Israeli leader in hot seat over Lebanon’s Qana massacre

A scene from the Qana massacre by Israeli military forces in April 1996
A scene from the Qana massacre by Israeli military forces in April 1996

Naftali Bennett the leader of Bayit Yehudi party reacted angrily to a report in the daily tabloid Yedioth Ahronoth suggesting that as an officer in an elite combat unit his actions may have led to the Qana massacre of over 100 Lebanese civilians during Operation Grapes of Wrath in April 1996 1996, Jerusalem Post Newspaper reported on Tuesday

According to the report , the controversy erupted earlier this week when journalist Yigal Sarna penned an article that described Bennett, then a commanding officer in the elite crack commando unit Maglan, as someone who demonstrated “poor judgment.”

“Bennett led a force of 67 combat troops into Lebanon,” Sarna wrote. “At a certain point, he decided to ignore orders and change operational plans without coordinating these moves with his superiors, who in his mind were cowardly and not steadfast enough.”

Naftali Bennett seen here as an officer in the elite IDF unit Maglan during his military service. (photo credit:YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Naftali Bennett seen here as an officer in the elite IDF unit Maglan during his military service. (photo credit:YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)

Sarna is referring to the massacre in which 106 Lebanese were killed and around 116 injured. Four Fijian United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon soldiers were also seriously injured..

The article implied that Bennett’s behavior in the field caused grave damage to Israel’s image as well as loss of life.

On his Facebook page, Bennett denied the accusations.

“I have now been subjected to an attack claiming that I am ‘responsible for the massacre in Qana’,” Bennett wrote. “Heroism will not be investigated. Keep looking in the archives. My military file is available for viewing, and it’s waiting for you.”

The Bayit Yehudi chief also responded to other journalists on social media who weighed in on the controversy. Raviv Drucker, a senior political commentator for Channel 10, tweeted a quote that he heard from “a senior military officer” who “was well-versed in the details of the investigation of the Kfar Kana incident in 1996.”

“He told me that in the two-way radio, the young Bennett sounds hysterical, and the stress that he was under contributed significantly to the terrible mishap,” Drucker tweeted.

The attack occurred amid heavy fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah during Operation Grapes of Wrath. A United Nations investigation later stated it was unlikely that the Israeli shelling was a technical or procedural error,as was claimed by Israel following the massacre.

In December , 2005, relatives of the Qana massacre victims filed a lawsuit in a Washington, DC court against former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon ( the current acting Defense minister) for his role in the deaths. The lawsuit was prepared by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Yaalon, who was a visiting scholar in Washington, reportedly refused to receive the the papers served by the lawsuit.

Among the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are Saadallah Ali Belhas and his son Ali Saadallah Belhas who lost 31 family members in the shelling including their respective wives and 12 children. The United States District Court dismissed the complaint in 2006 on the basis that Yaalon was entitled to immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia affirmed the dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction in 2008.



18 responses to “Israeli leader in hot seat over Lebanon’s Qana massacre”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    “… the stress that he was under contributed significantly ….”

    I suppose he was being shot at … the soldiers get nervous being shot at … they prefer to have a place bombed to rat-shit before they walk in safely … looking like rambo-types, as he seems to in the picture.
    (how does one refuse to receive served papers??)

    1. just one thing 5th, he probably was not in charge there or to blame.
      it is a spin coming out of Netanyahu’s office. bibi is worried Benet will inherit him so he gives him the routine treatment as he always does.

  2. nagy_michael2 Avatar

    Was it the stress or the arrogance of that Mother Fucker for killing over 100 lebanese civilians. well he screwed big time and i hope 100 bombs drops on him. I am sure Hezbollah helped him in the process to end the fighting they started. But during the war that ended the PLO presence in Lebanon where Arafat looked really bad.
    Ghaddafi the lunatic was smart enough to tell Arafat let your people get slaughtered and the tide of war and world opinion will be in your favor. well after the massacres in Sabra and Shatilla mind you those who killed civilians were not only Christians but also other muslims joined too. But the world called the Christians as murderous and we had no business fighting Palestinians all along. As if we didn’t belong in LEbanon and PLO DID.
    no further comments i think you all know what i am talking about.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Had it gone to the courts, the ‘details’ would be out. There is no justice. Only innuendo forever.
      And no-one learns for the future.

        1. Hind Abyad Avatar
          Hind Abyad

          Surprise Naftali Bennett part of Israeli team editing Wikipedia.

          1. AkhouManUki Avatar

            No surprise here – I was drawn back to Ya Libnan over the crazy Israeli comment trolls going to town on my girl Amal – I thought there were real jobs in Israel.

          2. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            .that was horrible i discovered Hollywood Jewry irrational hatred.

          3. AkhouManUki Avatar

            It’s amazing to see how dedicated they are to attempting to maintain a pristine image of their highly questionable morals.

          4. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Not many came to her defence i had to send back to the authors their own vulgarities.

          5. Whole druze community should honor you.

          6. Hannibal Avatar

            So telling… SO UGLY! wiki my ass. Nobody reads it anyways it is filled with garbage.

          7. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Just no passion, Hannibal. Real facts, but no passion. Like an encyclopaedia.

          8. Hannibal Avatar

            Often wrong or biased 😉

          9. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Good link. Also.
            Editing … a difficult thing to both do and to teach … there are parameters which must be complied with, even in articles or books of known fiction. When it is ‘facts’ of dry history or reportage, it must be accurate, almost to the point of being droll in the case of some news readers. Straight factual history is like reading numbers … and few wish to read it, OR to correlate the facts into a meaningful scene. THAT takes imagination.
            Some write in Wiki with imagination … some do not want imagination to enter.
            A battle of editors.

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        Yes they learn, but it’s censured by Aipac they own America.

        -Sec. of State John Foster Dulles quoted on p.99 of Fallen Pillars
        by Donald Neff

        The long history of bipartisan Congressional support for Israel led
        former Secretary of State James Baker to call the Congress “The Little Knesset” after Israel’s Knesset (parliament) in Jerusalem. Congress’s embarrassing and unpatriotic display of allegiance to a foreign country that is dependent on American largesse and support is the unknown scandal to the American people. With the media’s strong, biased and sympathetic portrayal of Israel while simultaneously denying any opposing view of Israel or human pictures and stories of the endless suffering of Palestinians, its no wonder that we the American people are so unaware of the true face of Israel. Thus shockingly but not surprisingly only 4 % of the American people are aware of Israel’s 34 year brutal military occupation of the Palestinian people.

        James Baker was Secretary of State during Sabra Shatilla, Bush father promised Arafat the US army would guard the camps after the men leave for Tunisia, Begin called the President and said Israeli soldiers can guard the camps, the Americans (who at the time were still “normal”) accepted the word of a Prime Minister. As soon as the Americans left many people said WHAT? Israeli are going to massacre them..there was a black out during 3 days while an orgy of massacres was taking place, thet the world was unaware of. Baker told Army general Sharron he was not welcome in US.

        Then things changed, the US became a vassal to Israel.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          America … being rather insular and unaware over most of it’s history, due simply to the nature of it’s physical size and the need for people to survive on their own in small communities, which became often-disparate ‘states’ with ‘local-need’ governing … is and has been, in the human sense, unaware of larger-world or even larger-America problems, peoples, or conditions. For periods of time the education of everyone with no ‘world news’ and no radios received information by word-of-mouth with the ‘pony-express’ bringing mail ‘from over home’ which told them little beyond the fact Aunt Matilda had the ague, or cousin Peter died, created ‘the American Way’ of life. When news came – they believed.
          Something like Saudi farmers, or Lebanese Shepherds.
          Canada did slightly better, because it maintained better contact with the ‘Mother Country’. But humans are the same everywhere. Most of their time is spent surviving.
          Politician-types live on those avails.
          Fast forward ….
          On a percentage basis, how many of a county’s population can be really aware of something ‘foreign’ to all their life experience? And how many ever look ‘outside’ it?
          Who will they believe ‘first’ when news (or history) float into view??
          Japan woke them up for WWII – an attack on ‘The Land’. And instantly every Japanese, whether born in America or not, was an ‘enemy’. The ‘Righteous Indignation’ rises swiftly and politicians are tuned to the event. ‘Business’ is too. GROUP THINK – very strong.
          Which, of course, is what the Japanese had as well.
          Why should Israelis be any different?? People think they are, but as humans they are not.

          1. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            How can’t they? They have their nose in every country.
            They lived in West and East Europe, the Balkans, Russia, Turkey, since 2000 years. Many never left the Middle East..
            Because North America is only 3238 years, Jaques Cartier discovered Canada 480 years ago..not same situation as the isolated American and Canadian auntie’s county..

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