When you’ve been covering the shenanigans of the IDF as long as I you get a sense for the use of code words in describing conflict situations. The killing today of a Hamas militant in the West Bank, as described by Haaretz, especially stunk to high heaven:
According to the IDF, an Israeli army unit had been conducting a raid for wanted Palestiniains in a village east of Tul Karm, when one of the wanted men, named by Israel Radio as Hamas West Bank strongman Iyad Shilbayeh, began “running suspiciously toward the [IDF] force, refusing to heed the soldiers’ request to stop.” “The unit, feeling threatened, opened fire, killing the suspected,” the IDF Spokesman’s office said, adding that “the incident was being investigated.”
The “tells” in this passage are the fact that the IDF says the incident is under investigation. Believe me, the IDF doesn’t investigate anything for any reason unless it feels there is a very good reason to do so. The reason they are investigating is that they know this was a targeted assassination and that they will be accused of that fact. Further, the fact that the news story describes a militant essentially committing suicide by running at armed Israeli soldiers cries out as fraud. Sure enough, this is how Ynet reported the incident:
According to Palestinian sources, however, dozens of military vehicles entered the village at 2 am. The Troops, alleged the sources, arrived at Shilbayeh’s house and grabbed his brother, Muhammad, to use as a human shield. The force, said the brother, blew up the bedroom door and proceeded to shoot Shilbayeh three times – once in the neck and twice in the chest, while he was in bed. His body was transferred to the Palestinian Distric Coordination Office several hours later.
UPDATE: I can now confirm based on an independent report from Maan, which includes information provided by the hospital where the victim was received that the IDF is lying bald-facedly in its account. We await word on the “investigation” it will carry out into this assassination.
It should be quite easy for anyone to determine which version is correct. Either he was shot while running towards the soldiers or shot in bed. An autopsy should clarify which party is telling the truth. If the IDF really wanted to confirm its version it would perform such an autopsy and prove they are correct. If they do not do so their story is horse manure. It’s sure starting to smell like a horse pasture around here. So why the assassination? First, Hamas has been allowing rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. There are reports that the rockets contained white phosphorus, a claim that has not been verified by any credible source yet. A new escalation such as this would likely be responded to by the IDF with an escalation from its side. Why they would kill a Hamas militant in the West Bank rather than in Gaza, where the rockets are fired? Because Hamas claimed credit for killing four Israelis in the militant settler stronghold of Hebron. Israel and the PA are supposed to be observing a truce with no targeted killings in the West Bank. You can see how diligently Israel adheres to such agreements when a target of opportunity arises.