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Monday, September 28, 2009

Goldstone Report inaccuracies, part 16

The Goldstone Report includes these pieces of information:

397. While it appears that all the policemen killed in this location were taking part in a training course, there is conflicting information on the details. Most reports by NGOs are to the effect that these were police “cadets” in the midst of a graduation ceremony. The Gaza police spokesperson, however, told the Mission that they were serving policemen, who had been taking a three-week course and who were, at the time of the strike, doing “morning sport exercise”.255

400. A second police training course targeted was reportedly attended by around 50
policemen. Twenty-eight of them were killed in the strike. According to the police spokesperson, the training course was designed to instruct police officers on how to deal with police officers who abused their power as well as on cultural and economic issues relevant to police work.258


414. On 1 January 2009, during the Israeli military operations in Gaza, the police spokesperson, Mr. Islam Shahwan, informed the media that the police commanders had managed to hold three meetings at secret locations since the beginning of the armed operations. He added that “an action plan has been put forward, and we have conducted an assessment of the situation and a general alert has been declared by the police and among the security forces in case of any emergency or a ground invasion. Police officers received clear orders from the leadership to face the enemy, if the Gaza Strip were to be invaded.”278 Confirming to the Mission that he had been correctly quoted, Mr. Shahwan stated that the instructions given at that meeting were to the effect that in the event of a ground invasion, and particularly if the Israeli armed forces were to enter urban settlements in Gaza, the police was to continue its work of ensuring that basic food stuffs reached the population, of directing the population to safe places, and of upholding public order in the face of the invasion. Mr. Shahwan further stated that not a single policeman had been killed in combat during the armed operations, proving that the instructions had been strictly obeyed by the policemen.

All three paragraphs have something in common - they all rely on the testimony of Gaza police spokesman Islam Shahwan. There is no indication of any skepticism in Shahwan's testimony to the Goldstone Commission.

But this past summer, right around the same time that Shahwan was being listened to by the sober representatives of the United Nations Human Rights Council, he was making headlines for another reason: he was accusing Israel of distributing chewing gum that increases one's sex drive:
A Hamas police spokesman in the Gaza Strip Islam Shahwan claimed Monday that Israeli intelligence operatives are attempting to "destroy" the young generation by distributing such materials in the coastal enclave.

Shahwan said that the police got their hands on gum that increases sexual desire that, according to him, reaches merchants in the Strip by way of the border crossings. According to him, a Palestinian drug dealer admitted that he sold products that increase sex drive. The dealer said that he received the materials from Israeli sources by way of the Karni crossing.

A number of suspects have been arrested.

The affair was exposed when a Palestinian filed a complaint that his daughter chewed the aforementioned gum and experienced the dubious side effects.

Shahwan even claimed that Israeli intelligence operatives encourage dealers in Gaza to distribute the gum for free.

"The Israelis seek to destroy the Palestinians' social infrastructure with these products and to hurt the young generation by distributing drugs and sex stimulants," said Shahwan.
Now, there's a reliable witness!
(h/t Shira)