Hezbollah uses Christian villages as shields/Israel hitting Christian heartland
- Hezbollah uses Christian villages as shields in missile attacks
Washington DC, Aug. 03, 2006 (CNA) - Recent reports indicate that
Hezbollah is using Christian villages to shield its attacks against
According to Christian Solidarity International, Hezbollah is hiding
among civilian populations, mostly in southern Lebanese towns, such
as Ain Ebel, Rmeish, Alma Alshaab.
Launching attacks behind human shields is in violation of the Geneva
Convention's provision for the Protection of Victims of International
Armed Conflicts, which prohibits the use of civilians as military
This is not a new strategy for Hezbollah. Col. Charbel Barka, a
former South Lebanese Army commander, says Hezbollah is repeating
what it did in attacks against Israel in 1996.
A Christian from the village of Ain Ebel, who requested to remain
nameless for fear of a reprisal from Hezbollah, reported that he
found Hezbollah fighters setting up a launcher on his rooftop.
Hezbollah fighters ignored his pleas to stop and fired the missiles.
He immediately gathered his family and fled his home, which was
bombed 15 minutes later by an Israeli air strike.
Hezbollah has also attempted to stop Christians from fleeing their
villages. According to Christian Solidarity International, on July
28, Hezbollah fighters fired upon several Christians fleeing Rmeish
with their families, wounding two.
Sami El-Khoury, president of the World Maronite Union, adds that
media reports about Christian support for Hezbollah are inaccurate.
"Contrary to Western press reports, indicating high percentages of
Christian support for Hezbollah, 90 percent of Christians, 80 percent
of Sunni and 40 percent of Shiites in Lebanon oppose Hezbollah," El-
Khoury told Christian Solidarity International.
Christian Solidarity International has called for the United Nations
to establish a politically independent commission to investigate
Hezbollah's contravention of international law. The group has also
urged the UN Security Council to deploy immediately an international
force in Lebanon to facilitate a ceasefire, to stop the flow of arms
from Syria to Hezbollah, and to assist the Lebanese government in
fulfilling its obligation to disarm Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has been the ruling power in the south since Israel
withdrew from Lebanon six years ago. Christian villages suffer from
extensive neglect of infrastructure under Hezbollah rule. Once the
majority, the Christian population in Lebanon has declined to under
40 percent due to pressures by Islamic militias supported by Iran and
Israel hitting Christian heartland: