The United Nations (UN) observation post at Khiam, southern Lebanon, was destroyed by an Israeli guided missile on Tuesday of last week, killing four UN observers.
Michael, a former Irish soldier who served in Lebanon, told Socialist Worker, “Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Molloy contacted the Northern Command of the Israeli Defence Forces six times to ask that the shelling be stopped so the UN observers could get out.
“Thirty minutes after the last call the post was hit.
“I think one reason the Israelis didn’t respond is that Johnny Molloy fought at At Tiri and the Israelis remember these things.”
In April 1980, Irish soldiers protected the inhabitants of the village of At Tiri from almost certain slaughter in a short but intensive battle with the South Lebanon Army, an Israeli-backed militia.
One Irish soldier was killed and several others were badly injured in the battle.
Today At Tiri is under attack once more. “Look at the UN reports of what is going on, they say At Tiri is experiencing ‘aerial bombardment’ and ‘intensive shelling’,” said Michael. “I fought to save that village and the Israelis are destroying it.”
He added, “On the same day as the Khiam UN base was bombed there were five other incidents in which shells landed in the vicinity of UN sites.”
The massacre at Qana also repeated an earlier attack. “In 1996 Israeli tanks fired shells into a Fijian UN post in the town and killed over 100 women and children,” said Michael.
Another former Irish soldier, David, said, “The area where we served has been thrown back to the Stone Age by the Israelis. Things that can’t even remotely be considered as military targets are simply being bombarded off the face of the earth.”
Michael said, “Only this morning I got a call from my friend whose seven year old niece lost half her leg in an attack.
“I’m hearing some terrible atrocities. People are pleading, ‘Please, please help us.’ If the US says to Israel tomorrow to stop, they will.”