Thomas Wictor

Gaza beach operation: the four decoys

Gaza beach operation: the four decoys

The Hamas deception operation that took place on the Gaza beach on July 16, 2014, relied on the confusion created by so many moving parts. The four decoys photographed by Stefanie Dekker of al-Jazeera were crucial to the success of the ruse.


The boys are Motasem-Muntaser Bakr.


Brothers Hamad and Younis Bakr.


Nasser Fadel Bakr.


Two things were left unanswered: Where did the decoys hide, and what’s the strange, gray-green dust on Motasem-Muntaser’s hand and feet?


I’m pretty sure I have the answer to both questions now. I found them in a ridiculous video about the four boys who Hamas murdered.

The boy is Araby Bakr, who’s said to have run home after the attack. The video presents another version of the story: Eight kids are playing football on the beach. The ball is kicked up onto the breakwater into the container. Three kids go up on to the breakwater to retrieve the ball, and the Israelis fire on the container. Five kids run to a nearby structure on the beach.


They tell the people inside to call for ambulances, and then the boys are fired on again by the IDF. Two boys are killed in the steel container retrieving the football, and two are killed on the beach.

Well, that’s not what Araby Bakr originally said.


These two versions of events can’t be reconciled. Araby told the ever-helpful Nick Casey of the Wall Street Journal a third story.


And as most people know, photos and video show that three bodies—not two—were “found” in the sand.



I have no idea the role Araby Bakr played on July 16, 2014. Everyone says eight children went to the beach. Four were killed, and four ran to the al-Deira Hotel. My guess is that Araby Bakr wasn’t even there, which is why he just makes up stories on the spot when asked what happened.

However, the video answers (to my satisfaction) the question of where the four decoys hid. They had to be out of sight of the Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that fired one of three types of missile at the container:

1. Spike ER

2. Mikhol

3. Mikholit

These are small missiles with low-yield blast-fragmentation warheads. The UAV would use forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras to see the heat of a human body. Therefore the decoys had to have something over them that hid their heat signatures.

Here is where I think the decoys waited.


There appears to be a cavity in the sand behind the large concrete slab directly to the right of the red arrow.

Remember that on the morning of July 10, 2014, the Israelis bombarded the police post, demolishing most of it. Photos of this damage were used to create the fake composite images published by 24 Media Production Company.


We can identify landmark debris with numbers.



Putting them side by side will make it easier for you to orient yourself.


Note the space of open sand to the right of Number 4. It’s clear that in the 24 Media Production Company images, there’s no slab of concrete beside that open space.

I believe that this is the slab of concrete used to create a cave for the boys.


It was dragged over and propped on Number 5.

Have you ever brushed against a concrete wall in a parking garage? Concrete not exposed to the elements can remain dusty for years. The broken concrete on the Gaza breakwater was subjected to wind, rain, and sea spray. All the dust would’ve been washed or scoured away. However, the underside of the concrete slab that was moved over and propped against Number 5 would’ve remained dusty.

Which is why Motasem-Muntaser Baker has gray concrete dust on his right hand and his feet.


I’ve seen three pieces of video that show the immediate aftermath of the missile strike on the steel container. None show running children.

And we have to ask ourselves again: Why did not a single photographer or videographer at the al-Deira Hotel capture any images of four to six males running 328 yards (300 meters) while being pursued by explosions?

This screen grab from Channel 4 News appears to show footprints in the sand, close to the water.


They head straight back to where I believe was the hiding place for the decoys.

Another aspect to consider: FLIR has difficulty penetrating smoke and dust. The cloud from the missile strike was at its thickest right when the four decoys would’ve begun emerging from their hiding place.


By the time the decoys were in full flight, the smoke and dust cloud had dissipated somewhat.


In the crucial moment when the Israelis needed clear vision, the cloud prevented it. Since the IDF is scrupulous when firing, the four figures appearing out of nowhere would’ve taken them by surprise. I don’t believe that the UAV fired a second missile. If they had, the four decoys would be dead. Using precision-guided aerial munitions, you can’t miss children running on a beach. The system would lock onto them, and they couldn’t have escaped.

The video about Araby Bakr’s fake story claims that both aircraft and naval vessels fired on the children, but in reality the Israeli navy was not involved.


The western reporters who claim to be eyewitnesses to this event have told so many lies that I can’t even accept that a third explosion occurred behind the four running decoys. This is what I KNOW happened.

An improvised explosive device (IED) is set off below the terrace ofthe Adam Hotel. The sound is captured on film by NBC News.


As you can see, the steel container marked by the red arrow is unscathed. The Israelis know that two men have entered the steel container. When the IED explodes, the order is given to fire a small missile into the container, because the Israelis have intelligence that the men are about to carry out an attack.


The Israeli rules of engagement would require that the UAV operators have seen a weapon, probably an antitank guided missile (ATGM).


However, the men carrying it would not have known that it was a dummy weapon. Hamas would not have wanted a secondary explosion, so the warhead would’ve been removed. These two terrorists were living—and then dead—props in the production.

Suddenly four children run from the breakwater. The IDF is stunned, having not seen them.


We know that a third explosion did occur, because it was caught on film.


However, it took place between the tents and the hotels, while the decoys ran between the tents and the water.


I now discount all eyewitness accounts of a third explosion taking place behind the decoys. None of the stories add up, and we have no way of knowing when the third explosion happened.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s not possible for the Israeli Air force to have killed boys running on the beach. The only known group of running boys were the decoys. We have Stefanie Dekker’s photo of them, and we have images of them at the al-Deira Hotel. They all survived. The 24 Media Production Company photos are fake, because they show that the container was not burning when the boys were “hit.”

Finally, the bodies of the four boys presented as having been killed by the IDF had wounds that did not bleed and were not caused by IDF munitions. Three of the bodies were placed in the sand later.

But at least now we know where the decoys hid to spring their trap.

Click here for a timeline of the operation. Remember that this is a work in progress, so details change as more information comes in.

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