Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Truth is the first ( or at least one of the main ) victim(s) of war" is a platitude, I know, but in the case of the death of the Gaza beach explosion it almost appears to contain more truth than ever before. Those Palestinians who are linked to Hamas did not provide the IDF with reliable data for its inquiry, the IDF released a report in which it claims that this particular explosion was not causes by an Israeli shell, British newspapers and later also an Israeli television station casted doubts on the IDF claims, at least one German newspaper casted serious doubts on the Palestinian claims regarding Israel's guilt and suggested that the disaster was staged. Yesterday, in an unusual move, officials of the Israeli hospital where some of the wounded were treated came with a statement that sows even more confusion. I do not really know whom to believe any more. For several - some of them obvious - reasons I tend to give more credence to Israeli officials than to their Palestinian counterparts, but on the other hand, none of the IDF spokespersons choked on their first lie either, to use a Dutch expression. The wisest and most human comment on this whole affair was probably given by Yael on her weblog, words that remain relevant as long as children in Gaza and Sderot are murdered, wounded and frightened to death: "It doesn't really matter who was responsible for this horrible tragedy. Sure, in the finger-pointing arena it matters, and of course it matters on the international public relations front. But in real nitty gritty human terms, no it doesn't matter. Don't believe me? Go and ask those little girls who lost both parents and their siblings if they care whether it was an Israeli shell that went badly off-target or whether it was a mine planted by Hamas to thwart any further beach use by the Israeli commandos coming in to round up militants. They will tell you that they don't care."

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