Israelis deny Gaza slaughter, offer ludicrous alternative
There's only one thing worse than blowing innocent beachgoers to smithereens over the holidays - lying through your teeth about it.
ISRAEL denied responsibility yesterday for the explosion on a Gaza beach last week that killed eight Palestinian holidaymakers, but failed to offer an alternative explanation for the tragedy.WOW - a few minute differential. Can they possibly offer a weaker alibi? God knows they try.
Speaking shortly after another airstrike left 11 Palestinians dead, including two children, Amir Peretz, the Israeli Defence Minister, said: “The accumulating evidence proves that (Friday’s) incident was not due to Israeli forces.”
Flanked by Dan Halutz, the Chief of Staff and Major General Meir Kalifi, Mr Peretz was presenting the results of the official inquest into last Friday’s carnage on the beach.
After showing slides and detailing Israel’s version of the timings, Major General Kalifi, who led the investigation, said that the blast took place between 4.54pm and 4.57pm, a few minutes after Israeli artillery finished firing.
He also said that the size and shape of the blast crater, according to aerial photography, was not consistent with Israel’s 155mm artillery, and that shrapnel recovered from Palestinian victims in Israeli hospitals cleared Israel: “The probability that one Israeli shell hit at this point is close to nothing.Come on! Are they serious? "Foil Israeli commandos" on a public beach frequented by Palestinian families? What a load of crap! And I'm not alone in my scepticism.
One military official suggested that the most likely cause was a Hamas beach mine, planted to foil Israeli commandos.
[S]ceptics noted that the Israeli team did not visit the site. They also pointed out that a mine would have had to remain intact for hours on a beach trampled by Palestinian holidaymakers, only to explode after Israel began shelling the area.Basically, all evidence points to Israel, yet Israel denies it. The USS Liberty comes to mind.
Numerous onlookers said that the fatal shell was the third in a series of about five, the first two landing just north of the picnic site and prompting the Ghalia family and other bathers to begin packing up.
The Times found two other identical fresh craters nearby, roughly where the witnesses indicated.
After carrying out an independent inspection, Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst with Human Rights Watch, [said] that he was “quite certain” that the Israeli findings were wrong.
Mr Garlasco, a former Pentagon official and specialist in battle damage assessment, produced shrapnel that he recovered from the beach marked “55MM”.
“It is highly likely that it was an artillery-delivered 155mm shell,” he said.
Mines tended to cause lower body injuries, whereas most of the victims suffered head and upper torso wounds, he added.
“We have to look at all the possibilities, but all the evidence points to a 155mm shell fired by the Israelis as what killed the Palestinians on the beach.”
Hamas also poured scorn on the new Israeli version. “This is an Israeli lie and an attempt to escape moral responsibility for the massacre of a completely innocent family,” Khalid Abu Hilal, a spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian Interior Ministry, said.Israel ought to reformulate its PR strategy. They're not doing themselves any favors by offering brazen lies to cover up brutal atrocities.
Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, reacted with puzzlement last night to the Israeli explanation. “To find a mine on the beach is rather odd,” he said.