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June 12, 2006
Did A Land Mine Kill The Palestinians On The Beach?

The Israeli Defense Force believes that the explosion that killed seven members of a Palestinian family on a Gaza beach did not come from Israeli guns. After analyzing the shrapnel taken from the bodies of the dead and reviewing the records of their assault on the Palestinian firing position, the IDF suspects that the explosion came from a buried device meant to discourage an Israeli invasion:

The IDF probe investigating the deaths of seven Palestinian civilians, caused by an explosion on a beach in Gaza on Friday evening, concluded that chances were slim that the accident was caused by IDF shelling.

According to Channel 2, the findings, expected to be formally released on Tuesday, showed an inconsistency between the shrapnel found in the body of one of the wounded babies and the metal used in IDF artillery.

Moreover, the investigation noted the absence of a large enough crater at the site of the explosion, as would be expected if an IDF shell had landed there.

The third observation casting doubt on the possibility of IDF shelling was the gap between the time when the army shot the artillery and when the commotion on the beach began. According to the probe's findings, several minutes [passed] after the shelling, before the Palestinians on the beach reacted.

Once again, it appears that the story might have more complications than the original reporting. The video of the explosion's aftermath have spread around the world, and people have concluded that the IDF shelled a picnic due to incompetency or worse. The media has already plotted out the story: another atrocity by a Western power, perhaps deliberate but more likely just an offshoot of brutal training methods and an overtaxed enlisted corps. Facts will not much matter after they have the meme resolved.

Even if it turns out to be an errant IDF shell, we need to remember that the Israelis do not target civilians for attack as a matter of policy, while their enemies do. Their enemies hide among civilians before, during, and after their attacks in order to goad the IDF into taking shots that might kill civilians. The entire theme of outrage from Hamas in this regard is nothing short of laughable. They endorsed the bombing of a falafel stand in Tel Aviv that killed three times as many Israeli civilians two months ago.

The media has been taught two lessons about reporting on war events, with the Zarqawi non-beating and now the questions about the presumed beach shelling. They do better to wait for confirmation before jumping to the conclusion, and when they do not, they do damage to the truth.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 12, 2006 7:22 PM

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» Own Goal from A Blog For All
The purported Israeli artillery attack on a Gaza beach resulting in civilian casualties was nothing of the sort. It was a Hamas terrorist operation gone awry, which is what I had surmised. [Read More]

Tracked on June 12, 2006 8:34 PM

» Israel, Palestine, Haditha and the Gullible MSM from Blue Star Chronicles
I just watched one of the most hokey propaganda films I have ever seen. It featured the family that was bombed by Israel while they were picnicking on a beach in Gaza. [Read More]

Tracked on June 12, 2006 9:27 PM

» Who Was Behind The Gaza Beach Bombing? from
The unfortunate incident involving a misfired rocket that claimed the lives of 15 13 12 make that 7 Palestinian civilians is still being investigated by the IDF. The Palestinians, meanwhile, have refused to cooperate with the investigation and continue to [Read More]

Tracked on June 12, 2006 9:39 PM


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