Tell me this: how can you tell that all these people are civilians? Hizbullah fighters don't wear uniforms, do they? Of course they don't. They're not a regular army. So... some, possibly many of these "civilians", at least among the Shiite Muslims killed or injured, are actually Hizbullah.
Think about this: Where do these civilian casualty numbers come from? Local leaders, witnesses, or the Lebanese government are the sources. In other words, Hizbullah, at least in part, helps with the counting. Might the numbers of civilian casualties be rather inflated? Here is some evidence to indicate just that:
- Human Rights Watch, which routinely accuses Israel of war crimes while holding Hizbullah blameless, now puts the death toll at Qana at 28, not the 56 still being claimed by the Lebanese and Arab press. Some media outlets have reduced their casualty counts but most simply moved on. It seems that reporting that the original number killed was inflated is not newsworthy.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), hardly a friend of Israel, has agreed to look into claims that Qana was staged by Hizbullah.
- Reuters has admitted using doctored photographs, both from Beirut and Qana.
- The German newspaper Bild Zeitung has also published an an article on staged photos and propaganda by Hizbullah at Qana. (Tip of the hat to Yael K. and her excellent blog for this one.)
[NOTE: This piece is also posted at Blogs of Zion.]