The Gaza Beach massacre story keeps deepening and the IDF’s “cover story” keeps unraveling bit by bit. The latest news reported by Haaretz is that Israel’s Channel 10 announced that a piece of shrapnel removed from one of the Palestinian wounded who was treated at an Israeli hospital has definitively been identified as deriving from IDF ordnance:
The Monday television report said that a previously unreported shrapnel fragment recovered from one of those wounded in the incident, was from the type of shell Israeli artillery had been firing prior to the explosion…
Laboratory examinations by the IDF and then by an Israeli academic institution, the army said, proved conclusively that the shrapnel was not from a 155 mm shell of the type used by the IDF in shelling targeting northern Gaza at the time. The IDF said the fragment resembled explosives used by Palestinian organizations.
However, Channel 10’s Shlomo Eldar reported late Monday that a second fragment, removed last week from a different Palestinian wounded in the incident, was from an 155mm shell.
If this report is true it would make the IDF outright liars. Of course, the IDF has denounced the TV report calling it “a falsehood.” But they would do that if they’d covered up the origin of the second shell fragment. Of course, there are two ways the IDF can get itself out of this jam. It can provide the ballistic reports on both shell fragments for all the world to see; or it can convene an external, independent inquiry to which it provides such information. Will we ever see either of those outcomes? Hmmm.
You have to give credit to the Israeli media for staying on top of this story. As for U.S. media, their response after the basic early reporting was concluded has been pathetic. The NY Times, for example has published one story last week mentioning Human Rights Watch’s doubts about the IDF report. It has not mentioned the Times of London report based partially on new Human Rights Watch evidence and so far has not mentioned the Channel 10 report. I’ve e-mailed Steven Erlanger and Ian Fisher, the Times’ Israel correspondents asking about the prospect for new coverage and received no response so far. I guess as far as they’re concerned this is old news. Thank God we have more enterprising news sources than our sleepy American ones in situations like this.