Ironies of war: Israel kills Kurds, Hezbollah kills Arabs

The undiscriminating nature of aerial warfare is producing some surreal ironies in the Israel-Lebanon mess. As we have noted, Israel appears to be loaning military support to Iraqi Kurds due to mutual enmity for the Arabs, leading Arabs and Turks alike to increasingly view Kurdish separatism as a Jewish conspiracy. Yet the latest Israeli air strike on Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley wiped out a bunch of Syrian Kurdish migrant fruit pickers. From Reuters, Aug. 4:

BEIRUT – Israeli bombardment killed at least 40 civilians in Lebanon on Friday and Hizbollah launched its longest-range rocket attack of the war as world powers tried to overcome their differences on how to end the fighting.

One Israeli air strike hit a farm near Qaa, close to the Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley where workers, mostly Syrian Kurds, were loading plums and peaches onto trucks, local officials said. They said 33 people were killed and 20 wounded.

Television footage showed bodies of what appeared to be farm workers lined up near the ruins of a small structure in fruit groves. Strewn nearby were fruit baskets.

“I was picking peaches when three bombs hit. Others were having lunch and they were torn to pieces,” said Mohammad Rashed, one of the wounded. Syria’s official news agency said 17 of the dead were Syrian workers, five of them women.

“The air force spotted a truck that was suspected to have been loaded with weapons cross from Syria into Lebanon on a route that is routinely used to transport weapons,” said an Israeli army spokesman. “The truck entered into a building and remained inside for an hour, then left and returned to Syria.”

He said that when the truck left, the building was attacked.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s own rockets are killing Arabs as well as Jews. A photo caption accompanying an Aug. 4 AP account reads:

Smoke from a fire caused by a Hezbollah rocket rises from a forest as a car damaged by a previous attack sits on a street in the northern Israel town of Kiryat Shmona Friday Aug. 4, 2006. Hezbollah guerrillas hammered northern Israel with a barrage of 45 rockets within a half hour Friday, killing three Israeli Arabs.

See last posts on the the Lebanon crisis and the Kurdish struggle.