Israeli Jets ‘Incinerate’ Fleeing Family
From: Agence France-Presse
by Jihad Siqlawi in Tyre
July 16, 2006
ELEVEN children and seven adults were killed overnight in southern Lebanon, their bodies consumed by flames when an Israeli warplane opened fire on the convoy they were in, UN peacekeepers and hospital sources said.
Their charred remains were extracted from the wreckage of the minibus and car they were travelling in and taken to hospital.
A doctor, Ali Zeineddine, said they were burned alive.
"It is very difficult to identify the bodies or to distinguish between girls or boys, as the 18 victims perished from the fire triggered by incendiary shells. They grilled," he said.
They had been among residents fleeing villages close to the Israeli border and were killed when missiles struck a car and a minibus near Shamaa, hospital sources said. The children were aged between 7 and 12.
An officer with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), who was involved in the evacuation operation, told AFP that his team removed most of the burnt bodies.
"Some of them were thrown on olive trees and even on haystacks," said the officer, who declined to be named.
An AFP correspondent saw the blackened bodies of five of those killed, a father and his four children, at the hospital in Tyre.
The father of two of the other children killed, Mahmoud Ghannam, 55, who was not with the targeted convoy, broke down when he arrived at the hospital.
"My God, my God. I can't make out the faces of my children. They are burnt black... Which ones are my children?" he cried, repeatedly hitting his head with his hands.
"My God, Israel is the enemy of mankind," he wailed.