June 14, 2006

An Israeli Cover Up at the Gaza Beach?

Israel continued its rampage in the Palestinian occupied territories killing 9 more civilians including two brothers younger than eight years and their father. Of course the deafening silence of the international community in the aftermath of the Gaza beach attack only encouraged the IOF to continue its policy of targeted assassinations on "militants" and unarmed civilians. At the same time, Israel has nearly concluded its "investigation" of the murder of civilians picnicking at a Gaza beach earlier in the week. As expected, the blame never falls on Israeli forces who have rejected a call for an international, independent investigation into the deaths of Huda's family members.

Human Rights Watch has issued a press release calling for an independent investigation into the beach killings. HRW has sent researchers and experts to investigate the scene, interview eyewitnesses, and assess the damage. Their experts have questioned the Israeli army's findings, noting the various discrepancies in the results of their investigation.

Both the Independent and Guardian have articles on the subject with more details (h/t Umkahlil & Angry Arab).
But the official interpretation was strongly challenged by a former Pentagon battle damage expert who has surveyed the scene of the beach explosion. He said yesterday that "all the evidence points" to a 155mm Israeli land-based artillery shell as its cause.

Marc Garlasco, who worked in war zones including Iraq and Kosovo during his seven-year stint in the US Department of Defence, called for an independent investigation into the killings after concluding that shell fragments and shrapnel from the site, the size and distribution of the craters on the beach, and the type of injuries sustained by the victims made Israeli shelling easily the likeliest cause.

Garlasco's visits to victims of the attack in Gaza showed that most injuries sustained were in the upper parts of the body, nearly ruling out the possibility that they could be caused by a Hamas planted land mine, as some have suggested.
Mr Garlasco who accompanied a small group of journalists to the Beit Lahia beach, pointed to three separate craters, each covered in a whitish powder, which he said were fresh, one of which was at the spot where witnesses agree the fatal blast occurred, and the two others separated it from it by about 120 and 250 yards. Mr Garlasco added: "It would be a really ridiculous coincidence if there is active shelling and then suddenly an IED [improvised explosive device] goes off."
Chris McGreal from the Guardian also reports on the claim that a Hamas land mine was the cause of the explosion:
The military now says that it fired six shells on to and around the beach where Huda Ghalia's family died, with one of them falling about 100 yards away, but by coincidence a mine planted by Hamas exploded in the same area at the same time. The military backs its claim with analysis of aerial photographs, shrapnel and what it is says is intelligence that Hamas has mined Gaza beaches to stop Israeli forces landing, although it is not known to have used such a tactic before.
However, a denial of responsibility for the death of Palestinians or a superficial investigation is not a rare occurrence for the IOF. In fact, those officers who committed these atrocities might even be compensated! Don't believe me?! It's happened before: an Israeli army officer who poured dozens of bullets into the body of a 13-year Iman al-Hamas in Gaza was acquitted, compensated, and even promoted in the IOF.

HRW produced an excellent report in June 2005 entitled "Promoting Impunity: The Israeli Military's Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing" in which it sites various accounts of atrocities committed by the IOF that were either not investigated at all or were not independently or impartially investigated. Quoting the report:
Between September 29, 2000, and November 30, 2004, more than 1600 Palestinian civilians not involved in hostilities, including at least 500 children, were killed by Israeli security forces, and thousands more were seriously injured.8 The IDF informed Human Rights Watch that as of May 10, 2004, it had criminally investigated just seventy-four alleged cases of unlawful use of lethal force, less than 5 percent of the civilian deaths in nearly four years of what is commonly known as the al-Aqsa intifada, or uprising.9
I wouldn't be surprised if Israel got away with the beach killings. Nothing Israel does surprises me anymore, unfortunately. Neither does the silence of the international community, in particular that of the superpowers or the world as well as the leaders of the Arab and Muslim world. Oh, but wait, the US did break the silence! The State Department said Israel has a right to defend itself...you know, against Huda and her siblings.

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20 Comments:

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous tommy said...

Garlasco is hardly an unbiased observer. He is a long-time extreme leftist. I'd also like to see his credentials for analyzing the situation. From what I understand, he was a DIA employee at one time. I doubt he has any experience analyzing explosions and the like. I want to hear what makes him an expert on investigating this situation other than "general military experience."

Furthermore, Hamas has already engaged in a coverup and destruction of evidence several days beforehand. All "evidence" being given to Garlasco by the Palestinians cannot be vouched for any longer.

Hamas was behind these deaths. If it wasn't they could have left the beach undisturbed. They chose to destroy the evidence. The video was obviously shot after the fact and is rehearsed. It doesn't show any crater of any sort meaning it was probably taken on a somewhat different location on the beach. It will be interesting to compare the site where the Palestinians say the explosion occurred to the site where the supposed "dead" man in the video (who, I've discovered yet more evidence of, isn't really dead at all) was lying. It should be easy to pinpoint the location, since there are several buildings in the vSocial video.

Furthermore, Hamas has a long history of blaming its own mistakes on Israelis. Think about it: Hamas bombmakers who prepare vests for suicide bombers routinely make high unstable, primitive explosives. Mistakes occur frequently resulting in the deaths of the bombmakers. I cannot recall one instance where Hamas admitted a mistake. I can think of several where they have attempted to blame the cause of an accident on Israelis. Hamas has no credibility.

Finally, the fact that Hamas isn't known to have attempted to mine a beach before is completely irrelevant. It is only recently that they have gained control over the government apparatus to an extent they would be able to conduct such mining. The Israelis state they have intelligence indicating such a mining was going on.

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

Garlasco may have some experience judging battle damage after all. I've found some indicating he served on some sort of Battle Damage Assessment Group previously. However, unfortunately, I've discovered more evidence that he is completely biased:

http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/26678.html

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger Kel said...

Tommy,

Sometimes when I read your postings, on my own site as well as here, you strike me as insane.

Why would Hamas put landmines on their own beaches?

And the link you provide is simply laughable. They offer no counter evidence of any kind.

And Garlasco, who you have previously described as "a long-time extreme leftist" is a former Pentagon adviser on battlefields who led the US military's battle damage assessment team in Kosovo and worked for its intelligence wing, the Defense Intelligence Agency.

By the way, why does describing someone as "a long-time extreme leftist" negate their opinion and excuse you from addressing their points?

If you have evidence or an argument, make it.

If you are simply into name calling, then you are not a serious debater.

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

Sometimes when I read your responses Kel, I think you lack common sense.

Why would Hamas put landmines on their own beaches?

Because they want to prevent infiltration from Israeli commandos. In fact, Israeli commandos have actually infiltrated Gaza from this particular beach previously according to reports.

And the link you provide is simply laughable. They offer no counter evidence of any kind.

Nonsense. They point out that Garlasco has a history of jumping to politically convenient conclusions without bothering himself with determining the facts. Furthermore, Garlasco does not even attempt to address the fact that the scene of the explosion has been altered or that the evidence he is basing his assertions on has been spoon-fed to him by the Palestinians is further evidence that he isn't credible.

I also stand by my previous assertion that the video tape is fake.

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

LGF had a good rundown of the Guardian/Independent's biased coverage of this event and Garlasco's comments.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=21037_Israel_Denies_Beach_Bombing_Human_Rights_Watch_Wants_It_to_Be_True&only

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Christopher Brown said...

Sorry to burst your bubble tommy, but it is odd that you make constant references about how Hamas is involved in the bombing and Israel first said it regretted the deaths, then said they weren't involved, then decided to reverse again and said, "Yeah we did it." Well, it's a good thing that the "moral army" of the world (My God is that a contradiction in terms!), has the wherewithall to admit it's guilt. Well...at least when they get caught.

 
At 4:16 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

Christopher Brown,

Sorry to burst your bubble, but unfortunately you don't follow the news very well. The Israelis never said "yeah we did it." They presumed they were probably responsible a reasonable conclusion at the time, given the activities going on in the area, but never stated that conclusively. Hopefully, this teaches the Isrelis a lesson about assuming even probable responsibility.

The video footage is fake, Hamas destroyed evidence after the incident, and Hamas is almost certainly responsible for the tragedy.

The Israelis need to keep up the good work of getting the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorists. I commend them. I would also like to see a reoccupation of the Gaza Strip in the near future.

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger moi said...

Tommy-- As I pointed out in the post, this isn't the first time Israel has denied such allegations. Please refer to the HRW report that I mentioned.

Also, if I wanted to know what LGF had to say, I would visit their site every minute as you apparently do. I don't take them as a legitimate news source, so please keep the links to yourself. If they have a unique argument or piece of news that you want to echo, then go ahead, but don't just refer us to a bunch of links that lash out against anything Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian and blindly support anything Israeli and Republican. Don't just regurgitate their claims.

 
At 5:21 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

I don't LGF every minute as you claim, moi; so please keep your patronization to yourself. BTW, LGF sources every single thing it posts. It doesn't take much to click to the links they provide.

Blind support is what people like you provide Hamas. The fact that you don't even question this obvious hoax shows how incredibly gullible you are. It doesn't take a genius to see that if the man in the video had been seriously wounded by a shell on the beach, he would be covered in sand. He clearly isn't and he isn't even noticably wounded in the first scenes of the video footage.

I'm through posting or visiting here.

Thanks for your time.

 
At 8:39 PM, Anonymous iman said...

hey tommy ...

U.S.-trained expert says shell was Israeli

"I'm convinced this was from an Israeli shell," Marc Garlasco, a military expert from New York-based Human Rights Watch said Wednesday in a telephone interview.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060614/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_blast_probe_1;_ylt=Ao_zeEc1Bkp_3zdwNLHCGsMUvioA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

 
At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Hasan said...

Tommy, I think you are the last person to judge whether a person is objective, or unbiased. The books you recommended for me by Robert Spencer.

Robert Spencer is the editor of JihadWatch, that was part of the "Christian Islamic forum" that their task was to convert muslims to christianity. Also "Dhimmi Watch". So thats where you found the word Dhimmi and boast to know so much about Dhimmitude!!! Anything else you wanna borrow from his writings?

The worst thing for a human being is not having the ability to make his own mind, and having to rely on others to make it for him.

You have realy out done everyone I have ever ran into when it comes to sources!!! You bring us a guy dedicated to convert muslims to christianity, and you believe every book he writes about Islam and the Arabs? NOW HOW STUPID IS THAT!!

Clearly no chance of bias huh??

Aparantly Robert spencer is seen by many western scholars as a fanatic and a fundimentalist.
And you, being the sad soul to gulp all his writing as fact, your ignorance has far exceeded my expectations.

Please, refrain from providing any sources as you are only embarresing your self.

 
At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Hasan said...

If you want to find out where Tommy gets all his answers...literealy, (he almost copies and pastes), go to http://www.jihadwatch.org/
You can find all the topics related to what are talking about here, and his answers are almost copies of whats on that site.

It will shed some light on who is thinking on behalf of Tommy.

Get your own mind man.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Osaid Rasheed said...

Tommy... try to be more objective.
Its always like that : A huge attack on the mass media to question all Palestinian stories and prove that Israel is telling the truth and Palestinians are telling lies.

Actually we lie when we say that we own the land and we lie when we say we are being victimized and we lie when we show how we are being killed and we lie even when we lie.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger moi said...

Tommy-- I wasn't patrionizing, I'm just judging by the amount of links you provide on this blog and others to their website, which must mean that you visit them quite often. I provide sources for everything I post too :)

Osaid-- I loved what you said, "Actually we lie when we say that we own the land and we lie when we say we are being victimized and we lie when we show how we are being killed and we lie even when we lie."

 
At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Oh, brave warriors of Palestine!
"Palestinians tried to kidnap two Israeli girls at the Rechalim Junction, near the West Bank town of Nablus, on Thursday. Israel Defense Forces troops and police officers searched the area, and arrested the three would-be abductors."
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/727489.html

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger moi said...

Andy--Please keep your comments relevant to the post. Not anything and everything related to I/P can be mentioned in a comment under this post. It must relate to the topic at hand. Thanks.

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Oh, brave leaders of Palestine!
"Haniyeh orders end to Qassam fire
Hamas stopped firing Qassam rockets at Israel yesterday, after Israel warned that it would attack Hamas leaders."
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/726997.html

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Sorry, Moi
I posted the second one before I read your comment

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Osaid Rasheed said...

Andy...
We also can make fun of many of your stupid leaders and gov't actions...
its just not the right thing
good day
thanks moi

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Well. buddy, tell me the name of ONE "Palestinian" terrorist leader who had sent HIS son to be blown to pieces with a shahid belt. They are all in Harvard and other nice places instead. Good night.

 

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