Libanon-krigen, 2 måneder senere
Engang imellem giver dele af den danske presse mig kvalme. Søndag kunne vi med The Independent som kilde høre Politiken skrige, at Israel måske havde brugt atomvåben i Libanon. Og nej, det er ikke noget jeg selv finder på.
Bombede Israel med beriget uran i Libanon i sommers?
Det spørgsmål stiller engelske The Independent, efter at Den Europæiske Komite for Strålingsfare har dokumenteret radioaktiv stråling i jord, der blev kastet op i to bombekratere i Khiam og At-Tiri, hvor nogle af de hårdeste kampe fandt sted.
Strålingen kan have to forklaringer, siger videnskabelig chef i komiteens engelske afdeling, Dr. Chris Busby.
»Den første mulighed er, at der kan være tale om et nyt lille atomfissionsvåben (atombombe, red.) eller et andet eksperimentalvåben.
Og skidt så være med, at Independent selv afviser det som utroværdigt og foretrækker den åbenlyse forklaring, at der er tale om panserbrydende ammunition med forarmet uran. Alt gælder for at sværte Israel til - før har vi for eksempel fået historierne om, hvordan Israel brugte klyngebomber og fosforbomber i Libanon. At Israel udelukkende brugte dem mod militære mål bliver ikke nævnt.
Som sådan kunne man sige, at Politiken bare gør sit job med at formidle nyheder, men beskyldningerne om at Israel har atombombet Libanon stiler spørgsmålstegn ved dette. Det faktum at Hezbollah ikke er genstand for samme opmærksomhed er også interessant. Historier, der ikke når Politikens sider er blandt andet, at Hezbollah også brugte klyngebomber - vel at mærke udelukkende mod civile mål - eller at Hezbollah brugte årene op til krigen til i stor skala at forsyne almindelige villaer i civile boligområder med raketramper (fra Washington Post):
The activity upon which Hezbollah had embarked was conversion of private homes into mini-military sites from where it could easily target Israel's civilian population. Cloaking itself as the protective shepherd, Hezbollah effectively prepared an unwitting Lebanese civilian flock as sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered in furtherance of its own war-fighting capabilities.
Long before hostilities erupted on July 12, Hezbollah construction teams had gone out and modified numerous Lebanese homes. Sometimes with, but most the time without, the homeowner's permission, workers began adding on a large, single-function room. These rooms were unique for, when completed, they lacked an essential element of all rooms -- a door. Each room was sealed shut -- but only, and immediately, after an object was placed inside.
Often homeowners and neighbors did not know what exactly was entombed within the room as the object's insertion and the subsequent sealing of the room normally took place at night -- with the object always kept under wraps.
The residences Hezbollah selected for these unsolicited "home improvements" were chosen for their proximity to the Israeli border. When the fighting started after Tel Aviv responded militarily to Hezbollah's July cross-border raid, resulting in the deaths of three Israeli soldiers and the capture of two more, the purpose of the covert home improvements became evident to the owners -- though many were destroyed by Israeli air strikes before they could be activated.
When war erupted in southern Lebanon, designated leaders of Hezbollah combat teams received envelopes, each containing an address of one of the modified homes. The team quickly deployed to its assigned location, immediately breaking through an exterior wall of the sealed room. Each envelope contained aiming and firing instructions for the object prepositioned inside the room before it was sealed -- a surface-to-surface missile atop a launcher. After removing part of the room's roof to allow for unobstructed flight and on command, the team was to fire the missile, raining death and destruction down upon Israel's civilian population.
En anden nyhed, der mig bekendt ikke er nået frem til den danske presse er, at Israel efterhånden har identificeret 440 dræbte Hezbollah-militsmænd ved navn og adresse, og at det reelle antal dræbte Hezbollahi´er nok er omkring 700 - et tal der for den sags skyld også bekræftes fra Libanesisk side. Mere fra den første kilde:
Israel failed to kill Hezbollah's top members, and the organization continued to function throughout the war.
But Hezbollah lost more than 500 men, even though it confirmed only some 60-odd killed. Israel identified 440 dead guerrillas by name and address, and experience shows that Israeli figures are half to two-thirds of the enemy's real casualties. Therefore, Amidror estimated, Hezbollah's death toll might be as high as 700.
Hezbollah had an array of long-range Iranian Zelzal missiles, 220mm and 302 mm Syrian-made rockets and Fajr 4 and Fajr 5 missiles all with ranges of over 30 miles.
But Hezbollah failed to strike deeply into Israel because the air force knocked out more than 150 launchers. Many were knocked out in a pre-emptive strike, some on the first night, and others when Israel hunted them down. It developed a system of spotting launchings and destroying the launchers within less than five minutes.
It failed to stop the Katyusha rockets, with a range of six to 24 miles. Ninety-five percent of the rockets that hit Israel were 122mm Katyushas. Almost half hit the northern Israeli towns of Naharia and Kiryat Shmona.
Eventually ground forces entered southern Lebanon and forced the rocket launchers to be on the move, so attacks were less accurate. Fewer than half the launchings hit "real targets," but on the whole the fact Hezbollah kept firing as many as 240 rockets day was "a great success for Hezbollah, a great failure for us," Amidror said.
Hezbollah also launched three unmanned drones, each carrying 45 kilos of TNT. Their range was enough to reach Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, and they are "very precise." But one crashed into the sea because of a technical failure and the air force downed the two others, he said.
Israel also had the upper hand in battles on the ground, he maintained. "There is not one example where Hezbollah succeeded in stopping the ground forces," providing the Israeli troops had clear missions. There were, however, many instances in which the missions were "blurred," he said, tacitly criticizing the military command.
Hezbollah made extensive use of anti-tank rockets, firing more than 1,000 at Israeli tanks and infantrymen.
Amidror said those rockets hit fewer than 50 tanks, penetrated fewer than half. In each tank that was penetrated one soldier was killed. It upset many Israelis, but militarily was "nothing to write home about."
The Rafael armaments development authority has built a system that dissolves incoming rockets and can reduce by 50 percent to 90 percent the chances tanks would be hit. But prior to the war the army did not buy the system because it was very expensive, Amidror said.
He maintained the war "exposed clearly" the relationship between Hezbollah, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization, and Iran and Syria.
Iran invested some $1 billion to $2 billion in training, financing and arming Hezbollah, and from Tehran's perspective the war was "a great failure." Eighty percent of the rockets that hit Israel came from Syria, and that included the most sophisticated Russian-made anti-tank rockets.
"We told the Russians, 'Don't sell it to the Syrians, it will move to Hezbollah,'" Amidror said. The Russians said, 'Don't worry' and the rockets did reach Hezbollah.
"We found the serial numbers and we showed the Russians," he said.