The IDF inquiry into the Kana incident in which civilians were killed as a building collapsed released its final conclusions Thursday morning.
Two missiles, the only one of which exploded, hit the building on July 30. The army said that they had operated according to information that "the building was not inhabited by civilians and was being used as a hiding place for terrorists." Had they known that civilians were in the building, the attack would not have been carried out.
The IDF spokesperson noted that the building had been targeted only after residents had been warned to evacuate through various media, and that the building was adjacent to areas from which rockets had been launched towards Israel. Other buildings in the area had been targeted with no civilian casualties.
On Wednesday, both the Lebanese Health Ministry and the Human Rights Watch said that they could confirm only 28 of the originally reported 57 civilians who died in the building. Of the 28 that they confirmed, 16 were children.
There have been claims on an anti-Syrian Lebanese Web site and various weblogs that Hizbullah "staged" the tragedy, bringing in dead bodies or live disabled children who would be killed in an Israeli bombing after seeing the rocket launchers.
Paul Conneally, the Irish national who is deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Israel and the Palestinian Authority and is the person assigned to deal with Lebanese matters, said he could not say exactly how many bodies were taken out and how many died there. He had no information about whether anyone had autopsied the bodies to determine the causes of death.
In the IDF's report, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said that while the IDF places itself as a shield between Hizbullah and Israeli citizens, Hizbullah places Lebanese civilians as a shield between itself and the IDF.
He also ordered that guidelines for opening fire against suspicious targets be evaluated and updated immediately.
Since the beginning of the conflict, over 150 rockets have been launched from within the village of Kana itself and areas adjacent to it.