Thursday, July 20, 2006
In the continued conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, six Canadians, including four children who were killed on Sunday by an Israeli missile hitting a house in south Lebanon have been identified.
Saja Al-Akhrass (8), Zeinab Al-Akhrass (6), Ahmad Al-Akhrass (4), and Salam Al-Akhrass (11 months) were in Lebanon for a summer holiday, visiting their extended family. They were killed when their house collapsed after being struck by an Israeli bombardment. Their parents, 36-year-old Ali Al-Akhrass and his wife Amira (23) were also killed in the attack. The family were residents of Montreal.
Six others were reported wounded in the attack.
“I lost my brother, I lost my sister, my nephew, the family of my nephew, my aunt, my uncle. Oh God,” said Hussain El-Akras, brother of one of the victims. He told a Montreal news conference Monday that his family were begging the government of Canada to “put pressure on Israel to stop this barbaric behaviour.”
The Israeli military statement on the incident said “The responsibility for any civilian casualties rests entirely with the Hezbollah terrorist organization” and “The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) requested and warned residents of the area not to stay within range of the launch sites”. Israel says that Hezbollah disperses its weaponry among supporters in residential neighborhoods to avoid being targeted by the much larger, better-equipped Israeli Defense Forces.