Hezballah war crimes continue
Late last week while guarding a house in southern Lebanon that Israeli forces were using as a command post, Cpl. Matan Tyler received an unusual order from his commander: Watch out for guys wearing Israeli uniforms.The Geneva Conventions are violated in much of the actions described by the Washington Post reports yet that fact is never mentioned. Instead of wearing identifying uniforms, Hezballah either tries to look like civilians or as in this case they use Israeli uniforms. Both offenses would result in instant death penalties in World War II. The blending with civilians is also a violation of the Geneva Conventiosn and the Post does not mention that either. It is a ridiculous double standard on the part of the media and it should not be acceptable.
A day earlier, a nearby regiment had been approached by fighters wearing familiar olive shirts and vests with Hebrew writing, Tyler said he was told. The fighters -- Hezbollah militiamen disguised as Israelis -- opened fire on a house full of Israeli soldiers.
"You really can't underestimate the Hezbollah," said Tyler, 20, a member of the army's Nahal Brigade. "They are the masters of the field. They know the area better than us. They know where to hide and when to move. They always know where we are."
The incident is just one among dozens of examples of an enemy that has proven more resilient and better-equipped than Israeli military forces anticipated. After nearly four weeks of air attacks and ground combat, Israeli military officials say that they have killed only a small fraction of Hezbollah's fighters and that the group still has hundreds of launchers and thousands of rockets at its disposal.
"What we face is an infantry division with state-of-the-art weaponry -- night-vision gear, advanced rifles, well-equipped -- deployed along our border," said Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, who until last month was director of analysis for Israeli military intelligence. "They have some of the most advanced antitank missiles in the world."
Among the main challenges facing Israeli soldiers, they say, is that Hezbollah chooses to fight in and among civilian centers, making it difficult to target its fighters without killing bystanders. Lebanese officials and human rights organizations have criticized Israel for what they term indiscriminate bombing, but commanders say that, if anything, they err on the side of caution when deciding whom to shoot.
"There have been many times when we let go someone whom we knew was a terrorist because we are not sure we could take them down safely," Adam said. "Meanwhile, they try to kill as many of our civilians as they can."