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June 13, 2006

Questions About the Gaza Explosion

CAMERA has criticized the media for reacting to Friday's Gaza explosion in which 7 Palestinians were killed in much the same way as it reacted to the Mohammed Al Dura incident in September 2000--with complete acceptance of Palestinian accusations of Israeli responsibility. It is looking more and more likely that the explosion was caused by a Palestinian mine.

And how about the video that was played and replayed on Arab news stations several times an hour? Stills from the video and clips have appeared on TV stations and newspapers around the world. The video by the Ramattan news agency showing an inconsolable young girl wailing as she discovers her dead father raises its own questions--like how was a news agency at the scene within seconds to follow the daughter across the sand and capture her grief upon finding her dead father, why does no one seems to console the child, including the photographer, why is there is no evidence of a crater or blood near the bodies? Were the bodies moved, was the girl asked to reenact her discovery for the camera, was the video staged? Palestinian Media Watch has already demonstrated that the clips aired on official Palestinian Authority TV have been edited and falsified by including unrelated video of an Israeli missile boat firing at Gaza earlier in the day, creating the impression of Israeli responsibility. Al Jazeera similarly includes scenes of the supposed Israeli "strike". Yet some are accepting these inserted clips of an Israeli missile boat as the direct cause of the deaths.

Richard Landes posts in his Augean Stables blog similar questions about the authenticity of the video and compares it to that of the iconic image of Mohammed Al Dura.

* There is no evidence of a blast, no crater, not even a disturbance of the sand which has the characteristic patterns of wind-wrought waviness uninterrupted either by a blast or cleaning up from the blast.

* The bodies are evacuated from an area where various items one would have expected to have been blown away by an explosion — flip-flops, beach chairs, clothing — are strewn around.

* Very little blood is visible anywhere. The child’s body is dark and may be charred, but there are no other signs of burning on the material on either side of him. The disposition of bodies does not seem to accord with an explosion. Perhaps they are in a secondary arrangement, ready for loading on the ambulances.

Read the entire post here.

Posted by RH at June 13, 2006 01:55 PM


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