Israel not responsible for Gaza attack

via HK Correspondent (Tel Aviv) published on June 14, 2006

TEL AVIV: The Israeli authorities have denied reports that the attack on Gaza which resulted in the death of nine Palestinians was carried out by the Israeli defence forces. The reports in a section of the media had blamed Israeli forces for the air attack at Gaza beach.    “We have enough findings to back up the suspicion that the intention to describe this as an Israeli event is simply not correct. The accumulating evidence proves that this incident was not due to Israeli forces,” said Amir Peretz, Israeli Defence Minister. Addressing a media conference here on Tuesday, Peretz and senior defence officials said that the Israeli government held a thorough investigation into the Gaza attack which came to the conclusion that the Israeli Defence Forces do not have any role in it.


“We can say, surely, that the IDF is not responsible for the incident. We checked each and every shell that was fired from the sea, the air and from the artillery on the land and we found out that we can track each and every one according to a timetable and according to the accuracy of where they hit the ground. We are very sorry for the deaths of the seven Palestinians, but that does not mean that we are responsible, “said Peretz, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and Major General Meir Kalifi.


They also said that the investigations revealed that the examination of the sharpnels removed from the bodies of the seriously injured victims reinforced the conclusion that the explosion was caused by a bomb rather than a shell.


“Based on photographs, the crater left on the beach by the blast seems to have been made by an explosion from below (a mine), not a hit from above (a shell), ” said the Israeli authorities.


They also said that Israel has amassed considerable information indicating that over the past few weeks, ever since Israeli commandos infiltrated Gaza and killed a rocket-launching cell, Hamas has been systematically mining the northern Gaza beach in an attempt to keep Israeli commandos from landing there again.


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