It was a Hamas terrorist operation gone awry, which is what I ha[d] surmised. Here are the particulars:
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.It isn't the first time that the Palestinians have killed their own in terrorist operations.
"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.
More importantly, it isn't the first time that Hamas and the Palestinians have smeared the Israelis for killing Palestinians despite the fact that the facts and circumstances all point to Palestinians doing the killing.
Israel shouldn't be apologizing for the deaths, but instead holding the Palestinians and Hamas in particular accountable for their heinous actions. Indeed, Hamas used the self-inflicted casualties as an excuse for further rocket and missile attacks against Israel. Israel should not limit its retaliatory response only to those firing the rockets, but expand its response to include the Palestinian leadership who is extolling and exhorting the foot-minions to kill Israelis. This is a war of the Palestinians own making and the leadership should be made to feel the pain they're inflicting on Israel and on the Palestinian civilian population (though one has to wonder just what a bunch of civilians were doing hanging around terrorists setting up rockets and mortars - knowing full well that Israel could and would fire counterbattery fire to eliminate threats).
And on that question, there is unequivocable evidence that the Palestinians simply use civilian populations (especially women and children) as cannon fodder for this kind of media outrage against Israel. The Palestinians know that the media will quickly cover any deaths of civilians, and never pay heed to the questionable circumstances - or bald-faced lies of the Palestinians.
Fixed typo above.
The Jerusalem Post has a report confirming the earlier report that chances are slim that the casualties were the result of Israeli shelling of the area.
According to Channel 2, the findings, expected to be formally released on Tuesday, showed an inconsistency between the shrapnel found in the body of one of the wounded babies and the metal used in IDF artillery. Moreover, the investigation noted the absence of a large enough crater at the site of the explosion, as would be expected if an IDF shell had landed there.Of course the Palestinians wouldn't cooperate and otherwise impede investigations into the cause of the casualties. The Palestinians wouldn't want to have the truth exposed to light - that it was the Palestinians themselves who killed their own in yet another attempt to kill Israelis.
The third observation casting doubt on the possibility of IDF shelling was the gap between the time when the army shot the artillery and when the commotion on the beach began. According to the probe’s findings, several minutes past after the shelling, before the Palestinians on the beach reacted. ...
The leading theory currently entertained, suggested that an explosive charge, buried by Palestinians on the Gaza beach to prevent Israeli infiltration, was behind the explosion.
Throughout the whole investigation, army officials complained about the lack of Palestinian cooperation. Unconfirmed reports further suggested attempts by Palestinians to remove shrapnel from the bodies of the wounded, treated in Israeli hospitals, thus impeding the investigation.
Others blogging: John Hawkins, Biased BBC, Captain Ed, Blue Star Chronicles, The Daily Tidbit, The City Troll, and Partisan Times.