The 1996 attack on a United Nations compound in Lebanon, which killed over 100 internally displaced Lebanese civilians and injured hundreds more, has been largely under-reported in U.S. papers. Please write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper and help educate your neighbors about this horrific attack and how its victims are still seeking justice more than ten years later.

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  • In April 1996, over 100 civilians were killed and hundreds more were wounded when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shelled a United Nations (UN) compound in Qana, Lebanon. Approximately 800 civilians had sought refuge in the compound while their villages were bombed as part of the IDF's Operation "Grapes of Wrath," a three-week campaign in southern Lebanon to pressure the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah.

  • The IDF issued no warning before shelling the UN compound and took no precautions to prevent civilian casualties. Instead, the IDF continued to attack the compound even after UN officials notified it that the compound was sheltering internally displaced civilians.

  • A UN investigation and denounced the IDF attack as violating the rules of international humanitarian law and concluded that it was "unlikely" that the shelling was the result of gross technical or procedural errors and stated that Israel was responsible for compensation. More than ten years later the victims have not been compensated, and justice has not been done.

  • In 2005, the Center for Constitutional Rights brought a class action law suit on behalf of the victims of the attack against retired Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, who had participated in the decision to shell the UN compound when he was head of the Intelligence Branch of the IDF. Belhas v. Ya'alon was dismissed in December 2006 by Judge Friedman of the U.S. District Court, who found that Ya'alon had acted in his official capacity and was, therefore, immune from the suit. Plaintiffs, including Saadallah Ali Belhas who lost more than 30 family members in the attack, appealed the dismissal.

  • Moshe Ya'alon knowingly participated in the decision to shell a UN compound housing civilians, violating international humanitarian law and Israeli law. Ya'alon should stand trial and be held accountable for these war crimes.