The Israeli military said its aircraft targeted militants on a mission to launch Katyusha rockets at southern Israel. Palestinian witnesses said one missile missed the militants' van, which then crashed into a curb and was struck by two other missiles.Now, anyone who has followed Israel's targeted attacks against terrorists in Gaza knows that this sounds very strange. Israel doesn't wait two minutes to send another rocket into an area where civilians have gathered. But - Reuters and AP and UPI have eyewitness testimony!
The last two missiles killed and wounded the civilians. Also killed was Hamoud Wadiya, reported to be Islamic Jihad's top rocket launcher, and an unidentified second person in his van, whom the Israeli military identified as another militant.
Witnesses said at least one of the missiles struck some two minutes after the initial one and after a crowd had begun to gather around the scene of the attack.
Now - what really happened?
The Islamic Jihad said earlier that two of its operatives who were killed were Hamoud Wadiya, the group's top rocket launcher, and Shawki Sayklia. Seven Palestinian civilians, including two schoolchildren, were also killed Tuesday when the single missile fired by the IAF detonated the Katyushas inside the car. The army said it had proof that only one missile had been fired and that the terrorists were the only target in the strike.
With years of evidence that Palestinian Arabs habitually will lie to the press - provably and repeatedly - one would think that any "news" organizations that are committed to finding out the truth would at least temper their reporting with this understanding.
And perhaps one day someone from a wire agency might actually write an article that indicates that when Arabs are on their way to fire Katyusha rockets, when they travel through a populated area, when they are killed by Israel in a clearly justifiable manner, and when their own explosives kill Palestinian Arab civilians - that the fault lies wholly with the terrorists and not at all with the country that acted appropriately to stop a rocket attack against her citizens.
UPDATE: The IDF has admitted that it did send two rockets:
The army had originally said it had proof that only one missile had been fired and that the terrorists were the only target in the strike.It still appears that the number of casualties would not have been nearly as high had the explosives on the vehicle not contributed. And the fact that the terrorists had Katyushas and not Kassams would explain why Israel was not as reluctant to shoot sooner rather than later.
However, the IDF later rescinded that claim, saying that the first missile struck near the vehicle but failed to kill the terrorists. Following the initial strike a crowd of Palestinian onlookers gathered. By that time, said a senior IDF officer, an IAF aircraft had already launched a second missile at the target. The second missile, which could not be rerouted, struck the Katyusha-laden vehicle, causing the casualties.
Also, AP is still claiming 3 rockets were sent, based on "witnesses."