Israel’s Claim That Terrorist Attacks Came From Gaza Called Into Question

I’ll admit to feeling sort of vindicated by this story in the independent Israeli mag +972 after being verbally taken to the woodshed by a liberal American Rabbi on Twitter yesterday who felt the need to school me about how Hamas was responsible for the terror attacks in Southern Israel last week. All I was trying to do was reconcile conflicting statements by the IDF and the Prime Minister but the Rabbi didn’t want to hear it and despite being VERY polite and respectful to him (he was not to me), once I asked a question that went just a tad bit below the surface talking points, ie. the implications of the IDF saying that they never claimed the PRC was responsible and that they didn’t know why Prime Minister Netanyahu did say that, the good Rabbi bolted and stopped responding to me. Typical of any debate involving Israel-Palestine.

Anyway, at least some journalists seem to think it actually matters who was responsible for the attacks, given Israel responded with overwhelming force almost immediately. Luckily for Israel, the U.S. media isn’t quite so inquisitive.

From +972:

An unknown group carried out a combined attack from Sinai into Israel, hitting a number of targets. Six Israeli civilians were murdered and two soldiers were killed; so were seven of the terrorists and a number of Egyptian security personnel. While the attacks were carried out, Minister of Defense Ehud Barak quickly told the public the people responsible were the Popular Resistance Committee of the Gaza Strip; within hours the IAF attacked a house in the Strip and killed several of its leaders. Later that day, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the people responsible for the attacks were killed. This attack by the IAF is what spurred the recent round of escalation – and it’s worth noting the IAF has been raising the flames in the regions for about a month, with the Israeli media quietly ignoring it.


During the weekend, the news website Real News interviewed a senior IDF Spokesman officer, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovitz, who’s in charge of the IDF Spokesman with the international media. Leibowitz denied that the IDF connects the PRC to the attacks, said she was not responsible for that the prime minister said, but claimed that the attackers did come from Gaza, citing as proof the fact they were using Kalashnikov assault rifies (Sic! 2:28 and onwards in the video). I dunno how to put it to Col. Leibovitz, but Kalashnikovs are the most common light assault rifle in the world – a gift that keeps on giving from the defunct Soviet Union – and are rather easy to get all over the Middle East.

In a phone conversation with Leibovitz yesterday, she said “senior officials have already expressed themselves on the issue”, and declined to provide more information on the attackers, aside from insisting on them being Gazans. I asked her if she could provide me with the identity of the attackers killed by the IDF, which was until recently standard procedure, carried out within hours of an attack. She said this is unfortunately impossible, and repeatedly insisted they were Gazans. B’Tselem researchers in the Strip, contacted via B’Tselem today, were unaware of the identity of the attackers. Again, usually they are quickly identified and a mourners’ hut is rapidly constructed. They were killed on Thursday; if they resided in the Strip, their families would have heard of their deaths by now.

Yesterday evening the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that Egyptian security forces have identified three of the dead attackers. Egypt has a strong interest to claim the attackers were Gazans, since this would lessen its responsibility for the attacks; nevertheless, they say at least two of the attackers were known terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. As far as I could find out, the rest of the bodies are in the hands of the IDF – which, again, does not reveal their identity.

And probably with good reason. After all, it seems Barak and Netanyahu pulled off a major disinformation campaign here, which the IDF (in the form of Colonel Leibovitz) has to cooperate with, somewhat unwillingly. They took us to a false war against the Gaza Strip. You can’t really blame Leibovitz: She’s a uniformed officer. She can’t contradict “senior officials [who] have already expressed themselves on the issue”.

Assuming no other reliable evidence shows up, which at the moment is doubtful, we must ask ourselves: Why did Barak and Netanyahu pull off what seems to be a major deception of the Israeli public, which puts to shame any such deception since the Abu Nidal group tried to assassinate Israel’s ambassador to Britain in 1982, Shlomo Argov. Sharon, Begin and Eitan needed a pretext to begin their war of deception in Lebanon – the bright idea of, under the guise of fighting the PLO, enthrone the friendly Maronites. When Eitan was informed that the assassins were Abu Nidal’s men, he replied with “Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal – we need to screw the PLO.” That’s how it began.

That’s a long excerpt but go read the whole thing.

Earlier today I read an analysis- I can’t even remember where- that said that given Hamas has upheld the ceasefire and been fighting with rival extremists in Gaza who have been firing rockets into Israel over the past few weeks, it would seem that Hamas has nothing to gain by attacking Israel and then denying it. If anyone has anything to gain it’s the rival Salafist groups who seek to undermine any rapprochement between Hamas, the PA and Israel. Also, while the PRC has been connected/affiliated with Hamas in the past, they always claim responsibility when they have engaged in some attack. The fact that whoever was responsible for this act of terrorism against Israel, has not claimed responsibility, should raise eyebrows and new questions.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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6 Comments on “Israel’s Claim That Terrorist Attacks Came From Gaza Called Into Question”

  1. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    Hm. Curiouser and curiouser.
    Maybe it wasn’t a false flag attack as I originally suggested, but it seems ever more apparent that Israel was just waiting for the first available pretext — any pretext — for bombing Gaza.

    Has Israel released the names of the Israelis killed? I’ve read so many conflicting accounts about the number of dead (5? 7? 8?), how many soldiers, how many civilians, etc. I’ve seen exactly one funeral covered — and it seemed to be attended only by soldiers, with the eulogy delivered by a soldier. If a child was indeed killed in the bus attack, where are the grieving parents? After an Israeli school bus was hit by a missile in April, killing one boy, his name was released immediately — indeed memorialized (Daniel Viflic). His funeral was televised. Although tragic and gruesome, photographs of the boy being tended to after the attack were published. There has been no similar coverage of the recent deaths of Israelis. I saw one bus that had two windows blown out and a single bullet hole in the upper windshield. I saw one photograph of an Israeli soldier with an apparent arm injury being tended to by paramedics but that was it. Just seemed weird, the whole thing.


  2. Pilgrim Says:

    Israel is trying to pick a fight with Palestine, blame it on Gaza, and use it as an excuse for another murdering rampage.


  3. Steve Says:

    The whole thing stinks to high heaven. Is Bibi lying? What are the implications of attacking Gaza if Bibi knew the people supposedly targeted weren’t responsible.

    This is the problem with the US’ outright rejection of the Goldstone Report and their (Obama & Hillary) refusal to say one word of condemnation during and after Cast Lead despite the incredibly lopsided death toll and total destruction if infrastructure- Israel will do it again and again and again.

    So I read the State Dept press briefing today (thanxs Stacy) and what/who were they hung up on denouncing? The Palestinians for going to the UN.

    It’s interesting watching the US support the heavily armed Rebels in Libya and the not so heavily armed Syrians- the US appears to think even violent resistance is ok- but do the Palestinians ever get to defend themselves or have their Arab Spring ? No. They can’t even go to the UN. Israel attacked a West Bank village today b/c a small number of protesters were assembled- they supposedly used smoke, tear gas, rubber bullets and then live rounds to disperse the Palestinians. I don’t know if anyone was injured. I wonder what Hillary and Obama think of that? Sadly I don’t think they think much about it at all.


    • discourseincsharpminor Says:

      This is the problem with the US’ outright rejection of the Goldstone Report and their (Obama & Hillary) refusal to say one word of condemnation during and after Cast Lead despite the incredibly lopsided death toll and total destruction if infrastructure- Israel will do it again and again and again.

      I agree. I’m surprised Bibi hasn’t initiated Cast Lead: The Sequel by now. It’s been almost four years.


  4. thainjacobs Says:

    I am shocked, shocked that things are not as the Israeli government first said they were.

    So, who has Israel been bombing/targeting prior to the ceasefire. I read on Haaretz today that the Israeli government never said the attacks were the result of Hamas. Did they really say that? Now it looks like it may have been a group in the Sinai so if Israel bombed Gaza knowing that the attack didn’t originate there, couldn’t that be a war crime?

    Oh wait, never mind, Israel doesn’t commit war crimes.

    The silence from the WH and State Dept. is deafening. Although Hillary did say the US stands with Israel now and always. Ever wondered why it’s just the US that has to CONSTANTLY proclaim our undying love for Israel? Do you ever hear Israeli politicians do that? No.

    You may want to consider giving a call to your members of Congress to let them know that you are paying attention, even if they aren’t. Or even just send an email.



  1. Political Parties Israel » Politics of Israel - August 23, 2011

    […] Center Doesn’t Hold, Anarchy is BornNext Week: Spies, Talent, Technology, and Israel, Oh My!Israel’s Claim That Terrorist Attacks Came From Gaza Called Into Question // 0) { //0==expires on browser close var cdate = new Date(); […]

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