Talk:Gaza beach explosion (2006)

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START DRAFT[edit]

Eyewitness Reports[edit]

Eyewitnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch described between five and six explosions on the beach between 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., the general timeframe during which the IDF fired artillery shells onto the beach and when the seven civilians were killed. Survivors said they heard the sound of an incoming projectile and saw a blur of motion in the sky before the explosion that killed the seven civilians. Residents of northern Gaza are familiar with the sounds of regular artillery fire. [1]

Sayid Abu Rabia, a 46-year-old construction worker, had taken 14 members of his family to the beach that day. As he was preparing for prayers, the first shell fell. “When the first shell hit…we left the car behind, we left our cell phones, and ran away,” When the shell that killed the Ghalyas exploded, he was about 20 meters away.[2]

Huda Ghalia, one of the surviving Ghalias, related the events:

"While I was swimming with my siblings I heard the sound of an explosion. I looked to the north and saw dust blowing approximately 100 metres away. My father started shouting to us “Get out of the sea quickly! We want to go back.” ... Then about another four shells fell, the second of which was about 100 metres away from us- closer than the first one. We were confused. Some of the ships were approaching the beach. The fourth artillery fell while I was sitting on the chair. I couldn't move and I didn’t know what was going on. It fell amongst us. I didn't see anything because there was dust everywhere. ... I looked towards the place where my father had been standing with my brother in law. There was a small hill to the south. I looked towards it and I saw my father lying on the ground. It looked like he was sleeping so I rushed towards him. I was trembling not because of the cold but because I was so scared. I saw his intestines outside his stomach."[3]

Major General Kalifi, the IDF spokesperson, discounted these reports, saying that Palestinians “have no problem lying,” [4]

Video Recording of the Aftermath[edit]

Zakaria Abu Harbid (Arabid) filmed video footage of the immediate aftermath. ““I found people’s flesh scattered everywhere. I didn’t know what to do, but I immediately began filming the child (Huda) hysterically crying. I cried while I was filming, seeing children’s clothes and all things mixed with flesh and blood”. A section of the video, showing 12-year old Huda running hysterically looking for her father and finding him lying on his back with his eyes closed, was shown around the world. [5][6]

On 16 June 2006, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung questioned the reliability of the video footage following the incident, alleging that one of the dead bodies next to Huda's father is later seen alive and carrying a gun. Citing alleged cases of Palestinian doctoring of video footage, the report suggested that both the footage and the site of the blast may have been manipulated. [7] An American pro-Israel pressure group, Camera, went so far as to suggest that the film of Huda Ghalia's trauma was faked.[8] Some media commentators criticized the video by suggesting that there was no crater at the site of the deaths,[9] whereas Human Rights Watch subsequently published an analysis of the fatal crater, including position, size and explosive compound coating.[1]

Haaretz showed that commentary was flawed. “The German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung cast doubt on the authenticity of the picture and made its own determinations without checking the facts: Why were bodies covered with sheets?, it asked - although they were not. Why were Huda's clothes dry? - although they were actually wet." Abu Harbid, the video cameraman, commented, "If a foreign photographer had taken the pictures, no one would have had doubts. Because we are Palestinian journalists they immediately claimed we staged it," Abu Harbid's boss added: "How can one stage such horror?" [10]

Claims, Counterclaims and Investigations[edit]

The Israeli army claimed it was targeting Qassam rocket launchers, shelling the beach 250 metres away from the blast, ten minutes prior to it. Its initial response was that the shelling did not come from a gunship, but was more likely to have been fired by Israeli ground forces. The Israeli military said it “regretted the harm done to innocent civilians”. [11][12][13]

The initial IDF acknowledgement was changed in a meeting four days later, on 13 June 2006, when an IDF committee, with Major General Meir Kalifi (also Khalifi and Klifi) as spokesperson, concluded that the deaths were not caused by an errant IDF artillery shell:

"We can say, surely, that the IDF is not responsible for the incident. We checked each and every shell that was fired from the sea, the air and from the artillery on the land and we found out that we can track each and every one according to a timetable and according to the accuracy of where they hit the ground. … The probe concludes that the blast was probably caused by an explosive device buried in the sand." …No clear explanation was provided for what caused the explosion, but Kalifi suggested Palestinian militants might have been responsible.[11]

The IDF committee acknowledged that the army had fired six shells on and around Beit Lahia beach from artillery inside Israel. But it said that by coincidence a separate explosion - probably a mine planted by Hamas or a buried old shell - occurred in the same area at about the same time, killing the family. [8] The IDF justification for this conclusion was multiple.[14] The presentation concluded, “So, all possibilities that the cause of the explosion was an artillery shell fired on that Friday have been disproved.” Defense Minister Amir Perez repeated the findings, the evidence being presented first to the Israeli people. He said “We owe it to ourselves to know that we did not cause these deaths.”

This conclusion was to be challenged on multiple grounds by an on-site Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation[13] led by its senior military advisor, Marc Garlasco, an ex-defense contractor and later senior professional with the Pentagon,[15] and by other on-site investigations.[16]

Number of IDF shells fired[edit]

During the 13 June meeting, Maj Gen Kalifi of the IDF explained that six artillery shells were fired around the time of the ‘incident’, but they landed 580-600 meters north of the target. The location of the first shell was not determined, but it was launched at 16:30, well before the time of the ‘incident’, and that “naval shells were only fired between 11:00 AM and 12:00 noon”. “We have documentation of where all the (naval) shells landed. It proves that all shells were launched approximately four hours before the incident.” [14] This conclusion was repeated by Major General Dan Halutz, IDF Chief of Staff and former Israeli Air Force Commander "We can say, surely, that the IDF is not responsible for the incident," and that, "We checked each and every shell that was fired from the sea, the air and from the artillery on the land and we found out that we can track every one according to a timetable and according to the accuracy of where they hit the ground."[17]

On 17 June the IDF admitted that the revised analysis presented by Kalifi was flawed. Instead of only six artillery shells, “Israeli officials have now told The Times that two naval shells were fired at about the time of the deaths 'at 4.24pm and 4.55pm' but that they were too far away to matter." [18] HRW subsequently reported that Khalifi acknowledged that two 76mm naval shells had also been fired.[2]

Shrapnel identification[edit]

During the 13 June meeting, Major General Kalifi of the IDF reported: “In addition a piece of shrapnel was found in the wound of one of the Palestinians who was injured and received medical treatment in Israel. The shrapnel was taken for examination in a laboratory. The examination showed that, without a doubt, the shrapnel was not a part of an IDF artillery shell.” [1] The IDF said the fragment resembled explosives used by Palestinian organizations. [19]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) offered rebuttal to this key IDF claim of absolution. The organization had investigated the blast site and had examined shrapnel from four sources:

  • First, it found an approximately 15-centimeter piece of shrapnel near a crater on the beach itself. It was stamped “155mm.” The fact that it had not yet oxidized indicated that it was fresh and not from an earlier attack. A week later, the shell fragment had begun to oxidize.
  • Second, HRW found a small copper shell fragment deep in the back of the front seat of Hani Azanin’s car. The explosion on the beach that killed the Ghalyas had seriously damaged the vehicle. By the time Human Rights Watch talked to Hani Azanin, three days after the incident, he had cleaned the car of human flesh and most of the shrapnel. The copper fragment found by Human Rights Watch definitely came from the blast that killed the Ghalyas because this was the blast that caused all the damage to the Azanin car. In all likelihood it came from the copper ring of an artillery shell.
  • The third piece of shrapnel evidence had been removed from the body of Mahmud Abu Rabia, the 19-year-old-who suffered severe internal injuries, by doctors at the Kamal `Udwan Hospital. HRW reported that this piece, covered in blood, was a range setting for the timing of an artillery shell fuze.
  • The explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team of the Palestinian police found dozens of pieces of shrapnel in the crater of the explosion that killed the Ghalyas. “From our experience and analysis, the [shell fragments] we found belong to 155mm Israeli artillery. It is used by artillery every day in northern Gaza,” said Gen. Salah Abu `Azum, head of the EOD team.259 He and his staff had matched up each fragment with a part of a 155mm shell. For comparison, General Abu `Azum also showed Human Rights Watch Qassam-type rocket fragments, which are visibly much thinner. The EOD team, which was trained in the United States and Europe, indicated it had a high level of familiarity with these and other types of munitions.[2]

Palestinian doctors additionally confirmed that the injuries from the attack, which were primarily to the head and torso, were consistent with the heavy shrapnel of artillery shells used by the IDF.[1]

During a 19 June 2006 meeting, Major General Kalifi confirmed that the IDF had removed and tested one piece of shrapnel from one of three injured Palestinians moved to Israel and that the test results revealed that it was weapons-grade alloy, but not from a 155mm shell. He stated that the IDF was not removing shrapnel from the other injured Palestinians. However, that night an Israeli news report contradicted this information, stating that the IDF had removed two additional pieces of shrapnel from one of the other injured and found them likely to have come from a 155mm shell. The next day Kalifi acknowledged the removal and testing of one additional piece of shrapnel, but claimed that there were no test results yet. [4]

On the evening of the same day, 19 June 2006, Israeli Channel 10's Shlomo Eldar reported that a second fragment, removed the previous week by Israeli doctors from a different Palestinian wounded in the incident, was from a 155mm shell. [20] Kalifi rejected the Channel 10 report as a "falsehood".[19] On 22 June, he reported that a second piece of shrapnel, removed from Adham Ralya, had proved conclusively that this was not a 155mm shell … based on analysis of the composition and content of the shrapnel, and of the explosive compound found on it. [14]

A fragment of shrapnel, marked with numbers and two letters, was removed by Palestinian doctors from the abdomen of a teenage boy caught up in the blast. Garlasco identified it as “definitely part of an artillery fuse”.[21] The IDF’s Kalifi also dismissed the artillery fuse shrapnel evidence, questioning the chain of custody, stating that anyone could take shrapnel and dip it into the blood of the injured.

HRW's battlefield expert, Garlasco, responded in rebuttal: “If the Israeli allegations of tampered evidence are to be believed, many Palestinians would have to have engaged in a massive and immediate conspiracy to falsify the data. The conspirators – witnesses, victims, medical personnel and bomb disposal staff – would have had to falsify their testimony, amend digital and hand-written records, and dip shrapnel into a victim’s blood. It beggars belief that such a huge conspiracy could be orchestrated so quickly.” [4]

On 21 June, Maj.-Gen. Kalifi reported the test results on the additional fragment. While the shrapnel did not match artillery shells fired by the IDF that day, it did, he said, match other types of ordnance in IDF use.[22] During the shelling on the fatal afternoon, an Israeli gunboat fired two 76mm rounds.[2] According to Khalifi, "The examination of a second piece of shrapnel retrieved from the body of a boy who was wounded in the blast unequivocally shows that the explosion was not caused by a 155 mm artillery shell."[22]

Shrapnel removal[edit]

Kalifi questioned the decision of Palestinian doctors to remove shrapnel from the injured, who were later sent to Israel, saying he assumed it was to “cover evidence” that might help the IDF. [4] The victims had initially been treated by Palestinian doctors who removed almost all shrapnel from the bodies of victims before they arrived at Israeli hospitals for treatment.[23] Representatives of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center said that Palestinian doctors at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, who had treated a woman wounded during the blast, had made unnecessary cuts all over her body in an effort to remove all the surgically reachable shrapnel. The Israeli hospital said they had never before received a patient from which all possible shrapnel had been removed." The hospital stopped short of accusing Shifa’s doctors directly of removing shrapnel for no medical reason.[24]

The Relative timing of bombardment and the fatal explosion[edit]

All parties believed that the timing of the IDF shelling was a key issue, Major General Meir Kalifi of the IDF confirming in the meeting of 13 June that the time span of the IDF shelling was the most important factor absolving the IDF of responsibility. According to Kalifi, the eight civilians were killed after the IDF shelling ceased at 4:50 p.m. on June 9, 2006.[4] In support of these claims, Kalifi produced IDF surveillance videos, three of which were published. These were viewed by HRW, which concluded that there were a range of possible hypotheses. The HRW report mentions specifically that video footage from the time of the blast was not provided by the IDF.[25]

The Times (quoted by YNet) reported a UN radio call recording that IDF shelling had started at 04:33pm and that by 04:43 one shell had fallen at the coast west of the old Dugit settlement, causing “casualties among the people spending their day at the … .” [26] Presented with the evidence of the UN transmission, Maj Gen Kalifi said the 4:33 P.M. report was an earlier incident, near the abandoned settlement of Dugit.[4] Israeli sources had previously reported that the fatal beach shelling had started at 4:30pm. [26] Evidence collected by Human Rights Watch researchers and many independent journalists on the ground in Gaza indicates that the civilians were killed within the time period of the shelling. HRW concluded: “That evidence includes computerized hospital records that show children injured at the beach were treated by 5:12 p.m., and hand-written hospital records that show they were admitted at 5:05 p.m. This evidence suggests that the blast that caused the family’s death occurred during the time of the IDF shelling.”

A Guardian investigation into the sequence of events on 16 June 2006, reached similar conclusions as to those of HRW, namely that the fatal explosion must have occurred just before 5.00pm:

The Alwada's anaesthetist, Dr Ahmed Mouhana, was woken by a call from a fellow doctor calling him to the hospital. "I looked at the time. That's what you do when someone wakes you up. It was 4.55pm. Dr Nasser couldn't tell me what was going on so I called Abu Jihad [Mr Abu Sada] and asked him. He said he didn't know but I should get to the hospital quickly as it sounded bad," he said. Mr Abu Sada remembered receiving the call while driving to the beach. Dr Mouhana left for the hospital immediately. "It only takes 10 minutes from my house so I was there by 5.10pm or 5.15pm at the latest. I went to reception and they had already done triage on the children," he said.[16]

YNET News synthesized the various claims. The IDF’s version was that the last shell had landed at 4.48pm and that between 4:54 and 4:57 there was normal activity on the beach, with the first ambulance arriving at 5:15pm. The ‘Palestinian’ version was that at 4:45-4:46 Palestinian paramedic Khaled Abu Sada telephoned confirmation of an emergency. At 4:50 Abu Sada drove to the beach, his ambulance arriving at 5:00. IDF officials said that the army shelled the area between 4:30 p.m. and 4:48 p.m., while the deadly blast occurred between 4:57 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. However, according to hospital records and testimonies given by doctors and ambulance crews and obtained by the two newspapers, the blast which killed the Ghalia family members took place earlier than the army reported, while the shelling was still underway. [26]

The next day, 17 June, The Times reported that the IDF had admitted the firing of the naval shell at 4:55pm.[18] Major General Kalifi rejected the report, saying that naval shelling had only taken place earlier in the day, and that “the Times made use of incomplete information, and added that the quote in its story attributed to an IDF officer was inaccurate and taken out of context.” [27]

At the 18 June meeting, HRW provided evidence[16] which contradicted the IDF claim regarding the timing. The evidence demonstrated that the time of firing of the ultimate IDF shell was consistent with the fatal blast. It included digital and hand-written hospital records, the UN recording, telephone records reporting the incident, the ambulance driver's testimony, and various eye-witness reports,[28][29] Three days later, on 21 June, the IDF spokesperson, Maj.-Gen. Kalifi, repeated the conclusion that the fatal explosion occurred 10-15 minutes after artillery cannons had stopped firing shells at a target next to the beach - "conclusively exonerating the IDF from responsibility for the blast".[30] A Knight Ridder review of medical logs, cell phone records and other evidence suggested that the explosion took place during the barrage and probably was due to an artillery round, supporting the HRW conclusion.[29][13]

Craters[edit]

During the original 13 June meeting, Kalifi had stated that the six IDF artillery shells had targeted an area 580 to 600 meters away (from the fatal site), with earlier midday naval bombardments taking place 2.5 kilometers away. "Using a special system we can precisely account for the places where five of the six shells landed." [14] But according to readings from a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) taken by Human Rights Watch, one crater was 100 meters away from the fatal crater, and the rest were 250 to 300 meters away. The crater where the victims were killed was therefore within the vicinity of the other artillery craters created by the IDF’s June 9 artillery attack, and was also the same shape and size.[1] While the powder in the many old craters in the area had grayed over time, the powder in the crater of June 9 was bright white, indicating its freshness. [2]

The second issue concerned the nature of the craters. During the 13 June meeting, Kalifi reported that "the probe (the IDF investigation) concludes that the blast was probably caused by an explosive device buried in the sand, but does not determine categorically whether it was planted by Palestinians or was an old IDF dud."[14] Haaretz elaborated: "Based on photographs, the crater left on the beach by the blast seems to have been made by an explosion from below (a mine), not a hit from above (a shell).[11] But the HRW investigation found that, not only were the craters in the same general location, but the fatal crater was also the same shape and size.[1] The Guardian reported that the HRW battlefield analyst believed that the crater size, shrapnel, types of injuries and their location on the victims' bodies (particularly to the head and torso) pointed to a shell dropping from the sky, not explosives under the sand. Witnesses spoke of hearing other blasts at the time, consistent with a pattern of shells falling at the beach. [31][32]

Nature of the Injuries[edit]

Doctors who attended the injured in Gaza confirmed to Human Rights Watch researchers that the injuries from the attack were primarily to the head and torso. The IDF said that aerial pictures of the blast crater show it is more likely to have been made by a mine under the sand than an explosion from above, with some Israeli officials suggesting that such a mine was placed by Palestinian militants, rather than by one of its artillery shells. However, according to on-site investigations by Human Rights Watch, the size of the craters and the type of injuries to the victims are not consistent with the theory that a mine caused the explosion. [1] After investigating the scene, Mr Garlasco concluded that the army's explanation was deeply flawed. The head and torso injuries were consistent with a shell exploding above the ground not a mine under it. If it were a mine or kids playing with an old shell you would expect severe leg injuries as well, even legs blown off." [32]

The craters were too large to be made by bounding mines, the only type of landmines capable of producing head and torso injuries of the type suffered by the victims on 9 June. Additionally, Palestinian armed groups are not known to have, or to have used, bounding mines; the Palestinian government bomb squad said it has never uncovered a bounding mine in any explosive incident.[1]

Completeness of evidence examined by IDF[edit]

In a meeting on 19 June between HRW and Major-General Meir Kalifi, the latter revealed that the IDF’s conclusion that it was not responsible for the deaths on the beach was based exclusively on information gathered by the IDF and excluded all evidence gathered by other sources. Marc Garlasco, chief military advisor for HRW commented: “An investigation that refuses to look at contradictory evidence can hardly be considered credible.” Kalifi told HRW that the IDF discounted information gathered from any Palestinian information sources in its investigation. The day after the incident, the IDF asked the official Palestinian security liaison office to provide evidence for testing, but later dismissed the evidence provided, which consisted of 155mm shrapnel, both new and old, and dirt from the beach and crater. When offered evidence collected first-hand by Human Rights Watch researchers in Gaza, the general either called it into question or declined to accept it. The IDF also dismissed as “unimportant” evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch indicating that the IDF’s suggested timeline surrounding the fatal incident is flawed, which thee IDF originally claimed was the most important factor absolving it of responsibility. [4]

Report that a Victim set off the Explosion[edit]

Israeli dailies reported that, on 21 June, Major General Kalifi said that the security establishment had received information that Ilham Ghalia had said that the explosion took place when her father touched something on the beach. Kalifi concluded that the new evidence proved that “it was not Israeli fire that had hit the Ghalia family”.[33] Ilham Ghalia was widely reported to have been one of the original fatalities. [34][13] On 23 June Haaretz reported that the statement attributed to Ilham had been made while hospitalized at Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv. Although this new information strengthened the IDF’s version of events, that the deaths were not caused by an Israeli shell, the degree of reliability of the information was unclear: “A senior General Staff (member) admitted yesterday that this is unsubstantiated information, and that the army does not have a recording of the girl saying these things.” [35] Three years later Haaretz observed that: “Decision makers in the government and IDF for some reason shelved (Ilham’s) admission”. [36]

Reversal of Positions[edit]

In contrast to previous Israeli claims that the shrapnel recovered by Israeli doctors from victims definitely did not come from a 155mm shell,[26][14] during a two-and-a-half hour meeting between HRW and Major General Kalifi on 18 June, the IDF agreed with Human Rights Watch that it was possible that unexploded ordnance from a 155mm artillery shell fired earlier in the day could have caused the fatal injuries. The IDF fired more than 80 155mm shells in the area of the beach on the morning of the incident. Sand would increase the possibility of a fuse malfunction leading to a dud shell that may have sat in the sand waiting to be set off. The shelling between 4:31 p.m. and 4:50 p.m. could have triggered a dud shell, as could the human traffic on the beach that afternoon. [4] This IDF agreement that 155mm ordnance could have been responsible for the fatal blast contradicted Kalifi’s previous claims that the shrapnel analysis showed it was not from a 155mm shell[14][1], that the blast was not caused by an IDF shell[14], that shrapnel removal from a victim by Palestinian doctors was done so as to “cover evidence” [4], and that the IDF had not been shelling at the time of the blast. [14][26][37]

According to The Jerusalem Post (19 June), in agreeing to the possibility, Garlasco had ”conceded for the first time since the incident that it could not contradict the IDF's exonerating findings”, and that it was Galasco who had reversed his opinion after further examination of the evidence, concluding that the blast was "most likely caused by unexploded Israeli ordinance left laying on the beach." [38] Silverstein criticized the Jerusalem Post article, in particular for writing that HRW had conceded that it could not contradict the IDF’s exonerating findings, for ignoring that the HRW had instead said that it was ‘possible’ that a piece of unexploded IDF ordnance had killed the Palestinians, and also for ignoring the contrary evidence. He pointed to a new HRW report of 19 June which contained the HRW version of the meeting, which had as its main theme that the IDF ignored all evidence gathered by other sources, and which concluded that the deaths occurred during the period of shelling of the beach by the IDF. [37][4]

Contrasting ultimate analysis and Interpretations[edit]

On 22 June the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided its last summary, declaring that “All new evidence obtained to date thus confirms the central conclusion of the Investigative Committee: that the event did not result from IDF fire during the day's operations.” [14]

In contrast to the last IDF summary, the HRW 2007 synthesis was more in line with the mutual agreement from the 18 June IDF/HRW meeting, concluding that the two most likely scenarios, which could explain the shell’s explosion on the beach that afternoon, were:

  • It could have been a live shell that exploded on the beach as it struck.
  • It could have been an unexploded artillery shell fired earlier that lay in the sand before being detonated by the reverberations of nearby shelling that afternoon—the IDF had shelled the beach area on previous occasions. [2]

A third hypothesis, advanced by the IDF, is that Palestinian militants may have taken an unexploded IDF shell they found elsewhere and rigged it up as an improvised explosive device (IED) that then exploded, with fatal consequences, on June 9. The IDF suggested that militants might have placed an IED on the beach in order to thwart an IDF landing from the sea. Major General Kalifi did not suggest, however, why the Palestinians might fear an amphibious landing when the IDF has unrestricted access across the 51 kilometer Israel/Gaza land border. The nature of the injuries casts further doubt on the IED explanation.[2]

In a report dated 1 July 2007 in which the Gaza beach explosion (2006) was used as a case study, Human Rights Watch summarized the opposing views, and concluded that: “The availability of significant evidence that the IDF has not examined or taken into account casts serious doubt on its conclusions and underscores the need for an independent investigation of the incident.” The Palestinian Authority welcomed such an investigation, while the Israeli government did not support it, saying “We don't need the assistance of anyone”. [13]

Media Reporting and Opinion[edit]

Initially the foreign media unequivocally blamed Israel for the deaths, and the Israel media tended to do the same.[11][39] After the 13 June meeting, in which the results of the IDF investigation were made known, Israeli and Western media outlets switched to acceptance of the IDF version.[11][40]

Some current affairs commentators branded the Palestinian version as "Pallywood", going so far as to refer to this opposing version as 'libel'.[39] Three years later, an organization dedicated to monitoring NGO's discounted all of the HRW evidence and criticisms, concluding that "HRW reported 'facts' based only on Palestinian claims and pseudo-technical analysis".[41]

Electronic Intifada reported that “the US corporate media has highlighted Israeli denials of responsibility for the Gaza beach killings, while providing much less space to Palestinian and third party assertions of Israeli responsibility.” [42]

Aftermath[edit]

Following the IDF assassination on 8th June of the recently appointed Palestinian head of the security forces of Hamas' Interior Ministry, Jamal Abu Samhadana, and three others, and the 9th June Palestinian beach deaths, described in this article, Hamas broke its self-proclaimed February 2005 ceasefire on 10th June and, together with Islamic Jihad, recommenced rocket attacks on southern Israel. This 'chronology of crisis' evolved into mutual responses, with rocket fire from Gaza increasing. On 13 June Israel responded further when an IAF aircraft fired a missile into a busy Gaza City street, killing 11 people, including two children and two medics. Subsequent responses led to the IDF increasing incursions into Gaza, and on 23 August abducting two Palestinians alleged to be Hamas militants. In response Hamas and others abducted IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit on 25 June, which led to the IDF's Operation Summer Rains, in which 416 Palestinians were killed versus 11 Israelis.[43][44][45]

END DRAFT

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Israel: Investigate Gaza Beach Killings". Human Rights Watch. 2006. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Appendix I. Case Study: The Gaza Beach Incident". Human Rights Watch. 2006. 
  3. ^ "Palestinian Child Fatalities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory during 2006" (PDF). Defence for Children International / Palestine Section. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
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  7. ^ Der Krieg der Bilder, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 16 June 2006
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  9. ^ Itmar Marcus and Barbara Crook (2006). "PMW PA TV falsifies video of Gaza deaths". Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin - June 12, 2006. 
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  16. ^ a b c Chris McGreal (in Beit Lahia (16 June 2006). "Who really killed Huda Ghalia's family?". The Guardian. 
  17. ^ IDF probe: Gaza beach blast not caused by wayward army shell, Ha'aretz, June 13, 2006
  18. ^ a b Stephen Farrell (2006). "Israel admits shell report flaws". The Times. 
  19. ^ a b Amos Harel (2006). "IDF rejects as 'lie' new report linking shelling, Gaza beach deaths". Haaretz. 
  20. ^ Saed Bannoura (2006). "Israeli TV Channel 10: Israeli shell fragments found in body of a victim Gaza beach shelling". International Middle East Media Center. 
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  31. ^ Rory McCarthy (2007). "'I try to forget - but i can't'". The Guardian. 
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  35. ^ Amos Harel (2006). "IDF: Elham Ghalia girl said her father touched the object before the explosion at the beach". Haaretz. 
  36. ^ Amir Oren (2009). "Not really a war". Haaretz. 
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