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June 13, 2006

More On The Media's Reporting Of Israeli Shelling Of Palestinians That Didn't Happen - Or, 'Palestinians Kill Their Own As Biased Media Fake News Headlines'

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

What? The media rush to judgement and put out anti-Israeli or anti-American reports - long before the facts are available? Golly gee - where have we heard that before?

Yesterday we addressed the media's field day with their version of the story about the deaths of the Palestinians killed by an explosion on a Gaza beach to which they attributed an errant Israeli . The media's showing of a video that had a tragic scene of a little girl heartbroken over her father's body and screaming for her dad was put out long before any investigation had even been launched. Subsequently, an IDF probe investigating the deaths concluded that chances were slim that the accident was caused by IDF shelling.

Michael Allen, a commenter at The American Thinker wrote:

As a former US Marine who is quite familiar with the effects of artillery, I must point out that a careful viewing of the media video of the after effects of the Gaza explosion showed NO artillery round craters.

Israel's IDF uses 155 mm artillery shells. These are quite powerful and invariably leave a crater, some as deep as four feet in soft soil like sand. Virtually none were visible in the film. Particularly in the area immediately adjacent to the family's alleged picnic site.

There is something very wrong in this entire story about that explosion. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have already reaped the benefit from a world media all too eager to blame Israel.

Today, Haaretz reports:

[...] An Israel Defense Forces committee has concluded that the deaths of seven members of a Palestinian family at a Gaza beach last Friday were not caused by an errant IDF artillery shell.

... "We have enough findings to back up the suspicion that the intention to describe this as an Israeli event is simply not correct," Peretz said, continuing, "The accumulating evidence proves that this incident was not due to Israeli forces."

... The committee found that the Palestinians were not killed by an Israeli artillery shell, as had been assumed by the foreign press and much of the Israeli media. The probe concludes that the blast was probably caused by an explosive device buried in the sand, but does not determine categorically whether it was planted by Palestinians or was an old IDF dud.

... The conclusions of the panel came after days of debate, and relies on an analysis of the exact time of each artillery strike, the location of each shell's landing and the shrapnel extracted from the bodies of wounded Palestinians evacuated to Israeli hospitals.

IDF gradually moves away from accepting responsibility
Shortly after the incident occurred, the army was leaning toward accepting the assumption that the disaster was caused by an errant Israeli artillery shell. While the IDF spokesman's initial announcement did not formally accept responsibility, it expressed deep regret for the deaths and announced an end to the artillery fire on Gaza until the incident had been investigated. The foreign media unequivocally blamed Israel for the deaths, and the Israel media (including Haaretz) tended to do the same.

... alifi's committee examined a great deal of material, including film footage shot by Arab television stations at the scene. Some of the findings have already been reported: that five of the shells definitely landed some 250 meters from the beach, and that the explosion occurred at least eight minutes after the missing sixth shell was fired. However, this evidence has now been bolstered by three new findings:

... * The shrapnel. Three people wounded in the blast are now hospitalized in Israel. Shrapnel was apparently removed from their bodies, and this is likely to reinforce the conclusion that the explosion was caused by a bomb rather than a shell.

... * The crater. Based on photographs, the crater left on the beach by the blast seems to have been made by an explosion from below (a mine), not a hit from above (a shell).

... * Intelligence. Israel has amassed considerable information indicating that over the past few weeks, ever since Israeli commandos infiltrated Gaza and killed a rocket-launching cell, Hamas has been systematically mining the northern Gaza beach in an attempt to keep Israeli commandos from landing there again.

... The main hole in the army's evidence is the missing sixth shell, the first to be fired whose landing site has not been determined. From an examination of the cannon, the army is convinced that the shell could not have fallen on the beach, almost half a kilometer from its intended target. But there is no firm proof of this, only an educated guess.

... Moreover, the Palestinians will have their own experts analyzing the shrapnel removed from the wounded treated in Gaza, and they will doubtless present conclusions contrary to those of the Israeli experts.

... In the past, Israel has occasionally succeeded in refuting responsibility for casualties. A good example is the now discredited claim that Israel massacred Palestinians in Jenin in April 2002. This time, however, the game may already be lost.

I doubt that we should hold our breath while waiting for the BBC & CNN to report the facts regarding the Palestinians' role in the killing of the family and exonerate Israel.

Posted by Richard at June 13, 2006 1:57 PM

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