Babylon & Beyond

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ISRAEL: Death of the innocent

April 28, 2008 | 12:24 pm


The tragic images on display today were all too familiar for residents of the Gaza Strip: the crumbled remains of a family home, the wailing relatives outside the hospital and the tiny white-shrouded corpses.

Equally familiar were the war of words and dueling accusations that ritually follow tragedies like today's explosion that killed a mother and four of her young children.

Palestinian officials placed the blame on "Israeli aggression." Israeli officials blamed the willingness of Palestinian militants to attack from areas crowded with civilians and laid ultimate blame on Hamas and other Gazan militant factions.

Later in the day, the Israeli military began heavily pushing an alternate version of events: It wasn't a tank shell that destroyed the home of the Abu Mutiq family. It was two huge bags of explosives carried by Palestinian militants, which detonated when they were targeted by an airstrike.   

The truth? Well, that's probably somewhere in between, shrouded amid the ideological rhetoric and the parallel realities that obscure almost every facet of this conflict.

And it wouldn't bring back those four dead children anyway.

—Ashraf Khalil in Jerusalem

Photo: Mourners carry the bodies of four Palestinian children and their mother of the Abu Maateq family during their funeral in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, 28 April 2008. The children, and their mother were killed in Israeli operations in Gaza. In addition, one militant also died in raids. Credit: EPA/ALI ALI

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