Sunday, June 11, 2006

Gaza Beach Deaths Might Have Been Caused by Hamas Daisy Chain Traps

Maybe we should have listened more closely to all the warnings about waiting until the inquiry had finished its work before rushing to judgment. DebkaFile reports that intelligence shared among the US, Israel, Egypt, and the PA
has yielded an initial impression that the blast that caused seven Paletinian deaths on a Gaza beach Friday, june 9, was caused by one of a series of bombs Hamas planted last week on the northern Gazan beach. They were put there as daisy chain traps in case Israeli commandos landed by sea to take Qassam missile launchers in northern Gaza by surprise.
Ha'aretz has also taken up the story. Amos Harel reports that military investigators have expressed increasing doubts that the explosion was caused by an errant IDF shell fired on Friday. However, it is possible that it was caused by unexploded IDF ordnance that had landed on the beach in previous weeks. Here is the article in English.


Derek said...

That's very interesting. Debkafile seems to be the only place that is reporting this development. Why is that? And if this is true why does there seem to be so much certainty about the shelling aspect of this story.

Amos said...

Hey Derek - maybe you're right - DebkaFile is not necessarily the most trustworthy source for a story like this. But Ha'aretz has also picked this up - the reporter, Amos Harel, is usually pretty good. I'm not sure about the certainty of the shelling. I say that not because I want to cast doubt on anyone's statements. It seems that there was shelling in the vicinity but the artillery unit was convinced that they had not fired at that particular location of the beach. It could still be an "errant shell" of course. What do I know. I doubt I could tell the difference between an artillery projectile and a mine exploding. Whatever the source of the explosion was doesn't change the fact that seven innocent people died.

John said...

It wouldn't be the first time Palestinian civilians were accidentally killed by Hamas ordinance. It also wouldn't be the first time that the IDF spokesperson was wrong or even lied. Most of what has been reported is second hand knowledge, so we cannot know for sure. BTW, I don't know if there is so much certainty about the shelling aspect as you may think, Derek. I do recall that the Palestinians initially claimed that the shelling had come from an Israeli naval gunship. As Amos, said, it is not easy for your average civilian to pinpoint the source of fire.