Thursday, June 22, 2006

Israeli TV condradicts Israeli military

From Democracy Now!:
[T]he Israeli network Channel Two is reporting new developments that bolster accusations the Israeli military was responsible for the recent Gaza beach bombing that killed eight people. Sources inside the Israeli hospital that treated some of the victims said they removed shrapnel used in Israeli shells, and not by Palestinian militants. The claims back the analysis of a Human Rights Watch military expert who investigated the scene of the bombing. The Israeli army maintains the blast was likely caused by bombs planted by Palestinian militants.

Update: From Knight Ridder via Common Dreams:
The Israeli military cleared itself of responsibility for the deaths, saying that whatever exploded on the beach June 9 wasn't an errant shell fired by Israeli soldiers during a barrage of the waterfront. Based on video clips from one of its ships, Israel concluded that the explosion came at least 10 minutes after the military had stopped shelling.

But medical logs, cell phone records and other evidence reviewed by Knight Ridder suggest that the explosion took place during the barrage and probably was due to an artillery round.

According to phone records and ambulance logs, the first emergency call for help at the beach came at 4:40 p.m., while the shelling was going on and about 20 minutes before Israel contends the blast hit the Palestinians.

Defense analysts and human rights advocates say a large piece of shrapnel that a Palestinian family says hit their son that afternoon came from the same type of artillery shells that Israel uses, though Israel disputes that.

Doubts about the military investigation have sparked calls from human rights groups and the Palestinian Authority for an independent examination, something Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has suggested is unnecessary.


Human Rights Watch offered to provide the Israeli military with shrapnel it pulled from a car that had been hit by the blast, but investigators refused, Garlasco said.

"An investigation that refuses to look at contradictory evidence can hardly be considered credible," he said. "The IDF's partisan approach highlights the need for an independent, international investigation."


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