Revisiting the Gaza Beach Shelling

Wed Jun. 28, 2006 4:32 PM EDT

An investigation by the British Guardian has cast doubt on the Israeli government's claim that the seven family members killed on a Gaza beach in June died from a Palestinian mine, rather than IDF gunfire.

Israel had initially apologized for the attack, saying it was "aimed at stopping militants from firing into Israel." But that admission of guilt was soon retracted: the IDF launched its own investigation into the incident, and concluded that its forces were not at fault. According to The Guardian, the IDF now argues that the family was killed nine minutes after Israeli shelling of the area ceased: "But hospital records, testimony from doctors and ambulance men and eyewitness accounts suggest that the military has the timing of the explosion wrong, and that it occurred while the army was still shelling the beach."

Human Rights Watch has also called has also called the Israeli investigation inadequate. HRW researchers reached that conclusion in part from a June 19 meeting with Israeli Major-General Meir Kalifi, during which the general said that Palestinians "have no problem lying," and that Palestinian sources were therefore not considered during the IDF investigation. Perhaps this means that another controversial shooting incident, three years ago, merits reconsideration too.

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