what do you call it when a nation commits suicide?

Smoke rises from Khiam village after being hit by Israeli air strikes, in southern Lebanon, July 25, 2006

Israel has just killed four UN observers, apparently deliberately, and in doing so may have just dealt itself a fatal blow.

An Israeli bomb has hit a UN observation post on the border between Israel and Lebanon, killing four peacekeepers, a UN official has said.

The victims included observers from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, a senior Lebanese military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release the information to the media.

The bomb made a direct hit on the building and shelter of the observer post in the town of Khiam near the eastern end of the border with Israel, according to Milos Struger, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL.

Rescue workers were trying to clear the rubble, but Israeli firing "continued even during the rescue operation," Struger said.

UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has asked Israel to conduct an investigation into the "apparently deliberate targeting" by Israeli defence forces of the UN post.

(from the Associated Press in Beirut, via Guardian Unlimited)

[image and caption from Yahoo!, the photograph of the former UN observer site captured by Karamallah Daher/Reuters]