THIS is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon’s battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.
The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.
Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.
The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.
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They emerged as:
US President George Bush called for an international force to be sent to Lebanon.
ISRAEL called up another 30,000 reserve troops.
THE UN’s humanitarian chief Jan Egeland called for a three-day truce to evacuate civilians and transport food and water into cut-off areas.
US SECRETARY of State Condoleezza Rice returned to the Middle East to push a UN resolution aimed at ending the 18-day war, and:
A PALESTINIAN militant group said it had kidnapped, killed and burned an Israeli settler in the West Bank.
The images include one of a group of men and youths preparing to fire an anti-aircraft gun metres from an apartment block with sheets hanging out on a balcony to dry.
Others show a militant with AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes.
Another depicts the remnants of a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block blown up in an Israeli air attack.
The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut and did not wish to be named said he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.
“Hezbollah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets,” he said.
“Until the Hezbollah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was totally devastated.
”It was carnage. Two innocent people died in that incident, but it was so lucky it was not more.“
The release of the images comes as Hezbollah faces criticism for allegedly using innocent civilians as ”human shields“.
Mr Egeland blasted Hezbollah as ”cowards“ for operating among civilians.
”When I was in Lebanon, in the Hezbollah heartland, I said Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending in among women and children,” he said.