Israeli TV Channel 10: “Israeli shell fragments found in body of a victim Gaza beach shelling

An Israeli investigation aired on the Israeli Television, Channel 10, revealed that fragments of an Israeli artillery shell were found in the body of one of the residents injured at the Gaza beach ten days ago. Eleven residents, including seven members of the “Ghalia” family were killed.

The Israeli army claimed in a press conference last week that the explosion was “not caused by an Israeli shell”.

On Monday at night, Israel’s channel 10 aired a report stating that the press conference was conducted one day before the results of laboratory analysis of shell fragments were released. The fragments were taken from the body of a member of Ghalia family injured in the attack; he is hospitalized at an Israeli hospital.

After the attack, head of an investigation committee that belongs to the army claimed that the army is not involved in the incident, and that the explosion was caused by explosives hidden by resistance fighters under the sand on Gaza beach.

However, Channel 10’s Shlomo Eldar reported late Monday that a second fragment, removed last week from a different Palestinian wounded in the incident, was from a 155mm shell.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch presented findings ostensibly proving that Israeli shell fragments had been found near the site of the explosion.

Also, Israel Radio quoted unnamed senior military officials as saying that there was "zero chance" that shelling had caused the deaths, but that an unexploded shell from a past shelling attack on the beach might have detonated

Yehuda Hess, head of The Forensic Medical College participated stated that an examination of a shell fragment removed from the body Adham Ghalia, a 12-year-old male who suffered abdominal wounds in the beach explosion, revealed that the shell is a 155 mm artillery shell used by the Israeli army. In a press release after the attack, the army claimed that the shell in not a 155mm bomb.

Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, was informed of the results of the investigation two days ago.

Meanwhile, a report published by Human Rights Watch revealed that a digitally dated and time-stamped blood test report of a victim treated at a Palestinian hospital that admitted wounded from the June 9 killings on a Gaza beach suggests that the attack took place during the time period of an Israeli artillery attack.

“The Israel army has denied responsibility for the killings, saying that although they fired six artillery shells onto the beach between 4:32 p.m. and 4:51 p.m., the fatal incident must have occurred after that”, Human Rights Watch report added.

Human Rights Watch first challenged this conclusion, concluding that the IDF most likely caused the killings, in a press release based on an investigation by its researchers in Gaza.  
 
Human Rights Watch researchers examined the computer-generated record from the Kamal Adwan hospital, which documents the blood test of a victim from the beach incident being taken at 5:12 p.m. on June 9. Furthermore, hand-written hospital records log patients from the incident as having been admitted starting at 5:05 p.m.

“If the records are accurate, based on the time needed to dispatch an ambulance and drive from the hospital to the beach and back, this suggests that the fatal explosion took place at a time when the army said it was firing artillery rounds. Both sets of records also directly call into question the account of the army that ambulances did not reach the beach until 5:15 p.m. that day”.
 
Israeli military officials have also suggested the explosion, which killed seven members of the Ghalia family and wounded many others, might have been caused by a mine. But Human Rights Watch researchers also examined blood-crusted shrapnel given to them by the father of a 19-year-old male who suffered abdominal wounds in the beach explosion. They determined that the shrapnel is a piece of fuse from an artillery shell.  
 
Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch said that “This new evidence highlights the urgent need for Israel to permit an independent, transparent investigation into the beach killings.”

On June 15, Human Rights Watch received a fax from the office of Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, saying that the president’s office, which is holding much of the shrapnel removed from the blast victims, would cooperate and share evidence with an independent inquiry team.

Human Rights Watch report as published on their website on June 15:

Israel: More Evidence on Beach Killings Implicates IDF, Palestinians Agree to Independent Inquiry

A digitally dated and time-stamped blood test report of a victim treated at a Palestinian hospital that admitted wounded from the June 9 killings on a Gaza beach suggests that the attack took place during the time period of an Israeli artillery attack, Human Rights Watch said today. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have denied responsibility for the killings, saying that although they fired six artillery shells onto the beach between 4:32 p.m. and 4:51 p.m., the fatal incident must have occurred after that.

Promoting Impunity: The Israeli Military’s Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing
Report, June 22, 2005

Human Rights Watch first challenged this conclusion, concluding that the IDF most likely caused the killings, in a press release based on an investigation by its researchers in Gaza.  
 
Human Rights Watch researchers examined the computer-generated record from the Kamal Adwan hospital, which documents the blood test of a victim from the beach incident being taken at 5:12 p.m. on June 9. Furthermore, hand-written hospital records log patients from the incident as having been admitted starting at 5:05 p.m. If the records are accurate, based on the time needed to dispatch an ambulance and drive from the hospital to the beach and back, this suggests that the fatal explosion took place at a time when the IDF said it was firing artillery rounds. Both sets of records also directly call into question the account of the IDF that ambulances did not reach the beach until 5:15 p.m. that day.  

Altering the records would require re-setting the computer’s clock and re-writing pages of the hospital’s admissions log. Human Rights Watch researchers said that the pages they saw documented patients un-related to the beach incident, followed by two pages of victims from the beach. The first of those were admitted at 5:05 p.m. The researchers saw no evidence that the times might have been altered.  
 
Israeli military officials have also suggested the explosion, which killed seven members of the Ghalya family and wounded many others, might have been caused by a mine. But Human Rights Watch researchers also examined blood-crusted shrapnel given to them by the father of a 19-year-old male who suffered abdominal wounds in the beach explosion. They determined that the shrapnel is a piece of fuse from an artillery shell.  
 
“The likelihood that the Ghalya family was killed by an explosive other than one of the shells fired by the IDF is remote,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “This new evidence highlights the urgent need for Israel to permit an independent, transparent investigation into the beach killings.”  
 
Human Rights Watch received a fax today from the office of Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, saying that the president’s office, which is holding much of the shrapnel removed from the blast victims, would cooperate and share evidence with an independent inquiry team.

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