Gaza Beach Explosion
Today's Jerusalem Post:
The IDF probe investigating the deaths of seven Palestinian civilians, caused by an explosion on a beach in Gaza on Friday evening, concluded that chances were slim that the accident was caused by IDF shelling.The explosive charge theory confirms reports from Debkafile a couple of days ago. Debka also suggests that Palestinian security services may have helped Israel’s investigation:
According to the findings, expected to be formally released on Tuesday, shrapnel taken from two wounded Palestinians who were evacuated to Israeli hospitals showed that the explosives were not made in Israel, IDF officials said.
Moreover, the investigation noted the absence of a large enough crater at the site of the explosion, as would be expected if an IDF shell had landed there.
The third observation casting doubt on the possibility that IDF shelling was the cause of the Palestinian deaths was that the IDF had accounted for five of the six shells that it fired in the area before the explosion and the shell that was unaccounted for was fired more than 10 minutes before the blast that killed the Palestinians.
On Saturday evening Gaza Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi insisted that the sites that were shelled by the IDF were the places from where Kassam rockets were launched. He noted those places were frequently targeted by the IDF, and were known to be dangerous places.
The leading theory currently entertained, suggested that an explosive charge, buried by Palestinians on the Gaza beach to prevent Israeli infiltration, was behind the explosion.
Throughout the whole investigation, army officials complained about the lack of Palestinian cooperation. Unconfirmed reports further suggested attempts by Palestinians to remove shrapnel from the bodies of the wounded, treated in Israeli hospitals, thus impeding the investigation.
The day after the mishap, Saturday, dozens of people were sighted combing the scene of the blast and removing the bombs, according to information passed to Israel by Palestinian intelligence, which is engaged in a blood feud with HamasMore at Biased BBC, Palestinian Media Watch.
To explain this Palestinian helpfulness, DEBKAfile’s sources reveal how the close Abu Mazen associate Muhammed Dahlan was humiliated when he made the gesture of presenting his condolences for the killing of the new Hamas militia commander Jemal Semadhana last week at the official mourners’ tent. Instead of his courtesies being accepted, he was pitched out of the tent by Hamas and Semdhana’s Popular Resistance Committees’ musclemen. He was thus treated to the ultimate insult for a Muslim. Islamic canons enjoin even enemies to be treated with respect in a mourning period. Dahlan was so enraged that he ordered PA intelligence to assist Israeli in its probe to find out if a Hamas bomb rather than an Israeli artillery shell was the true culprit behind the death of the Palestinian family. As yet it is not yet clear how much information Dahlan will allow the Palestinian service to release on the episode.