Sunday, June 11, 2006
Letter to New York Times
Steven Erlanger writes "eight Palestinians were killed on a Gaza beach (June 11), apparently by an errant Israeli shell," and then proceeds to write: "The army believes that a shell fell short or that a dud, previously fired, exploded."
Erlanger did not quote Palestinian eyewitnesses in the story. Palestine Center for Human Rights, Gaza reports the following:
"An Israeli naval boat stationed off the coast of Beit Lahya fired seven successive artillery shells at civilians on the beach in the Waha area, north of Beit Lahya. The shells landed on the beach, which had been crowded with civilian men, women and children at the time."
Reporting further PCHR writes: "Israeli television Channel 2 broadcast footage of the Israeli boat firing the shells at the beach, with one of the navy soldiers scanning the beach with binoculars; thus indicating that the crime had been perpetrated with a premeditated intent to kill."
No need for Erlanger to provide a forum for excusing Israel's brutality. Erlanger quotes Israeli General Aviv Kochavi who speaks of a false 'equivalence' but is brutally honest in his assessment of Israel's disproportionate attack: "The message we are trying to convey, you can call it deterrence, but it's, 'Ladies and gentlemen, there is an equivalence here: so long as you shoot Qassams at us, we'll shoot artillery at you.' "