"Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hezbollah." (Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon quoted in You're all targets, Israel tells Lebanese in South, Harry de Quetteville, telegraph.co.uk, 28/7/06)
"The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qana that 'according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy. All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians', the statement said." (Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents, ynetnews.com, 30/7/06)
"On April 18 1996 at 2.08 pm, Israeli tank fire had attacked the [UN base in the village of Qana in South Lebanon] and killed 109 Lebanese refugees who had taken shelter in the UN compound from Israel's bombardment of South Lebanon... The attack against the base came exactly one week after Israel launched 'Operation Grapes of Wrath' against South Lebanon and the western Bekaa Valley under the pretext of neutralising Hezbollah guerillas in the area. Israeli military officials announced that the attack on Qana was triggered after several Hezbollah guerillas fired 5 Katyusha rockets at an Israeli commando group which had advanced beyond Israel's self-declared 'security zone'. The purpose of the artillery barrage, they argued, was to provide protective fire to their commandos, not to hit the UN base. Very few Lebanese believed Israel's version, while the UN soldiers were even more sceptical. A UN investigation, published the following month, concluded that it was 'unlikely' that the Israelis had hit the base in error. Amnesty International issued its own report in July and declared that the attack had been intentional." (Hezbollah: Born with a Vengeance, Hala Jaber, 1997, pp 169-171)
Brianna Keilar: We're joined now by Israel's foreign ministry spokesman, Mark Regev. He is live with us from Jerusalem. I have to ask you, Mark, what happened in Qana?
Mark Regev: Well, it's obviously a tragedy and I think I speak for all of my countrymen when I express regret and sorrow to see such carnage, such death. We didn't want to see this. I don't think anyone wanted to see this. This is a real tragedy... I think everyone understands that. I think though also, I mean, if people are pointing the finger and they should point the finger clearly at Hezbollah. [It's] a cowardly organization... hiding behind women and children, fighting until the very last Lebanese civilian - I mean there's a problem with Hezbollah tactics, they work out of mosques, out of residential areas... (Israeli airstrike kills 50 in Qana, cnn.com, 30/7/06)
"In its lead story August 1, the Hebrew edition of Haaretz online reported that the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) claim that Hezbollah missile launchers and Hezbollah fighters were in and around the building in Qana which they shelled early Sunday morning [30/7/06] was false. Oddly, this article, which points to Israeli culpability and recklessness in what some are calling the IDF's second massacre in Qana... has been largely ignored in the international press... Initially, Israeli military sources had reported that the deaths in Qana were caused not by the Israeli air attack early Sunday morning, but by an accidental explosion, many hours later, of Hezbollah ordnance that was stored inside the building. According to the Haaretz article, this is not true. Israeli Air Force sources have admitted, according to Haaretz, that the deaths in Qana were caused by the Israeli shelling. Between 30 and 60 deaths were reported..." (Israeli newspaper reports that the army lied about Qana, Ira Glunts, antiwar.com, 3/8/06
"This war, perhaps more than its predecessors, is exposing the true deep veins of Israeli society. Racism and hatred are rearing their heads, as is the impulse for revenge and the thirst for blood. 'The inclination of the commander' in the IDF is now 'to kill as many as possible', as the military correspondents on television describe it. And even if the reference is to Hamas fighters, this inclination is still chilling." (The time of the righteous, Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 9/1/09)
Scott Bevan: Mark Regev [spokesman for the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert], in relation to Gaza yesterday, you said of the Israeli attack on that UN agency school in a refugee camp in Gaza... it's another example of how Hamas deliberately brutalises the civilian population. How would you describe the Israeli forces' actions towards the civilian population in that instance?
Mark Regev: In that particular incident, it's clear what happened. We had an Israeli military unit in a combat situation, and they were fired on by multiple mortar shells. They did what any military unit would do, whether Australian, Canadian or Israeli in a combat situation - they were fired upon, they returned fire to the people who were shooting at them.
Scott Bevan: But the UN...
Mark Regev: The ultimate crime here was done by Hezbollah [sic].
Scott Bevan: But the UN Relief & Works Agency...
Mark Regev: Hezbollah [sic] had taken...
Scott Bevan: The UNRWA has said after a preliminary investigation it's 99.9% sure [that Hamas were not firing from the school], or are your forces 100% sure that they were?
Mark Regev: I can say the following, and I know this to be true. We know that there was hostile fire from either inside the UN facility, or immediately adjacent to [it], on our forces. That we know for a fact. Now, in either situation, Hamas is directly responsible for using a UN facility for a human shield, and using those innocent civilians, those innocent refugees, there for human shields. In both cases Hamas is guilty of breaking the norms of conventional behaviour and they should be roundly criticized for it. (Israel faces conflict on 2 fronts, The 7.30 Report, 8/1/09)
"For its part, the Israeli Defence Force steadfastly maintains that mortars had been fired from the school. In a statement released by a spokesman, Captain Benjamin Rutland, it said it has incontravertible evidence to support its version of events. 'An initial inquiry by forces operating in the area of the incident indicates that a number of mortar shells were fired at IDF forces from within the Jabalya school. In response to the incoming enemy fire, the forces returned mortar fire to the source', he said. 'This is not the first time that Hamas has fired mortars and rockets from schools, in such a way deliberately using civilians as human shields in their acts of terror against Israel'." (School slaughter intesifies demands for ceasefire, Jason Koutsoukis, Sydney Morning Herald, 8/1/09)
"Although Israel said its return fire landed outside the school, witnesses described a series of blasts, which Israeli officials said suggested militants had rigged the building with explosives." (UN rejects claim on school, John Lyons, The Australian, 8/1/09)
"The United Nations is claiming Israeli military officers have admitted there was no Palestinian gunfire emanating from inside an UNRWA school in Gaza which was shelled by an IDF tank. Dozens of Palestinians were killed in the shelling... UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told Haaretz yesterday that the army had conceded wrongdoing. 'In briefings senior [IDF] officers conducted for foreign diplomats, they admitted the shelling to which IDF forces in Jabalya were responding did not originate from the school', Gunness said. 'The IDF admitted in that briefing that the attack on the UN site was unintentional'. He noted that all the footage released by the IDF of militants firing from inside the school was from 2007 and not from the incident itself. 'There are no up-to-date photos', Gunness said. 'In 2007, we abandoned the site and only then did the militants take it over'." (UN: IDF officers admitted there was no gunfire from Gaza school which was shelled, Barak Ravid, Haaretz, 9/1/09)
The 'Aussie Mafia' of Spin Doctors in Israel...
"Captain [Benjamin] Rutland, 34, born in Paddington and raised in Bondi and who studied arts-law at the University of NSW, is one of the public faces of Israel's war in Gaza... How does he feel when he hears... about the 40 deaths at a UN school in Gaza hit by Israeli tanks? 'When that first came in we didn't have much information', he said. 'There was a sense of horror. But as the information filtered in that Hamas fighters had been in there, that changed. If rockets were being fired at Sydney, Canberra or Melbourne, the Australian Government would respond'... Captain Rutland is part of what he calls 'an Australian mafia' who are prominent in selling the war, along with friend Guy Spigelman, an Israeli reservist also in the public affairs unit of the army. Then there's Mark Regev, Israel's face to the world, who moved to Israel from Melbourne. " (Aussie mafia of spin doctors in Israel, John Lyons, The Australian, 10/1/09)