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Friday, June 23, 2006

Pallywood: German Expose of Palestinian media hi-jinx in Gaza beach tragedy

Earlier this week, I told you that a German newspaper article claimed that the entire Gaza beach 'massacre' two weeks ago was a hoax perpetrated by the 'Palestinians.' This evening, I have a translation of the German newspaper article.

Hat Tip: Gershon in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York
A Palestinian child, who lost its father, is considered an orphan. (Huda's physical birth mother Hamdia survived the detonation with an injury) Likewise, the investigation of a team of the US human rights group, Human Rights Watch, concluded provisionally that Israel was responsible for the shell explosion.

The group formulates its conclusions, however, carefully and less certainly: After interviews with victims, eye-witnesses, policemen and physicians and visiting the scene of the disaster, one preserves "strong assumptions" that Israeli artillery is responsible for the misfortune. The report of the human rights groups does not mention however that their investigator researched the incident for evidence only after a day had elapsed - allowing enough time to remove important pieces of evidence.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense concluded, after first evaluations of radar and satellite photographs, that the projectile, which led to the death of the seven Palestinians did not originate with the army. Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said, that while Israel regrets the death of the seven Palestinians, this does not mean however "that we were responsible for it".

According to investigations of the Israeli army, based only on pictures and medical findings, not on on the scene searches, the Israeli army fired six shells in that Friday afternoon toward Gaza beach. According to data supplied by Halutz, five of the six shells hit in the time between 16.31 and 16.48 - approximately 250 meters north of that place, in which the family picnic had taken place. The artillery bombardment was due to Palestinian rocket launchers.

An unmanned airplane of the Israeli army filmed the Gaza Strip at the time of the bombardment from the air. On the films one sees on the one hand five impact holes of the shells in the beach, in addition, 250 meters to the south, humans. According to data of the army the explosion at the beach section, at which the Ghalias picnicked, must have taken place between 16.57 and 17.10. Before 16.57 normal beach activity is to be seen on the film of the army.

The fact that humans did not react to the five shell impacts at 250 meters distance by rushing to escape is strange. The next scene on the army film shows ambulances, arriving at the beach. That is at 17.15 o'clock. The hospital, where the ambulances came, lies five minutes away from the site of the explosion.

Possible dud

Over the impact site, it was the sixth shell, which, according to statements of the human rights group and of the Palestinian government, caused the death of the seven family members as a dud, The Israeli army cannot give any information. It regards it however as "impossible" that the shell deviated a whole 250 meters from its target.

As further proof Israel states that it treated four of the beach casualties in hospitals in Tel Aviv. From the body of one of the wounded fragments were saved, which could not have originated from weapons in the arsenal of the Israeli army.

The Israeli army does not exclude the possibility that the detonation was due to a mine, which had been buried there by Palestinians, in order to prevent the Israeli navy from landing commandos in the Gaza Strip.

In view of the contradictory statements, great importance is attached to Harbed's television pictures. These however raise more questions than they contribute to clarifying. The original photographs have meanwhile become so doubtful that CNN shows them only in abbreviated form at its Website.

To the Sueddeutche Zeitung, Harbed explains that he had been informed afterwards about the explosion and driven to the scene by the rescue medics in the ambulance. In his pictures however, Harbed films the hysteria of the ten-year Huda, as if he were a witness of the detonation. Also he films the arrival of the medics, as though he was at the beach beforehand. Additionally, some of the dead and wounded are covered with cloths - who did that?

Harbed claims that Huda escaped serious injury, since she was bathing in the sea. In his photos, however, Huda is running around in dry street clothes. Harbed runs several minutes of the crying Huda and afterwards turns his camera to the dead and injured.

Suddenly a man beside Huda's dead father can be discerned, until now covered and motionless, who appears with a machine gun in his hand. In the pictures of the cameraman one can recognize both medics in green OI clothes as well as dozens of men, most with typical Hamas full beards, apparently securing pieces of evidence.

However one must ask, why the medics do not worry about the injured people and policemen do not secure the place. Hove the Hamas men, as Israeli media quote Palestinian eye witnesses, removed pieces of evidence?

Evasive answers of the cameraman

It is also strange why in Harbed's pictures we cannot discern a crater. The more cameraman Harbed is asked by Sueddeutche Zeitung in the telephone interview, the more he evades the issue. Was he at the scene of the incident before the ambulance arrived? Who are the civilians, who are cleaning the beach? Who is the armed man on the ground, who suddenly rises? If it was an Israeli army shell that killed the Ghalia family members, why don't the Palestinians show its fragments?

And: Why didn't it occur to Harbed to calm the hysterical Huda down instead of pursuing her for several minutes with his camera? Harbed says: "She asked me to film her. She wanted to be shown to the world with her father and show the world what crimes Israel commits." The ten-year Huda, who lost seven family members, distraught in mourning, is supposed have given Harbed cinema direction instructions?

Read the whole thing.

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