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Monday, October 01, 2007

About that honor killing video and those 'Kassam' rockets

On Saturday night, JPost Arab affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh posted a story about a video of the honor killing of a 16-year old girl that allegedly took place in Gaza. I jumped all over the story, because 'honor killing' is one of those magic phrases that drives traffic to blogs (yes, I watch how much traffic I get; I think all bloggers do). I forwarded it to several big blogs, hoping they would use the story, and I would get the 'linkies' that further expand the traffic that a blogger gets. (Hat Tip for screen shot of the JPost page: Gateway Pundit).

Within an hour or so, two of the blogs to whom I sent the story were reporting that it was a hoax and that it actually came from Iraq. I had three private emails - including one from Midwest Jim at Gateway Pundit telling me that it had come from Iraq. A commenter on the JPost's web site also identified the video as having come from Iraq. The article was pulled and everyone wondered how the Post could have been taken in.

On Wednesday, I reported that 'Kassam rockets' were found near Bethlehem. I also said immediately that I did not believe that they were really Kassam rockets and that the 'Palestinians' had 'found' them to try to give the impression that Fatah was fighting terrorism.

This morning, Khaled Abu Toameh explains what happened in both cases. I was right on Wednesday. And Khaled Abu Toameh was duped on Saturday. By those 'moderate' terrorists from Fatah....
As part of a campaign to discredit Hamas, Fatah has been using a video showing the killing of a girl in Iraq as "evidence" of Hamas's "atrocities" in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, officials from the Fatah-controlled General Intelligence contacted The Jerusalem Post, offering the "exclusive" video and story for publication in Sunday's Post. They claimed that it provided fresh evidence of Hamas's "barbarity."

The officials even gave the Post the phone numbers of two men in the Gaza Strip who claimed that they had witnessed the "honor killing" of the 16-year-old girl. The two confirmed (by phone) that they had witnessed the lynching of the girl in the Gaza Strip.

Since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, the IDF has banned Israeli journalists from entering the area. Consequently, the Israeli media (and many foreign journalists) are forced to rely on local reporters and Fatah and Hamas officials as a main source of information.


The Fatah security officials behind the story claimed on Sunday that they, too, had been misled by some of their colleagues. An investigation revealed that the two "eyewitnesses" who talked to the Post were former Fatah security officers living in the Gaza Strip. The two have since disappeared. Those who answer their mobile phones claim the numbers are wrong.

Last week, Fatah claimed that its security forces in Bethlehem had thwarted an attempt by Hamas to launch rockets at Jerusalem. Fatah later admitted that the "rockets" were old pipes apparently used by Palestinian children during a game. IDF sources told the Post at the time that the pipes were not suitable for use as Kassam rockets, but nonetheless praised the conduct of PA security forces for handing them over to the Civil Administration.

Both Fatah and Hamas are engaged in a campaign of disinformation aimed at discrediting each other. But the timing of the latest Fatah hoax was clearly intended to coincide with PA President Mahmoud Abbas's visit to New York.

The goal: to show that Fatah is combating terrorism and that the Hamas followers are ruthless murderers who don't hesitate to brutally kill a 16-year-old girl.
The only question here is why the IDF is praising the 'Palestinian security forces' when the 'security forces' are still not fighting terror. But that's right in line with the Olmert-Barak-Livni government's pretense that there is a 'peace partner' so I guess we know the answer to that hoax too....

Underneath a couple of childish pranks lies a serious issue. The Olmert-Barak-Livni government has been trying to sell us Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's 'moderate' Fatah terrorist group as a 'peace partner.' Is there really any expectation that a party that is willing to lie and cheat - as Fatah has done so blatantly twice in four days during Abu Mazen's trip to New York - is actually going to keep a signed agreement once they have received everything they are slated to get from it? With whom are we making 'peace'? This isn't a bunch of kids pulling a couple of practical jokes. Abu Toameh was contacted by "officials from the Fatah-controlled General Intelligence" on their own initiative. And Wednesday's story on the 'Kassams' included the following:
Palestinian intelligence head Tawfiq Tarawi said the so-called rockets were still in the early stage of production and had not yet been fitted with explosives.

Tarawi would not say whether any arrests had been made. He also declined to say who built them, but said the weapons resembled the rockets developed by Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
This is the Fatah leadership that is trying to fool and deceive and lie and cheat. What makes anyone think that these people will keep an agreement?


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