The only comment the Toronto Star carries from the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert is this one:
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would not rush into a ceasefire until it achieved its goal of decimating Hezbollah, whose July 12 capture of two Israel soldiers provoked the fighting.
And yet, this statement from the Israeli Prime Minister never made it into the Toronto Star report.
"I express deep regret, along with all of Israel and the IDF, for the civilian deaths in Qana," said Olmert. "Nothing could be further from our intentions and our interests than harming civilians - everyone understands that. When we do harm civilians, the whole world recognizes that it is an exceptional case that does not characterize us."
Or this one from the Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peterz:
Defense Minister Amir Peretz was also profoundly repentant for the fatal strike, saying, "this is a tragic incident that is a result of war. Hizbullah operates in the heart of populated centers with the full knowledge of endangering the lives of innocent civilians." The defense minister ordered the IDF to conduct a full investigation into the incident
Or this one from IDF Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz:
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz also expressed sorrow over the loss of innocent life. "We were operating in a place from where Katyushas are being fired and we distributed notices to residents. Nevertheless, the chief of staff said that the IDF would continue to fight in order to defend northern residents and to bring calm to the region adding, "the terrorist organizations are taking cover among populated areas. We will continue to operate, causing the minimum harm to civilians." Unfortunately, people who assembled in the area, whom we were unaware of, were harmed," said Halutz. Nevertheless, the chief of staff said that the IDF would continue to fight in order to defend northern residents and to bring calm to the region adding, "the terrorist organizations are taking cover among populated areas. We will continue to operate, causing the minimum harm to civilians."Meanwhile Israeli civilians are deliberately targeted by Hezbollah. In the last 24 hour period more than 100 rockets have been lobbied by Hezbollah to kill Israeli civilians. Yet the silence from the Lebanese Prime Minister or Hezbollah leader over the wounds, maiming and deaths of Israeli non-combatants is simply deafening.
But found in the Toronto Star report is this gem from the Israeli Foreign Ministry official:
“One must understand the Hezbollah is using their own civilian population as human shields,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry official Gideon Meir. “The Israeli defence forces dropped leaflets and warned the civilian population to leave the place because the Hezbollah turned it into a war zone.”Even the Jerusalem Post article maintains that Qana was papered warning Lebanese civilians to get out of Dodge. So why didn’t they? Maybe it’s the gypsy in me coming out, but if I had an enemy force drop leaflets saying they will be commencing a bombing campaign where I am living; I would be hightailing it to the mountains – post haste. So why didn’t these people fee? That’s the question an enterprising journalist should be seeking an answer to.
Update: Two hours after this report from the Toronto Star was filed online the Toronto Star posted the Israeli Prime Minister's statement of regrets.