In July of 2006, a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener of Kingston, Ontario, was one of four United Nations military observers who died when a 500 lb, precision guided bomb was dropped on their bunker by the Israeli Defence Forces.
The United Nations military observer sent e-mails home to Canada reporting that Israel was bombing schools and waging “a campaign of terror against the Lebanese people” shortly before he was killed by an Israeli bomb in Lebanon. The outpost, which was stationed near Lebanon’s border with Israel, was the target of an onslaught of Israeli artillery shells, before the precision-guided bomb was dropped on the target. This coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked United Nations post at Khiam occurred despite personal assurances given by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that United Nations positions would be spared Israeli fire.
The UN commander in the area had warned the Israeli military, “You’re killing my people” and that the fatal attack proceeded anyway. The attack on Patrol Base Khiam lasted nearly seven hours and during that time the Israelis received a blizzard of calls and protests all up and down the liaison network, from Wolf himself using the bunker’s radio handset to UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jane Lute working the phones.
The Finnish said the attack had “no justification”, the Chinese “strongly condemned” it and yet Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had numerous reports from Canadian media outlets (such as the Ottawa Citizen) removed from circulation.
In early 2008, the Department of National Defence (DND) posted on its website a 67-page report into the incident, where the board of inquiry found Hess-von Kruedener’s death was entirely preventable and caused by the Israeli military. Less than a year later, the Harper government decided to classify the report and remove it from the government’s website. It has since remained off-limits to the public.
The Israeli Defence Force have attributed the targeting and subsequent attack to an operational error, but offer no explanation of how the error occurred. Israel has since refused to cooperate with an investigation.
The Israel Defense Force must acknowledge and apologize for their lethal actions against our servicemen..
- UN officer reported Israeli war crimes before deadly bombing: widow
- One Martyr Down: The Untold Story Of A Canadian Peacekeeper Killed At War
- Statement by Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, Commander Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, convening authority for the Board of Inquiry into the death of Major Paeta Hess-Von Kruedener