Red Cross volunteer, age not available

4. Khaled Abdullah, age not available

5. Kamil Tahtah, age not available

Other fatalaties may have taken place

Air strikes, most likely from drones

87.

Aug 12

Unknown

Hadatha

Not available

1. Yasir Mustafa Sabra, 38, Hezbollah combatant

Shot by IDF drone outside house

88.

Aug 13

03:50

Borj al-Shemali

Lat N 33 15' 45.02"

Lon E 35 14' 29.38"

1. Zainab Ahmad Tawila, 37

2. Abdullah `Abbas Zain, 16

3. Zain al-Abadin `Abbas Zain, 13 (son)

4. Wafa' `Abbas Zain, 10

5. Raniya Josef (Sri Lankan maid), 27

Airplane strike on house, gas station across street possible target

89.

Aug 13

14:35

Rweiss, south Beirut

El-Imam Hassan building complex

Not available

1. Hussain Ahmad Kassam Terhini, "Abu `Ali", 45,

2. Fatima al-Shami, 50

3. Ahmad Marzouk, 20

4. Hisham Abd al-Razak, age not available

5. Hassan Makki, 32

6. wife of Hassan Maki, age not available

7. `Ali Hassan Makki, under 12

8. Sarah Hassan Makki, under 12

9. Maryam Hassan Makki, under 12

10. Layla Rashid Chahrour, age not available

11. Nancy Ahmad Ghadar, 15

12. Yehya Ahmad Ghadar, infant

13. `Issa al-Tirani "Abu Ahmad", 62

14. `Ali Nur al-Din, 40

15. Randa Ra`ad Nur al-Din 40s,

16. Yasir `Ali Nur al-Din, 18

17. Hussain `Ali Nur al-Din, 17

18. Ibrahim `Ali Nur al-Din, 13

19. Asmahan Muhammad Fakih, age not available

20. Muhammad `Ali Farhat, 40

21. Ahmad `Ali Kassem, age not available

22. Khadija Mahmud Kassem, age not available

23. Hussain Ahmad Kassem, infant

24. `Ali Hassan Kdouh, "Krayem" ("Martyr Leader"), buried as Hezbollah combatant

25. Mahmud Hussain "Majid", age not available

26. Muhammad Harb, age not available, buried as Hezbollah combatant

27. `Ali Charara, age not available buried as Hezbollah combatant

28. Muhammad Charara, age not available, buried as Hezbollah combatant

29. Muhammad Chebib Mahmud, age not available

30. Muhammad Hassan Farhat, 70s

31. Mahmud Muhammad Farhat, 30s,

Bodies still missing:

32. Muhammad Mouaness ("Abu Ghassan"), 57

33. Hassan Muhammad Mouannes, 32

34. Rif'at Nassif Nasrallah, 30s,

35. Yusif al-Haj, "Abu `Ali", 50s,

36. Sa`da Chahrour, age not available

37. Ahmad Terhini, age not available

38. `Ali Koudsi, age not available

39. Mustafa Fneich, age not available

40. Muhammad Haidar, age not available

Multiple airstrikes on housing complex

90.

Aug 13

23:15

Brital, Beka`

Lat N 33 57' 27.65"

Lon E 36 07' 28.35"

1. Hussain `Ali Mazlum, 70

2. Fatima Hussain Mazlum, 58

3. Zainab Muhammad Shmeiss, 36

4. Ala'a Hussain Mazlum, 18

5. Fatima Hussain `Ali Mazlum, 6

6. Ammar `Utman, 30 (visitor from Baalbek)

Airplane strike on home

91.

Aug 13

Unknown

Haris

Not available

1. Mahdi Muhammad Daqiq, 29, AMAL combatant

Killed by IDF tank shell while trying to attack IDF commando

92.

Aug 14

06:05

Jamaliyeh road,

Beka`

Lat N 34 03' 05.63"

Lon E 36 11' 26.54"

1. `Ali `Abbas al-Attar, 32 (Internal Security Forces)

2. Rashid Yusif al-Mekdad, 40 ISF (Parliament Police)

3. Ibrahim Haidar, age not available (Lebanese Army)

4. Hussain Daher Qabara, age not available (Lebanese Army)

5. Nabih Joseph Sallum, age not available (Lebanese Army)

6. Michel Aboud, age not available (Lebanese Army)

7. Hussain Nasr al-Din, age not available (Lebanese Army)

Drone strike on van

93.

Unknown

Unknown

Qana

Not available

1. Yusif Tiba, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

2. Hassan Hussain Shalhoub, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

IDF strike in Qana

94.

Unknown

Unknown

Maroon el-Ras

Not available

1. Mahmud Ibrahim Hashim, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

Unknown-died fighting in Maroon el-Ras, originally from Qana

Appendix II

Names of Those Killed

Part A. Deaths investigated and confirmed by Human Rights Watch

1.`Abbas `Ali Hussain Tlays, 20

2.`Abbas Ahmad `Akil, age unknown, AMAL combatant

3.`Abbas Ahmad Hashem, 9 months

4.`Abbas Amin Dakrub, 20 ,civilian supporter of Communist Party

5.`Abbas Hassan Toufic Salih, 18

6.`Abbas Khodr Sawan, 17

7.`Abbas Mahmud Dakrub, 25, civilian supporter of Communist Party

8.`Abbas Muhammad Hamid, 9

9.`Abbas Yasser `Alawiya, 4

10.`Abdel al-Hadi `Akil Mer`i, 9

11.`Abla Dawood al-Khalid, 9

12.`Adil Muhammad Akash, age unknown

13.`Afaf al-Zabad, 45

14.`Afifa Abdullah Khanafef, 50

15.`Akil `Afif Jawad, 18

16.`Akil Bahij Mer`i, 34, Brazilian national

17.`Ali `Abbas al-Attar, 32, Internal Security Forces

18.`Ali Abdullah, 60

19.`Ali Abud Jrayssy, 36

20.`Ali Adnan Harake, 13,

21.`Ali Ahmad al-Akhrass, 65

22.`Ali Ahmad Hashem, 3

23.`Ali Ahmad Hassan Badran, 19

24.`Ali Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 17

25.`Ali Ahmad Mohsen, age unknown

26.`Ali Ahmad Sader, 38

27.`Ali Amid Khashab, 73

28.`Ali Charara, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

29.`Ali Fayez Khanafer, 7

30.`Ali Hassan al-Akhrass, 36

31.`Ali Hassan Kdouh, "Krayem", Hezbollah combatant

32.`Ali Hassan Makki, under 12

33.`Ali Hassan Mamma, 40

34.`Ali Hassan Sabra, 17 civilian supporter of Communist Party

35.`Ali Hassan Tawbe, 85

36.`Ali Hussain Najdi, 27, Communist Party combatant

37.`Ali Ibrahim Wehbi, age unknown

38.`Ali Kamel Abdullah, 14

39.`Ali Kamel Jaber, 30, AMAL combatant

40.`Ali Koudsi, age unknown

41.`Ali Mahmud Za`rour, 30, AMAL combatant

42.`Ali Mehsin Melhim, 19

43.`Ali Muhammad Abu Aleiwi, 42, Hezbollah combatant

44.`Ali Muhammad Akil, 25, Hezbollah member

45.`Ali Muhammad Akumi, 25

46.`Ali Muhammad Alamadin, 14

47.`Ali Muhammad Haidar, 20 civilian supporter of Communist Party

48.`Ali Muhammad Hamid, 13

49.`Ali Muhammad Layla, 23

50.`Ali Muhammad Mehsin, 45

51.`Ali Muhammad Melhim, 32, member of Internal Security Forces

52.`Ali Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 10

53.`Ali Munir Zain, 19, Lebanese Army

54.`Ali Musa `Awada, 17

55.`Ali Na`im Rmeity, 30

56.`Ali Nabih Turmus, 21

57.`Ali Najdi, 26, Hezbollah combatant

58.`Ali Nazel Nazel, 28, AMAL combatant

59.`Ali Nour Eddine, 40

60.`Ali Rida Akash, 12

61.`Ali Sami Muselmani, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

62.`Ali Shamsuddin , 34

63.`Ali Sulaiman Maala, 42

64.`Ali Sulaiman Shukeir, 40s

65.`Alia Wehbi, 40

66.`Aliya Hussain Mansur, 45

67.`Aliya Yusif Ayub, ~60

68.`Atika Munzer Mu`anis, 9

69.`Awad Jamal al-Din, 58, Communist Party combatant

70.`Aziza Muhammad Bzeih, 11

71.`Imad `Ali Jaber, 27, Hezbollah combatant

72.`Issa al-Tirani "Abu Ahmad", 62

73.`Ula Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 25

74.AbdelKarim `Ali Melhim, 48

75.Abdi Muhammad Nasrallah, 70

76.Abdullah `Abbas Zain, 16

77.Abdullah As`adullah Qa`ik, 82, wheelchair bound

78.Abdullah bin Nahi, 70, Kuwaiti national

79.Abdullah Fayez Khanafer, 6

80.Abdullah Hariri, 40s

81.Abdullah Khalil Tohme, 58

82.Abdullah Mohsen Hamid Bakir, 53

83.Abdullah Muhammad Taha, 1

84.Abir Musa `Awada, 16

85.Adnan Hassan Bzeih, 44, Hezbollah combatant

86.Ahlam Amin Jaber, 25

87.Ahmad `Afif Jawad, 26

88.Ahmad `Ali al-Akhrass, 3

89.Ahmad `Ali Nasrallah, 81

90.Ahmad `Ali Qassim, age unknown

91.Ahmad Dawood al-Khalid, 1 year and 8 months

92.Ahmad Hassan Jagbir, 19, Hezbollah combatant

93.Ahmad Hassan Kanj, 14

94.Ahmad Jamil Rachid, 46

95.Ahmad Kamel Jaber, 27, AMAL combatant

96.Ahmad Mahmud Hashem, 55

97.Ahmad Mahmud Khalifa, 2

98.Ahmad Marzouk, 20

99.Ahmad Muhammad Khalifa, 67, Australian-Lebanese national

100.Ahmad Mustafa Ghadar, 46

101.Ahmad Nimer Rahal, 66

102.Ahmad Nizam Ayub, 1

103.Ahmad Rida Bzeih,44, Hezbollah combatant

104.Ahmad Rida, 40s

105.Ahmad Salim Najdi, 37, Communist Party combatant

106.Ahmad Terhini, age unknown

107.Ala'a Hussain Mazlum, 18

108.Almaza Hassan Fadlallah, 77

109.Almaza Muhammad Brim, 52

110.Amal Musa Darwish, 16

111.Amal Na`im Bzeih, 44

112.Amira Rislan, 24

113.Ammar `Utman, 30

114.Amsha Hussain Hamud, 84

115.Anise Yusif Saloum, 69

116.Arwa Jamil Suidan, 58

117.As`ad Mustafa Sido, 35

118.Asma Talal Chibli, 6

119.Asmahan Muhammad Fakih, age unknown

120.Atif Amhaz, age unknown, nurse working in Hezbollah-affiliated hospital

121.Awkah Abd al-Hamid Rik'kas, 17

122.Aya `Alawiya, 5

123.Aya Hani Marmar, 2

124.Ayman Daher, 35, Brazilian-Lebanese national

125.Aziza Izat Ma'dan, 19

126.Badiya Nimer Saab, 70

127.Bahije Sulaiman Turmus, 80

128.Basil `Imad Turmus, 7, Brazilian-Lebanese national

129.Batul `Afif Jawad, 16

130.Batul Akash, 4

131.Batul Yasser `Alawiya, 5

132.Bilal Hassan Hamudi, 27, AMAL combatant

133.Bilal Hreish, 31, member of Hezbollah civil defense

134.Bilal Hussain Shukr, 20

135.Choukri Abd al-Hamid Rik'kas, 27

136.Colette Ibarhim Makdissi, 51

137.Dalal Muhammad Sh`aito, age unknown

138.Dana Hassan Farhat, 6 months

139.Darin Nasir Zalzali, age unknown

140.Darwish Maaruf Mudaihli, 38

141.Dawood al-Khalid, 40

142.Deeb `Abed Na`im, 65

143.Deebe Abdel Hussain Zelzli, 38

144.Diab Rashid Yahya, 27

145.Du Zhaoyu, 34, United Nations peacekeeper, People's Republic of China.

146.Duha Ghannam, 7

147.Dumu` Fayez Khanafer, 2

148.Elie Salameh, 45

149.Fadi Kamaluddin, 29, Hezbollah combatant

150.Fadi Muhammad Melhim, 25

151.Farah Muhammad Bzeih, 14

152.Farhat Muhammad Farhat, 75

153.Farid Hassan Sido, 19

154.Fatima `Abbas Shehade, 30

155.Fatima `Ali `Abbas Mazloum, 17, pregnant

156.Fatima `Ali Rmeity, 18

157.Fatima Ahmad Wehbi, 22

158.Fatima Akash, 17

159.Fatima Bzeih, 78

160.Fatima al-Shami, 50

161.Fatima Ghannam, 9

162.Fatima Hassan Sader, 70

163.Fatima Hussain `Ali Mazlum, 6

164.Fatima Hussain Mazlum, 58

165.Fatima Jamil Sh`aito, around 60

166.Fatima Khalil `Abbas, 45

167.Fatima Mahmud Khalifa, 5

168.Fatima Muhammad Barakaat, 21

169.Fatima Muhammad Hashem, 4

170.Fatima Muhammad Mukhaddar, 55

171.Fatima Munir Zain, 7

172.Fatima Mustafa Youness, 80

173.Fatima Zahra `Akil Mer`i, 4

174.Fawziyyeh Abu Hawle, 75

175.Faydallah Ahmad Mustafa, 27

176.Fayez Abdullah Khanafer, 34

177.Fuda Hassan al-Akhrass, 63

178.Ghadir Akash, 10

179.Ghassan Fakih, 35

180.Ghazalah Khodr Sawan, 17

181.Ghazaleh Hussain `Awada Nasser Eddine, age unknown

182.Ghina Ibrahim `Assi, 24

183.Hadi Abdullah, 6-7

184.Hadi Adnan Harake, 8

185.Hadi Hussain Ja`far, 2

186.Hadi Mahmud Zayyat, 14

187.Haidar bin Nahi, 40, Kuwaiti national

188.Hala Choucair, age unknown

189.Hamda Maflah Isma`il, 29

190.Hana Ibrahim Hatoun Nasser Eddine, age unknown

191.Hanadi Ghalib Hashim, 12

192.Hanan `Ali Zayyat, 33

193.Hanan Ramiz Zayyat, 45

194.Hanane Othman Ahmad, 24

195.Hani Abdo Marmar, 48

196.Hanin Ahmad Hassan Badran, 16

197.Haniya Muhammad al-Akhrass, 55

198.Hans-Peter Lang, 44, United Nations peacekeeper, Austria

199.Hasna Mahmud Qubeisi, 36

200.Hassan `Ali al-Hajj, 65-70

201.Hassan `Ali Karim, 22, Hezbollah combatant

202.Hassan `Ali Wehbi, age unknown

203.Hassan Abd al-Rida, 58

204.Hassan Abdullah, 9

205.Hassan Ahmad `Akil, Hezbollah combatant

206.Hassan Ahmad Hassan Badran, 10

207.Hassan Ahmad Sader, 47

208.Hassan Fares Melhem "Siraj", 27, Hezbollah combatant

209.Hassan Hussain Shalhoub, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

210.Hassan Ibrahim al-Sayyid, 26

211.Hassan Jamal al-Din, 18

212.Hassan Jamil Ayoush, 27

213.Hassan Jamil Salih, age unknown

214.Hassan Krayim, 24, Communist Party combatant

215.Hassan Mahmood `Awada, 43

216.Hassan Mahmud al-Akhrass, 85

217.Hassan Maki's wife, name unknown, age unknown

218.Hassan Makki, 32

219.Hassan Muhammad Mouannes, 32

220.Hassan Munir Zain, 13

221.Hassan Musa `Awada, 12

222.Hassan Sami Muselmani, Hezbollah combatant

223.Hassan Wahib Yassin "Bilal", 36, Hezbollah combatant

224.Hawra Hussain al-Ajami, 12

225.Hawra' Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 12

226.Haytham Hassan Muzyid, 34

227.Hisham Abd'el Razak, age unknown

228.Hisham Muhammad Hamudi, 26-28, Hezbollah combatant

229.Husn Jaffal, 27

230.Husna Hashem, 75

231.Hussain `Abbas Juni, 39

232.Hussain `Alawiya, 8

233.Hussain `Ali `Abbas, age unknown

234.Hussain `Ali Bzeih, 12

235.Hussain `Ali Erra'i, 16

236.Hussain `Ali Mazlum, 70

237.Hussain `Ali Muhammad Qurani, 21, Hezbollah combatant

238.Hussain `Ali Nur al-Din, 17

239.Hussain `Ali Wehbi, age unknown

240.Hussain Abdullah, 10-11

241.Hussain Ahmad Hashem, 12

242.Hussain Ahmad Kassam Terhini, "Abu `Ali", 45

243.Hussain Ahmad Mohsen, age unknown

244.Hussain Ahmad Nasrallah, 54

245.Hussain Ahmad Qassim, infant

246.Hussain al-Mikdad, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant,

247.Hussain Daher Qabara, age unknown, Lebanese Army

248.Hussain Ghannam, 14

249.Hussain Haidar `Amer, 17

250.Hussain Hassan `Awada, 3

251.Hussain Hassan Muzyid, 38

252.Hussain Mahmud Khalifa, 10

253.Hussain Muhammad Sabra, 58

254.Hussain Munir Zain, 4

255.Hussain Nasreddin, age unknown, Lebanese Army

256.Hussain Yusif al-Mekdad, 42

257.Hussain Yusif Slim, 26, disabled

258.Ibrahim `Abdo Turmus, 82

259.Ibrahim `Ali Nur al-Din, 13

260.Ibrahim Ahmad Hashem, 7

261.Ibrahim Haidar, age unknown, Lebanese Army

262.Ibrahim Hashem, 65

263.Ibrahim Mustafa `Ezzideen, 14

264.Ibrahim Saksouk, Body parts found, age unknown

265.Ibrahim Zain `Assi, 51

266.Ibtisam `Ali Zelzli, 43, from wife

267.Ibtisam Hussain Rmeity, 41

268.Ibtisam Mahmud Dawood, 30

269.Ibtisam Muhammad el-Areibeh, 51

270.Ibtisam Muhammad Hamid, 45

271.Ilham Salam Hashim, 38

272.Itan Abdullah Mohsen Bakir, 21

273.Ja`far Mahmud Hashem, 10

274.Jamil Ahmad Rachid, 24

275.Jamil Hussain Rmeity, 60

276.Jamila Mahmood `Awada, 45

277.Jamila Muhammad Mansur, 20

278.Jarno Mkinen, 29, United Nations peacekeeper, Finland.

279.Kamel Diab Jaber, 53, civilian supporter of AMAL

280.Kamela Khanafer, 61

281.Kamil Tahtah, age unknown

282.Kawthar Jamal Rmeity, 20

283.Khadija al-Musawi, 43

284.Khadija Hussain Barakaat, 66

285.Khadija Mahmud Qassim, age unknown

286.Khadija Muhammad Hamid, 6

287.Khadija Qassim Ghanem, 80-81

288.Khadije `Ali Khashab, 48

289.Khadije `Ali Yusif, 31

290.Khalid Abdullah, age unknown

291.Khalif al-Heza' Hamid, 26

292.Khalil `Ali Jawad, 77

293.Khalil Ibrahim Mrouj, 85

294.Khaltoum Muhammad Haj`Ali, 86

295.Khayriyye Kamel Bzeih, 80

296.Khodr Amir Fadlallah, 4

297.Kholud Muhammad Bzeih, 18

298.Kifah `Aseileh, 40s

299.Kund'bsejen Runjani, age unknown, Sri Lankan national

300.Lama Abdullah, 1-2

301.Latifah Abu Hawle, 60s

302.Latifah Mustafa Abu Zayd, 72

303.Layla "Shaikh Hussain" Haidar , 67

304.Layla Hassan Badran, 49

305.Layla Rachid Chahrour, age unknown

306.Lin `Ali Safieddin, 1

307.Lina Muhammad Mahmud Shalhoub, 17

308.Maala Mehsin al-Yassini, 16

309.Maha al-`Issa Sha`ban, 35

310.Mahdi Mahmud Hashem, 68

311.Mahmud Muhammad al-Sa`id Ahmad, 28, member of Hezbollah civil defense

312.Mahmud `Afif Jawad, 20

313.Mahmud Ahmad Khalifa "Fazim," Hezbollah member, 38

314.Mahmud al-Dabul, 75

315.Mahmud Hussain "Majid", age unknown

316.Mahmud Ibrahim Hashim, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

317.Mahmud Kamel Jaber, 33, AMAL combatant

318.Mahmud Muhammad Farhat, 30s,

319.Malak `Ali Rmeity, 14

320.Malek `Ali Bzeih, 17

321.Malik Jamal al-Din, 22

322.Malika `Ali Jubeili, 2

323.Malika, last name unknown, age unknown, Sri Lankan national working in Sheem

324.Manahil Najdi, 80

325.Manal Ahmad Hassan Badran, 14

326.Manal Rislan, 17

327.Marwa al-Hajj Hassan, 26

328.Marwan `Ali Ahmad `Assi, 36

329.Maryam Abdullah Khanafer, 36

330.Maryam Abdullah, 29

331.Maryam al-Hussaini, 54

332.Maryam Fadil Halal, 27

333.Maryam Fadlallah, 60, civilian supporter of Hezbollah

334.Maryam Hassan Makki, under 12

335.Maryam Hassan Mohsen, 30

336.Maryam Hussain Rmeity, 43

337.Maryam Ibrahim `Alawiya, 80

338.Maryam Ibrahim, 60s

339.Maryam Musa `Awada, 10

340.Maryam Mustafa Tawbe, 65

341.Maryam Qassim `Akil, 42

342.Maryam Wahib Hamid, 45

343.Maxim "`Ali" Jamal al-Din, 18, Communist Party combatant

344.Maya Ibrahim `Assi, 21

345.Maya Sa`id Yatim Rmeity, 26

346.Mazkin, Abd al-Hamid Rik'kas, 19

347.Mehdi Muhammad Daqiq, 29, AMAL combatant

348.Michel Aboud, age unknown, Lebanese Army

349.Michel Jbayleh, age unknown, Lebanese Red Cross volunteer,

350.Mirna Abdullah, 13

351.Mou'ayyad Talal Chibli, 12

352.Muhammad `Ali Bzeih, 17

353.Muhammad `Ali Farhat, 40

354.Muhammad `Ali Munzer Mu`anis, 11

355.Muhammad `Ali Najdi, 37, Communist Party combatant

356.Muhammad `Ali Najib Suidan, 21, Hezbollah combatant

357.Muhammad `Ali Rmeity, 21

358.Muhammad `Ali Wehbi, 82

359.Muhammad Abdo `Aliko, 67

360.Muhammad Abdullah Mohsen Yacoub, 28

361.Muhammad Abdullah Taha, 31

362.Muhammad Abdullah Tohme, 24

363.Muhammad Abdullah, 15

364.Muhammad Ahmad Mer`i, 78

365.Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad, 40

366.Muhammad Ahmad Qa'in, 65-body never recovered

367.Muhammad Ahmad Rizaq "Hadi", 25, Hezbollah combatant

368.Muhammad Amin Sh`aito, 53

369.Muhammad Bakar Akash, 18

370.Muhammad Charara, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

371.Muhammad Chebib Mahmud, age unknown

372.Muhammad Deeb Sader, 43, French-Lebanese national, Hezbollah member

373.Muhammad Fadi Wehbi, 2

374.Muhammad Fayez Khanafer, 3

375.Muhammad Ghannam, 35

376.Muhammad Haidar, age unknown

377.Muhammad Hani Srour, 36

378.Muhammad Harb, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

379.Muhammad Hassan Akash, 7

380.Muhammad Hassan Farhat, 70s

381.Muhammad Hussain Alamadin, 55

382.Muhammad Hussain Ja`far, 23, Hezbollah combatant

383.Muhammad Hussain Shukr, 23

384.Muhammad Kamaluddin, 20, Hezbollah combatant

385.Muhammad Kamel Abdullah, 13

386.Muhammad Mahmud al-Akhrass, 86

387.Muhammad Menaf `Atwe, 24, Hezbollah combatant

388.Muhammad Mouaness "Abu Ghassan", 57

389.Muhammad Muhammad `Aliko, 23

390.Muhammad Musa `Awada, 6

391.Muhammad Musa Barakat, 21, Hezbollah combatant

392.Muhammad Naji Jamal al-Din, 12

393.Muhammad Nasir Zalzali

394.Muhammad Othman Mustafa, 25

395.Muhammad Qassim Hamud, 31

396.Muhammad Sulaiman al-Ajami, 16

397.Muhammad Talal Chibli, 4

398.Muhammad Wafiq Daqiq "Sajid", 19, Hezbollah combatant

399.Muhanad Talal Chibli, 14

400.Muhannad Yusif Ibrahim, 58

401.Muhsina `Ali Jum`a, 83

402.Munifa Darwish Darwish, 70s

403.Munir `Ali Zain, 47

404.Munira Sayyid Ghaith, 57

405.Musa Ahmad Darwish, 42

406.Musa Hussain Zelghout "Bakr", 40, Hezbollah combatant

407.Musa Mustafa `Ezzideen, 12

408.Musa Naif `Awada, 45

409.Mustafa `Ali Khashab, 43

410.Mustafa `Ali Na`im, 60

411.Mustafa `Ezzideen, 48

412.Mustafa Abdullah Nasir, 80

413.Mustafa Fneich, age unknown

414.Mustafa Ghannam, 15

415.Mustafa Hassan Ayub, 67

416.Mustafa Hussain Rmeity, 45

417.Mustafa Nach'at Ayoush, 16

418.Muwaffaq `Ali Yahya, 32

419.Na`im Mer`i Rmeity, 68

420.Na`im Wa'el Bzeih, 18

421.Na`imeh Abdullah Nasir, 60

422.Nabih Joseph Sallum, age unknown, Lebanese Army

423.Nabila `Ali Amin Shalhoub, 40

424.Nadia Ahmad Zabad, 39

425.Nadia As`ad Qassim, 35, pregnant

426.Nahiya Hussain Mouanis, 65

427.Nahiya Muhammad Karim, 36

428.Naif Abdullah Bdeir, 56

429.Naife Abdullah Barakaat, 81

430.Naji Jamal al-Din, 45

431.Najib Hussain Farhat, 54

432.Najib Shamsuddin, age unavailable

433.Najla Houdruj Zain, 42

434.Najwa `Ali al-Medani, 37

435.Najwa Khalil Mroue, 60

436.Nancy Ahmad Ghadar, 15

437.Nazha Ahmad Nasrallah, 58

438.Nazira Sh`aito, 70s

439.Nazmiye `Abbas Yahya, 50

440.Nidal Abdullah Mohsen Yacoub, 23

441.Nizam Muhammad Ayub, 25

442.Nour al-Huda Akash, 2

443.Nur Hassan Salih, 19

444.Othman Muhammad al-Shaikh Haidar, 17

445.Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, United Nations peacekeeper, Canada

446.Qassim Ghannam, 17

447.Qassim Mahmud `Akil, ~80

448.Qassim Muhammad `Abbas Salih, 63

449.Qassim Muhammad Shalhoub, 7

450.Qassim Samih Shalhoub, 9

451.Qawsar Salah Jawad, 4

452.Rabab Yasin, 39

453.Racha `Ali `Abbas, age unknown

454.Rachid Izat Ma'dan, 26

455.Rachid Nach'at Ayoush, 23

456.Raja Muhammad Ghaith, 29

457.Rakiyya Nasir Badran, 67

458.Randa Ra`ad Nur al-Din, ~40

459.Ranim Adnan Harake, 17

460.Raniya Josef, 27, Sri Lankan national

461.Raqieh Mahmud Shalhoub, 7

462.Rashid Mahmud Hassan, 50

463.Rashid Yusif el-Mekdad, 40, Internal Security Forces (Parliament Police)

464.Rashida Muhammad `Ali Muqalid, 60s

465.Rawa' Khalil Jawad, 33

466.Reham Majid `Atwi, 10

467.Rida Adnan Harake, 11

468.Rida Midlej, age unknown, Hezbollah comabatant

469.Rida Nimer Nasser Eddine, age unknown

470.Rida Rida, 70s

471.Rif'at Nassif Nasrallah, 30s,

472.Riham `Ali Rmeity, 4

473.Rima Abdulamir Samhat, 35

474.Rujeina Hassan Sido, 17

475.Rukaya `Awada, 70

476.Sa`id Hamze `Abbas, 50s

477.Saadeh Chahrour, age unknown

478.Saadiya Hussain Rmeity, 55

479.Sabha Abdullah, 80s

480.Safa' Akash, 2 months

481.Saja `Ali al-Akhrass, 7

482.Salam `Ali al-Akhrass, 1

483.Sally Wehbi, 7

484.Salma Ibrahim Slim, 23

485.Salwa Khalil Niser, age unknown

486.Salwa Samieh Dakrub, 20

487.Samia Yusif Mansur, 50

488.Samir Ahmad Abdullah, 42

489.Sana' Abdullah, 35, pregnant

490.Sara Ahmad Yasin, 16

491.Sara Akash, 5

492.Sara Wasef `Abbas, 1

493.Sarah Hassan Makki, under 12

494.Sawsan Yasin Mehdi, 31

495.Shadi Muhammad el-Rez "Malak", 21, Hezbollah combatant

496.Shahib Ahmad Mustafa, 23

497.Shehab Fayez Shukr, 71.

498.Siham Deeb Zabad, 53

499.Sobhia Kamel Bilun, 43

500.Su`ad Nasur Bzeih, 39

501.Suha Abdullah, 30, pregnant

502.Suheila Daou, age unknown

503.Sulaiman Qassim Hamud, 35

504.Suzanna Taha, age unknown

505.Suzanne Abdullah `Abbas, age unknown

506.Talal Chibli, 40

507.Talal Hussain Shukr, 18

508.Taniya Bzeih, 64

509.Tayssir `Ali Shalhoub, 39

510.Wa`ed `Ali Wehbi, age unknown

511.Wafa `Abbas Zain, 10

512.Wafa' Omar al-Sha`er, 28

513.Wahid Khalil Shiho, 37

514.Wala Munir Zain, 18

515.Wassim Taleb Najdi, 28, Hezbollah combatant

516.Wissam Ahmad Yaghi, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

517.Yahya Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 9

518.Yasin Hussain Shukr, 16

519.Yasmin Mustafa Khashab, 14

520.Yasser `Ali Nur al-Din, 18

521.Yasser Mustafa Sabra, 38, Hezbollah combatant

522.Yehiya Ahmad Ghadar, infant

523.Yemene Ayub Fadlallah, 40

524.Yusif Ahmad Mahmud Shalhoub, 6

525.Yusif Ahmad Mansur, 73

526.Yusif el-Haj, "Abu `Ali", 50s,

527.Yusif Tiba, age unknown, Hezbollah combatant

528.Zahra Abdullah, 52

529.Zahra Hassan Farhat, 5

530.Zahra Ibrahim Fadlallah, 17, civilian supporter of Hezbollah

531.Zahra Mahmud al-Abdullah, 1

532.Zahra Rida, 70s

533.Zahra' Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, 2

534.Zain al-Abadin `Abbas Zain, 13

535.Zainab Fakhury, 66

536.Zakwan, last name unknown, mid-40s, Syrian national

537.Zaynab `Ali `Alawiya, 9

538.Zaynab `Ali al-Akhrass, 6

539.Zaynab Abdullah Khanafer, 43

540.Zaynab Ahmad Tawila, 37

541.Zaynab Akash, 13

542.Zaynab Faisal Amin Sa`id, 39

543.Zaynab Ghannam, 10

544.Zaynab Hassan Ayub, 50

545.Zaynab Hassan Badran, 46

546.Zaynab Hassan Fakih, 22

547.Zaynab Hassan Sader, 71

548.Zaynab Hussain Jawad, 63

549.Zaynab Mahmud al-Abdullah, 5

550.Zaynab Muhammad `Ali Amin Shalhoub, 6

551.Zaynab Muhammad Hamid, 12

552.Zaynab Muhammad Hussain Khanafer, 78

553.Zaynab Muhammad Shmeiss, 36

554.Zaynab Najib Farhat, 16

555.Zaynab Sa`id Darwish, 16

556.Zaynab Salah Jawad, 7, from Aita al- Sha`ab

557.Zaynab Toufiq Sabra, 75

558.Zuher Muhammad al-Baba, 58

Part B. Additional names of dead obtained by Human Rights Watch from cemeteries, hospital records, newspaper articles, and other secondary sources

559.`Abbas `Abbas

560.`Abbas al-`Aziz, from Baalbek

561.`Abbas Alameddin "Abu `Ali", from Deir Qanoun al-Nahr

562.`Abbas Hassan Sakr, from Hermel

563.`Abbas Jawad Nasrallah, from Yohmor al-Shukayf

564.`Abbas Mahmud Akhdar, 40, from al-Kharayeb

565.`Abbas Muhammad Mahmud, 20

566.`Abbas Qassim al-`Attar, from Bint Jbeil

567.`Abbas Ragheb al-`Aziz, from Shmistar

568.`Abd al-Hassan Khalil, from Bint Jbeil

569.`Abd al-Hussain al-Khalil

570.`Abd al-Karim Mahmud Sulaiman, 96

571.`Abd al-Karim Tawfiq Yunes, Palestinian national

572.`Abd al-Latif Muhammad Musa, 28, from Harouf

573.`Abd al-Men`em Harb, from Jibshit

574.`Abd al-Ra'uf Ahmad Nassar

575.`Abdo Melhem Jamal

576.`Abdul Rahman al-Mardan

577.`Abdulamir Hussain al-Debes, Lebanese army

578.`Adil al-Hajj

579.`Adnan Hamid

580.`Adnan Jamil, form Habush

581.`Adnan Muhammad Yahya, 35, from Kafra

582.`Afif Yusif Salemeh, from Kfar Remman

583.`Afifa Kshou`, from al-Burjayn

584.`Akef al-Musawi, from Nabi Sheet

585.`Akil Musa al-Akhdar, from `Aitaroun

586.`Ala' Ahmad al-Rifa'i, Lebanese army

587.`Ala' Yassine, from Mhaybib

588.`Alawiyya `Atiah, from Qana

589.`Ali `Abbas al-Musawi, from Nabi Sheet

590.`Ali `Abbas Mer`i, 25, from Majdal Zoun

591.`Ali `Omar Bilal

592.`Ali Abdel Hussain al-Khalil, 6, Ghobeiry

593.`Ali Abdullah Suli, 34

594.`Ali Abu Sari, Lebanese army

595.`Ali Adil al-Saghir, 31

596.`Ali Adnan al-Qadiri, Lebanese army

597.`Ali Ahmad `Abdo

598.`Ali Ahmad Kahrub, from Srifa

599.`Ali Ahmad Kalas "Musa", 33, from Nabatiyeh

600.`Ali Ahmad Oneisi, 18, from Shhour

601.`Ali Ahmad Sbayti, buried in Qa`qa`iyyet al-Jisr

602.`Ali al-Haj Melhem, from Jebshit

603.`Ali Azzedin, Hezbollah member, from Deir Qanoun al-Nahr

604.`Ali Bluq, from `Ali al-Nahri

605.`Ali Dakduk, schoolteacher from Aita al-Sha`ab

606.`Ali Ghbun, al-Qasmieh

607.`Ali Hamed Khashab

608.`Ali Hassan `Awada

609.`Ali Hassan al-Lakkis, from Baalbek

610.`Ali Hassan al-Wuzwaz, 34, from Mais al-Jabal

611.`Ali Hassan Ma'leiji, from al-Naqura

612.`Ali Hatem Raja, from Jebshit

613.`Ali Hussain al-Masra, Lebanese army

614.`Ali Hussain Hattab, from Habush

615.`Ali Hussain Jaber, from Srifa

616.`Ali Hussain Ma`tuk, from al-Ghazieh

617.`Ali Hussain Sulaiman, from al-Quleila

618.`Ali Hussain Yehia

619.`Ali Hussain Zahwi, 21, from Majdel Selem

620.`Ali Jamil Hussain "Jawad", 26, from Houla

621.`Ali Khalil al-Hussain, from Maroun Mesk neighborhood

622.`Ali Khalil Terkieh, from Zawtar al-Gharbiyya

623.`Ali Klassy

624.`Ali Kurbani, from Zebqine

625.`Ali Mahdi

626.`Ali Mahmud Ahmad, from Rishaf

627.`Ali Mahmud Salih "Bilal", from `Adshit

628.`Ali Malik Harb "Hajj Dia'", 31, from Jibshit

629.`Ali Muhammad al-Akhrass, from `Aitaroun

630.`Ali Muhammad al-Sayyid `Ali

631.`Ali Muhammad Hijazi

632.`Ali Muhammad Jum`a, 32

633.`Ali Muhsin Hariri "Abu Rida", from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

634.`Ali Mustafa al-Dalabani, 31, from Tyre

635.`Ali Na`im Gharib, from Teir Harfa

636.`Ali Nasser Faqih, 26, from Nabatiyeh Fawka

637.`Ali Nemr al-Yatama

638.`Ali Qassim Jawad

639.`Ali Rida Gha'bun, from Qana

640.`Ali Sallum

641.`Ali Shehade `Assi

642.`Ali Sulaiman al-Khalil, from al-Kharayeb

643.`Ali Yassin, 45

644.`Amer Mustafa, Lebanese army

645.`Ammar Habib Kawsan

646.`Atif `Awad, from `Ain al-Hilweh camp

647.`Aziza `Izzat Ma`dan, 19

648.`Imad Ahmad As`ad, 38, from Bar`ashit

649.`Imad Hassan Bahsun, from Juya

650.`Imad Ibrahim al-Hajj `Ali, buried in Nabatiyeh

651.`Imad Kamel Faraj, died in Bint Jbeil

652.`Imad Kdouh, from Ghandouriyeh

653.`Issa Muhammad Karaki, buried in Ein Biswar

654.`Issam Isma`il Turkmani, from Haret Hreik

655.`Issam Musa Mustafa, from Taanayel

656.`Omar Ahmad al-Shami, from Madfun Bridge

657.`Udai Hamdan, from Safed al-Batikh

658.Abdullah Muhammad Tabikh, from Baalbek

659.Abu Jihad al-Malak, Palestinian national

660.Abu Jihad Salama, Palestinian national

661.Abu Rida al-Qa`, from Majdel'zune

662.Ahlam Merhi, from Srifa

663.Ahmad `Abd al-Nabi

664.Ahmad `Abid `Abbas

665.Ahmad `Ali `Assaf, from Baalbek

666.Ahmad `Aliyan, from Zebqine

667.Ahmad Adib Jezini, from al-Kharayeb

668.Ahmad al-Sheikh `Ali

669.Ahmad al-Shami, from Duwar Shmeis

670.Ahmad Hadi Mahdi, from al-Jibain

671.Ahmad Hakam `Omar, from al-Kuweikhat

672.Ahmad Hamza, from Nabatiyeh

673.Ahmad Hussain Wehbi al-Musawi, from al-Ramlieh

674.Ahmad Ibrahim Kabsun, 36, from Rishaf

675.Ahmad Mahmud Shalhub

676.Ahmad Muhammad al-Haj Hammud

677.Ahmad Muhammad al-Hujairy, from `Irzal

678.Ahmad Muhammad Ibrahim

679.Ahmad Munif Fares

680.Ahmad Musa Mustafa, from Taaneyel

681.Ahmad Mustafa Sh`aito

682.Ahmad Nimer al-Danaf, 29, from Ghassaniye

683.Ahmad Oneisi, 45, from Shhour

684.Ahmad Qassim `Omar, from Khirbet Da'oud

685.Ahmad Qassim Hamid, 23, from Bint Jbeil

686.Ahmad Qassim Muhammad

687.Ahmada Hamza, from Markaba

688.Akram Jammul, Lebanese army

689.Alice Ghayath Jum`a, from al-Hosh

690.Amin Balhas

691.Amin Ibrahim Fadlallah

692.Amin Salih

693.Amina Muhammad Sa`id Shami, 84

694.Amira Jahiya Abu Jahiya Skeiki, from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

695.Anis Nehmeh Faqih, 40, from al-Bayad

696.Anisa `Atwi, from Kfar Joz

697.Antoun al-Khawli, Lebanese army

698.As`ad Ahmad Srour

699.As`ad Habes, from al-Bazurieh

700.As`ad Shehadeh Nasr, from al-Fardis

701.Asma' Seif al-Din al-Lueis, from Taaneyel

702.Ayman Fahes, from Bint Jbeil

703.Ayman Rifa'i Shebabu, Lebanese army

704.Badi` `Abbas Tlays, Lebanese army

705.Badi` al-`Alam, Lebanese army

706.Basita Bluq, from `Ali al-Nahri

707.Bassel Ibrahim Turmus

708.Bassem Kasir, from Deir Qanoun al-Nahr

709.Bassem Matar, from Ta`nayel

710.Bassem Muhammad Najdi, from Srifa

711.Bassem Salah Ruheimi

712.Bassem Sh`aito

713.Bilal Khalid al-Khair, from Dhour Zahle

714.Celine Ghayath Jum`a, from El-Hosh

715.Charbel Georges Abu `Akr, Lebanese army

716.Dafish Kumar Suein, Indian national

717.Dalal `Abd al-Rahman Mardan

718.Dalia al-Hussaini, from al-Ghaziyeh

719.Daniel `Abdo Mash`alani, from Betchay

720.Deeb Barakat Baraka, from Sultan Ya`qub al-Tahta

721.Du`a' Abdullah

722.Fa`our Isma`il Turkmani, from Haret Hreik, Syrian national

723.Fadi `Abbas, from Ghandouriyeh

724.Fadi `Ali Qadim "Abu Hadi," 38

725.Fadi Fayez Hijazi

726.Fadi Murtada

727.Fadil Basma

728.Farah Jaber, from Mhaybib

729.Fares Ahmad Sh`aito, from al-Tiri

730.Fatima `Abd al-Halim Shu`eib, age unknown, from Sharkiyyat

731.Fatima `Ali Faki, 62, from Rabb al-Talatine

732.Fatima al-Abdullah, from Beirut

733.Fatima Hani Majid, 23

734.Fatima Karaki, from Haruf al-Qal`a

735.Fatima Kasim Bassem, 60

736.Fatima Na`im Duwe, 80

737.Fatima Sheaib

738.Fatima Tomeh, from al-Ghassaniyeh

739.Fawzi Jaffal, al-Bazurieh

740.Fu'ad al-Fu'ani, from `Ali El-Nahri

741.Fu'ad Muhammad `Awada, 41, from Khiam

742.Georges al-Roueiheb, Lebanese army

743.Georges Yusif Nuhra, Lebanese army

744.Ghannam Muhammad `Aliane, Palestinian national

745.Hadi Ghaleb Hashem, from al-Luweizeh, Palestinian national

746.Hadi Hattab, from Habush

747.Hadi Isma`il Shibli "Husam", 25, from Bazurieh

748.Hadia Hawi, from Shakra

749.Hala `Ali Qassim, from Houla

750.Hala Hazima

751.Hamad Mahmud Hamud

752.Hamda Maflah Isma`il "Maryam", 29

753.Hamed Muhammad Mansur, Palestinian national

754.Hamza Yasser `Amar, from Meis al-Jabal

755.Hamza Yusif Akhbar

756.Hana' Ahmad Abu Ta`am, 36

757.Hanadi Sulaiman `Alam

758.Hani `Alawiyya

759.Hania Amin Srour, from `Aita al-Sha`ab

760.Hassan `Abd al-Hussain Fahes

761.Hassan `Abd al-Hussain Qassim, from Moujama` al-Rez

762.Hassan `Abed al-Amir Mer`i, 17

763.Hassan `Ali `Abbas "Abu Turab," 25, from Taibeh

764.Hassan `Ali `Aidibi, from Jabal al-Butum

765.Hassan Ahmad Ja`far, Lebanese army

766.Hassan Ahmad Nasser, 41, from Kuwait

767.Hassan Comati, from Mahdi El-`Ali

768.Hassan Farid

769.Hassan Hakim

770.Hassan Hamadi, buried in Kfar Melki

771.Hassan Hariri, from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

772.Hassan Hussain al-Amir

773.Hassan Hussain Ghandur "Abu Mustafa", 41, from Nabatiyeh Fawqa

774.Hassan Isma`il Mustafa, from Bint Jbeil

775.Hassan Kamel Yassine, from Kfar Tebnit

776.Hassan Muhammad `Abd al-Karim, 20, from Kafra

777.Hassan Muhammad Blaghi, from Bint Jbeil

778.Hassan Muhammad Deeb, from Bednayel

779.Hassan Muhammad Hammadi, 33, from Kfar Melki

780.Hassan Muhammad Shabib, from Jebshit

781.Hassan Muhammad Wehbi, from Batuley

782.Hassan Qassim Hamid, 31

783.Hassan Riad Kasir, from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

784.Hassan Rida

785.Hassan Riyad Mustafa

786.Hassan Sh`aito

787.Hassan Sulaiman Isma`il

788.Hassan Zahi Qassim, Lebanese army

789.Hayat Elias Farah, from `Alma al-Sha`ab

790.Haybat `Ali Hamed, from Nabatiyeh

791.Hayda Hassan Sa`ad, from `Ain B`al

792.Haydar `Awad al-Faytruni "Abu Turab", 28, from Baalbek

793.Haydar al-Mikdad

794.Hayfa `Abd al-Rahman Mardan

795.Haytham `Idwan

796.Haytham Farid

797.Hilal `Omar

798.Hisham Mahmud Najdi, from Srifa

799.Hisham Muhammad Bzeih, 28, from Bint Jbeil

800.Hisham Muhammad Murtada

801.Husam `Abd al-Hadi al-Musawi

802.Husam `Ali Ma`tuk, 30, from Sir al-Gharbiyya

803.Husam Hussain al-Hadi, from Jabal `Amel

804.Husam Muhammad Hussain Abu Shamt, Jordanian national

805.Husam Nazih Kar`ouni, 28, from Bazurieh

806.Hussain `Akil Anis Sa`ad, 42

807.Hussain `Ali `Ubeidi, from Jabal al-Butum

808.Hussain `Ali Ahmad Karim, 20, from Yatar

809.Hussain `Ali al-Mekdad "Haydar", 37, from Mikna

810.Hussain `Ali al-Zain, from `Ali al-Nahri

811.Hussain `Ali Fadel, from al-Malikieh

812.Hussain `Ali Halal, buried in Habush

813.Hussain `Ali Hashem

814.Hussain `Ali Rizk

815.Hussain `Imad Jum`a, 19

816.Hussain Ahmad Qurani, 37, from Yatar

817.Hussain al-Atrash, from Ras al-`Ain

818.Hussain Basma, from Kfar Joz

819.Hussain Farid

820.Hussain Fayez Jaber, from Muhaybeb

821.Hussain Fayyad Balhas, from Siddiqine

822.Hussain Ghandur

823.Hussain Hassan Hashem "Wissam", 27, from Haret Sa`ida

824.Hussain Hazimah, buried in Insariyya

825.Hussain Khalil Hatit, 25, from Babiliyeh

826.Hussain Khuder Nasir al-Din, Lebanese army

827.Hussain Muhammad Bluq, Lebanese army

828.Hussain Muhammad Samhat, 70, died in Ainata

829.Hussain Muhammad Sh`aito, from El-Tiri

830.Hussain Muhammad Zaitun, from Kfar Tebnit

831.Hussain Sa`id `Akl

832.Hussain Sharif al-Zain, buried in Humeen al-Fawqa

833.Hussain Shuman, Lebanese army

834.Hussain Tamir Yassine, from Kfar Tebnit

835.Hussain Yusif Salman "Kamel", 31

836.Hussain Zaki Hamadeh

837.Hyam Hassan al-Haj, from Marja`youn

838.Ibrahim Ahmad Rahal, from `Ainata

839.Ibrahim Ahmad Rammal "Rabih", 22, from `Adaysseh

840.Ibrahim al-Hussaini, from Beirut

841.Ibrahim Bezhi, died in Bint Jbeil

842.Ibrahim Fadlallah, from `Ainata

843.Ibrahim Hassan al-Zain, from Deir Qanun

844.Ibrahim Hussain Hattab, from Habush

845.Ibrahim Jamal Salih, 17, from Yatar

846.Ibrahim Khalil Hamaidi, from Numeiriya

847.Ibrahim Khalil Khalaf, 29, from Shhour

848.Ibrahim Khudr Danash, from El-Hirmel=

849.Ibrahim Mawasi, from Barish

850.Ibrahim Muhammad Rajab, 48, from Kfour

851.Ibrahim Musa Muwasi "Abu Mustafa", 38, from `Aitaroun

852.Ibrahim Saqsuq

853.Ibrahim Soueid

854.Ibrahim Yusif Haydar, from `Aitaroun

855.Ibrahim Zilzli, Hezb, from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

856.In`am al-`Izzi, from Nabatiyeh

857.In`am Hikmat Abu Khalil, from al-Rachidiya Road

858.Isma`il `Ashi, from Terbul

859.Ja`far Hassan Ja`far "Murtada", 27, from Mais al-Jabal

860.Jalal Yusif Deeb, from Baalbek

861.Jamal `Issam Abu Khalil "`Ala'", 31, from Qulayla

862.Jamil `Abd al-Hussain Ayub, 55, died in `Ainata

863.Jamil Mahmud Nemr

864.Jana Hassan `Awada

865.Jawad Ahmad al-Sayyid

866.Jihad Ahmad Murtada, from `Aita al-Jabal

867.Jihad al-Gharbiyya, from Mhaybib

868.Joseph Mikhael Bassil

869.Kamal Muhammad `Afif, 37, from Khirbet Selem

870.Kamel Riyad al-Amin, from `Adloun

871.Kamel Tahtah

872.Kamel Yusif Jaber, from Mhaybib

873.Katia Hassan `Awada

874.Kazem `Ali Khanafer "`Ammar", 19

875.Kazem Abdel Ghani Nasrallah

876.Khadija `Ubeidi, from Jibal al-Butum

877.Khadija Badr al-Din, from Nabatiyeh

878.Khadija Ghenwa, from Mhaybib

879.Khadija Maaruf Hussain, from `Aita al-Sha`ab

880.Khadiya Salim `Awada, 90, died Aug 8 in Bint Jbeil

881.Khalid `Ali Abdullah "Hilal", 36, from Kilia

882.Khalid Abdullah

883.Khalid Abu `Akr, from Taanayel

884.Khalid Ahmad Bzeih, 40, from Bint Jbeil

885.Khalid Muhammad Dada, Syrian national

886.Khalid Nazem Hablas, Lebanese army

887.Khalid Qassim Berri, from Bint Jbeil

888.Khalil Amin Shibli "Abu Ja`far", 44, from Qulayla

889.Khalil Daoud Bezhi

890.Khalil Fares Yunes, from Betchay

891.Khalil Hussain Muhmmad Hazima, from Serbin

892.Khalil Jaber, from Mhaybib

893.Khalil Kamal Sha`ab, 40, from Bar`achit

894.Khattar Ramal, buried in Dweir

895.Khuder Kasir, from Deir Qanoun al-Nahr

896.Kifah Fayez Sharara, 36

897.Kifah Mahmud Asaila, 34

898.Laure Salih, al-Ghassaniyeh

899.Lula al-Shaikh Hussain

900.Mahdi Bluq

901.Mahdi Muhammad Daqiq

902.Maher Muhammad Saif al-Din

903.Mahmud `Abd al-Jalil Qubaissi, from al-Horsh neighborhood

904.Mahmud `Abd al-Karim al-Lahib

905.Mahmud `Abd al-Karim Hurani, 82

906.Mahmud Ahmad `Assaf, buried in Bouday

907.Mahmud al-Akhrass, from Kfar Tebnit

908.Mahmud Deeb Khanafer, from `Ainata

909.Mahmud Haytham "Salah", 40, from Qana

910.Mahmud Mas`ud Khaluf, Syrian national

911.Mahmud Muhammad Haydar "Jawad", 34, from Dweir

912.Mahmud Muhammad Qaik "Hassan," 31, from Taibe, died in `Aita al-Sha`ab

913.Mahmud Yusif `Awada, 44

914.Mahmuda al-Akhrass, from Kfar Tebnit

915.Malek `Aidibi, from Jabal al-Butum

916.Maqbula Qassim Abdullah

917.Marun Jeryes, from Beirut

918.Marwan Hussain Samhat "Kamel", 25, from Bent Jbeil

919.Marwan Tabboush, buried in Kfar Melki

920.Maryam `Abd al-Hussain, from al-Majadel

921.Maryam `Ali Nahla, 75

922.Maryam `Ali Salih, 69, from Yaroun village

923.Maryam Bzeih, from Zebqine

924.Maryam Muhammad Hurani, 15

925.Mayyada Mahmud Mansur

926.Mazen `Abd al-Karim Hussain, Lebanese army

927.Mazen `Ali Sh`aito, from Maroun Misk neighborhood

928.Mazen Mahdi

929.Mila Sa`id Salman

930.Muhammad `Abd al-Amir Debes, from al-Maashuk

931.Muhammad `Abd al-Ghani `Aliane, Palestinian national

932.Muhammad `Abd al-Hussain al-Khalil, 2

933.Muhammad `Adil al-Musawi, from Nabi Sheet

934.Muhammad `Afif Jawad, from Haris

935.Muhammad `Ali al-Bitar, from Riyaq

936.Muhammad `Ali Mahmud Wazni, from Tebnin

937.Muhammad `Ali Qubaysi "Abu Salih", 28, from Zebdine

938.Muhammad `Ali Tefla, 39, from Qulayla

939.Muhammad `Ali Zreiq

940.Muhammad `Amacha, from Ansar

941.Muhammad `Atif, from Batulay

942.Muhammad Abu Hamdan

943.Muhammad Ahmad Hamud

944.Muhammad Ahmad Yahya "Abu Ahmad," 36

945.Muhammad al-Musawi, buried in Nabi Sheet

946.Muhammad al-Shaikh Abdullah Beri, 34, from Majdel Selem

947.Muhammad Daher `Abd al-Karim Ayub Behzi, 66

948.Muhammad Deeb Khanafer

949.Muhammad Fadlallah al-Saghir, from al- Kharayeb

950.Muhammad Fadlallah Nur al-Din, from Muhaybeb

951.Muhammad Ghandur, from Nabatiyeh

952.Muhammad Hamza, from Nabatiyeh

953.Muhammad Hassan `Abdo Alamudine

954.Muhammad Hassan Hamud, from Kounin

955.Muhammad Hassan Samhat

956.Muhammad Hassan Suli "Abu Teeb," 42

957.Muhammad Hassan Zain al-Din, from Safad al-Batikh

958.Muhammad Hir, from Baalbek

959.Muhammad Hussain al-Amir, from al-Beka`

960.Muhammad Hussain Muhammad Jafer "Abu Ta'em", 38, from Bint Jbeil

961.Muhammad Hussain Yusif `Atwi "Hamza", 21, from Haruf

962.Muhammad Kamel Shalhub

963.Muhammad Khalil Abdullah, 24, from Houla

964.Muhammad Khalil Hijazi, from `Aitaroun

965.Muhammad Mahmud `Assaf

966.Muhammad Mahmud Akdar, 35,, from al-Kharayeb

967.Muhammad Mahmud Srour

968.Muhammad Musa `Adnan Srour

969.Muhammad Mustafa Fawaz

970.Muhammad Nadim al-Hussain

971.Muhammad Nami Ruda, 24

972.Muhammad Nehmat al-`Abd Rida

973.Muhammad Qanso, buried in Dweir

974.Muhammad Qassim Baydun, from Bint Jbeil

975.Muhammad Rashid Hanawi, 86, from Bar`achit

976.Muhammad Sa`id Khair al-Din, from Beka`

977.Muhammad Sa`id Khair, from al-Manara town

978.Muhammad Salah Qadah, 68

979.Muhammad Salah Qaduh, 23, from Yatar

980.Muhammad Salim Nahla, 100, from Taibeh

981.Muhammad Sami Wehbi buried in Mahrouna

982.Muhammad Shemali,, from al-Sarira

983.Muhammad Srour, from Barish

984.Muhammad Yusif Assaily, 28, from Tireh

985.Muhammad Yusif Dimashk, 30, from Aita al-Jabal

986.Muhammad Yusif Rizk, from Haris

987.Muhsin Darwish Hariri, from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

988.Muna Fneich

989.Musa Abdullah Wehbi, 80, died in Ainata

990.Musa Ahmad Sajed, buried in Riyak Hosh Hala

991.Musa Fares, from Marun al-Ras

992.Musa Hattab, from Habush

993.Musa Kamal Mer`i, 26, from Kafra

994.Musa Yusif Khanafer "Rabih", 29, from Bent Jbeil

995.Mustafa `Ali Mansur al-Karasht, 36, from Nabatiyeh Tahta

996.Mustafa `Ali Zalzali, 29, from Deir Qanun al-Nahr

997.Mustafa al-Rifa'i, Lebanese army

998.Mustafa Burghul, Lebanese army

999.Mustafa Harb, from Jibshit

1000.Mustafa Hawa, Lebanese army

1001.Mustafa Jaber, from Mhaybib

1002.Mustafa Kamal Rakim, died in Ghandouriyeh

1003.Mustafa Zilzli, from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

1004.Nabil Khalid al-Sa`di, from Shoueifat

1005.Nader Jarkas, buried in Haret Sa`ida

1006.Nadim Muhammad Sa`id, from Srifa

1007.Naji Khalil Nasrallah, from al-Quleila

1008.Najib Wakim, Lebanese army

1009.Najiba al-Hajj

1010.Najma Mahmud Hassan, from Ma`rub

1011.Najwa Khashab

1012.Nasir `Abd al-Ghani

1013.Nassib Muhammad Karim "Muhtadi", 26, from Humeen al-Fawqa

1014.Nawaf Nayef Khaluf, Syrian national

1015.Nawal Bluq, from `Ali al-Nahri

1016.Nawal Kaisi, from Beka`

1017.Nayef al-Hussain, from Tel Shiha hospital

1018.Nazih `Ali Mutlek, from Ma`raka

1019.Nazih Muhammad, Lebanese army

1020.Nazmiyya Mahmud Mer`i, from Kafra

1021.Nida' Abu Shakra, Lebanese army

1022.Nidal Mahmud Daher, 32

1023.Nimera Musa Hijazi, 71

1024.Nisrine Sallum, from Hermel

1025.Nizam `Abd al-Nabi Nasrallah, from `Ainata

1026.Peter Sim`an, from `Aita al-Fekhar

1027.Qassim al-Safani, Iraqi national

1028.Qassim Hussain Marda, from Hermel

1029.Qassim Muhammad al-Ba'rini, from Fidar Bridge

1030.Qassim Muhammad Baidun, 18, from Bint Jbeil

1031.Qassim Muhammad Hazuri, 84, from Taibeh

1032.Qassim Muhammad Makki "Abu Salih", 36, from Habush

1033.Qassim Murtada, from Hermel

1034.Qassim Serhan, from Beirut

1035.Ra'fat Sulaiman, buried in Shmistar

1036.Rabih Kassir

1037.Rabih Munir Makhrabani

1038.Raghida Muhammad Jawad

1039.Rami `Adnan Bizeh, 39, from Bint Jbeil

1040.Ramzia al-Mustafa

1041.Rasem Salah Rahil

1042.Rashida Musa Yahya, 61, from Kafra

1043.Rayan Jum`a

1044.Rayan Samir Kudsi, from El-Hosh

1045.Riad Kassab, from Beka`

1046.Rima Salih

1047.Riyad Khalil al-Khawli, from al-Hadath

1048.Roger Harfush, Lebanese army

1049.Sa`ad Hamza, from Nabatiyeh

1050.Sa`id Hassan Sa`id, Palestinian national

1051.Sa`id Muhammad Nahla, 76, from Taibeh

1052.Sadiq Mustafa Hamad, from Nabatiyeh

1053.Sajed Khalil Haydar

1054.Salem Mahmud Kassir

1055.Salman al-Shidiaq Yazbek

1056.Salwa Salim

1057.Samir Diya, approximately 45, from Beflay

1058.Samir Ksour, from Deir Qanoun el-Nahr

1059.Saoud al-Turkmani, Syrian national

1060.Sara Muhammad Karaki, from Haruf El-Qal'a

1061.Sari Abdullah al-`Ali, 25, from Shakra

1062.Sawsan Bdeir, from al-Sharqieh

1063.Sawsan Taj al-Din's infant, from The South

1064.Sayyid Kazem, from Deir `Amess

1065.Shadi `Abbas, from Ghandouriyeh

1066.Shadi Hani Sa`ad

1067.Shaker `Ali Salih "Khodr Al-Hajj", 31, from Markaba

1068.Shaker Najib Ghanem

1069.Sharif Hamza, from Nabatiyeh

1070.Subhia Ghannam

1071.Suhail Jawad `Awada, buried in Zafta

1072.Suhaila Da`ou, from The South

1073.Sulaiman Khalid Isma`il, Lebanese army

1074.Sulaiman Muhammad al-Ahmad

1075.Talib `Abd al-Hussain al-Khalil, newborn, from Ghobeiry

1076.Taysir Muhammad Zain al-Din, 29, from Safed al-Batikh

1077.Wafa' Kubeisi, from Ansar

1078.Wajih Tahini

1079.Ward Muhammad Najib Beidun, 58

1080.Wassim Jamil al-Zaher

1081.Wassim Sharif

1082.Wissam `Ali al-Rida Sbayti, 31, from Kafra

1083.Wurud Hassan Hamad, from Nabatiyeh

1084.Yahia `Ali Haydar, from Taaneyel

1085.Yahia Ja`far, Lebanese army

1086.Yamen Yusif Suwaidan, buried in Zafta

1087.Yara Sallum, Syrian national

1088.Yasir Hassan Hazima, from Bint Jbeil

1089.Yunis Ya`qub Srour

1090.Yusif Amin Jamil Srour, from `Aita Ech-Chaab

1091.Yusif Ibrahim Dia "Salman", 39, from Qana

1092.Yusif Khalil

1093.Yusif Mazlum, from Baalbek

1094.Yusif Muhammad al-Sayyid `Ali

1095.Zahra Fares

1096.Zahra Hussain, from `Aita al-Chaab

1097.Zahra Ja`far, from al-Hosh

1098.Zahra Khalil Musa, from Maarub

1099.Zahra Ma`aruf Hussain, from Kafra

1100.Zaid Mahmud Haydar "Karar Nur", 23, from Ainata

1101.Zain al-Abbadin `Izz al-Din, from Deir Qanoun al-Nahr

1102.Zainab al-Haraka, from El-Sharkieh

1103.Zainab Hamames, from Kfar Tebnit

1104.Zainab Hussain Mahdi

1105.Zainab Rida `Abd al-Khaliq, from El-Zrarieh

1106.Zaki Yusif Hamada

1107.Ziad `Abud Mer`eb, from Khirbet Da'oud

1108.Ziad Dam'a, from Madfun Bridge

1109.Zuhair Helwan, from Beka`

Appendix III

Human Rights Watch Letter to Defense Minister Amir Peretz

January 8, 2007

Defense Minister Amir Peretz

Defense Ministry

37 Kaplan St.

Tel Aviv 61909

Israel

VIA FACSIMILE: +972-3-697-6218

  

BERLINBRUSSELSCHICAGO GENEVALONDONLOS ANGELESMOSCOW NEW YORKSAN FRANCISCOTORONTOWASHINGTON

 Dear Defense Minister Peretz,

I am writing to request detailed information from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) about its targeting and weapons selection, vetting review procedures, precautions taken by the IDF to prevent civilian casualties during strikes on pre-selected or emerging targets, and any post-strike battle damage assessment (BDA) procedures carried out by the IDF during the recent conflict with Hezbollah.

Human Rights Watch is an independent and impartial international human rights organization. Our specialized personnel-including military, arms, and BDA experts-have long-standing expertise in evaluating the conduct of military campaigns, including air wars. Human Rights Watch researchers carried out extensive studies of the air campaigns in Yugoslavia (published as Civilian Deaths in the Nato Air Campaign) and Iraq (published as Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties), among others. Our analysis has served as an independent and impartial review of the conduct of air campaigns, and has led to important advances to protect the civilian population, such as the decision by the U.S.-led coalition forces not to target electrical generation facilities during the 2003 war in Iraq.

Human Rights Watch is carrying out an analysis of the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. To supplement the reports already issued, we plan to complete a comprehensive report on the conflict in early 2007.

The information we seek from the IDF will be a very important element in our analysis of Israel's conduct. While Human Rights Watch can investigate civilian casualties or destruction of civilian infrastructure and the presence of military targets at the site of civilian casualties or infrastructure on the ground in Lebanon, only IDF officials can explain exactly what military target they were attempting to hit during a particular strike, and any precautions taken to prevent civilian casualties during that strike.

Reproduced below is a list of 97 incidents involving civilian casualties and civilian infrastructure that we have investigated in Lebanon. The information listed below, based on our field investigation of the sites and witness testimonies, includes the date and time of the strike, the method of attack, the village where the attack took place, and the death toll. Because place names often vary, our researchers also took the GPS coordinates of individual strikes, which should allow the IDF to coordinate this information with its strike logs and establish the specific military target attacked.

For each of the 97 incidents listed below, we would like to request the following information from the IDF:

1) The specific military objective of the attack (Hezbollah personnel, weapon storage site, rocket launching position etc.), and the target selection and review process.

2) Any specific precautions taken to ensure that the object of the attack was a military object and to avoid collateral and/or disproportionate civilian casualties.

3) The method of attack and weapon chosen to limit collateral damage and/or disproportionate civilian casualties.

4) Any specific post-strike battle damage assessment undertaken to review the results of the particular strike, and the results of that BDA.

Human Rights Watch will reflect any relevant portion of the IDF's response in our upcoming report, as we have done with responses from military officials in prior reports assessing wartime conduct around the world.

Our experience at Human Rights Watch has taught us that usually, the most productive way to review the conduct of a war and to obtain future improvement in that conduct is through direct dialogue with military officials. Our extensive dialogue with US, UK, and NATO officials helped improve our understanding of the Iraq and Kosovo conflicts. Human Rights Watch hopes to establish a similar dialogue with IDF operational officials, and we are prepared to discuss our findings with, and obtain information from, the relevant Israeli operational or military officials in meetings in Israel, if that is most convenient to you..

As Human Rights Watch hopes to publish its findings in early 2007, a timely reply by January 20, 2007 to this request is appreciated.

Human Rights Watch realizes that it will require a significant commitment from the IDF to review its files for the information we have requested, but we feel that the effort will be a crucial contribution to a realistic understanding of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict.

Sincerely

 

Ken Roth

Executive Director

INCIDENTS INVESTIGATED BY HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WHERE IDF/IAF INFORMATION IS REQUESTED:

A. IAF AIRSTRIKES

1. July 13 03:50hrs air strike on home in Baflay, killing 10 members of the Zein family

Lat N 33 15' 25.42"

Lon E 35 22' 01.65"

2. July 13 03:50hrs air strike on home in Srifa, killing 4 members of the Merhi family

Lat N 33 16' 33.41"

Lon E 35 24' 04.66"

3. July 13 04:00hrs air strike on home in Dweir, killing 13 members of the al-Akash family (head of household Sheikh Adil al-Akash was a Shi'a cleric)

Lat N 33 22' 39.40"

Lon E 35 24' 52.41"

4. July 13 04:05hrs air strike on home in Shour, killing 6 members of the Khashab family

Lat N 33 17' 48.21"

Lon E 35 22' 35.46"

5. July 13 04:05hrs air strike on home in Bar`achit, killing 2 members of the Farhat family

Lat N 33 10' 37.56"

Lon E 35 26' 29.27"

6. July 13 08:20hrs air strike on home in Zebqine, killing 12 members of Bzeih family

Lat N 33 09' 53.92"

Lon E 35 16' 02.05"

7. July 13 15:00hrs air strike on home in Yatar, killing 3 members of Suidan family

Lat N 33 09' 16.73"

Lon E 35 19' 54.69"

8. July 15 08:55hrs air strike on home in Bint Jbeil, killing 2 members of Mrouj family, followed by 13:55hrs drone strike killing 2 rescue workers

Lat N 33 07' 04.30"

Lon E 35 26' 20.95"

9. July 16 09:07hrs air strikes on factories in Borj ech Chemali area next to Tyre (Plastimed and Plastic Medical Component Factories).

No GPS coordinates available.

10. July 16 12:00hrs air strike on soap factory in Borj ech Chemali, killing 5 members of Zayyat family in adjacent home

Lat N 33 15' 51.68"

Lon E 35 14' 14.60"

11. July 16 12:30hrs air strike on home in Tyre (behind Jabal `Amel hospital), killing 8 members of `Alawiya family

Lat N 33 16' 66.8"

Lon E 35 13' 14.2"

12. July 16 17:00hrs air strike on home in Yatar killing three young men

Lat N 33 09' 04.51"

Lon E 35 19' 44.54"

13. July 16 17:00-18:00hrs air strike on the civil defense building in Tyre, killing ten persons

No GPS coordinates available

14. July 16 17:55hrs air strike on home in Aitaroun, killing 12 members of al-Akhrass family (including Canadian-Lebanese nationals)

Lat N 33 06' 57.20"

Lon E 35 28' 24.57"

15. July 16 21:30hrs multiple air strikes on factories in Ta`nayel village (in the Beka`) destroying warehouses and factories.

No GPS coordinates available.

16. July 16 21:45hrs multiple air strikes on factory in Kfar Jarra village.

No GPS coordinates available.

17. July 16 22:00hrs air strike on parked, uncovered trucks between Shmeiss and Sheem. A second air strike ten minutes later killed 3 persons

Lat N 33 38' 30.33"

Lon E 35 28' 40.72"

18. July 16 unknown time air strike on home in Majdel Selem, killing 1 person

No GPS coordinates available

19. July 17 unknown time air strike on Rmeileh bridge, killing 12 persons in two cars near the bridge.

Lat N 33 35' 50.93"

Lon E 35 23' 18.78"

20. July 17 02:25hrs multiple air strikes on factories and storage facilities in Shuweifat area in Mount Lebanon.

No GPS coordinates available.

21. July 17 03:00hrs air strikes on factory in Ta`nayel village, Bekaa.

No GPS coordinates available.

22. July 17 09:00hrs air strike on el-Ghaziyeh bridge, killing 1 person

No GPS coordinates available

23. July 18 00:45hrs air strike on home in Aitaroun, killing 9 members of Awada family

Lat N 33 07' 06.79"

Lon E 35 28' 13.38"

24. July 18 09:00hrs air strike on home in Taloussa, killing 3 members of Turmus family

Lat N 33 13' 58.07"

Lon E 35 29' 08.56"

25. July 18 16:00hrs air strike on home in Yatar, killing disabled man from Slim family

No GPS coordinates available

26. July 18 (time unknown) air strikes on Lebanese Army base in Jamhour (in Mount Lebanon, east of Beirut), killing 11 Lebanese army soldiers.

No GPS coordinates available

27. July 19 02:00hrs simultaneous air strike on 2 separate homes in Silaa village, killing 8 members of Ayyoub family

Lat N 33 15' 18.72"

Lon E 35 22' 48.67"

28. July 19 03:30hrs air strikes on the "Moscow" neighborhood of Srifa, followed by drone strikes, killing 22 persons

Lat N 33 16' 56.63"

Lon E 35 23' 55.40"

29. July 19 07:10hrs air strike on home in Nabi Sheet, killing 7 members of the Shukr family

Lat N 33 52' 29.59"

Lon E 36 06' 56.11"

30. July 19 12:37hrs air strikes on factory in Ta`nayel village in Bekaa.

No GPS coordinates available.

31. July 19 13:00hrs air strike on home in Ainata, killing 4 members of Darwish family

Lat N 33 07' 40.90"

Lon E 35 26' 43.60"

32. July 21 05:35hrs air strike on home in Nabi Sheet, killing 1 member of Shukr family whose son was an official in the Lebanese Ba'ath party

Lat N 33 52' 26.74"

Lon E 36 06' 50.25"

33. July 21 14:00hrs air strike on home in Ait ech Chaab, killing 3 members of Rida family

No GPS coordinates available

34. July 21 (time unknown) air strike on home in Zebqine, killing 3 members of Bzeih family, including head of Zebqine municipality, Ahmed Bzeih

No GPS coordinates available

35. July 23 05:00hrs air strikes on large factory in Ta`nayel village, Bekaa.

No GPS coordinates available

36. July 23 11:00hrs air strike on empty home in Shehin village, causing 2 deaths from Ghaith family in neighboring home

Lat N 33 07' 33.06"

Lon E 35 15' 19.82"

37. July 23 16:15hrs air strike on home in Yaroun, killing 5 members of Farhat family

Lat N 33 04' 52.63"

Lon E 35 25' 23.62"

38. July 23 (time unknown) air strike on factory in town of al-Manara (sometimes referred to as al-Hamara) in Southern Bekaa, near Hasbaya.

No GPS coordinates available.

39. July 24 05:45hrs air strikes on several adjoining homes in center of al-Hallousiye, resulting in the deaths of 11 persons, most from Hamid and Mounis families

Lat N 33 18' 21.27"

Lon E 35 19' 42.09"

40. July 24 17:00hrs air strike on home in Haris, resulting in death of four persons

Lat N 33 10' 42.73"

Lon E 35 22' 35.63"

41. July 24 17:00hrs air strike (simultaneous with previous strike) in Haris, resulting in deaths of 8 members of Jawad family

Lat N 33 10' 46.02"

Lon E 35 22' 40.63"

42. July 24 (time unknown) air strike on home in center of Ainata, killing 17 persons

Lat N 33 07' 43.69"

Lon E 35 26' 25.11"

43. July 24 (time unknown) air strike on home in Safad al-Batikh, killing one person

No GPS coordinates available

44. July 25 19:30hrs precision-guided missile strike on UNOGL post in Khiam, resulting in the death of 4 UNTSO observers

No GPS coordinates available

45. July 26 15:00hrs air strike on home in Yatar, killing 1 person

No GPS coordinates available

46. July 26 16:00hrs air strike on home in Kafra, killing 2 persons

No GPS coordinates available

47. July 27 15:30hrs air strike on home next to abandoned women's husseiniya in Hadatha, killing 6 elderly persons

Lat N 33 09' 56.83"

Lon E 35 23' 21.48"

48. July 29 14:30hrs air strike on home in el-Numeiriya village, killing 6 persons of Harake and Mehdi families.

Lat N 33 24' 39.04"

Lon E 35 25' 08.85"

49. July 30 01:00hrs air strike (2 missiles) on home in Qana, killing 27 persons from Hashem and Shalhoub families

Lat N 33 12' 56.58"

Lon E 35 17' 55.76"

50. August 1 16:50hrs air strike on home in al-Luweizeh, killing 3 members of the Hashem family. The air strike was immediately preceded by IAF-dropped leaflets warning the villagers to evacuate the lower part of the village (where the strike took place)

Lat N 33 27' 36.81"

Lon E 35 32' 10.60"

51. August 4 13:58hrs air strike on warehouse in fruit orchard in al-Qaa, killing 25 Syrian Kurdish farm workers

Lat N 34 23' 20.08"

Lon E 36 30' 04.16"

52. August 5 18:00hrs air strike on home in Taibeh, killing 3 members of the Marmar family

No GPS coordinates available

53. August 7 00:30hrs air strike on home in Insar, killing 5 members of Assi family

Lat N 33 22' 42.45"

Lon E 35 21' 12.93"

54. August 7 02:25hrs air strike on home in El-Ghassaniyeh, killing 7 persons

Lat N 33 24' 56.37"

Lon E 35 21' 24.94"

55. August 7 07:55hrs air strike on el-Ghaziyeh home, resulting in 5 deaths

No GPS coordinates available

56. August 7 08:15hrs air strike in el-Ghaziyeh town square, hitting adjoining shops and killing 3 persons

No GPS coordinates available

57. August 7 08:20hrs air strike on home in el-Ghaziyeh (almost simultaneous and close by previously listed strike), killing 8 members of the Badran family

Lat N 33 31' 03.70"

Lon E 35 22' 09.39"

58. August 7 10:00hrs air strikes on a series of homes in Houla, killing 1 person

Lat N 33 12' 30.30"

Lon E 35 30' 51.65"

59. August 7 19:30hrs air strike at butcher shop and supermarket in center of Brital (Bekaa Valley) killing 9 persons

No GPS coordinates available

60. August 7 20:00hrs air strike on apartment building in Shiah neighborhood of Beirut, resulting in the death of 39 persons

No GPS coordinates available

61. August 8 15:00hrs air strike on el-Ghaziyeh graveyard, resulting in the death of 1 infant aged 2

No GPS coordinates available

62. August 8 15:00hrs air strike on el-Ghaziyeh home of Mahmood Ahmed Khalife, resulting in death of 7 family members

No GPS coordinates available

63. August 8 16:00hrs air strike on home, resulting in death of 2 members of Khalife family

Lat N 33 30' 51.52"

Lon E 35 21' 53.81"

64. August 10 02:00hrs air strike on Masghara home (Bekaa Valley) killing 7 members of Sadr family

Lat N 33 31' 47.97"

Lon E 35 39' 12.94"

65. August 10 (time unknown) air strike on home in Rabb et Talatine resulting in death of 4 women

Lat N 33 15' 04.23"

Lon E 35 31' 10.73"

66. August 11 04:40hrs air strike on bridge in al-Haysaa (northern Lebanon, near Syrian border), repeat air strike 10 minutes later killed 11 persons

Lat N 34 35' 48.03"

Lon E 36 03' 45.74"

67. August 11 08:00hrs air strike on home in el-Tireh, killing 1 member of the Sheaito family.

68. August 13 03:50hrs air strike on home in Borj ech Chemali, killing 5 members of Zein family.

Lat N 33 15' 45.02"

Lon E 35 14' 29.38"

69. August 13 14:35hrs air strikes on the Imam Hassan building complex in Rweiss suburb of Beirut, killing 40 persons

No GPS coordinates available

70. August 13 15:45hrs air strikes on factory in village of Joun, 9km above Saida in the Shouf area

No GPS coordinates available

71. August 13 23:15hrs air strike on home in Brital (Bekaa Valley), killing 6 persons

Lat N 33 57' 27.65"

Lon E 36 07' 28.35"

72. August 14 02:00hrs air strike on home in Kfar Dounine, killing 1 person

Lat N 33 13' 55.6"

Lon E 35 24' 48.7"

B. IDF Drone Strikes

1. July 19 03:00hrs drone strike on vehicle parked in Ham, killing 2 persons

Lat N 33 52' 18.82"

Lon E 36 12' 08.22"

2. July 19 03:00hrs drone strike on two vehicles on mountain road between Syrian border and village of Maaraboun, killing 3 persons

Lat N 33 50' 50.42"

Lon E 36 12' 30.62"

3. July 19 08:30hrs drone strikes near Bazouriye on 3 car convoy fleeing Aitaroun, killing 6 persons

No GPS coordinates available

4. July 23 10:30hrs drone strike on white van outside Kafra village, killing 3 persons

Lat N 33 10' 15.93"

Lon E 35 18' 59.74"

5. July 23 10:30hrs drone or helicopter strike on civilian vehicle fleeing Mansouri outside Maaliye, killing 2 persons including a German-Lebanese dual national

No GPS coordinates available

6. July 23 23:15hrs drone strikes on two parked, clearly marked ambulances in center of Qana, resulting in 6 wounded, no fatalities

Lat N 33 12' 24.38"

Lon E 35 18' 04.61"

7. July 24 morning (precise time unknown) drone or helicopter strike on motorcycle on Kafra-Siddiquine road, resulting in 1 death

No GPS coordinates available

8. July 24 (time unknown) drone strike on man fleeing Safed el-Batikh, resulting in 1 death

No GPS coordinates available

9. August 14 06:05hrs drone strike on passenger van driving around destroyed road in Jamaliyeh (Bekaa Valley), resulting in the deaths of 7 persons, mostly Lebanese Internal Security Forces and Army troops reporting for duty

Lat N 34 03' 05.63"

Lon E 36 11' 26.54"

C. IDF Helicopter Strikes

1. July 15 11:00hrs Navy ship strike followed by Helicopter attack on two-car convoy on Chamaa-Bidaya road, killing 21 persons fleeing from Marwaheen. The two cars appear to have been spotted by an offshore Israeli Navy ship which fired at them.

Lat N 33 09' 29.80"

Lon E 35 11' 34.84"

2. July 15 20:30hrs Apache helicopter strike on home in Houla, killing 2 members of the Slim family.

Lat N 33 12' 40.42"

Lon E 35 31' 05.94"

3. July 19 19:00hrs Helicoper strike on home in Debbine Marja'youn, killing 3 persons

Lat N 33 21' 73.0"

Lon E 35 36' 33.2"

4. July 20 06:00hrs Helicopter strike on home in Ait ech Chaab, killing one elderly male

No GPS coordinates available

5. August 1 21:30hrs Helicopter missile attack on group of men outside a home in Jamaliyeh, killing 7 members of Jamaluddin family (relatives of the Mukhtar of the town, supporters of Lebanese communist party). The Helicopter strikes took place while IDF commandos were carrying out an operation at the nearby Hezbollah-controlled hospital.

Lat N 34 02' 58.89"

Lon E 36 11' 17.16"

6. August 1 23:30hrs Helicopter missile strike on Syrian Kurdish family outside tent in Jamaliyeh, killing family of 6. The Helicopter strikes took place while IDF commandos were carrying out an operation at the nearby Hezbollah-controlled hospital.

No GPS coordinates available

7. August 3 11:00hrs Helicopter strike on home in al-Jibain, killing 3 members of Akil family. At the same time, Helicopter strikes targeted a position outside the village of al-Jibain, 900 meters away from the home, killing 4 young men.

Location of home:

Lat N 33 07' 27.28"

Lon E 35 14' 06.91"

D. IDF Navy Strikes

1. July 15 11:00hrs Navy ship strike followed by Helicopter attack on two-car convoy on Chamaa-Bidaya road, killing 21 persons fleeing from Marwaheen. The two cars appear to have been spotted by an offshore Israeli Navy ship which fired at them.

Lat N 33 09' 29.80"

Lon E 35 11' 34.84"

E. IDF Artillery Strikes

1. July 19 01:00hrs artillery strike on Rmeich, killing two displaced children from Ait ech Chaab

Lat N 33 04' 39.87"

Lon E 35 22' 11.87"

2. July 19 15:00hrs cluster munitions strike on the village of Blida, killing 1 elderly woman and wounding family of 12

No GPS coordinates available

3. July 21 19:00hrs artillery strike into center of Aitaroun, killing two elderly women

Lat N 33 06' 53.24"

Lon E 35 28' 13.65"

4. July 29 11:00hrs artillery strike on home in Arzun, killing one elderly man

No GPS coordinates available

F. IDF shooting deaths by ground troops

1. July 27 09:00hrs Shooting death of Lebanese civilian woman by IDF soldiers occupying civilian home in Ainata. The woman had entered her basement to retrieve foodstuffs, not knowing IDF soldiers were inside the second floor of the building, and was walking away from the building when shot

Lat N 33 07' 22.25"

Lon E 35 27' 04.07"

2. August 6 11:00hrs shooting of 4 elderly members of Nasrallah family by IDF soldiers occupying their home in Taibeh village. The family members had returned home to cook bread, unaware of the presence of IDF soldiers inside their home, and were shot at close range by IDF soldiers as they approached the home

Lat N 33 16' 17.78"

Lon E 35 31' 13.94"

3. August 7 02:00hrs shooting of 1 elderly woman while IDF commando raided house in Shehin

Lat N 33 07' 35.34"

Lon E 35 15' 13.62"

4. August 12 (time unknown) shooting of 1 elderly man in home in Hadatha by IDF soldiers in neighboring house

No GPS coordinates available

Appendix IV

Government of Israel Response to Human Rights Watch Letter

The document sent by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Human Rights Watch on May 8, 2007, is a verbatim excerpt from a ministry document posted on its website on April 1, 2007 entitled "Preserving Humanitarian Principles While Combating Terrorism: Israel's Struggle with Hizbullah in the Lebanon War," available, as of August 14, 2007, at http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/Preserving+Humanitarian+Principles+While+Combating+Terrorism+-+April+2007.htm. The document is not a direct response to the information requested by Human Rights Watch. To date, we have not received any further information from the Israeli authorities responding directly to our request for information.

***

Israel's Response to Accusations of Targeting Civilian Sights in Lebanon During the 'Second Lebanon War'

Although aware of the serious threat posed by the Hizbullah build-up and entrenchment in south Lebanon in the years prior to its attack against Israel on the 12th of July, 2006, which initiated the recent conflict, Israel sought to exercise restraint and to use diplomatic means to check the Hizbullah activities directed against it. Israel called repeatedly, in the UN and elsewhere, for Hizbullah attacks to be halted and for the government of Lebanon to assume its responsibilities and duty to establish control over south Lebanon.

Even following the Hizbullah attack of July 12, Israel sought to avoid an escalation of the conflict. The Israeli government gave Syria and Hizbullah a 72 hour ultimatum to stop Hizbullah's activity along the Lebanon-Israel border and to release the two kidnapped IDF soldiers, and so avert the conflict. The ultimatum went unanswered and the missile attacks on Israel intensified.

Guiding principles underlying IDF conduct

Inresponding to the threat posed by Hizbullah's terrorist attacks, and notwithstanding the fact that Hizbullah made no effort to comply with the principles of humanitarian law, the IDF regarded itself as bound to comply with the established principles of the law of armed conflict. Indeed, IDF orders, doctrine and education make clear that soldiers are obligated to act in accordance with international law and custom, including the Geneva Conventions.For example, the Chief of Staff's Order No. 33.0133 obligates every IDF soldier to conduct him/herself in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. See also a recent IDF educational publication on the Law of Armed Conflict entitled, "The Law of War on the Battlefield" which also makes clear the obligation of IDF forces to abide by the laws and rules of international law.

In seeking to implement these principles of international humanitarian law, a number of key questions arise in relation to any operation under consideration, including: 1) Is the target itself a legitimate military objective? and 2) Even if the target is, in itself, legitimate, is there likely to be disproportionate injury and damage to the civilian population and civilian property?

Legitimate military objectives

The generally accepted definition of "military objective" is that set out in Article 52(2) Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, which provides:

Insofar as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which, by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.

Regarding military targets, the IDF's "Law of War on the Battlefield" provides, "A military target subject to attack is a target that by its nature, location, purpose or use effectively contributes to the military campaign of the other side, and its neutralization will offer a clear military advantage to the attacking side." It goes on to explain that there are certain objects that are normally immune from attack such as medical facilities and staff, religious sites and cultural assets, the basic needs of the civilian population (such as food products, agricultural areas and sanitation facilities, etc.), locations that would pose an environmental risk if they were attacked, and civil defense personnel.

It should be stressed that if a location is a legitimate military objective, it does not cease to be so because civilians are in the vicinity. Furthermore, Article 28 of the IVth Geneva Convention provides:

The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.

Clearly, the deliberate placing of military targets in the heart of civilian areas is a serious violation of humanitarian law, and those who choose to locate such targets in these areas must bear responsibility for the injury to civilians which this decision engenders. As international law expert Professor Yoram Dinstein notes:

Should civilian casualties ensue from an attempt to shield combatants or a military objective, the ultimate responsibility lies with the belligerent placing innocent civilians at risk.

However, it is the IDF's position that the callous disregard of those who hide behind civilians does not absolve the state seeking to respond to such attacks of the responsibility to avoid or at least minimize injury to civilians and their property in the course of its operations. In particular this raises the complex issue of proportionality.

Proportionality

A further legal requirement is that the potential harm to civilians and civilian objects expected in any attack must be proportionate to the military advantage anticipated.

Major General A.P.V. Rogers, a former Director of British Army Legal Services, explains the rationale behind this principle:

Although they are not military objectives, civilians and civilian objects are subject to the general dangers of War in the sense that attacks on military personnel and military objectives may cause incidental damage. It may not be possible to limit the radius of effect entirely to the objective to be attacked Members of the armed forces are not liable for such incidental damage, provided it is proportionate to the military gain expected of the attack.

While the principle is clear, in practice weighing the expected military advantage against possible collateral damage can be an extremely complex, especially in the heat of an armed conflict. In their report to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Committee established to review NATO bombings in Yugoslavia highlighted the particular difficulties which arise when military objectives are located in densely populated areas:

The answers to these questions are not simple. It may be necessary to resolve them on a case by case basis, and the answers may differ depending on the background and values of the decision maker. It is unlikely that a human rights lawyer and an experienced combat commander would assign the same relative values to military advantage and to injury to noncombatants. It is suggested that the determination of relative values must be that of the "reasonable military commander."

The test of proportionality to be applied in a case of armed conflict (jus in bellum) is broader that that applied under the principles of self-defense outside the context of actual warfare (jus ad bellum). But it should be noted that the policies applied in practice by the IDF conformed even with this stricter test of proportionality. In relation to the self-defense standard, it should be recalled that international law provides that the proportionality of a response to an attack is to be measured, not in regard to the specific attack suffered by a state, but in regard to what is necessary to remove the overall threat. As Rosalyn Higgins, currently President of the International Court of Justice,has written, proportionality:

cannot be in relation to any specific prior injury- it has to be in relation to the overall legitimate objective of ending the aggression.

Accordingly, the right of self-defense includes not only acts implemented to prevent the immediate threat, but also to prevent subsequent attacks". In Israel's case this means that its response had to be measured not only in respect to the initial Hizbullah cross-border attack, or even the 4,000 missiles fired at Israel's northern towns and villages, but also against the threat of the tens of thousands of missiles which Hizbullah had amassed and continued to receive from Iran and Syria.

From theory to practice- Israel's operations in Lebanon

Israel has adopted the principles of international humanitarian law outlined above and the IDF has entrenched them in its orders, doctrine and education. With regard to the selection of targets, for example,the IDF's "Law of War on the Battlefield" not only emphasizes that a distinction must be made between military objectives and civilian objects but also that "in cases where there is doubt as to whether a civilian object has turned into a military objective it must be assumed that it is not a military objective unless proven otherwise."

Similarly, in relation to the question of proportionality, the IDF position is clear:

Even when it is not possible to isolate the civilians from an assault and there is no other recourse but to attack, the commander is required to refrain from an attack that is expected to inflict harm on the civilian population, which is disproportionate to the expected military gain.

In practice, this requires that the IDF and the commander in the field assess both the expected military gain, and the potential of collateral injury to Lebanese civilians. With regard to the expected military gain, it should be noted that the relevant advantage is not that of that specific attack but of the military operation as a whole. As the German Military Manual points out:

The term "military advantage" refers to the advantage which can be expected of an attack as a whole and not only of isolated or specific parts of the attack.

The possibility of collateral injury to civilians must be weighed in light of these considerations. Hizbullah's deliberate placing of missile launchers and stockpiles of weapons in the heart of civilian centers, frequently inside and beneath populated apartment blocks, meant that this risk was tragically high.

The presence of civilians in the area, however, does not stop a military objective from being a legitimate target. This is the law, as noted above, and reflected in state practice. Thus, for example, the Australian Defense Force Manual states:

The presence of non-combatants in or around a military objective does not change its nature as a military objective. Non-combatants in the vicinity of a military objective must share the danger to which the military objective is exposed.

Notwithstanding the above, it should be noted that even when civilians were in the vicinity of military objectives, Israel made significant efforts to avoid, and in any event to minimize, civilian casualties. Every operation was considered on an individual basis to ensure that it met the requirements of international law, including the test of proportionality. Frequently, this meant the rejection of proposed military operations when the likelihood of collateral damage to civilians and their property was considered too high. On other occasions, it meant that operations were conducted in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of incidental damage, in terms of the timing or operational aspects of the attack. Finally, whenever possible without jeopardizing the operation, Israel issued advance notice to the local residents through various media, including dropping leaflets, radio broadcasts and contacts with local leaders, to distance themselves from areas in which Hizbullah was operating and from places in which its weaponry was being stored.

Operations against infrastructure used to support terrorist activity

The guiding principle adopted by the IDF was to target only infrastructure that was making a significant contribution to the operational capabilities ofthe Hizbullah terrorists. This meant that, for the most part, Israeli attacks were limited to the transportation infrastructure. Most of the other infrastructure (medical, cultural, railroad, tunnels, ports, banking, manufacturing, farming, tourism, sewage, financial, electricity, drainage, water and the like) was left almost completely untouched.

All IDF operations in Lebanon were directed against legitimate military objectives, and specifically in relation to infrastructure, included the following:

Bridges and roads - The activity of terrorist groups in Lebanon was dependent on major transportation arteries through which weaponry and ammunition, as well as missile launchers and terrorist reinforcements, were transported. Damage to key routeswas intended to prevent or obstruct the planning and perpetrating of attacks by the terrorists. It was also intended to prevent the kidnapped Israeli soldiers from being smuggled out of the country.

Under international law there is widespread recognition that lines of transportation which can serve military purposes are a legitimate military target. In its Commentary on the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) includes in its list of military objectives considered to be of "generally recognized military importance":

"Lines and means of communications (railway lines, roads, bridges, tunnels and canals) which are of fundamental military importance."

A useful practical test for gauging the military importance of lines of transportation is proposed in the US Air Force Pamphlet, which asks "whether they make an effective contribution to an adversary's military action so that their capture, destruction or neutralization offers a definite military advantage in the circumstances ruling at the time."

Notwithstanding the operational justifications for targeting major roads in Lebanon, the IDF took pains to ensure that sufficient routes remained open to enable civilians to leave combat zones and to permit access for humanitarian supplies. Efforts were also made to ensure that damage to civilian vehicles was minimized.

Runways at Beirut International Airport- In the view of the IDF, rendering the runways unusable constituted one of the most important and appropriate methods of preventing reinforcements and supplies of weaponry and military materiel reaching the terrorist organizations. It was also a response to reports that the Hizbullah terrorists intended to fly the kidnapped Israelis out of Lebanon.

Airports are widely recognized to be legitimate military targets. The Canadian Law of Armed Conflict Manual, for example, notes that "ports and airfields are generally accepted as being military objectives" while the ICRC list of generally recognized military objectives includes: "airfields, rocket launching ramps and naval base installations."

It should also be noted that, in its operation at Beirut Airport, the IDF was careful not to damage the central facilities of the airport, including the radar and control towers, allowing the airport to continue to control international flights over its airspace.

Al Manar TV station- Operating as the Hizbullah television station, Al Manar was used to relay messages to terrorists and to incite acts of terrorism. The ICRC list of accepted military objectives includes "the installations of broadcasting and television stations." Similarly, the Committee established to review NATO bombings in Yugoslavia noted in relation to NATO attacks on radio and television stations in Belgrade: "If the media is used to incite crimes then it is a legitimate target Insofar as the attack actually was aimed at disrupting the communications network it was legally acceptable."

Fuel reserves - Terrorist activity is dependent, inter alia, on a regular supply of fuel without which the terrorists cannot operate. For this reason a number of fuel depots which primarily served the terrorist operations were targeted. From intelligence Israel has obtained, it appears that this step had a significant effect on reducing the capability of the terrorist organizations.

The legitimacy of directing attacks on fuel and power installations has been widely noted. The Canadian Law of Armed Conflict Manual, for example, lists "petroleum storage areas" as "generally accepted as being military objectives", while the ICRC list of military objectives also includes "Installations providing energy mainly for national defense, e.g. coal, other fuels, or atomic energy, and plants producing gas or electricity mainly for military consumption."(29)

One of the claimsthat have been made against Israel concerns the oil spill that occurred off the shores of Lebanon during the war. Without making any comment regarding the factual validity of such claims, it should be emphasized that Israel ensuredthatsea and air access was allowed to any assistance offered with regard to the oil spill, even in the midst of a naval and aerial blockade which had to be imposed for operational and security reasons."

Beyond such specific instances of infrastructure serving the Hizbullah terrorist organization, Israel took care to try to avoid damage to civilian structures and services. The effects were noted by Washington Post journalist William M. Arkin who visited Lebanon during the conflict. Regarding the destruction in Beirut he wrote:

Only a very short drive from the neighborhood of southern Beirut though, you are back to bustling boulevards; a few neighborhoods over and there are luxury stores and five star hotels. Beyond the Hizbullah neighborhoods, the city is normal. Electricity flows just as it did before the fighting. The Lebanese sophisticates are glued to their cell phones. Even an international airport that was bombed is reopened. An accurate reading of what happened and what south Beirut means might produce a different picture. Israel has the means to impart greater destruction, but that does not mean intrinsically that it is more brutal. If Hizbullah had bigger rockets or more accurate ones, it would have done not only the same, but undoubtedly more.

Types of weaponry used

In the course of the conflict in Lebanon Israel used a range of weapons and ammunition in its efforts to confront the terrorist threat. All the weapons, and the manner in which they were used by the IDF, were in conformity with international humanitarian law. Among the types of weaponry used were Cluster Munitions (CBUs). Such weapons are not prohibited by international law- neither under customary international law, nor under the Conventional Weapons Convention, to which Israel is party. They are possessed by several dozen states and have been used by many of them.

Clearly, as in the case of all arms, the use of cluster munitions must be in accordance with the principles of the law of armed conflict. In the course of the conflict, CBUs were used as part of Israel's response to the unique threat posed by Hizbullah. In particular, the nature of the campaign, the massive scope of missile attacks- including CBU attacks - against Israeli population centers, and the fact that missile launchers were deliberately and expertly camouflaged in built-up areas and areas with dense vegetation, were all factors in the decision to use thistype of weapon. The decision to use CBUs to neutralize the missile attacks was only made after other options had been examined and found to be less effective in ensuring maximal coverage of the missile-launching areas. In practice, the operational effectiveness of CBUs was clearly shown, resulting in a disruption of missile attacks against Israeli population centers.

Despite the urgent need to prevent the continuous firing of missiles into Israel by Hizbullah, Israel recognized the need to take measures to avoid, and in any event to minimize, civilian casualties. Among the measures taken by Israel was the printing of millions of fliers, written in Arabic, which were dispersed over populated areas, explaining that due to Hizbullah activity, residents should evacuate these areas in order to avoid being hurt. These messages were also broadcast through PA systems and through radio broadcasts on the Al-Mashrek station, broadcasting out of Israel in Arabic. Additionally, Israeli officials contacted the mayors and local leaders of a number of villages in order to ensure the evacuation of residents.

All CBU fire was directed at legitimate military objectives and for humanitarian reasons most of the CBU fire was directed at open areas, keeping a safe distance from built up areas. In those cases where CBU fire was directed at military objectives which were in the vicinity of built up areas, it was always toward particular locations from which missiles were being launched against Israel, and after significant measures were taken to warn civilians to leave the area. Moreover, following the cessation of active hostilities, Israel handed over to UNIFIL maps of the areas suspected of containing unexploded ordnance, including from CBUs, in order to facilitate the ordnance clearing process.

Humanitarian issues

In the course of the conflict, numerous acute humanitarian issues arose. Despite the ongoing conflict, Israel sought to find practical and effective ways to address these issues and to alleviate suffering.

These efforts included steps taken to facilitate access of humanitarian assistance to civilians within Lebanon. An operations room was set up in northern Tel Aviv to coordinate international efforts to provide aid to Lebanon. This facility was headed by senior IDF staff and manned by representatives of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

At the same time Israel established a "humanitarian corridor" to enable shipments of aid to reach Lebanon despite the ongoing hostilities. A sea-route to Lebanon was established through the port in Beirut, and a land route was designated from Beirut northward along the coast to the Syrian-Lebanese border. Throughout the hostilities, Israel coordinated humanitarian issues with the international community, even expanding the corridor to include other points of entry, and establishing a special 'humanitarian headquarters' to direct the coordination efforts. In addition, Israel made arrangements to permit the landing of aircraft at Beirut International Airport to unload humanitarian goods for residents of southern Lebanon.

Another issue of humanitarian concern was the evacuation of foreign nationals from Lebanon. From the very first day of the war, the IDF helped coordinate the evacuation of at least 70,000 foreign nationals from Lebanon. To the best of our knowledge, this effort was accomplished without any loss of life. A total of 213 passenger ships, 123 land convoys and 196 helicopters were allowed to dock in or travel through Lebanon to evacuate the expatriates and tourists. The convoys were able to travel on approved routes, which were coordinated with IDF forces.

Israeli hospitals also offered free medical care to any Lebanese person who was wounded in the war. In the words of Professor Zev Rothstein, Director-Generalof the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer:

We are not to blame for this war. We don't ask who is to blame. We have an open Jewish heart. Our aim is to save lives and reduce misery. We don't hate like the terrorists.We have housing for Lebanese families and food at no cost.We will take all who need us, including adults.all the costs are paid by donorsif a child were brought here, we would not ask whether his father is a terrorist.

This offer was broadcast via a hospital representative in Cyprus due to the fact that many Lebanese fled there, and was alsobroadcast on Arabic radio stations in the region.

Conclusion

Israel's military operations in Lebanon took place in the context of a clear asymmetry with regard to the implementation of principles of international humanitarian law: Hizbullah, in clear violation of these principles, deliberately targeted Israeli civilians, while attempting to use the cover of civilians and civilian structures in order to stockpile its weapons, hide its fighters and fire missiles into Israel. Israel, on the other hand, held itself bound to apply the principles of humanitarian law, even while facing an opponent who deliberately flouted them.

In doing so, Israel took pains to ensure that its operations were directed against legitimate military targets and that in conducting its operations incidental damage to civilians was kept to a minimum, both by ruling out attacks which would cause disproportionate damage and by giving advance notice wherever possible. A survey of international practice suggests that the steps taken by Israel to address humanitarian considerations corresponded to, and often were more stringent than, those taken by many western democracies confronting similar or lesser threats.

The suffering of civilians was a tragic reality on both sides of the conflict. Israel made strenuous efforts to reduce this toll, both by protecting Israeli civilians and by seeking to minimize civilian suffering on the Lebanese side. Following the conflict, Israel has also undertaken numerous investigations and analyses with a view to learning lessons from the conflict and to enabling improvements to be made in the future. Israel's efforts in this regard should not, however, diminish the ultimate responsibility of those who callously and deliberately used the Lebanese civilian population as a shield, for the suffering that inevitably resulted from their actions.

[1] Israeli authorities have not provided a total figure of their strikes against Lebanon. According to the assessment of UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC), Israeli aerial and ground strikes during the first weeks of the war used up to 3,000 bombs, rockets and artillery rounds daily, with the number rising to 6,000 towards the end of the war. See http://www.maccsl.org/War%202006.htm.

[2]Hanan Greenberg, "Halutz: In the next speech Nasrallah will consider his words very well", (חלוץ: בנאום הבא נסראללהיחשוב טוב על מילותיו), Ynet News, July 24, 2006, http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3280528,00.html (accessed November 6, 2006).

[3] See Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Law of War Violations and the Use of Weapons on the Israel-Lebanon Border (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996); Human Rights Watch, Operation Grapes of Wrath: the Civilian Victims (New York: Human Rights Watch: 1997).

[4] See Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Law of War Violations and the Use of Weapons on the Israel-Lebanon Border (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996), p. 92.

[5] Statement by Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Israel's Permanent Representative to the UN, during the open debate on "The Situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question," UN Security Council, New York, July 21, 2006, U.N. doc. S/PV.5493.

[6] The UN Mine Action Coordination Centre South Lebanon (MACC SL) has estimated that Israel fired cluster munitions containing as many as 4 million submunitions into 36.6 square kilometers of Lebanon, including 4.3 square kilometers of urban areas and 4.7 square kilometers of olive groves, hitting 916 separate strike sites. MACC SL, May 2007 Report of the Mine Action Coordination Center South Lebanon, June 5, 2007, p. 1, http://www.maccsl.org/reports/Monthly%20Reports/Monthly%202007/Monthly%20Report%20May%2007.pdf (accessed July 17, 2007); United Nations Development Programme, CBU Contamination by Land Use, current as of November 29, 2006. MACC SL, "War 2006: 916 Cluster Bombs Strikes Map as at June 20, 2007," http://www.maccsl.org/War%202006.htm (accessed July 17, 2007).

[7] "Israel's Response to Accusations of Targeting Civilian Sights [sic] in Lebanon During the 'Second Lebanon War'," document contained in e-mail communication from Gil Haskel, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Human Rights Watch, May 8, 2007 in response to a Human Rights Watch letter to Defense Minister Amir Peretz sent January 8, 2007.

[8] MACC SL, South Lebanon Cluster Bomb Info Sheet as at November 4, 2006, http://www.maccsl.org/reports/Leb%20UXO%20Fact%20Sheet%204%20November,%202006.pdf (accessed March 18, 2007). As of June 5, 2007, MACC SL's contractors, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) engineers, and the Lebanese Armed Forces had cleared and destroyed more than 118,700 dud submunitions. MACC SL, May 2007 Report of the Mine Action Coordination Center South Lebanon.

[9] UN Mine Action Coordination Centre South Lebanon, Casualties (Civilian and Demining) in South Lebanon from 14 Aug 06 - 20 June 07, http://www.maccsl.org/reports/Victims/Casualties%20Tables.pdf(accessed July 16, 2007).

[10] "Israel says world backs offensive," BBC News Online, July 27, 2006.

[11] Hamza Hendawi, "Israel Targeting Hezbollah Infrastructure," Associated Press, July 26, 2006.

[12] While the term "war crime" is colloquially used to mean any particularly heinous laws of war violation by a person or warring party, Human Rights Watch uses the term in its technical legal sense. A war crime is a serious violation of certain rules of international humanitarian law committed with criminal intent (that is, intentionally or recklessly) by an individual. War crimes are enshrined in applicable treaties, such as the grave breaches provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1977 Additional Protocols and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and in customary international humanitarian law.

[13] Human Rights Watch has published a separate report on Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel in violation of the humanitarian law prohibitions against deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, titled Civilians under Assault: Hezbollah's Rocket Attacks on Israel during the 2006 War.

[14] International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Geneva: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1987) pp. 681-82.

[15] ICRC, Commentary on the Additional Protocols, pp. 694.

[16] See Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) of 8 June 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 3, entered into force December 7, 1978, article 58(a).

[17] International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Customary International Humanitarian Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) p. 76.

[18] Article 44 of Protocol I provides that "to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack." However, Israel is not a party to Protocol I and article 44 is not considered reflective of customary international law.

[19] Protocol I, article 48.

[20] Protocol I, article 50(1).

[21] See Amnesty International, Deliberate Destruction or "Collateral Damage"?: Israeli Atacks on Civilian Infrastructure (London: Amnesty International, August 2006); InfoPro Center for Economic Information, Economic Impact of the July 06 War and Steps Towards Recovery (Beirut: InfoPro, 2006); American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute, Eyewitness Lebanon July-August 2006: An International Law Inquiry (Washington, DC: ADC-RI, June 2007).

[22] Human Rights Watch, Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks against Civilians in Lebanon (New York: 2006), p. 4.

[23] Human Rights Watch approached Israeli officials on a number of instances: (i) meeting on August 8, 2006 with representatives from the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Justice, IDF's legal office, (ii) meeting on August 9, 2006 with head of the strategic planning unit of the IDF intelligence, (iii) meeting on February 26, 2007 with Gil Haskal, head of NGO section at IDF. We also sent a detailed letter on January 8, 2007 to Defense Minister Amir Peretz requesting detailed information about its targeting practices.

[24] Common Article 2 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

[25] See Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua, Nicaragua v. United States, Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 14, June 27, 1986 (for a state to have legal responsibility for the perpetration of acts in violation of international law by a non-state armed group, it would "have to be proved that that State had effective control of the military or paramilitary operations in the course of which the alleged violations were committed") para. 115; see also, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Prosecutor v. Dusko Tadic, case no. IT-94-1-A (judgment), July 15, 1999 ("a conflict is international in nature where a state exercises overall control over subordinate armed forces or militias or paramilitary units engaged in armed conflict with another state. The control required for those powers to be considered de facto state organs goes beyond the mere financing and equipping and involves also participation in the planning and supervision of military operations. However, it is not required that specific orders or instructions relating to single military actions be issued").

[26]According to Marco Sassoli, "more controversially, the law of international armed conflicts applies when a state is directing hostilities against a transnational armed group on the territory of another state without the agreement of the latter state (e.g., Israel in Lebanon in 2006, if we consider the acts of Hezbollah to not be attributable to Lebanon)." Marco Sassoli, "Transnational Armed Groups and International Humanitarian Law," Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, Winter 2006, p. 5; but see, Kenneth Anderson, "Is the Israel-Hezbollah conflict an international armed conflict?" July 14, 2006, accessed at http://kennethandersonlawofwar.blogspot.com/2006/07/is-israel-hezbollah-conflict.html ("the Israel-Hezbollah conflict is not, on first pass, an international one, because Hezbollah, while a party to a conflict, is not a party to the Geneva Conventions.")

[27] Depending on the status of Hezbollah forces, legal issues could arise as to whether Hezbollah fighters may be subject to lawful attack as combatants or as civilians "directly participating in hostilities."

[28]Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Annexed Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 18 October 1907 (Hague Regulations), 3 Martens Nouveau Recueil (ser. 3) 461, 187 Consol. T.S. 227, entered into force January 26, 1910. Israel, like many states established after the Second World War, is not party to the Hague Regulations.

[29] Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) of 8 June 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 3, entered into force December 7, 1978. Israel is not party to Protocol I. Under article 96 of Protocol I, non-state actors may commit, under certain specific circumstances, to apply the Geneva Conventions and the protocols if they declare their willingness to do so to the Swiss government. The Palestinian Authority has never made a declaration under article 96.

[30] See Yorem Dinstein, The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 10-11 (the "Hague Convention (IV) of 1907 has acquired over the years the lineaments of customary international law" and "[m]uch of the Protocol may be regarded as declaratory of customary international law, or at least as non-controversial.") See generally ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law.

[31] One important difference relates to reprisals, which are permitted in very limited circumstances during international armed conflicts but not in non-international armed conflicts.

[32] Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) of 8 June 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 3, entered into force December 7, 1978. Israel is not party to Protocol I. Under article 96 of Protocol I, non-state actors may commit, under certain specific circumstances, to apply the Geneva Conventions and the protocols if they declare their willingness to do so to the Swiss government.

[33]Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Annexed Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 18 October 1907 (Hague Regulations), 3 Martens Nouveau Recueil (ser. 3) 461, 187 Consol. T.S. 227, entered into force January 26, 1910. Israel, like many states established after the Second World War, is not party to the Hague Regulations.

[34] See generally ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law.

[35] Protocol I, articles 48, 51(2), 52(2).

[36] Additional Protocol I, article 48.

[37] Additional Protocol I, article 52(1).

[38] Additional Protocol I, Article 52(2).

[39] Henckaerts and Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law, rule 8, citing military manuals and official statements.

[40] Protocol I, article 51(4).

[41] See Additional Protocol I, article 51(5)(a).

[42] Additional Protocol I, article 51(5)(b).

[43] ICRC, Commentary on the Additional Protocols, p. 684.

[44] AdditionalProtocol I, article 57.

[45] Protocol I, article 52(3).

[46] Protocol I, article 57(2).

[47] Protocol I, article 57(2).

[48] Protocol I, article 57(2).

[49] Protocol I, article 57(3).

[50] Protocol I, article 58(b).

[51] Protocol I, article 58(a).

[52] Protocol I, article 57(7).

[53] Protocol I, Articles 57, 58.

[54] See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, p. 554.

[55] See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, rule 153.

[56] "Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (For the period from 21 January 2006 to 18 July 2006)," 21 July 2006, UN document S/2006/560.

[57] Ibid.; Nicholas Blanford, "Hizbollah and the IDF: Accepting New Realities Along the Blue Line," The MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 6, Summer 2006. See also Amos Harel, "Hezbollah kills 8 soldiers, kidnaps two in offensive on northern border," Haaretz, July 13, 2006.

[58] Hezbollah claims that Israel held four Lebanese prisoners (including one Israeli citizen of Lebanese descent) prior to the 2006 conflict; Israel acknowledges holding only two of the men. Samir Qantar, a Lebanese citizen whose name is the most often invoked by Hezbollah, is currently serving several life sentences in an Israeli prison for the murder of a policeman and a father and his four-year-old daughter in Nahariya in 1979, during an attack he carried out as a member of the Palestine Liberation Front. Following the "Operation Truthful Promise" abductions, Hezbollah member of Parliament `Ali `Ammar immediately linked the abductions of the Israeli soldiers to Qantar's release. See "Lebanese Hezbollah TV Talk Show Discusses Implications of Operation," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, January 13, 2006. An Israeli court in 2002 convicted a second prisoner, Nissim Nasir, an Israeli citizen of Lebanese descent, of spying on Israel. Hezbollah also claims that Israel is holding Yehia Skaff, a Lebanese citizen who is believed to have taken part, as a member of Abu Jihad's Fatah organization, in the March 1978 hijacking of a civilian bus north of Tel Aviv that resulted in the deaths of at least 35 Israeli civilians. Israel has always denied holding Skaff, but Hezbollah claims that Lebanese prisoners have seen Skaff alive in Israeli prisons. Hezbollah also claims that a fourth person, `Ali Faratan, is in Israeli custody, although Israel denies this. Faratan is a Lebanese fisherman who disappeared off the southern coast of Lebanon in 2001; his boat was later found with blood stains and bullet marks, making it likely that he was shot at sea. Israel is also believed to hold the bodies of approximately 45 Lebanese fighters killed prior to the conflict. Rym Ghazal, "Thirty-four days of war for four men: Who Are They?," Daily Star (Lebanon), September 11, 2006.

[59] For an overview of the Sheba` Farm dispute, see Asher Kaufman, "Size Does Not Matter: The Sheba` Farms in History and Contemporary Politics," The MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 6, Summer 2006.

[60] Chris McGreal, "Capture of Soldiers Was 'Act of War' Says Israel,"TheGuardian, July 13, 2006.

[61] Human Rights Watch press release, "Gaza/Israel/Lebanon: Release the hostages," July 5, 2007. The International Convention against the Taking of Hostages (1979) in article 1 defines hostage-taking as the seizure or detention of a person (the hostage), combined with threatening to kill or injure or continue to detain the hostage, in order to compel a third party to do or refrain from doing something as a condition for the hostage's release. The various provisions of international humanitarian law that prohibit hostage-taking do not limit the offense to the taking of civilians, but apply it to the taking of any person. See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, p. 336.

[62]In 2004, Israel negotiated a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah after the latter kidnapped Elhanan Tannenbaum, an Israeli businessman and former IDF colonel, and the bodies of three IDF soldiers. Ian Fisher and Greg Myre, "Israel and Hezbollah Trade Prisoners and War Dead in Flights to and from Germany," The New York Times, January 30, 2004.

[63] Statement of Prime Minister Olmert, July 12, 2006.

[64] Conal Urquhart, "Lebanon under Siege from Israel," The Guardian, July 13, 2006.

[65] Chris McGreal, "Capture of Soldiers Was 'Act of War' Says Israel,"The Guardian, July 13, 2006.

[66] "Chief of General Staff: 'We have no intention of hurting Syria or the Citizens of Lebanon," Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, July 28, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/Chief+of+Staff+Halutz-+No+intention+of+hurting+Syria+or+citizens+of+Lebanon+27-Jul-2006.htm (accessed March 28, 2007).

[67] "IDF Spokesman: Hizbullah attack on northern border and IDF response," Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, July 12, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/Hizbullah+attack+on+northern+border+and+IDF+response+12-Jul-2006.htm (accessed March 28, 2007).

[68] IDF Spokesperson, "IDF targets runways and fuel tanks at the Beirut airport," July 14, 2006, http://www1.idf.il/DOVER/site/mainpage.asp?clr=1&sl=EN&id=7&docid=54362 (accessed March 28, 2007).

[69] Scott Wilson, "Israeli War Plan Had no Exit Strategy: Forecast of 'Diminishing Returns' in Lebanon Fractured Unity in Cabinet," Washington Post, October 21, 2006 ("Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, Israel's chief of staff, set [the conventional IDF plan for a ground invasion] aside. Instead, Halutz, the first air force general to lead the military, emphasized air power. He hoped aerial assaults would encourage Lebanon's Sunni Muslim and Christian populations to turn against Hezbollah.")

[70] For Israel's strategy during its 1993 and 1996 armed conflicts with Hezbollah, see Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Laws of War Violations and the Use of Weapons on the Israel-Lebanon Border (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996) and Operation Grapes of Wrath: the Civilian Victims (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1997). In the 93 war, we noted in Civilian Pawns ,Israel tried to make it difficult for Hezbollah to operate in southern Lebanon "by deliberately inflicting serious damage on villages in southern Lebanon, through massive shelling which would raise the cost to the population of permitting Hizballah to live and operate in its midst." (pg 4) Similarly in 1996, we noted in Grapes of Wrath that Israel again sought "to affect a massive displacement of the civilian population in south Lebanon..." as "a means of exerting pressure on the Lebanese government to disarm the guerrilla forces" (pg 3).

[71] In addition to the deaths, Hezbollah rockets also caused 33 severe injuries, 68 moderate injuries, and 1,388 light injuries among Israeli civilians, and an additional 2,773 Israeli civilians were treated for shock.

[72] The deputy secretary general of Hezbollah, Na`im Qassem, credits military secrecy as the "key to success" to Hezbollah's military strategy. Qassem, Hizbollah: The Story from Within, p. 69-70.

[73] Hezbollah's popular support is reflected in the massive turnout for its rallies. Media outlets estimated the attendance at Hezbollah's "Victory Rally" on September 22, 2006 in the hundreds of thousands.

[74] See Protocol I, article 58(c).

[75] See Protocol I, article 58(b).

[76] See Protocol I, article 58(a).

[77] APV Rogers, Law on the Battlefield (Manchster: Mancester University Press, second edition, 2004) p. 123.

[78] Human Rights Watch interview (name, place, and date withheld, on file at Human Rights Watch).

[79] Human Rights Watch interview (name, place, and date withheld, on file at Human Rights Watch).

[80] Ibid.

[81] Human Rights Watch interview (name, place, and date withheld, on file at Human Rights Watch).

[82] Human Rights Watch interview (name, place, and date withheld, on file at Human Rights Watch).

[83] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Beirut, August 14, 2006.

[84] Ibid.

[85] Nicholas Blanford, "Hizbollah and the IDF: Accepting New Realities Along the Blue Line," The MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 6, Summer 2006; Jonathan Finer, "Israeli Soldiers Find a Tenacious Foe in Hizbullah," The Washington Post, August 8, 2006

[86] Nicholas Blanford, "Inside Hizballah's Hidden Bunkers," Time Magazine, March 29, 2007, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1604529,00.html (accessed April 3, 2007); "Hunting for Hezbollah," BBC This World, May 31, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/this_world/6701117.stm (accessed June 11, 2007).

[87] Human Rights Watch interview, (name withheld), `Ain Ebel, August 20, 2006.

[88] Interview with al-Manar television, August 17, 2006, cited by Blanford, "Hizbollah and the IDF: Accepting New Realities Along the Blue Line," The MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies.

[89] In our earlier report, Fatal Strikes, Human Rights Watch did not have information about Hezbollah firing from the area. A witness quoted by Human Rights Watch for that report stated "To my knowledge, Hezbollah was not operating in the area, but I can't be 100 percent sure because we were sleeping. There is a road near the house that Hezbollah could of course use to move around, but it was late and we were asleep in the shelter." Fatal Strikes, pp. 24-25.

[90] This survivor had remained in the border village of `Aitaroun after the attack, and Human Rights Watch was unable to travel to `Aitaroun during the war because of the ongoing fighting in the area. Hence, the information provided by the survivor was not available to Human Rights Watch at the time of the publication of Fatal Strikes.

[91] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[92] Human Rights Watch interview with Manal Hassan `Alawiyya, Beirut, July 23, 2006.

[93] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[94] Human Rights Watch interview with villager (name withheld), Yaroun, September 25, 2006.

[95] Human Rights Watch interview with Hezbollah militant, Zebqine, September 15, 2006.

[96] Human Rights Watch interview with Hezbollah militant, Zebqine, September 15, 2006.

[97] Human Rights Watch interview with Hajj Abduljalil Salman Nasr, Hadatha, September 14, 2006.

[98] Human Rights Watch interview with Hezbollah officer (name withheld), Hadatha, October 23, 2006.

[99] Ibid. The municipal official claimed to Human Rights Watch that there was a danger from unexploded ordinance in the area, but the repeated calls from the Hezbollah official to ensure Human Rights Watch was not proceeding to the attack site strongly suggests that there were destroyed rocket launchers, rockets, or a field position at the site.

[100] Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Muhammed Nasser, `Ain B`al, September 22, 2006.

[101] Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain `Ali Kiki, `Ain B`al, September 22, 2006.

[102] Human Rights Watch interview with owners of guest house (names withheld), Mansouri, September 2006.

[103] Human Rights Watch interview with Salih Ramez Karashet, Hammoud Hospital, Saida, September 22, 2006.

[104] Blanford, "Hizbollah and the IDF: Accepting New Realities Along the Blue Line," The MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies.

[105] Human Rights Watch interview with demining official (name withheld), Tyre, September 14, 2006.

[106] Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, "Hizbullah's Exploitation of Lebanese Population Centers and Civilians: Photographic Evidence," http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2006/Operation+Change+of+Direction+Video+Clips.htm (accessed October 24, 2006). The video footage presented on the website, of a single incident, does not support such a sweeping statement. The footage in question, moreover, is suggestive but inconclusive even with respect to the specific incident depicted: the video shows Hezbollah fighters firing rockets from buildings, but does not answer the question of whether the buildings were inhabited by civilians at the time or were located in populated areas.

[107] IDF Spokesperson, "Completion of Inquiry into July 30th Incident in Qana," August 3, 2006, http://www1.idf.il/DOVER/site/mainpage.asp?sl=EN&id=7&docid=55484.EN (accessed April 4, 2007).

[108] IDF Spokesperson, "Warnings dropped to Protect Southern Lebanese civilians," July 19, 2006, http://www1.idf.il/DOVER/site/mainpage.asp?sl=EN&id=7&docid=54602.EN (accessed April 4, 2007).

[109] CNN, "The Situation Room," broadcast of July 19, 2006, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0607/19/sitroom.03.html (accessed April 4, 2007).

[110] Protocol I, article 51(7); see also Fourth Geneva Convention, article 28.

[111] The evidence presented by those arguing Hezbollah engaged in systematic shielding (and that these shielding practices were primarily responsible for the large number of civilian casualties) is often flimsy. For example, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz has offered eight "credible news sources" that reported incidents of the use of civilian shields by Hezbollah. Alan Dershowitz, "What is 'Human Rights Watch' Watching?", Jerusalem Post, August 24, 2006. A close examination of those eight "credible news stories" provides almost no evidence; several of the news stories simply report second-hand information or the views of people who were not in Lebanon during the conflict. See Aryeh Neier, "The Attack on Human Rights Watch," New York Review of Books, November 2, 2006.

[112] See, for example, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, article 8(2)(b)(xxiii) (prohibiting use of human shields.)

[113] See Human Rights Watch, Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq (Human Rights Watch, 2003), pp. 67-69.

[114] See, for example, Sabrina Tavernise, "Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah," The New York Times, July 28, 2006; Michael Totten, "The Siege of Ain Ebel," http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001361.html (accessed on February 1, 2007); US Newswire, "Hezbollah is Using Christian Villages to Shield its Military Operations in Violation of International Law, Says CSI" [CSI stands for Christian Solidarity International], August 2, 2006; Mark MacKinnon, "Christian villagers have nowhere to run; Caught between warring sides, many stay to protect their historic home," The Globe and Mail (Toronto), August 2, 2006.

[115] Tavernise, "Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah," The New York Times.

[116] Totten, "The Siege of Ain Ebel."

[117] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Ain Ebel, August 20, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Ain Ebel, December 28, 2006.

[118] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Ain Ebel, August 20, 2006. See also testimony in Totten, "The Siege of Ain Ebel."

[119] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Ain Ebel, August 20, 2006.

[120] Human Rights Watch interviews (names withheld), `Ain Ebel, December 28, 2006.

[121] Ibid. See also testimony in Totten, "The Siege of Ain Ebel," to the effect that no one died in the attack.

[122] Human Rights Watch interviews (names withheld), `Ain Ebel, December 28, 2006.

[123] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Ain Ebel, December 28, 2006.

[124] Human Rights Watch interview with `Adil `Amar, Mukhtar of Mashghara, September 9, 2006.

[125] Human Rights Watch interview with Michel Habbush, Mashghara, September 9, 2006.

[126] See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, p. 112.

[127]See Protocol I, article 51(7), "The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour, or impede military operations."

[128] UNIFIL press statements were issued each afternoon during the conflict, and covered the previous 24 hours of the conflict. Hence, the press release of July 20 would cover the period of the afternoon of July 19 up to the afternoon of July 20.

[129] UNIFIL, "Press Release," July 20, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr04.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[130] UNIFIL, "Press Release," July 26, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr010.pdf ((accessed April 4, 2007).

[131] UNIFIL, "Press Release," July 27, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr011.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[132] UNIFIL, "Press Release," July 28, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr012.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[133] UNIFIL, "Press Release," July 29, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr013.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[134] UNIFIL, "Press Release," July 30, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr014.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[135] UNIFIL, "Press Release," July 31, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr015.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[136] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 1, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr016.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[137] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 2, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr017.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[138] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 3, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr018.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[139] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 4, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr019.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[140] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 5, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr020.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[141] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 6, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr021.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[142] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 7, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr022.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[143] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 8, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr023.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[144] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 9, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr024.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[145] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 10, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr025.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[146] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 11, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr026.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[147] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 12, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr027.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[148] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 13, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr028.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[149] UNIFIL, "Press Release," August 14, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr029.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[150] An analysis of IDF attacks on UNIFIL is included in Section VIII, under the subheading "Killing of Four UN Observers, Khiam, July 25."

[151] See for example, Greg Myre, "Wounded Israelis tell of a tough, elusive enemy: Unexpectedly fierce ground battles," The New York Times, August 11, 2006 (quoting an IDF captain who spent four days in Bint Jbeil commenting on Hezbollah: "They work in small units or two or three men. They wear civilian clothes. You don't see them, you just see their fire."); Mark MacKinnon, "In birthplace of Hezbollah, support builds as bombs fall; Staunch 'reservists' stay after tourists, bureaucrats flee," The Globe and Mail (Toronto), August 9, 2006 (describing reserve Hezbollah fighters that he met in Baalbek: "They carried no obvious weapons, but kept in touch with unseen others over constantly crackling walkie-talkies. Though dressed in civilian clothes, they were Hezbollah security men"); Bassem Mroue, "AP Blog: Reports From Mideast Conflict, August 12, 2006," Associated Press Newswire (recounting how "several Hezbollah members, all in civilian clothes with blue or beige caps and carrying walkie talkies, showed up and asked us to follow them"); The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, "Hizballah at War: a Military Assessment," December 2006, p. 5: ("In general-but not exclusively-Hizballah's fighting units were squad-sized elements of seven to 10 men At the lower levels, fighters made use of two-way radios for communication within the villages and between isolated fighting positions.")

[152] See for example, Nicholas Blanford, "Hezbollah fighters emerge from rubble as refugees defy curfew to head home," The Times (London), August 15, 2006 (describing a Hezbollah fighter: "He wore a sweat shirt and khaki-coloured trousers rather than the camouflage uniform normally worn by Hezbollah fighters in the field. Some of his companions wore combat trousers and boots, lending them a paramilitary appearance.")

[153] Article 44 of Protocol I provides that "to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack." However, Israel is not a party to Protocol I and article 44 is not considered reflective of customary international law.

[154] Protocol I, article 48.

[155] Protocol I, article 50(1).

[156] Human Rights Watch approached Israeli officials on a number of instances: (i) meeting on August 8, 2006 with representatives from the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Justice, IDF's legal office, (ii) meeting on August 9, 2006 with head of the strategic planning unit of the IDF intelligence, (iii) meeting on February 26, 2007 with Gil Haskal, head of NGO section at IDF. We also sent a detailed letter on January 8, 2007 to Defense Minister Amir Peretz requesting detailed information about the IDF's targeting practices.

[157] IDF Spokesperson, "Chief of General Staff: 'We have no intention of hurting Syria or the Citizens of Lebanon," July 28, 2006, http://www1.idf.il/DOVER/site/mainpage.asp?sl=EN&id=7&docid=55255.EN (accessed October 17, 2006). Four days earlier, on July 24, Halutz had commented that Bint Jbeil was a "Hezbollah symbol," Ynet News, http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3280528,00.html (accessed November 6, 2006).

[158]Itamar Inbari and Amir Buchbut, "IDF: Hezbollah did not shoot down an Israeli airplane" (צה"ל: חיזבאללה לא הפיל מטוס ישראלי), NRG News, July 17, 2006, http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/450/601.html (accessed June 4, 2007).

[159]Greenberg, "Halutz: In the next speech Nasrallah will consider his words very well",Ynet News, http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3280528,00.html (accessed November 6, 2006).

[160] See Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Law of War Violations and the Use of Weapons on the Israel-Lebanon Border (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996); Human Rights Watch, Operation Grapes of Wrath: the Civilian Victims (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1997).

[161] See Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Law of War Violations and the Use of Weapons on the Israel-Lebanon Border (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996), p. 92.

[162]"Israel says world backs offensive," BBC News Online, July 27, 2006.

[163]Amos Harel and Aluf Benn, "Security Cabinet Okays Mass Call-up of Reservists" Haaretz Online, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=743489.

[164] See Protocol I, article 57(2)(c).

[165] See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, p. 65 ("State practice indicates that all obligations with respect to the principle of distinction and the conduct of hostilities remain applicable even if civilians remain in the zone of operations after a warning has been issued. Threats that all remaining civilians would be considered liable to attack have been condemned and withdrawn.").

[166] "Israel's Deputy UN Ambassador Defends Israel's Attacks on Lebanon: 'We Cannot For Sure Prove That All Of The Civilians In Southern Lebanon Were Purely Innocent,'" Democracy Now!, August 24, 2006, http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/24/1425218 (accessed April 4, 2007).

[167] See, for example, Rogers, Law on the battlefield, p. 100.

[168] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Isma`il `Abdullah, Marwahin, August 19, 2006.

[169]Humanitarian agencies stressed throughout the war that there were no safe passage corridors for humanitarians or for fleeing civilians. Christopher Stokes, the director of Lebanon operations for Medecins Sans Frontieres, stated on July 31: "For many days, the concept of humanitarian corridors has been used to mask the reality: it is impossible to get safe access to the villages in the south. The so-called corridor is a kind of alibi because in effect there is no real access for humanitarian organizations in the south. And the international community is deluding itself, if it believes it." MSF Field News, "Christopher Stokes, MSF Director of Operations: Humanitarian corridor into south Lebanon is a delusion," July 31, 2006. Jakob Kellenberger, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, stated on August 10: "The time for improved access is long overdue. Even life-saving, emergency evacuations so desperately needed are, at best, delayed for days. We also face enormous obstacles to bringing in aid convoys loaded with essential foodstuffs, water and medicines for trapped civilians." ICRC press release, "ICRC President insists on improved access to southern Lebanon," August 10, 2006.The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that "Many people are simply unable to leave southern Lebanon because they have no transport, because roads have been destroyed, because they are ill or elderly, because they must care for others who are physically unable to make the journey, or because they simply have nowhere to go." UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, "High Commissioner for Human Rights condemns killings of civilians in Qana, South Lebanon," July 31, 2006, http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/middle_east/unhchr.htm (accessed April 6, 2007).

[170] Human Rights Watch interview with Husam Ibrahim Haidar, `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[171] The July 25 flyer had a drawing of a Hezbollah cleric hiding behind a bound Lebanese family with an airplane flying overhead, and stated "He who says he is protecting you, is really robbing you." The message on the flyer continued (emphasis in original):

To all citizens south of the Litani River

Due to the terror activities being carried out against the State of Israel from within your villages and homes, the IDF is forced to respond immediately against these activities, even within your villages.

For your safety!!!

We call upon you to evacuate your villages and move north of the Litani River.

The State of Israel

[172] UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon, Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon, (Geneva: November 2006), para. 156.

[173] Human Rights Watch interview with Sa`da Deeb Nur al-Din, al-Ghassaniyeh, September 18, 2006.

[174] Israeli authorities have not provided a total figure of their strikes against Lebanon. According to the assessment of UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC), Israeli aerial and ground strikes during the first weeks of the war used up to 3,000 bombs, rockets and artillery rounds daily, with the number rising to 6,000 towards the end of the war. See http://www.maccsl.org/War%202006.htm.

[175] See Rogers, Law on the Battlefield, pp. 68-69 (land as a military objective subject to attack).

[176] Yorem Dinstein, The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 92.

[177] Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, "The Northern Command Ran Out of Targets," Haaretz, April 2, 2007.

[178] Hamza Hendawi, "Israel Targeting Hezbollah Infrastructure," Associated Press, July 26, 2006.

[179] Statement by Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Israel's Permanent Representative to the UN, during the open debate on "The Situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question," UN Security Council, New York, July 21, 2006, U.N. doc. S/PV.5493.

[180]Eli Ashkenazi, Ran Reznick, Jonathan Lis, and Jack Khoury, "The Day After: The War in Numbers," Haaretz, August 18, 2006. Israeli authorities have not provided a total figure of their strikes in Lebanon, including the artillery barrage against villages in the south. According to the assessment of the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC), Israeli aerial and ground strikes during the first weeks of the war used up to 3,000 bombs, rockets and artillery rounds daily, with the number rising to 6,000 towards the end of the war. See http://www.maccsl.org/War%202006.htm.

[181] Human Rights Watch visits to Dahieh, July 23, 2006; July 26, 2006; August 8, 2006, August 9, 2006; September 5, 2006; September 16, 2006; October 4, 2006; October 6, 2006; October 30, 2006; November 7, 2006.

[182] Jad Mouawad and Steve Erlanger, "Ferocity Raised on Fifth Day of Conflict," The New York Times, July 17, 2006.

[183] Yaakov Katz, "High-ranking officer: Halutz ordered retaliation policy," Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2006. The IDF spokesperson's office later released two statements disputing the allegations.

[184] Protocol I, article 52(2).

[185] IDF Spokesperson, Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon, July 13, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/IDF+operations+against+Hizbullah+in+Lebanon+13-Jul-2006.htm.

[186] Human Rights Watch similarly found that a NATO air strike on the Serbian radio and television headquarters in Belgrade during the 1999 Kosovo conflict was unlawful, concluding: "While stopping such propaganda may serve to demoralize the Yugoslav population and undermine the government's political support, neither purpose offers the 'concrete and direct' military advantage necessary to make them a legitimate military target." Human Rights Watch letter to NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, May 13, 1999; Human Rights Watch, Civilian Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2000).

[187] Article 52(3) of Protocol I: "In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used."

[188] See Protocol I, article 57(2)(a).

[189] Hezbollah officials told the Associated Press that around 250 Hezbollah fighters were killed during the war. See Sam Ghattas, "Lebanon sees more than 1,000 war deaths," Associated Press, December 28, 2006.

[190] Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, "The Northern Command Ran Out of Targets," Haaretz, April 2, 2007.

[191] Ibid.

[192] See Chapter V below for a full account of the attack.

[193] See Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Law of War Violations and the Use of Weapons on the Israel-Lebanon Border (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996).

[194] Human Rights Watch interview with Jamal Sa`ad, Bint Jbeil, September 26, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Hashim Kazan, Beirut, July 23, 2006.

[195] Human Rights Watch, Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq, p. 6.

[196] Sam Ghattas, "Lebanon sees more than 1,000 war deaths," Associated Press, December 28, 2006.

[197] Scott Wilson, "Israeli War Plan Had No Exit Strategy: Forecast of 'Diminishing Returns' In Lebanon Fractured Unity in Cabinet," Washington Post, October 21, 2006. See also David Makovsky and Jeffrey White, "Lessons and Implications of the Israel-Hizballah War: A Preliminary Assessment," The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, October 2006, p. 46.

[198] Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Roz, Beirut, July 22, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Roz, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[199] Human Rights Watch interview with Qassim Muhammad Zain, Baflay, September 15, 2006.

[200] Ibid. The body of Munir Zain was never recovered from the site, and is believed to have been totally destroyed in the attack.

[201] Ibid.

[202] Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Roz, Beirut, July 22, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Roz, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[203] According to the Erlich report, "13 rockets were fired from within village houses in Baflay, 19 from within 200-meter radius of the village and 20 within a 500-meter radius." Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, "Hezbollah's use of Lebanese civilians as human shields: the extensive military infrastructure positioned and hidden in populated areas. From within the Lebanese towns and villages deliberate rocket attacks were directed against civilian targets in Israel" (November 2006), Appendix 4 (hereinafter, the "Erlich report"). Note however that the report does not detail the date or the exact location of these attacks during the war.

[204] Human Rights Watch interview with Fatima Musa, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[205] Human Rights Watch interview with Fadia Mahmud Sa`id, Srifa, September 18, 2006.

[206] Ibid.

[207] IDF Spokesperson, Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon, July 13, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/IDF+operations+against+Hizbullah+in+Lebanon+13-Jul-2006.htm.

[208] Human Rights Watch interview with Fatima Musa, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[209] Human Rights Watch interview with Samih Baydun, Beirut, July 26, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Baydun, Beirut, July 26, 2006.

[210] The father and brother of Shaikh Akash refused to be interviewed by Human Rights Watch without the presence of Hezbollah and municipal officials, and told Human Rights Watch researchers to leave when they questioned the family about the activities of Shaikh Akash.

[211] See Jon Lee Anderson, "The Battle for Lebanon: Has Israel's Assault Weakened Hezbollah-or Made it Stronger," New Yorker, August 7 and 14, 2006. Anderson quotes an unnamed young man who approached him outside the destroyed seminary and told him that "Hezbollah had kept bombs in the basement of the mosque, but that two days [prior to the attack] a truck had taken the cache away." The man later shows his hostility to Hezbollah, stating that "everyone wants to end this Hezbollah regime, but nobody can say anything." Human Rights Watch's own investigation into the alleged use of the mosque for the storing of Hezbollah rockets did not confirm the unnamed man's allegations, and there are substantial reasons to doubt his account. Saida is a predominantly Sunni town that generally does not support Hezbollah. The seminary itself is bordered by a technical college run by the Hariri Foundation, which is also predominantly Sunni and a voice in favor of Hezbollah's disarming. Given the location of the seminary in such a hostile location, it is doubtful that Hezbollah would have risked using it to store weapons, since it had access to many other storage facilities in less hostile areas. See also, Hamza Hendawi, "Israel Targeting Hezbollah Infrastructure," Associated Press, July 26, 2006.

[212] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Zain, head of Shhour municipality, Shhour, September 18, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Muhammad, rescue worker, Shhour, September 18, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Laila Hamid Khashab, Shhour, September 18, 2006.

[213] Human Rights Watch interview with Laila Hamid Khashab, Shhour, September 18, 2006.

[214] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Shhour, September 18, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Shhour, September 18, 2006.

[215] Human Rights Watch interview with Laila Hamid Khashab, Shhour, September 18, 2006.

[216] Human Rights Watch interview, (name withheld), Shhour, September 18, 2006.

[217] Human Rights Watch interview (name, place, and date withheld, on file at Human Rights Watch).

[218] Human Rights Watch interview with Darwish Bzeih, Zebqine, September 15, 2006.

[219] Ibid.

[220] Human Rights Watch interview with Lebanese human rights activist who requested anonymity, July 25, 2006.

[221] Human Rights Watch interview with Darwish Bzeih, Zebqine, September 15, 2006.

[222] Erlich report, Appendix 4. NGO Monitor cites the information that two rockets were fired from within village houses to discredit HRW's findings in Fatal Strikes. NGO Monitor, "Amnesty and HRW Claims Discredited in Detailed Report,"December 28, 2006. However, neither report provides any evidence to show that Hezbollah actually used the Bzeih home for military purposes.

[223] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Yatar, October 23, 2006. The gravestone of Muhammad `Ali Suidan also identifies him as a Hezbollah fighter.

[224] The gravestone of `Ali Muhammad Suidan also has Hezbollah insignia, but family members explained that although he was a Hezbollah supporter, he had never been involved in Hezbollah military activities and was not a fighter. Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Yatar, October 23, 2006. This information was independently confirmed by the deputy mayor of Yatar. Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain `Ali Musa Suidan, September 13, 2006.

[225] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Yatar, October 23, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain `Ali Suidan, deputy mayor of Yatar, September 13, 2006.

[226] Human Rights Watch interview with Jamal Sa`ad, Bint Jbeil, September 26, 2006.

[227] Hajj is an honorific for those who have performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, and Abu Naji means "father of Naji."

[228] Human Rights Watch interview with Hashim Kazan, Beirut, July 23, 2006.

[229] Human Rights Watch interview with (name withheld), Bint Jbeil, September 26, 2006.

[230] Ibid.

[231] Although both rescue workers were buried as Hezbollah members, villagers told Human Rights Watch that they were not Hezbollah fighters, but simply Hezbollah members who participated in the rescue efforts in civilian clothes, as members of Hezbollah's own civil defense structures, the Islamic Health Committee, which operate separately from the official Lebanese civil defense structures.

[232] Human Rights Watch interview with Hashim Kazan, Bint Jbeil, September 26, 2006.

[233] Due to a translation error, Human Rights Watch's earlier report, Fatal Strikes, identifies the family name incorrectly as "Sulaiman" instead of "Slim."

[234] Human Rights Watch interview with Ibrahim Slim, Houla, September 21, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Slim, Houla, September 21, 2006.

[235] Human Rights Watch interview with Ibrahim Slim, Houla, September 21, 2006.

[236] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Rizak, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[237] Erlich Report, Appendix 4. NGO Monitor cites the Erlich Report's finding that Hezbollah fired two rockets from within village houses to discredit HRW's quote in Fatal Strikes of a witness in Houla that said that that were no "[Hezbollah] resistance in the town at the time." However, they provide no evidence to show that Hezbollah specifically used the Slim home for any military attack or that Hezbollah was firing from Houla that day. NGO Monitor, "Amnesty and HRW Claims Discredited in Detailed Report,"December 28, 2006, http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article.php?id=1132 (accessed April 3, 2007).

[238] Human Rights Watch interview with relative (identity withheld for security reasons), Yatar, September 13, 2006.

[239] Human Rights Watch interview with Deputy Mayor Hussain `Ali Musa Suidan, Yatar, September 13, 2006.

[240] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali `Abbas `Alawiya, Tyre, November 16, 2006.

[241] Human Rights Watch interview with Wa'il Marwan Shahin, Tyre, November 4, 2006.

[242] Human Rights Watch interview with Haydar Hussain Mehanna, Tyre, November 4, 2006.

[243] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali `Abbas Alawiya, Tyre, November 16, 2006.

[244] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abd al-Ra'uf Gradi, civil defense official, Tyre, August 1, 2006.

[245] Human Rights Watch interview with Zakaria `Alam al-Din, Beirut, July 22, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with `Abd al-Muhsin, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[246] Human Rights Watch interview with high-ranking civil defense official, Beirut, July 28, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Zakaria `Alamadin, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[247] Human Rights Watch interview with Zakaria `Alamedin, Beirut, July 22, 2006.

[248] Human Rights Watch interview with official in Tyre Public Hospital, August 1, 2006.

[249] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abd al-Qadir Saif al-Din, head of municipality of Sham`a and Biyada, Sham`a, September 12, 2006.

[250] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abd al-Ra'uf Gradi, civil defense official, Tyre, August 1, 2006.

[251] A journalist who entered the building also told Human Rights Watch that he saw what he believed were human remains in the rubble of the collapsed top floors of the building.

[252] Human Rights Watch interview with high-ranking civil defense official, Beirut, July 28, 2006.

[253] Human Rights Watch interview with civil defense official, Tyre, August 1, 2006.

[254] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abbas Ghorayeb, Tyre, November 3, 2006.

[255] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Tyre, November 3, 2006.

[256] See Protocol, articles 61-62.

[257] Ibid, Art. 65.

[258] Carrying out "acts harmful to the enemy" under cover of the protected status of civil defense is a war crime.

[259] Human Rights Watch interview with high-ranking civil defense official, Beirut, July 28, 2006.

[260] IDF Spokesperson, "Summary of IDF operations in Lebanon for 16th of July 2006," http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/Summary+of+IDF+operations+against+Hizbullah+in+Lebanon+16-Jul-2006.htm (accessed April 4, 2007).

[261] Human Rights Watch interview with Sikni Muhammad al-Akhrass, `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[262] Human Rights Watch interview with Manal Hassan `Alawiyya, Beirut, July 24, 2006.

[263] Human Rights Watch interview with Sikni Muhammad al-Akhrass, `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[264] Ibid.

[265] Human Rights Watch interview with Manal Hassan `Alawiyya, Beirut, July 24, 2006.

[266] Human Rights Watch interview with Zakariya Muhammad `Abbas, Beirut, July 25, 2006.

[267] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Hussain Mafouz, Beirut, July 25, 2006.

[268] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[269] Erlich report, Appendix 4.

[270] Israeli Foreign Ministry, "PM Olmert speaks with Canadian PM Harper," press release, July 19, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2006/PM+Olmert+speaks+with+Canadian+PM+Harper+19-Jul-2006.htm (accessed April 26, 2007).

[271] In its earlier report, Fatal Strikes, Human Rights Watch did not have information about Hezbollah firing from the area. A witness quoted by Human Rights Watch for that report stated, "To my knowledge, Hezbollah was not operating in the area, but I can't be 100 percent sure because we were sleeping. There is a road near the house that Hezbollah could of course have used to move around, but it was late and we were asleep in the shelter." Fatal Strikes, pp. 24-25.

[272] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[273] Human Rights Watch interview with Manal Hassan `Alawiyya, Beirut, July 23, 2006.

[274] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[275] Human Rights Watch's earlier report, Fatal Strikes, dated the attack on July 20 in the afternoon, but further investigation and a visit to the village established that the attack took place on July 18 at 9 a.m. Earlier witnesses also misreported the ages of those killed, stating that `Ali Nabil was eight instead of 20. Human Rights Watch regrets the error.

[276] Human Rights Watch interview with Sulhiyya `Abd al-Hassan Turmus, Tallousa, September 21, 2006.

[277] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Tallousa, September 21, 2006.

[278] Human Rights Watch interview with Munira Salih, Yatar, October 23, 2006.

[279] Human Rights Watch interview with Zainab Muhammad Ayyoub, Sil`a, September 15, 2006.

[280] Ibid.

[281] Ibid.; Human Rights Watch interview with group of Sil`a villagers, September 15, 2006.

[282] Human Rights Watch interview with Qassim Mustafa `Aid, Beirut, July 24, 2006.

[283]Fatal Strikes, p. 25-26.

[284] Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Ibrahim Hamudi, Srifa, September 18, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Maryam Ahmad Haider and Amin Habib Dakrub, Srifa, September 18, 2006.

[285] Human Rights Watch interview with Bushra Shukr, Nabi Sheet, September 11, 2006.

[286] Ibid. The credibility of the witness was enhanced by the fact that she identified other attacks in Nabi Sheet as having a Hezbollah connection, including an IDF attack on an empty house owned by an uncle who had rented the home to Hezbollah.

[287] Human Rights Watch interview with pro-Hezbollah businessman (name withheld), Nabi Sheet, September 11, 2006.

[288] Human Rights Watch interview, Nabi Sheet (name and time withheld).

[289] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Ahmad Darwish, `Ainata, September 20, 2006.

[290] Human Rights Watch interview with Sahar Sameh Dakrub, `Ainata, September 20, 2006.

[291] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Ahmad Darwish, `Ainata, September 20, 2006.

[292] Ibid.

[293] Human Rights Watch interview with Hamida Khaled, wife of Dawood Khaled, Debbine Marja`youn, November 4, 2006.

[294] Ibid.

[295] Human Rights Watch interview with Maryam Khaled, sister of Dawood Khaled, Beirut, July 26, 2006.

[296] Erlich report, Appendix 4.

[297] Human Rights Watch interview with Nami Ruda, `Aita al-Sha`ab, September 25, 2006.

[298] `Aita al-Sha`ab is located on the Lebanon-Israel border, and was the village closest to the site of the July 12 Hezbollah operation that led to the abduction of the two IDF soldiers. The village saw some of the fiercest ground combat of the war between Hezbollah fighters and IDF ground troops. The reference to Hezbollah fighters being inside the village refers to this urban combat, not to Hezbollah rocket launching teams operating from inside the village.

[299] Ibid.

[300] Human Rights Watch interview with Nehme Rida, `Aita al-Sha`ab, September 25, 2006.

[301] Human Rights Watch interview with Hezbollah militant, Zebqine, September 15, 2006.

[302] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Shehab Shukr, Nabi Sheet, November 14, 2006.

[303] Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain `Ali Shukr, Nabi Sheet, September 11, 2006; Human Rights Watch Interview with Muhammad Shehab Shukr, Nabi Sheet, September 11, 2006.

[304] Ibid.; Human Rights Watch interview with Akram `Awada, head of Shehin municipality, September 12, 2006.

[305] Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Na`im Ghaith, Shehin, September 12, 2006.

[306] Ibid.

[307] Ibid.

[308] Human Rights Watch interview with Rashad Ja`far, Yaroun, September 25, 2006; Human Rights Watch visit to Yaroun graveyard, September 25, 2006.

[309] Human Rights Watch interview with Rashad Ja`far, Yaroun, September 25, 2006.

[310] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Mu'anis, al-Hallousiye, September 16, 2006.

[311] Human Rights Watch interview with Shaikh Muhammad Hamid, al-Hallousiye, September 16, 2006.

[312] Human Rights Watch visit to al-Hallousiye graveyard, September 16, 2006.

[313] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Mu'anis, al-Hallousiyye, September 16, 2006.

[314] Human Rights Watch interview with Shaikh Muhammad Hamid, al-Hallousiyye, September 16, 2006.

[315] Erlich report, Appendix 4.

[316] Human Rights Watch interview with `Imad Sulaiman Ahmad, head of municipality, Haris, September 13, 2006; Human Rights Watch visit to Haris graveyard, September 13, 2006.

[317] Ibid.; Human Rights Watch interview with Amal official, Haris, September 13, 2006.

[318] Human Rights Watch interview with municipal official, `Ainata, September 20, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Khanafer, `Ainata, September 20, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Amina `Ali Ibrahim, `Ainata, September 20, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Taghrid Khanafer, `Ainata, September 26, 2006; List of civilians killed provided by `Ainata municipality to Human Rights Watch, September 20, 2006.

[319] Sabrina Tavernise, "A Girl's Life Bound Close to Hezbollah," The New York Times, August 18, 2006.

[320] Rogers, Law on the Battlefield, p. 49.

[321] IDF, Laws of War in the Battlefield (IDF Military Law School, Department of international Law, 1998), p. 32.

[322] UNIFIL, press release, July 26, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr010.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[323] Ibid.

[324] United Nations Department of Information press release, "Secretary-General Shocked by Coordinated Israeli Attack on United Nations Observer Post in Lebanon, Which Killed Two (sic) Peacekeepers," July 25, 2006, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10577.doc.htm (accessed April 4, 2007). The death toll of the attack was later raised to four.

[325] IDF Spokesperson, "Regarding the UN Post Near Al Khiam," July 26, 2006.

[326] Ravi Nessman, "Report: UN Observers' Calls Unheeded," Associated Press, July 26, 2006.

[327] Warren Hoge, "UN Says it Protested to Israel for Six Hours During Attack that Killed 4 Observers in Lebanon," The New York Times, July 27, 2006; UN Press Center, "Annan would have preferred joint probe with Israel into attack on UN post-letter," July 31, 2006, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19356&Cr=leban&Cr1= (accessed April 4, 2007).

[328] UN Secretary General's Spokespersons Office, "Secretary-General Receives Report on Attack that Killed Observers at Khiam, Lebanon," September 29, 2006.

[329] UNIFIL, press release, July 25, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr09.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[330] UNIFIL, press release, July 17, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr01.pdf (accessed April 4, 2007).

[331] Ibid.

[332] UNIFIL, press release, July 20, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr04.pdf, (accessed April 4, 2007).

[333] See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, p. 112.

[334] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, articles 8(2)(b)(iii) and 8(2)(e)(iii). Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute. The ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law considers these provisions to be reflective of customary humanitarian law. See pp. 580 and 597.

[335] Human Rights Watch interview with Ayyad Merhi, Kafra, October 23, 2006.

[336] Human Rights Watch visit to Kafra cemetery, October 23, 2006.

[337] Human Rights Watch interview with Ayyad Merhi, Kafra, October 23, 2006.

[338] Erlich report, Appendix 4.

[339] Human Rights Watch interview with Hajj `Abduljalil Salman Nasir, Hadatha, September 14, 2006.

[340] Human Rights Watch visit to Hadatha cemetery, September 13, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhtar Abd al- Amir Nasir, September 13, 2006.

[341] Human Rights Watch interview with Hajj `Abduljalil Salman Nasr, Hadath, September 14, 2006.

[342] Erlich report, Appendix 4.

[343] Human Rights Watch interview with `Adnan Harake, al-Numeriyya, September 24, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with village official, al-Numeriyya, September 24, 2006.

[344] Al-Jazeera interview with Dr. Issam Matuni, July 30, 2006.

[345] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Mahmud Shalhoub, Qana, July 31, 2006.

[346] Human Rights Watch interview with Ghazi `Aydaji, Qana, July 31, 2006.

[347] "Israel Halts Airstrikes After Qana Outrage," Agence France-Presse, July 31, 2006.

[348] "Israeli air strike kills 54," Sydney Morning News, July 30, 2006.

[349] Ibid.; Dean Yates, "Israel Regrets Qana Killing but Vows to Press War," Reuters, July 30, 2006.

[350] Ibid.

[351] Yoav Stern, Yuval Yoaz, and Amos Harel, "Livni: Qana Attack Led to Turning Point in Support for Israel," Haaretz, August 1, 2006.

[352] The two fighters were Hassan Hussain Shalhoub, 36, and Mahmud Ibrahim Hashim, 39. Villagers told Human Rights Watch that Hassan died fighting outside the village of Qana. A third Hezbollah fighter, Yusif Tiba, was killed fighting in the hills around Qana and was buried in a different Qana cemetery.

[353] Muhammad `Ali Shalhoub told Human Rights Watch: "Ali was not a fighter, he was in the basement with his family, and his father and brother died with him. He was not even an activist in Hezbollah, and he didn't have any military training. The fighters [killed] are recognized as such, we know who they are . Ali was not a Hezbollah fighter, but he was a strong supporter of Hezbollah so his friends covered his coffin with a Hezbollah flag." Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad `Ali Shalhoub, Qana, September 14, 2006. A second witness, the brother of one of the killed Hezbollah fighters from Qana, also told Human Rights Watch that `Ali was not a Hezbollah member or fighter: "He was saying before he died, 'If I die, wrap me up in the flag of Hezbollah,' that is why he had the Hezbollah markings on his tomb." Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Qana, August 18, 2006.

[354] Human Rights Watch was unable to obtain a copy of the IDF flyer, but different witnesses gave similar accounts of its content. According to one witness, the leaflets stated that the IDF wanted to hit the village. "'Leave the village now,' the leaflet saidIt said Hassan Nasrallah was worthless, and that we should go to the north because the village would be bombarded. It was addressed to the people of Luweizeh." Human Rights Watch interview with Rabah `Ali Hashim, al-Luweizeh, September 24, 2006. According to a second witness, "the leaflets said to people to leave to the north of Luweizeh . The flyer said that those who stayed would be considered resistance, and that everyone should go north." Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain Farhat, al-Luweizeh, September 24, 2006.

[355] Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain `Abdullah Farhat, al-Luweizeh, September 24, 2006.

[356] IDF, "Special Forces Raid in Baal-bek," August 3, 2006.

[357] Human Rights Watch interview with Hajali Tlays, Director of Dar al-Hikma hospital, Jamaliyeh, September 8, 2006.

[358] Ibid. According to the director: "The management is independent in the same way as the [Hezbollah] Shahid Institute [the Shahid Institute provides aid to relatives of Hezbollah combatants that died fighting], but any financial decision goes back to Hezbollah. We don't take money for our services. Hezbollah nominates the board members, but we make the day-to-day decisions. Our hospital is for all people, not just Hezbollah members."

[359] See, for example, First Geneva Convention, article 19; Fourth Geneva Convention, article 18; Protocol I, article 12. The IDF Laws of War in the Battlefield states: "[I]t is prohibited to interferewith the administration of medical aid. This prohibition includes the ban on striking hospitals and medical facilities, whether civilian or military, as well as wound-collection sites, medical warehouses, ambulances, and so forth." p. 32 (emphasis in original).

[360] See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, p. 96.

[361] See Fourth Geneva Convention, article 19.

[362] Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhtar Hussain Jamal al-Din, Jamaliyeh, September 8, 2006; Human Rights Watch phone interview with Mukhtar Hussain Jamal al-Din, October 27, 2006.

[363] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Jamal Al-Din, Jamaliyeh, September 7, 2006.

[364] Human Rights Watch interview with Mahmud Sukar, Jamaliyeh, September 8, 2006.

[365] Human Rights Watch interview with Isma`il Khalaf al-Hammud, Jamaliyeh, September 8, 2006.

[366] Human Rights Watch interview with Mahmud Sukar, Jamaliyeh, September 8, 2006.

[367] Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Deeb Nasrallah, Baalbek, September 8, 2006.

[368] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Hassan Nasrallah, Baalbek, September 8, 2006.

[369] Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Deeb Nasrallah, Baalbek, September 8, 2006.

[370] Human Rights Watch interview with Bilal Nasrallah, Baalbek, September 8, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Deeb Nasrallah, Baalbek, September 8, 2006.

[371] Human Rights Watch interview with Bilal Nasrallah, Baalbek, September 8, 2006.

[372] Ibid. ("When I would ask about what will happen to us, they would say, 'You are here as hostages. If Hassan Nasrallah asks for you and exchanges you, you will be freed. Otherwise, you will stay here.'")

[373] IDF Spokesperson, "Special Forces Raid in Baal-bek," August 3, 2006, http://www1.idf.il/DOVER/site/mainpage.asp?sl=EN&id=7&docid=55483.EN (accessed April 4, 2007).

[374] John Kifner, "What is in a Name? Not, It Seems, A Leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon," The New York Times, August 23, 2006.

[375] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), al-Jibbain, September 12, 2006. The municipal official told Human Rights Watch that there was a danger from unexploded ordnance in the area, but the repeated calls from the Hezbollah official to verify that the Human Rights Watch researchers were not proceeding to the attack site strongly suggests that evidence of Hezbollah weapons or a field position remained there.

[376] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), al-Jibbain, September 12, 2006

[377] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Muhammad `Akil, al-Jibbain, September 12, 2006.

[378] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), al-Jibbain, September 12, 2006

[379] Human Rights Watch interview with Mehieddin Muhammad Tohme, Director of al-Wifaq farm, al-Qa`, September 17, 2006.

[380] Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhtar Mikhael al-Bcherrawi, Mukhtar of al-Qa`, Beirut, October 17, 2006.

[381] "Israeli Bombardment kills 40 Civilians in Lebanon," Reuters, August 4, 2006.

[382] Human Rights Watch interview with Mehedin Muhammad Tohme, Director of al-Wifaq farm, al-Qa`, September 17, 2006.

[383] Human Rights Watch interview with Menahil Moris Aoun, head of al-Qa` police department, al-Qa`, September 17, 2006.

[384] Human Rights Watch visit to Taibeh Burial ground, September 25, 2006.

[385] Human Rights Watch interview with daughter of Hani Marmar (name withheld), Taibe, October 24, 2006.

[386] Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain Kazem, Taibe, October 24, 2006.

[387] Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhtar Zakaria Hussain Safawi, Insar, September 16, 2006.

[436] Ibid.

[437] Human Rights Watch interview with Salih Ibrahim Ghannam, Beirut, July 27, 2006.

[438] "Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for the period 21 January 2006 to 18 July 2006," July 21, 2006, paras. 7-8. UN doc S/2006/560.

[439] Human Rights Watch interview with Wissam Muhammad `Abdullah, Beirut, September 5, 2006.

[440] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Ishma`il `Abdullah, Beirut, August 19, 2006.

[441] See Robert Fisk, "Marwahin, 15 July 2006: The Anatomy of a Massacre," The Independent (London), September 30, 2006.

[442] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Ishmail `Abdullah, Beirut, August 19, 2006.

[443] Blanford, "Hizbollah and the IDF: Accepting New Realities Along the Blue Line," The MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies.

[444] If the first missile had been fired from the Israeli naval ship, it would most likely have been either an artillery round from its naval guns or a Harpoon anti-ship missile. Both the artillery round and the Harpoon missile would have been unlikely to hit the small pick-up truck on the first strike, and would have certainly completely demolished the vehicle with a dead-on hit. Drones fire much smaller missiles, causing damage consistent with that caused on the small pick-up truck, and are highly precise in their targeting. No helicopters were seen or heard overhead during the initial strike. An airplane missile would also have completely demolished the pick-up truck.

[445] Human Rights Watch with Wissam Muhammad `Abdullah, Beirut, September 5, 2006.

[446] See Protocol I, article 57(2)(b).

[447] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Ishma`il `Abdullah, Beirut, August 19, 2006; Tyre Government Hospital records.

[448] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Ishmail `Abdullah, Beirut, September 5, 2006.

[449] Human Rights Watch interview with Milos Strogar, UNIFIL spokesperson, July 16, 2006.

[450] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with journalist (name withheld), July 16, 2006.

[451] Human Rights Watch interview with Wadih Musbah Sha`ban, Sheem, September 23, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Lebanese army soldier who witnessed attack, Sheem, September 23, 2006.

[452] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Mahmud Mrad, Ham, September 11, 2006.

[453] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Haider, Maaraboun, September 11, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Hassan Yahya, Maaraboun, September 11, 2006.

[454] See Protocol I, article 51(3).

[455] See Protocol I, article 52(2).

[456] Human Rights Watch interview with Husam Haidar, `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[457] Ibid.

[458] Human Rights Watch interview with Latifeh `Ali Farhat, `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[459] Ibid.

[460] Human Rights Watch interview with Husam Haidar, `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[461] Human Rights Watch interview with Mumtaha Shaita, Beirut, July 27, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Muzbah Shaita, Beirut, July 27, 2006.

[462] Human Rights Watch interview with Muzbah Shaita, Beirut, July 27, 2006.

[463] Ibid.

[464] Human Rights Watch interview with Doctor Hashim Zain, Tyre, August 1, 2006. See also Anthony Shadid, "Terror Rains Down From Sky on Fleeing Lebanese: Several Refugees Killed by Missile-firing Israeli Helicopters," Washington Post, July 24, 2006; Megan K. Stack, "'Unbelievable' Losses, Terror as Civilians Flee Missiles," Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2006; Tim Butcher, "Any Moving Car Becomes A Target, as Israelis Turn the Screw, Tactics Become Tougher," Daily Telegraph (London), July 24, 2006; Thanassis Cambanis, "For Fleeing Lebanese Families, Road Exacts Heavy Toll," Boston Globe, July 24, 2006.

[465] Ibid.

[466] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Ja`far, Tyre, August 1, 2006.

[467] Ibid. See also, Raed El Rafei, "'Good Samaritan' Survives Attack After Rescuing Wounded; Eight Passengers Barely Escape Burning Vehicle," Daily Star (Lebanon), July 25, 2006; Butcher, "Any Moving Car Becomes A Target, as Israelis Turn the Screw, Tactics Get Tougher," Daily Telegraph, July 24, 2006.

[468] See, for example, Zombietime, http://www.zombietime.com/fraud/ambulance/; Oliver North, "Masters of Manipulation," Washington Times, September 3, 2006.

[469]Human Rights Watch, The "Hoax" That Wasn't: The July 23 Qana Ambulance Attack, December 2006.

[470] Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Fawaz, Beirut, September 16, 2006.

[471] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhammad Hasan, Tyre, September 15, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain Farhat, Tibnine, September 13, 2006.

[472] Ibid. Human Rights Watch originally reported that the ambulances had been struck by missiles fired from an Israeli airplane, but that conclusion was incorrect. See Human Rights Watch, The "Hoax" That Wasn't: The July 23 Qana Ambulance Attack, December 2006.

[473]Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Fawaz, Beirut, September 16, 2006.

[474]Human Rights Watch interview with Jamila Fawaz, Beirut, September 16, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Fawaz, Beirut, September 16, 2006.

[475] See, for example, First Geneva Convention, article 35; Fourth Geneva Convention, article 21; and Protocol I, article 21.

[476] Anyone responsible for deliberately making an ambulance the object of attack would be committing a war crime. See ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, pp. 575, 593; see also Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, articles 8(2)(b)(xxiv) and 8(2)(e)(ii).

[477] Human Rights Watch interviews with Husen Al-Sayyid (sister of Hassan) and Hussain `Aqil (husband of Husen), Beirut, July 26, 2006.

[478] Ibid.

[479] Human Rights Watch interview with Karim Michel Rached, Mukhtar of Jdeidet Marja`youn, November 4, 2006.

[480] Human Rights Watch interview with Laila Maroon Najem, Jdeidet Marja`youn, November 4, 2006.

[481] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Jeitawi Hospital, Beirut, August 13, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Marja`youn, November 4, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Marja`youn, November 4, 2006.

[482] Human Rights Watch interview with Karim Michel Rached, Mukhtar of Jedeit Marja`youn, November 4, 2006.

[483] UNIFIL, "press release," August 12, 2006.

[484] IDF Spokesperson, "IDF Response on Convoy Hit in South Lebanon," August 12, 2006.

[485] According to UNIFIL, the convoy initially included 100 civilian vehicles and was joined by another 365 civilian vehicles in Ibil al-Saqi. UNIFIL, "press release," August 12, 2006, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr027.pdf (accessed April 26, 2007). The Mukhtar of Jdeidet Marj`ayoun estimated to Human Rights Watch that as many as 1,500 vehicles joined the convoy, and that it stretched for as long as 30-40 kilometers. He recalled that he telephoned from the lead of the convoy in Hasbaya, 20 kilometers from Marja`youn, back to Marja`youn and was told that the tail of the convoy was still waiting to depart. Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhtar Karim Michel Rached, Jedeit Marja`youn, November 4, 2006. Journalists also estimated the number of cars in the convoy in the hundreds. See for example, Ed Cody, "Negotiations Preceded Attack On Convoy of Fleeing Lebanese, Israeli Military Places Blame for Killings on UN Force," Washington Post, August 24, 2006; Anthony Shadid, "Fleeing Lebanese Christians See Town Forever Changed," Washington Post, August 13, 2006.

[486] UNIFIL, "press release," August 12, 2006 available at www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr027.pdf (last accessed April 10, 2007).

[487] Human Rights Watch interview with Laila Najem, Jedeit Marja`youn, November 4, 2006.

[488] Human Rights Watch interview with Karim Michel Rached, Mukhtar of Jedeit Marja`youn, November 4, 2006.

[489] The ICRC puts the death toll at six, while Amnesty International states that seven persons died.

[490] ICRC, "Lebanon-Israel: ICRC Deplores Increasing Number of Civilian Casualties and Lack of Respect for Medical Mission," August 12, 2006.

[491] IDF Spokesperson, "IDF Response on Convoy Hit in South Lebanon," August 12, 2006.

[492] Human Rights Watch interview with Rabi` `Abbas al-Attar, Makhne, September 7, 2006.

[493] Ibid; Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhtar Hussain Jamal Al-Din, Jamaliye, September 8, 2006.

[494] InfoPro Center for Economic Information, Economic Impact of the July 06 War and Steps Towards Recovery, November 2006, p. 25. Other studies have shown a lower number. For example, a short report by the Lebanese Internal Security Forces lists 78 bridges destroyed. Internal Security Forces, Bodily and Material Damages until 10 a.m. on August 22, 2006.

[495] Human Rights Watch interview with Haidar Zayyat, Borj al-Shemali, September 16, 2006.

[496] Human Rights Watch interview with Mahmud Zayyat, Borj al-Shemali, September 16, 2006.

[497] Human Rights Watch interview with Haidar Zayyat, Borj al-Shemali, September 16, 2006.

[498] Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Deeb Ghadar, al-Ghaziyeh, September 23, 2006.

[499] Human Rights Watch interview with Mahmud `Ez al-Din, Deir Qanoun al-Nahr, September 16, 2006.

[500] Ibid.

[501] Lin Noueihed, "Lebanon Investigates Weapons Used in Israel Bombing," Reuters, July 26, 2006.

[502] Ibid.

[503] Human Rights Watch interview with Mehsin Yasin Ma`la, al-Hayysa, September 22, 2006.

[504] Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Kamal Ma`la, al-Hayysa, September 22, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Mehsin Yasin Maala, al-Hayysa, September 22, 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Kamal Ma`la, al-Hayysa, September 22, 2006.

[505] Human Rights Watch interview with Marilyn `Afif Salem, Rmeish, September 25, 2006.

[506] Ibid.

[507] Ibid.

[508] Human Rights Watch interview with Maryam Muhammad Tawbe, `Aitaroun, September 19, 2006.

[509] Ibid.

[510] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abla Salih, Yatar, October 23, 2006; Human Rights Watch visit to Yatar cemetery, October 23, 2006.

[511] Human Rights Watch interview with Hussain al-Musawi, Arzun, August 16, 2006.

[512] Human Rights Watch interview with Ibtisam Ibrahim Turmus, Arzun, August 16, 2006; Human Rights Watch visit to Arzun cemetery, August 16, 2006.

[513] Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Arzun, August 16, 2006.

[514] See, for example, Fourth Geneva Convention, article 33; Protocol II, article 4(2)(g).

[515] Human Rights Watch interview with Tagrid Khanafer, `Ainata, September 26, 2006.

[516] Human Rights Watch interview with Badriyyat `Abd al-Amir Khanafer, `Ainata, September 26. 2006.

[517] Ibid; Human Rights Watch interview with Taghrid Khanafer, `Ainata, September 26, 2006.

[518] Human Rights Watch interview with Said Hussain Nehle, Taibe, September 21, 2006.

[519] Ibid.

[520] Ibid.; Human Rights Watch interview with `Ali Ahmad Nasrallah, Taibe, September 25, 2006.

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