Monday, June 12, 2006

Something smells fishy at the beach

When I heard about the beach bombing in Gaza that struck the Ghaliya family, killing six, I was horrified. But I was dubious that Israel was responsible. Initial reports said it was an errant artillery shell. This did not make sense to me; modern artillery is pretty accurate. The Israelis also take great care to avoid civilian casualties. From a realpolitik perspective, it doesn’t make sense for Israel to target civilians—just look at the international uproar.

Then there were reports that the shell came from an Israeli naval vessel, but the Israelis were quick to dispute this, even though they offered regret over the incident and pledged to launch an investigation. But the Palestinian authorities refused to cooperate in the investigation, and that seemed suspicious to me. After all, if Israel was the responsible party, wouldn’t the Palestinians want to “help” Israel implicate itself, so as to prove to the world that forensically-speaking the Israelis were guilty?

At first the mainstream media put the blame on Israel, but as Israel’s investigation continues, inconsistencies with the established “facts” are coming to light.

By Martin Fletcher
NBC News
Updated: 5:56 p.m. CT June 12, 2006

Shocking pictures of the beach bombing have turned Huda into a Palestinian symbol around the world. President Mahmoud Abbas called her the daughter of the Palestinian people. But there is confusion as to what really happened.

Friday afternoon, the Israeli army and Palestinian militants from Hamas had been exchanging rocket fire. Hamas immediately blamed Israel, called off a 16-month truce and swore revenge. Israel said it regretted the loss of life, and brought three of Huda's two wounded sisters and brother to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

On Monday, Israeli military sources told NBC News they have examined shrapnel taken from Huda’s sisters and confirmed that the shrapnel did not come from an Israeli artillery shell.

So was it from a Palestinian explosive?

"All options are being examined,” said Israeli Army spokesman Capt. Jacob Dalal. “Let’s not judge."

No reaction yet from the Palestinians to Israel's claim that its shell didn't kill the family. And Huda seems too stunned to care who did it. She knows that soon she will have to tell her mother the truth.

Now, watch this segment from “60 Minutes” and, as Capt. Jacob Dalal said, “Let’s not judge.”

Incidentally, in 1999 I had an internship at the Jerusalem Post's weekend "In Jerusalem" section, of which Dalal was editor at the time. My recollection of him was that he was intelligent, down-to-earth and friendly. I also could have sworn that he spelled his last name "Dallal" ... and it turns out I was correct.

Tsk-tsk Martin Fletcher; I guess even the seasoned pros make egregious journalistic errors sometimes.


Blogger airforcewife said...

The MSM was all over the "wicked Israelis" story. But the truth? Not so much. I've only seen one mention of the story with the facts as they stand now.

This drives me INSANE.

12:24 PM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

Me too.

2:48 PM  

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