Israel has taken a lot of negative publicity over the rocket shelling incident where 8 Palestinian civilians were killed. Of course, the context, that the Palestinians had been shooting rockets at the Israelis for the last several days before goes unmentioned. And then there are questions about whether the Palestinian civilians were actually killed by the Israelis at all:

An Israel Defense Forces intelligence officer has confirmed that the explosion that killed eight Palestinians on Friday, was caused by a stockpile of Hamas explosives.

“Shortly after we stopped defensive firing at Hamas rocket launch pads which were deployed behind Palestinian human shields, members of Hamas scrambled to fire more rockets at our positions,” said Col. M. “We have eyes on every meter of Gaza, from the sky, from the ground and from the sea. One of their rocket tripods collapsed inadvertently setting off an explosion of a stockpile of Qassam rockets. The Palestinians killed their own children. And this was not the first time.”

Hamas terrorists fired rockets and mortar bombs from a crowded Gaza beach at southern Israel. Some of the rockets fell near the Israel city of Ashkelon. Some 17 rockets were fired between Saturday and Sunday morning. A man at a school in the Israel town of Sderot was wounded, Israel officials said.

Israel Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant said today that the Israel Defense Forces has additional evidence that it wasn’t Israel artillery that hit the beach in Gaza. Galant, who commands Israel’s southern command, said Israel stopped firing 15 minutes before the explosion. It’s all on secure videotape from both sides of the conflict. Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he was sorry about the deaths, which included three children.

The full report is available from Israel News Agency.

Of course, one should be suspect of information that matches what one wants to be true. One should be as skeptical of it as one is of information that is disagreeable. It is entirely possible that this report is bogus. Time will tell. On the other hand, given that the Palestinians have lied in the past (remember the Jenin massacre that never was?) it would not surprise me if we eventually discover that this report from the Israel News Agency is correct.

Odd thing. There is a tendency lately for the news to uncritically report any bit of dasterdly behavior that our enemies accuse us or our allies of committing, and a willingness to believe the absolute worst about American troops and American government behavior, and to assume anything that Israel or the US does must be evil and done for bad reasons. Odd really.

Explain to me again who it is that saws off people’s heads, oppresses women, tosses dissidents into jail, restricts freedom of press and speach, and riots over cartoons? And we’re going to believe them when they criticize US troops and Israel? And give them a respectful hearing? How come?

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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