Aid groups are expressing alarm at the latest comments from Israeli military officials, who say they intend to deliberately target Shi’ite villages across southern Lebanon during the next war.
Israeli military officials are claiming some 100,000 Hezbollah missiles are hidden in southern Lebanon, and say that this had made every village in the area a “military compound” and therefore a legitimate target.
Rights groups strongly disagree, with a Human Rights Watch official warning it would be a “violation of the laws of war to treat entire villages or the entire south Lebanon as a legitimate military target,” adding that Israel has an obligation to distinguish between military and civilian targets.
Israeli officials used similar claims, with similar lack of evidence, to justify deliberate attacks on civilians during the most recent Gaza war, and Israeli leaders routinely talk up the idea that the “next Lebanon war,” and they never doubt there will be a next one, will include dramatically higher civilian death tolls among Lebanese.
During the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, they killed roughly 1,500 people, with 1,191 of them confirmed civilians. All indications from Israeli leadership are that this is to be considered far less than what they will do at the next opportunity.