Qana also spelled Cana (in Arabic: قانا) is a village in southern Lebanon located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) southeast of the city of Tyre and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north of the border with Israel. The 10,000 residents of Qana are primarily Shiite Muslim although there is also a Christian community in the village.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus is said to have performed his first miracle of turning water into wine at Cana in Galilee. Some Christians, especially Lebanese Christians, believe Qana to have been the actual location of this event. However, a tradition dating back to the 8th century identifies Cana with the modern village of Kafr Kanna, about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) northeast of Nazareth, Israel.
In 1994, Nabih Berri, Lebanon's Parliament Speaker and leader of the secular Shiite Amal movement, wanted to establish a Christian shrine at a cave in Qana to attract tourists and pilgrims. The government sent a 100-man company of troops to Qana to prevent potential religious conflict. This proposal was revived in 1999.
Attacks on Qana
- 1996 shelling of Qana: On 18 April 1996, amid heavy fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and Hezbollah fighters during Operation Grapes of Wrath, a Fijian UNIFIL compound in the village was shelled by Israeli artillery, killing 106 civilians and injuring around 116 others who had taken refuge there to escape the fighting. Four UNIFIL soldiers were also seriously injured.
- 2006 Qana airstrike: On 30 July 2006, during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Israeli airstrikes hit an apartment building. The Lebanese Red Cross originally stated that at least 56 people were killed, 32 of whom were children. Human Rights Watch later announced that at least 22 people escaped the basement, and 28 are confirmed dead, of which 16 were children, with 13 more still missing.
After both attacks the residents of Qana built memorials to commemorate the deaths.
- "Lebanese Town Lays Claim To Jesus Christ's First Miracle", Associated Press, January 12, 1994.
- Catholic Encyclopedia, 1914
- "Lebanon to develop Qana into Christian tourist site", Agence France-Presse, December 7, 1999.
- "Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine: written statement submitted by the Hariri Foundation". United Nations. United Nations Commission on Human Rights. 29 January 2004. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Letter Dated 7 May 1996 from the Secretary-General Addressed to the President of the Security Council". United Nations Security Council. 7 May 1996. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- Human Rights Watch puts Qana death toll at 28, Reuters, August 3, 2006.