Israeli excuse for killing UN monitors 'not credible,' says Ireland

Israeli excuse for killing UN monitors 'not credible,' says Ireland

LONDON, 27 July 2006, IRNA - THE IRISH government has lambasted the Zionist regime's killing of UN peacekeepers in Lebanon as "reckless" and "targeted" when summoning its ambassador Daniel Megiddo to the Foreign Ministry.

According to the Irish Independent newspaper Thursday, Defense Minister Willie O'Dea and Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot told the envoy that his explanation for the missile attack on the UN post at Khiyam was not acceptable.

After a 40-minute meeting with Megiddo, Ahern said that the excuse used by Megiddo was "not credible." Both expressed their "grave disquiet" and said the attacks, which resulted in the deaths were "reckless" and "targeted."

"All the evidence we have at the moment would suggest that this was either an incredible accident - despite all of the repeated warnings from our people - or else the observation post was in some way directly targeted actions of its army," Ahern said.

"The ambassador said it was a war situation. We don't regard that as sufficient explanation and we are asking him to convey that in no uncertain terms to his government," O'Dea said.

Ireland has UN peacekeepers on the Lebanese border, who regularly occupy the Khiyam post on rotation. One officer was due to have been on duty there on Tuesday when the attack was carried out, but could not gain access to the roads which had been bombed by Israel.

It was also the senior Irish officer in Lebanon, Lieut Col John Molloy, who warned the Israeli army on six separate occasions that its shells were landing close to UN positions before the fatal strike.

The Irish Defense Minister said he also warned the Israeli ambassador about his government's view that a "military solution was not possible" in Lebanon.

Earlier the ministers discussed the Irish deployment and said that they had decided that the monitors would remain in south Lebanon until a ceasefire has been declared - despite their posts coming under Israeli attack.

Ireland has so far lost 47 soldiers serving as peacekeepers in Lebanon since 1978. The overwhelming majority, if not all, are thought to have been the result of Israeli attacks.

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