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BBC: Israel Defends Self, Violates International Law

The BBC has a funny view of international law - make sure the obligations fall on Israel.

Yesterday, Israel responded to a broad Hezbollah attack - including artillery-supported cross-border raids - by, well, responding:

Hizbullah launched a failed attempt to kidnap soldiers Monday in an assault on Mount Dov and the northern town of Rajar and a coordinated mortar and rocket barrage on northern Galilee towns and kibbutzim.

A fierce Israeli response killed four infiltrators and struck at Hizbullah targets in south Lebanon, but at least 12 soldiers were wounded and a house severely damaged in Metulla by Hizbullah mortar fire.

Now, here's the BBC on the matter:

Israeli troops have killed three Hezbollah fighters during a guerrilla attack near the Lebanese border, which also left several Israelis wounded.

It was the heaviest fighting in the disputed Shebaa Farms area since 2000, when Israeli troops left south Lebanon.

Hezbollah fighters launched a major assault on Israeli army posts, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

Israel captured the area from Syria in the 1967 war but it is now claimed by Lebanon with Syria's backing.

Eyewitnesses reported at least 250 explosions in an intense two-and-a-half hours of rocket duels.

Scores of fighters were observed taking part in the Hezbollah operation, which Lebanese security sources said was aimed at taking Israeli hostages.

Israeli aircraft overflew south Lebanon as far north as Tyre, in defiance of repeated calls by the United Nations for an end to violations of Lebanese air space.

Israeli TV said Hezbollah's artillery barrage was designed to divert attention from a raid on the Druze village of Ghajar to capture Israeli soldiers.

The majority of residents in Ghajar are reported to have taken Israeli nationality after Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967.

The water-rich Shebaa Farms area lies at the convergence of Lebanon and Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The UN has ruled that the area belongs to Syria - not Lebanon - and says its fate is linked to the Golan Heights.

In 2004, UN Resolution 1559 called for the disarmament of Hezbollah, but the Lebanese government has so far refused to act.

So, in 246 words, the Beeb manages to:

1. Start the story with Israel killing Hizbollah fighters
2. Mention twice that Shebaa farms is "disputed," while leaving until the next-to-last paragraph the news that the only people disputing its status are those who want to keep killing Israelis
3. Refer to Israeli overflights as "defiance," while waiting until the last paragraph to note that the Lebanese government apparently has different definitions of "sovereignty" for different parts of its territory
4. Not note the irony in those two facts.
5. Ignore completely Hizbollah rocket attacks on Israeli civilians in towns far from the attempted raids...
6. ...leaving the impression that almost all the fighting was at Shebaa Farms

Naturally, it's not only the BBC. Reuters does pretty much the same thing, waiting 10 paragraphs to note the nature of the "dispute" over the area.

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