Thomas Wictor

About that IDF criminal investigation

About that IDF criminal investigation

Several people have sent me links to stories on the IDF criminal investigation into the deaths of the four Bakr boys on the Gaza beach, July 16, 2014. Since I’ve heard some very disquieting things from my Israeli contacts, I tweeted the timeline of what I call Operation Four Little Martyrs to IDF spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner. Here’s how he responded.


This is an acknowledgement that the IDF is aware of the theory that the four Bakr boys were killed as part of an elaborate Hamas deception operation. After all, I sent a link to the theory.

The IDF criminal investigation doesn’t change the following facts. These are not theories.

1. The police post on the breakwater was not struck by a projectile when the first explosion occurred. NBC News was filming at time and captured the sound of the explosion at 1:27.

The red arrow show the police post.


No impact, no damage, and no smoke. This one screen grab refutes all the “eyewitness” accounts from reporters and Palestinian onlookers who said that immediately after the first explosion, they saw smoke and running children.

2. The Israeli navy denies firing at the beach.


3. Stefani Dekker of al-Jazeera photographed four boys running from the breakwater, but she didn’t capture them being shelled or lying dead in the sand even though someone would have to have been killed seconds after she took this image.


4. Nick Casey of the Wall Street Journal tweeted that he found two dead adult males in the police post along with Ismail Bakr.


This means that every story told by all the “surviving” boys—all of which conflict with each other—is false. Each “survivor” said that the boys were playing in or around the steel container by themselves. There were no men with them. Casey deleted his tweet without explanation.

5. The photos published by 24 Media Production company are composite fakes.


They show no smoke from the police post, when in reality the structure was burning when the boys are alleged to have run from it.

The photos depict the boys being hit with a munition that struck the ground.


However, there’s no impact crater anywhere in the vicinity that the three bodies were “discovered.”


6. Not a single photographer or videographer at the al-Deira Hotel took even one photo or filmed even one second of the four to six males of various ages being chased down the beach by explosions.

7. No two eyewitness accounts are the same. Every professional journalist told a substantially different story.

8. “Eyewitness” Mohammed Bashir Abu Watfa claimed to have tried to help the running boys, who hid behind the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop. Watfa said two shells hit the boys and a third hit the coffee shop. He was evacuated by ambulance along with several injured children.

In reality Watfa was put in a taxi at the al-Deira Hotel, far from the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop.


9. ABC News reporter Alex Marquardt arrived at the breakwater before the bodies of the three other boys were recovered. When he ran past the spot where the three corpses were later “discovered,” it was empty.


10. The corpse of Ismail Bakr was terribly mutilated, but his wounds did not bleed.


If he had been killed moments before, his injuries would have bled profusely.

11. When Stefani Dekker of al-Jazeera photographed the removal of Ismail Bakr’s body, the procession walked past the place where the three other corpses were later found.


There were no bodies present. When ABC News filmed the procession at the same time, there were no bodies present.


12. After Ismael Bakr’s body was taken away, nearly all the western journalists cleared the area.


Ambulances arrived and parked at the corner of the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop. They waited for almost an hour.

13. Prior to the bodies being “found” in the sand, a man was photographed inside a tentlike structure behind the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop.


14. The two ambulances at the corner of the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop left together. One parked in front of the vacant lot between the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop, and the other drove to the al-Deira Hotel to pick up two injured boys.



The ambulances did not immediately rush to either scene.

15. When the dead boy in the green shirt was put in the ambulance, a civilian in a purple shirt got in and sat next to him.


This man was present at every scene during the entire episode.

16. A wounded man was brought out of the blue tentlike structure on the beach.


He was given to another man and put in the ambulance with the dead boy in the green shirt.




However, when the ambulance arrived at al-Shifa Hospital, the wounded man was gone, and the dead boy’s body had been turned around.


Palestinians claimed that the wounded man who disappeared from the ambulance is named Fahd Abu Sultan.

Fahd Abu Sultan

Though the injured man was clearly seen being removed from a tent on the beach, “eyewitness” Mohammed Bashir Abu Watfa said that Sultan was wounded in the Avenue Restaruant and Coffee Shop, where he worked. He fell to the floor and bled everywhere.

17. An ambulance arrived to take the final two corpses. New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks (green arrow) was present. He told two different stories about what happened that day.


Hicks said that he saw four dead boys lying together after a second explosion, but in reality he first ran to the breakwater, photographed the recovery of Ismail Bakr’s body, and then stood near the blue tent from which the wounded man was carried.


He never saw four dead boys lying together, because there never were four dead boys lying together.

18. Hicks’s driver Hamood Abu Kwaik took control during the recovery of all four dead bodies.



Palestinian man carries the body of a boy, whom medics said was killed by a shell fired by an Israeli naval gunboat, on a beach in Gaza City


At al-Shifa Hospital, Hamood Abu Kwaik was brought in after the corpses had been delivered.


Tyler Hicks rode with him in the ambulance.


19. The three dead boys recovered from the sand had round holes in them, indicating shrapnel wounds.


Any Israeli naval or aerial munition used would’ve had a high-explosive or blast-fragmentation warhead that produced jagged, irregular wounds. There would also have been an impact crater or evidence of an airburst. The blue tentlike structure would’ve been shredded.

* * *

Everything I posted above is factual. It can’t be disputed. This is what Lieutenant-Colonel Lerner wrote to me earlier.


The problem is that the military police are flawed humans.

Israeli investigators failed to determine what killed Mustafa Tamimi.

Israeli investigators failed to determine how Bassem Abu Rahmeh died.

Israeli investigators said that Saji Darweesh was killed by an IDF bullet to the head.

Military people hate it when civilian dilettantes butt in. I perfectly understand that they take my blathering as criticism. But if this were a simple mistake by the IDF, what explains everything else?

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