By Raz Koller
Last Friday a terrible incident occurred in the Gaza strip, when on the beach several members of the same family, Relia family, were killed in an explosion of disputed origin. The Palestinians had said that is was an Israeli missile fired at the family as part of the attempt by Israel to stop the Kassam missile launching into Israeli southern towns. The world seemed to accept that point of view with no dispute. Israelis can not say this surprised them, after all it wasn’t the first time the world condemned us as guilty until proven otherwise.
Nonetheless, the IDF started an investigation and yesterday the findings were published. According to the IDF, the explosion was not the result of an Israeli missile but a mine placed by the Palestinians to stop the IDF from storming the Gaza beach. The evidence presented by the investigators were shells from the supposed Israeli missile that were analyzed in a special lab. The results showed that the structure of metal in the shell does not correspond with the metal used in IDF missiles and there for can not be part of IDF artillery. The investigators also said that considering the operations the IDF was involved in that day, there’s almost no chance the civilians were hurt by IDF fire. An IDF source said later,
“We hurried to apologize and that is what caused us the media and international damage.”
One might add that the IDF assaults on the Gaza strip after the disengagement come only as a response to the Kassam missile attacks that have increased in frequency in recent days. Just a few days ago a missile hit a school that luckily was empty at the time. The Minister of Defense, Amir Peretz, said, “The IDF makes every effort not to hurt the innocent. All operations are executed with attention to maximum safety of the civilian population”. Which is of course a rather difficult task, since terrorist use civilians as human shields.
Unsurprisingly, the Palestinians were not impressed with investigators’ conclusions. “All I heard were lies. They are insisting to continue with these acts.” said a Fatah activist.
Also unsurprising was the response of Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, who expressed doubts in the Israeli findings. Annan, as the organization he represents, has seldom showed a balanced or fair point of view when it came to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Yesterday more civilians were killed in the Gaza strip when a missile was fired at Kassam launchers.
The truth is that it really doesn’t matter why were the family of the Friday incident killed. It really makes no difference if they were killed by an IDF missile or a Palestinian mine. They will stay just as dead either way. The truth is that war, being the stupid unreasonable thing that it is, costs lives. More often then none it costs innocent lives. If the school that was hit by a Kassam missile the other day was packed with children at the time, then it would have been Israeli innocent lives. As fate had it this time, it was Palestinian innocent lives.
I know it would never happen or at least not in the visible future, but I just thought Iâ€™d mention it: The only way of stopping the deaths of innocent lives, is if everybody would just lay down their weapons and go back to the negotiation table.
The unbalanced declarations from people, who are suppose to be neutral, peace keeping representatives of the world, people advancing the prospect of peace, such as Kofi Annan, do a whole lot of damage and no good to anyone.
June 14, 2006 at 5:34 pm
June 14, 2006 at 9:13 pm
Americans, or even Brits, can get away with these kind of acts. Israel is going to get blamed, whether guilty or not. The question is how to live with this. that’s why one must have skin thick as a rhinocerous to live as Jews in this world – and have the ability to fight back when need be.
There wouldn’t be any problems if the Palestinians would quit trying to kill and injure Israelies. Problem is they won’t quit, and that’s why it goes on and on and on.