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Home Was Israel Really Responsible for Beit Hanoun Deaths?

Was Israel Really Responsible for Beit Hanoun Deaths?

(The following is a translation of a piece questioning whether Israel was responsible for the Beit Hanoun attack. The translation is my own and may contain technical errors and poor wording when it comes to matters of armament. All corrections are appreciated

"As the wails of outrage and condemnation continue over the supposed Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun and the deaths of 13 members of the Athamna Palestinian family with the media describing in detail scattered body parts

Though Israel has stated it was a mistake, experts analyzing the situation differ. First of all the Kassams fired by the Palestinians themselves often fall short not reaching their target and falling inside Palestinian areas. Israel fires at terrorists using fragmentation shells. Had this been an Israeli fragmentation shell it would not have penetrated the roof but it would have left fragments everywhere, but a poorly aimed Kassam could well have exploded on the roof of this house, much like a mine.

The shells Israel was firing flew 500 meters from this area, however the pictures more closely match not a shell but the detonation of an explosive material placed in sacks underneath the house. On the photographs we can clearly see that the trash cans and their lids and the walls are not damaged. This is impossible with an attack by a fragmentation shell which pierces everything in the area with fragments. This has all the markings of an explosive material without a shell.

The photo of the hole in the celling is interesting, if the shell is fired from less than 3 kilometers away, the trajectory of the shell ascends rising upward and cannot punch through a concrete roof even if it falls on it. If it were to fall on the roof, it might ricochet and explode on top and cover the area with fragments. But this has not happened. Descriptions of bodies scattered everywhere tell of an explosion without fragmentation.

The Lebanon conflict had already seen explosives planted in houses and then detonated to create a staged atrocity, much as had happened in Qana. It also resembles the Gaza beach blast in which an Israeli shell supposedly wiped out an entire Palestinian family and which resulted in an outcry of Israeli massacre, which was ultimately discredited by an investigation.

In response to similar incidents Israel has often made the mistake of taking responsibility for things it did not do. See the Mohammed Al Dura case and the Qana bombing. This occurs because the slower pace of a military investigation conflicts with the political pressure to resolve an incident quickly, even if it takes the form of admitting guilt."

YNet article raises questions about attacks. Hat tip: Vanfield . Extracts follow.

"According to IDF information, Hamas operatives from the Jabaliya refugee camp were supposed to arrive in Beit Hanoun, set up rocket launchers and fire Qassam rockets towards Ashkelon. It was estimated that the rocket fire would commence during the early morning hours in order to target Israeli children on their way to school.

An IDF order was given to carry our preventative artillery fire while employing every possible safety measure: Only one cannon would fire at a time to minimize error; the fire was directed slowly: 12 shells within 16 minutes. The team monitoring the landing of the shells could halt the fire at any given moment and amend deviations if necessary.

On Wednesday the IDF team fired at two targets from outside Beit Hanoun. Two cannons were used, each aimed at a different target. One cannon fired 12 shells and completed its mission successfully. A second cannon fired 12 shells, killing 18 people and injuring dozens. The Palestinians reported that two shells hit a house. Aerial photography taken following the shelling showed two or three billows of smoke at a radius of 60-70 meters.

The radar that locates the targets transferred data showing that 10 shells from one barrage landed at a distance of 400 meters from the house that was hit. The two remaining shells were not detected by the radar. This is a familiar statistical phenomenon. Nonetheless, it doesn't make sense that only some of the shells fired from the same cannon would go off course to such an extent, even if they didn't show up on the radar. If only two shells landed inside a residential neighborhood, where did the others land?

Such an error with this type of radar is very rare. So perhaps something else occurred? Perhaps a shell hit an arms cache or Qassam rockets that exploded? Something doesn't add up. The performance of the artillery team was investigated, and so was the use of digital target data that came from the battery's control center, but no shortcomings were found. The investigation examined whether the military division transferred the wrong data regarding the location of the target. This is highly doubtful as well."

Meryl Yourish points out that 45 Sri Lankan civilians were killed in an artillery bombing and the media remains silent, there is no outcry and no media coverage of funerals and cries for revenge.
Sri Lankan forces bombarding rebels with artillery on Wednesday hit a school where scores of civilians had taken refuge from the fighting, killing at least 45 Tamils and wounding 125 others in the country’s east, a senior rebel official said. The government accused the Tamil Tiger rebels of using civilians as human shields, and said its forces were only retaliating against intense rebel shelling."

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Kofi Annan to be “shocked” at the killings. Don’t hold your breath waiting for UN condemnation of the Sri Lankan government. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the EU to call on the Sri Lankan government to “exercise restraint.” Don’t hold your breath waiting for world leaders to condemn this attack.

You have to dig deeply to find the paltry 141 stories on Google News when I wrote this post. There are currently 2,026 articles about the Israeli artillery shell that went astray."


  1. Anonymous9/11/06

    I wouldn't be surprised if the arabs didn't purposefully fire the kassams on their own peoples homes. They know the media will side with them regardless.

  2. Israel spends far too much time backtracking and apologizing for things real, imaginated and made up for propaganda purposes.

    It's not worth it. They are not believed anyway, and even when proof comes out to show they did not do something, its never enough.
    So why bother Israel?
    Just do what you have to do and get tough about it.

  3. Anonymous9/11/06

    More questions about this can be found in this Ynet article.


  4. Given the history of both Hamas and Hizbollah to stage crime scenes, and even murder people for propoganda, I wouldn't doubt at all that they are responsible for this tragedy.

    Many of the victims were small children, who will never see justice because the world is pointing fingers at Israel not the terrorists responsible for the carnage.

    Seeing the images of the screaming and bloody children and children in body bags was gut-wrenching and it's beyond comprehension that anyone would do this, but then again, we're talking about terrorists.

    They don't care who is killed or injured.

    Israel has apologized; the terrorists are calling for retaliatory attacks.

    Here is Olmert's response excerpted from A7):

    "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apologized for an errant artillery shell and promised PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas he would "go far” in negotiations. Fatah officials issued open calls for terror attacks.

    "He will be surprised when he sits with me at how far we are prepared to go,” Olmert said Thursday evening. “I can offer him a lot."

    Olmert said he is willing to meet Abbas (Abu Mazen) “at any time, with no predetermined conditions,” an apparent break with previous requirements outlined in the US-backed Road Map, such as a cessation of terrorist attacks. He said that so far it was Abbas who has refused to meet with him.

    "Olmert said that he was prepared to release a large number of terrorists in talks with Abbas, saying he intended to release them even before IDF Corporal Gilad Shilat was kidnapped. "Even before Shalit's abduction, I met [Hashemite King of Jordan] Abdullah, [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak, and [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair and told them that I am ready to release prisoners.

    "I tell the Palestinians today – you don't know how many prisoners you can have if you were to release Shalit. I am ready to release them for Abu Mazen but not for Hamas."

    (Whether he released them for Abbas or Hamas they are the same terrorists).

    How can one reconcile the terrorist-inflicted suffering on innocent children with the release of more terrorists and more death and destruction?

    The hypocrisy. The Pro-Palestinian types are indifferent to terrorists targeting innocent children; the "pro-peace" people and groups indifferent to Israeli children being targeted...it's insane.

    (sorry, I got a tad OT)

  5. interestingly enough a building full of women and children... where were the men

  6. That's another thing my mind is having great trouble reconciling...the deep-seated suspicion that the men were involved, that they may have decided to make "martyrs" out of these woman and children.

  7. Anonymous9/11/06

    The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the screaming hysteria of another "ugly massacre" was Gaza Beach and Qana. These are not ordinary homicidal maniacs. They kill their own people! They watch people sitting down to picnic - parents, children then proceed to launch them into the next world. They blow them apart! Life means nothing - the loss of it - as long as Israel ultimately looks like a heartless monster. And the first thing out of Olmert's mouth is an insipid apology with the reassurance he is willing to go 'really far' with concessions. Is he French?

    Yes sk, where were the men? Were they at the same place the men of Qana were?

  8. well from the perspective of the terrorists, women and children have strategic value

    their strategic value is in reproducing to create more palestinians but sometimes in suicide bombings or incidents such as this, their tactical value is even greater

  9. Not to mention their PR value.

    It all seems so very much like something the Nazis would do--perpetrate an attack only to blame Israel and gain international support. Then justify a retaliatory attack against Israel.

  10. well that's how the nazis invaded poland as a matter of fact, staging an attack by poland

    before that they invaded Czechoslovakia by demanding independence for sudeten germans in Czechoslovakia who they claimed were being denied their rights while the sudeten germans carried out a campaign of violence and terrorism

    britain, france, etc went along with it and germany swallowed Czechoslovakia


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