Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tragedy on a Gaza Beach

No matter how anyone tries to spin the facts, it was not Israeli ordinance that killed a family on the beach in Gaza on June 9. Melanie Phillips gives us this report.

After Israel said last week that it could not have been responsible for the shell that killed the seven Arab family members on the beach at Gaza, various British newspapers published prominent stories contradicting this account, largely based on claims made by a member of Human Rights Watch, whose own record of impartiality leaves something to be desired (see reports by NGO Monitor)

Now there are two more pieces of information to consider. According to this report, a German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, has pieced together evidence which suggests not just that Israel was innocent of the killing, but that the event was deliberately staged to hold Israel falsely responsible.

The pictures that went round the world of the child screaming in shock and grief over the body of her dead father on the beach were taken by Zakaria Abu Irbad, a cameramen with the Palestinian independent news agency Ramattan.

Did Hamas men hide evidence from the scene, as claimed by eyewitnesses interviewed by Israeli broadcasters?

The newspaper said Irbad evaded most of the questions addressed to him.

Asked why he didn’t try to calm Hadil instead of filming her he said: “She asked me to film her. She wanted to be seen next to her father to show the world the crimes that Israel is committing.”

The newspaper finally asks: ‘Did the shocked 10-year-old girl, who had lost her father minutes earlier, give the cameraman direction instructions?’

Now consider this, reported on History News Network:

Dr. Michael Bayme wrote his friends:

Some of you may have been following the tragic story of a Gazan family that was destroyed by some sort of bomb last friday. The world of course chose to blame Israel - without verifying any facts. The fact that Israel immediately accepted all the victims to its hospitals was seen as an admission of guilt, and not as a humanitarian gesture.

There is now incontrovertible proof that Israel did not cause the tragedy - shell fragments extracted from one bomb victim match the types of bombs made by Hamas - and not Israeli artillery shells. How do I know? I received the victim last Sunday (at 2:00 am), operated on her until 5am, and have re-operated every night since. Now she’s out of danger, and will survive to rejoin her family.

The Israelis may be criticised for many things but they do not generally tell lies. Yet the British media assume they do, while failing to investigate the obvious inconsistencies that alerted the journalists on Suddeutsche Zeitung.
And here's more from Ynet News:
The Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv has released an unusual statement, saying that that 21-year-old Ayham Ghalia, who was injured in the Gaza beach explosion , was 'cleansed' of shrapnel before arriving at the hospital.

According to new findings, testimonies and hospital records, deadly blast at Gaza beach, which killed Ghalia family members, occurred at time of shelling, not after; British Guardian, Independent, Times newspapers publish findings casting doubt on Israel's claims
Full story

The report casts further doubts over what happened in Gaza about a week and a half ago. The Israel Defense Forces said it was not involved in the explosion after completing an investigation it conducted, while the Palestinians continue to claim that explosion was caused by an IDF shell.

[ . . . ]

"We would like to make clear that no shrapnel was found in Ayham's body except one piece which was not accessible surgically. What is clear beyond any doubt is that part of the injuries were caused by shrapnel… this does not fit our medical experience in hundreds of injuries of terrorist attacks and explosions who usually arrive with pieces of shrapnel in various parts of their body," the hospital said.
Even the afore mentioned member of Human Rights Watch, Marc Garlasco was forced to retract his earlier immediate and irresponsible charge of Israeli responsibility.
On Monday, the Human Rights Watch, while sticking to its demand for the establishment of an independent inquiry into a blast on a Gaza beach 10 days ago that killed seven Palestinian civilians, conceded for the first time since the incident that it could not contradict the IDF's exonerating findings.

[ . . . ]

"We came to an agreement with General Klifi that the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordinance," Garlasco told The Jerusalem Post following the meeting. While Klifi's team did a "competent job" to rule out the possibility that the blast was caused by artillery fire, there were still, Garlasco said, a number of pieces of evidence that the IDF commission did not take into consideration.

[ . . . ]

Garlasco told Klifi during the meeting that he was impressed with the IDF's system of checks and balances concerning its artillery fire in the Gaza Strip and unlike Hamas which specifically targeted civilians in its rocket attacks, the Israelis, he said, invested a great amount of resources and efforts not to harm innocent civilians.

"We do not believe the Israelis were targeting civilians." Garlasco said. "We just want to know if it was an Israeli shell that killed the Palestinians."

Lucy Mair - head of the HRW's Jerusalem office - said Klifi's team had conducted a thorough and professional investigation of the incident and made "a good assessment" when ruling out the possibility that an errant IDF shell had killed the seven Palestinians on the Gaza beach.

'We differ when it comes to other pieces of information from other sources that don't relate to the military strike such as the timing and the type of injuries," Mair explained. "While they [the IDF] made a very good presentation, we still think there are enough unanswered questions that have not been examined by Klifi's team…and that is why we believe there should be an independent investigation."
In other words, "even though it's obvious that the IDF is telling the truth and the Palestinians have once again been caught sacrificing their own children in a disgusting attempt to smear the Israelis, we still must hold the Israelis to a ridiculously high standard of humanity even as we allow the Palestinians to feed their children to Moloch. But we're not anti-semitic."

But even this debased "human rights" organization is many steps ahead of the Muslim world. In their deeply ingrained hatred of Jews, they will never let the facts, no matter how obvious or compelling get in the way of their belief if Israeli culpability.

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