I woke up this morning listening to some talks on the TV about the "Qana massacre". I thought at first that they had pulled out some clips from the archives of the previous massacre of another Sunday in April 18, 1996. As it turned out i was wrong:
This very morning a civilian three story building in the Biblical village of Qana southeast of Tyre, where Christ performed his first miracle by turning water into wine, was targeted and completely distroyed (10 years after the first massacre). It was a shelter allegedly protecting about 50 handicapped children amongst others, unable to be evacuated because of the constant shellings, the dangerous road conditions and the physical/mental state of the children. From inside the destruction 57 corpses where pulled out so far, 37 of them children and the others of women and old people. Rescue has been hampered by some sort of gaseous odors causing people to vomit and faint.
Despite this morning's tragedy, no truce has been declared and the shellings is continuing until this moment on various other targets in Lebanon. A Lebanese army post was targeted and well as the administration of the Hospital at Benet El Jbeil. The Israeli government refused yesterday the UN's request for 72hrs of ceasefire to allow to clear the wounded and the dead from the hit areas. No food, water or medecines has been allowed to reach these parts of the country. Famine and sickness are as critical a threat as the bombings especially with decaying unburied corpses lying about.
As retaliation, an angry mob stormed the UN ESCWA building and destroyed furniture. I hear that there is a demonstration making its way to the US embassy. People are feeling so helpless, so alone and frustrated that they do not even know what to do to express their rage and helplessness. Action is the only way to vent and to keep from going out of their minds no matter how misguided these actions are.
The ironic part is that as this massacre was taking place Rice was in Israel... holding 'talks'. She has been informed by the Lebanese government that proceeding with her plans to visit Lebanon would not be advisable... or welcome. She has decided to remain in Israel for further 'talks'. Israel says that it is in "no hurry" in declaring a ceasefire and needs a further "10 to 15 days" to finish its military operations.
On another lighter note, fuel is really scarce nowdays. The gas stations are closed. Cars are parked on the side of the streets with empty tanks. People are home, no auxiliary electricty generators are operating unless for emergency. The blockade is still ongoing. Nothing can come in and nothing can go out... except for the foreign nationals being evacuated.