With the fauxtography/Reutersgate scandal widening, accounts of Israeli atrocities by wire service employees who are also local residents directly affected by the fighting need to be examined carefully. Especially when coincidences begin to stack up.
Two wire service employees, one an Associated Press photographer and the other a Reuters reporter, were in the same convoy fleeing Israeli-occupied Marjayoun when the convoy was attacked, killing several people.
It's unclear whether the three, who share the same last name, are related. AP photographer Lutfallah Daher was said to be fleeing his hometown, Marjayoun, with his wife and several other relatives, including his brother. Marjayoun's population is a little over 16,000.
Lutfallah Daher says that an Israeli drone attacked the convoy. How he identified the drone as Israeli is not mentioned. Hizballah also operates drones, and might be expected to fire on a large convoy moving north of the Litani river.
This story, "Israeli Drone Strike on Convoy Kills 7", is from Lutfallah Daher's account.
Lutfallah Daher, the photographer, was with the convoy when it was hit near the Bekaa Valley town of Chtaura, about 30 miles north of the Litani River. Israel has said it would attack any vehicle on roads south of the Litani, assuming it was carrying Hezbollah weapons or fighters.This story from the Reuters reporter, Karamallah Daher, is headlined: "Israel attacks convoy fleeing south Lebanon":
The photographer said that when the convoy left the Israeli-occupied town of Marjayoun in southern Lebanon, it was made up of more than 600 civilian vehicles in addition to vehicles carrying 350 Lebanese soldiers and police. A few vehicles had left the convoy before it was hit, the photographer said.
Daher lives in Marjayoun and was fleeing with his wife in one car. His mother, brother, sister-in-law and their child were in another car. None was harmed.
"The night sky suddenly lit and we heard an explosion toward the leading cars of the convoy. I first thought it was a blown tire," said Reuters reporter Karamallah Daher, who was in the convoy.
"Cars sped in every direction and some crashed into ditches near the road," said Daher, who counted five rockets.
The Israeli military disputes parts of the story, including whether or not the convoy was authorized by them.
Update (8/12/06, 3:00PM): Yet another Daher. Reader Geepers noticed a familiar name in this Reuters story about conditions in Marjayoun:
"We have no running water, no electricity, and we are running out of food. We have one bag of bread left," resident Rana Daher told Reuters by telephone.