BBC Middle East editor Paul Danahar happened to be on hand in Gaza for the opening of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. When the son of Danahar’s BBC Gaza colleague Jihad Masharawi was killed at the outset of the operation this past November, Danahar all but accused Israel of murder. Via his Twitter account @pdanahar, Danahar tweeted his reaction to young Masharawi’s death: “Questioned [sic] asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad’s son get killed?”
Courtesy of the BBC, the Washington Post and all the usual suspects, the death of the young Masharawi allegedly at the hands of Israel was an international sensation. There were reasonable grounds to doubt Israel’s responsibility at the time. Now that the advance version of a UN report has suggested that a Hamas rocket killed Masharawi’s son, those grounds have respectable support. Yet the question of who is responsible for the young Masharawi’s death seems to have become the preserve of obsessives and cranks.
This is nevertheless is a huge story because it provides a window that opens onto the Terrorist Theater Islamist forces have at their disposal with the willing cooperation of the likes of the BBC. The news and wire service photographers in the areas subject to Islamist domination are tools of jihad. The BBC and its colleagues do not risk the fate of Lot’s wife by looking back. What accounts for their refusal to do so?
Danahar’s own photo of Masharawi’s house after it was hit by the munition that killed Masharawi’s son (above) strongly suggests that no Israeli munition did the damage. On the contrary, it suggests that an errant Hamas rocket killed Masharawi’s son. Consider the evidence adduced by the Elder of Ziyon in the post “How did the baby Omary Mishrawi die.” Or consider the comments of reader Ted Carlson, a former Air Force and commercial bomb disposal specialist with 20 years experience. Mr. Carlson wrote in a tone of incredulity after taking a look at Danahar’s photo:
I just saw the picture in this article, and you described it as the room that this child was killed in after it was hit by a “shell” [quoting Danahar] that landed in his home. Are the other pictures posted elsewhere? I’m asking this because from what I can see of this picture, the damage was not caused by any shell or bomb that comes to mind, for the following reasons:
1. There are two holes, one in the ceiling and one in the side above the door leading outside. Both holes do not indicate damage from an instantaneous fuze, which initiates on contact with a surface. So, this might be a delay type fuze, which means the munition would go off inside the room.
2. The damage inside the room is not indicative of any explosive shell or bomb of any size that I have ever seen. There is no shrapnel damage in the wall. The shelf on the left side of the room is not only standing, but intact from what I can see. There is no damage whatsoever to the two doors, except for burn marks or soot from a fire. Explosions follow the path of least resistance. Those doors would have disappeared in even a small explosion. the door leading outside appears to have been partially knocked off its hinges, not torn by a large blast. The door is also open to the inside.
3. The walls, which look like standard house walls (2×4’s and drywall) haven’t bowed or cracked at all.
4. Even if the “shell” was a flame weapon, or a fuel air type explosive, the damage shown still doesn’t add up. Those fires burn at a very high temperature. Again, the doors and that shelf would be essentially gone. And the walls would have far more extensive damage, not just soot. There appears to be wallpaper there too, and it doesn’t look damaged at all, except for soot.
Several years ago Power line quoted me in an article about an ambulance that had supposedly been hit by an Israeli rocket….I think this story is as suspicious as that ambulance story.
I pointed to the other photo Danahar took that Washington Post foreign affairs blogger Max Fisher posted here when he was interested in Israel’s alleged culpability. Mr. Carlson wrote:
I went and read all 3 parts and the UN report, then went and looked at the WP post you mentioned. After that I did some basic information gathering on the Web (and in my books) about Qasam rockets, Iranian Grad rockets, and the Chinese 122mm rockets, the three favored rockets used by Hamas. I agree with you, I would go with the Qasam as well, but again…I don’t think there was an explosion. I just don’t see much in the way of blast or fragmentation damage.
However, given the crude construction of Qasam’s, and the frequency that they malfunction and hit their own people, I could see a complete round penetrating the ceiling, landing in the room and then causing fire damage from the remaining propellant in the engine, or just from the heat of the pipe after burnout. I have static fired a variety of rocket motors in the past, so yes, they could easily set furniture, wood, doors and more on fire.
I find it curious that no “shell” fragments, chemical analyses or any other sort of forensic evidence was presented in the WP story, or in the UN report. A jar of dirt or debris from the site, analyzed by a competent chemist, would be enough to at least determine what kind of explosive or propellant was present, narrowing down the list of weapons that were involved. I’m surprised the Human Rights Council doesn’t do this, unless of course the result pointed to Hamas.
That last point explains a lot, including the loss of interest in the story and the related question of responsibility by those who were its most ardent proponents.