June 13, 2006

Gaza Beach Bingo: the Rest of the Story

Hatched by Dafydd

In our post Provenance, we noted that there was a great deal of question whether the civilians killed on the Gaza beach were hit with an Israeli artillery shell, as the Palestinians and the world elite media all declared. Rather, we suggested, it's entirely possible the real culprit was an errant Qassam rocket -- fired by Hamas terrorists at Israel.

Well, Israel has completed enough of its investigation to have preliminary results... and sad to say, it appears Big Lizards was wrong. It turned out not to be a Qassam rocket after all.

Those civilians were slain by a Palestinian mine.

Yesterday, Israel already knew enough to state with some certainty that the family was not killed by an Israeli artillery shell (a tip of the hat to Right Wing News -- who must have linked us, because we're getting a lot of referrals, and our traffic is sky high!) According to the Jerusalem Post:

[Defense Minister] Amir Peretz said the panel's preliminary findings showed that the Ghalia family was not killed by a shell fired by the IDF ground forces or the IAF. Peretz said that one of six artillery shells fired by the IDF was unaccounted for, but that there was a gap between when the shells were fired and the time the Palestinians said the shells landed.

AP reports that the time gap was at least ten minutes; so unless Israel has a field piece that can fire shells up around the altitude of the Shuttle's orbit, that missing shell didn't come down and blow up the beach.

Associated Press falls all over itself to throw a bone to the Palestinians... but Mark Lavie, who wrote the piece, fails to note that he must contradict himself to do so:

It was not clear how the explosive got there, or whether it might have been an unexploded Israeli shell from an earlier military barrage. Peretz did not address that issue in his remarks. Israel has been claiming that Hamas militants planted a device to set off against Israeli commandos....

According to Israeli findings, shrapnel taken from two wounded Palestinians who were evacuated to Israeli hospitals showed that the fragments were not from the 155-millimeter shells used by Israeli artillery.

Thank heavens for those many layers of editorial cross-checking.

Back to the Jerusalem Post:

Olmert opened the cabinet meeting by expressing Israel's "deep regret" over the incident, and saying that Peretz had set up an investigation....

Olmert, who stressed that he was not apologizing because the facts were not yet clear, said past experience had shown that myths could be created that were divorced from the facts.

He was referring to Muhammad al-Dura, the 12-year-old boy killed [sic; we do not even know that much] during an exchange of fire between the IDF and Palestinians on September 30, 2000. Images of Dura hiding behind his father and then being shot and killed were beamed across the world, with Israel widely blamed for his death until researchers three years later brought ballistic evidence showing that the shots could not have been fired by IDF soldiers.

AP -- as well as Reuters -- also makes tedious reference to the alleged 16-month "truce" that Hamas had declared... until those wicked Jews violated it. Again, we wonder whether the news editors actually read the stories they're supposed to be editing:

The seaside carnage contributed to a sudden spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence. After the beach blast - and Israeli forces' killing of a top Gaza militant - Hamas called off a 16-month cease-fire that had significantly reduced casualties on both sides.

The antique media here uses a special definition of truce (or "cease-fire"), one not found in the commonly accepted dictionaries. As we noted in Provenance, and as the Jerusalem Post noted yesterday,

Regarding Friday's incident, Olmert said it must be made clear that Kassam rockets - designed to maim and kill Israelis - have been fired from the Gaza Strip continuously over the last few weeks.

"This firing is very serious," he said. "It strikes at the fabric of life in communities in southern Israel and threatens peoples' lives... This is an unending series of terrorist attacks designed to strike at civilians."

Needless to say, Hamas has rejected Israel's findings. They express stupifaction that anyone could imagine that an organization born out of suicide bombings of women, children, teenagers, the aged, and innocent civilians of all sorts -- including Moslems -- would ever plant mines to deter "Israeli commandos" in an area used by Palestinian civilians:

"This is a false allegation, and the Israeli occupation state is trying to escape from shouldering its responsibility by accusing Palestinians without evidence or any proof," said Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

"The eyewitnesses and the evidence that we have confirm that the massacre is the result of Israeli shelling, and the allegation about land mines planted by Palestinians is baseless," he said.

Those "eyewitnesses" have extraordinary vision indeed to be able not only to see a shell coming in, but also to know who fired it. Hamas does, after all, have artillery pieces too. Hamas is joined in blaming Israel, regardless of the evidence, by the George-Soros-funded and virulently antisemitic Human Rights Watch. AP quotes a "military expert" who speaks for the organization:

Human Rights Watch military expert Marc Garlask, the first independent analyst to inspect the scene, said he examined the shrapnel on the beach, saw the civilians' injuries and concluded the blast was caused by an Israeli shell. He held open the slim possibility that it was planted there by Palestinian militants, although fragment patterns did not back that.

"Our information certainly supports, I believe, an Israeli shell did come in," he said, ruling out a land mine.

No word on whether he wrote his report on the plane flight to Yasser Arafat International Airport. But it's largely irrelevant; unless Israel arranged for their artillery shells to be manufactured from the shrapnal of Palestinian mines, I think the evidence is in. Since I choose to believe Israeli investigators over a "military expert" from Human Rights Watch -- I admit my bias -- I have to say "case closed."

However, frustrated at the failure of the Israelis to live down to their MSM caricature (and perhaps by the sputtering failure of Fitzmas to come), the elite media has turned with a vengeance on the brutal, callous, and utterly senseless killing by Israel of even more innocent women and children:

An Israeli missile strike on a van in Gaza carrying militants and rockets killed 11 Palestinians, nine of them civilians, on Tuesday in the deadliest such attack in nearly four years.

The air strike signaled that Israel would not flinch from targeting rocket squads in densely populated areas in spite of an outcry over the deaths of seven Palestinians on a Gaza beach on Friday in a blast militants blamed on Israeli shellfire.

"We have been showing restraint due to the international storm caused by the incident on the Gaza beach, but no longer," Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz was quoted by the YNet news Web site as telling reporters in northern Israel....

"The car that we hit was loaded with Katyusha rockets and launchers and they were on their way to launch those Katyusha rockets at Israel," an army spokeswoman said after the attack in the eastern outskirts of Gaza City.

But of course, the important point is that the nine civilian deaths -- evidently, they ran out of their houses to go look at the van, into which the perfidious Zionists were pumping missiles -- included "two children and two medics."

Make of it what you will, but it's clear that when Israel removed the Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, it was not an act of surrender or even appeasement. With the area depopulated of everyone but the enemy, Israel can now treat these attacks from Hamas as what they are: acts of war conducted by a foreign power against the nation of Israel.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 13, 2006, at the time of 4:46 PM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gaza Beach Bingo: the Rest of the Story:

» Lies And The Media from Blue Crab Boulevard
A report by the Israeli Defense Forces concludes that Israeli artillery was not the cause of the explosion that killed a number of Palestinians on a beach in Gaza. There have been a number of bloggers who have been questioning the media repor... [Read More]

Tracked on June 13, 2006 8:54 PM

» She sells artillery shells by the sea shore from Wizbang
The recent explosion on a Gaza beach, where eight Palestinians were killed, is proving to be a far more convoluted incident than anyone could have imagined. Both the Palestinians and the Israelis have offered explanations for what happened. According t... [Read More]

Tracked on June 15, 2006 11:00 AM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: cdquarles

Dafydd,

Am I supposed to be upset that nine "civilians" were killed in a war zone when attempting to launch rockets? These days, "civilians" is a word lacking semantic value when used by the left wingnut propaganda organs aka the MSM.

The above hissed in response by: cdquarles [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 13, 2006 6:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Thanks for the update and clarification. I linked from Gaza Beach Bingo: the Rest of the Story

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 13, 2006 8:19 PM

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