Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Impartial BBC

Hamas broke the ceasefire that they had been "honouring" on and off for months in the wake of the Israeli shelling of a beach in Gaza which left eight dead. They fired rockets and mortars and threatened to begin an "earthquake in Zionist towns".

Only problem is that it appears that the beach blast wasn't caused by Israel at all. Not only did the shelling by Israel into Gaza cease eight minutes before the beach blast but forensic analysis of shrapnel taken from some of the victims shows that it did not come from Israeli munitions. This might explain why the Palestinain Authority didn't want to co-operate with any Israeli investigation into the incident.

Luckily for us, the BBC is quick off the mark to discredit the Israeli findings- after putting the phrase "not Israel's fault" in the headline of the story into quotation marks. While the Israeli findings get a whopping total of three sentences at the start of their report to deny Israel was involved, the BBC quickly moves on to give Human Rights Watch more space to declare that the Israelis must have done it. Because we all know how expert a group like HRW are at forensic analysis and the different effects of various explosives.

"My assessment [is] that it's likely that this was incoming artillery fire that landed on the beach and was fired by the Israelis from the north of Gaza."

Why, of course! You must be right, why on earth did I let myself get swayed by silly little things like the timing of the incident and the study of the actual shrapnel which injured people on the beach? Phew, that was close- for a moment I almost let myself be convinced by actual evidence rather than the opinions of a human rights campaigner. We're not informed what sort of expert opinion made this assessment but by golly, I'm sure they know what they're talking about. Otherwise the BBC wouldn't quote them, right?

The BBC goes on to give the final word to Hamas-

Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas government, accused Israel of "shying away from its responsibilities over this atrocious crime, without offering the slightest proof".

"These Israeli allegations are false and lack any credibility. While the resistance wants to ambush the occupation, it does not place bombs on beaches or in the middle of crowds," he said.

Well, of course. Who ever heard of Hamas putting a bomb in the middle of a crowd? The very suggestion!

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