Thomas Wictor

Anatomy of a Hamas deception operation

Anatomy of a Hamas deception operation

Boy, I hate the hackneyed quote, “We’re through the looking glass here, people.” It’s from the execrable film JFK, by Oliver Stone, and it means that you’re in Opposite World, where down is up and wrong is right. Well, we are—in fact—through the looking glass when it comes to the case of the four boys said to have been killed by the Israelis on the Gaza beach, July 16, 2014. I’ll reveal what I know about this Hamas deception operation, but I need to clarify something first.

I don’t believe virtually any conspiracy theory. Lee Harvey Oswald killed John F. Kennedy by himself. There are no aliens on ice at Area 51. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were not an “inside job.” Just apply the Snowden Test, and you’ll see that I’m right.

That being said, there’s now no question that Hamas set up the IDF on July 16, 2014. Someone calling himself “David” sent me a very handy photo that shows the origin of the “running boys” images.

On the right is the al-Deira Hotel, where all the journalists and photographers were staying. It’s about 328 yards (300 meters) from the breakwater where the Hamas police post was struck by what I’m sure was a missile, not a shell from a surface vessel.

Here are the al-Andalus Wedding Hall and Restaurant on the left, and the Beach Hotel Orient House on the right.

Yesterday I thought the Palestinian photographer-faker had found similar-looking buildings and made composite images, but what he actually did was take a photo from the roof of al-Ghifari Tower, a twenty-story residential building.


Begin at the left:

1. The al-Ghifari Tower.
2. The al-Deira Hotel.
3. The Beach Hotel and Orient House.
4. The al-Andalus Wedding Hall and Restaurant.
5. The Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop.
6. The Palestine Hotel.
7. The Commodore Hotel.
8. The Roots Hotel.
9. The Hamas police post.

The photo “David” sent me dates from before July 10, 2014. I can say that because the Hamas Naval Police post still exists.

It was destroyed by the IDF no later than July 10, 2014.

Gaza_port_July 10_2014

Other bloggers wrote about explosions in the Gaza port on July 8 and 9, but knowing how the IDF tends to hit more important targets first, I think it happened July 10, six days before the four children were killed on the beach.

With his high-resolution image of the al-Andalus Wedding Hall and Restaurant and the Beach Hotel Orient House in hand, the Palestinian photographer created the composite shots of the children running and then being shelled. He moved the two buildings closer together, moved them closer to the breakwater, and moved them closer to the Mediterranean. You can tell because that dumpster is in the same place as it was in the photo that “David” sent me. It’s an unmovable landmark.


In the photo above, you can see the destroyed police post, a construction project in the lower left corner, and the cream-colored facade of the al-Andalus Wedding Hall and Restaurant. The construction project was finished long ago, as shown in the this still from a video taken July 16, 2014.


The red arrow marks where the photographer stood to shoot the police post that the IDF targeted on July 16, 2014.

Another way we know that the “running boys” photos are composites is that the al-Andalus is no longer cream colored. It’s been repainted a deep, golden yellow.

The red arrow shows that it does have a sloping roof line on the left, but not only is the color of the building now different, so is the color of the establishment’s name in Arabic. In the photo used to fake the images of the running boys, “al-Andalus” is in black.


As for the Beach Hotel, when the photo in the composite images was taken, the Orient House not yet been added. Today, the Beach Hotel has a painted purple banner advertising the Orient House.


In the earlier image, the banner is absent.

Yesterday I didn’t have the photo that “David” sent me. From my messages, it appears that some extremely capable Israeli and Jewish, um, defenders have taken notice of me. If that’s true, I want to thank you. Although I’m not afraid, I truly had no idea the extent to which Hamas would go. It’s unnerving. All I can say to any guardian angels is that I’ll earn your protection. You have my word.

Since I didn’t really know until today how elaborate Hamas’s operations can be, yesterday I thought the photo of the al-Andalus and the Beach Hotel were of different buildings. What I realize now is that the faked photos took days to create. My brother the photographer confirms it. That means they were made ahead of time, and that means that the IDF was set up. No question.

I’m no longer sure that the children themselves are real. Look at their shadows.

They ‘re obvious fakes. And the many “eyewitness” accounts are worthless. The reporters were at the al-Deira Hotel, which is 328 yards (300 meters) from the police post.

This is what Peter Beaumont of the Guardian said.

The first projectile hit the sea wall of Gaza City’s little harbour just after four o’clock. As the smoke from the explosion thinned, four figures could be seen running, ragged silhouettes, legs pumping furiously along the wall. Even from a distance of 200 metres, it was obvious that three of them were children.

It’s actually 300 meters. Here’s a photo of my brother Tim standing 300 meters from me. Click to enlarge.


And I wasn’t looking at him through beach umbrellas, tents, smoke, dust, and sea spray. On the other hand, Beaumont confirms that the photos of the running children being shelled are fake.

They waved and shouted at the watching journalists as they passed a little collection of brightly coloured beach tents, used by bathers in peacetime.

It was there that the second shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: “They are only children.”

So the second explosion happened among the umbrellas and tents, as seen in the French news video.



But here’s where it gets completely incoherent.

In the space of 40 seconds, four boys who had been playing hide and seek among fishermen’s shacks on the wall were dead. They were aged between seven and 11; two were named Mohammad, one Zakaria and the youngest Ahed. All were members of the extended Bakr family.

Three others who were injured made it to the hotel: Hamad Bakr, aged 13, with shrapnel in his chest; his cousin Motasem, 11, injured in his head and legs, and Mohammad Abu Watfah, 21, who was hit by shrapnel in his stomach.

A man who had been near them reached the hotel terrace first, scrambling up a steep sandy bank. A skinny man in his 30s, he groaned and held up a T-shirt already staining red with blood where he was hit in the stomach. He fainted and was carried to a taxi waved down in the street as he grew pale and limp.

Beaumont says that four boys were killed at the police post and that two boys and two men made it to the al-Deira Hotal, 300 meters away, having survived the second explosion. Keep in mind that Beaumont is an eyewitness. He saw this happen.

There are no photos of injured men at the al-Deira, but there are images of four boys. Here’s Motasem Bakr.


Hamad Bakr is on the left.


The boy on the right is unidentified, as is the boy below.


These images show that four boys—two of them seriously injured—ran 300 meters to the al-Deira Hotel, bypassing the much closer Roots Hotel, Hotel Palestine, al-Andalus Wedding Hall and Restaurant, and the Beach Hotel Orient house. Most of the western reporters were at the al-Deira. Why didn’t anybody take pictures of the two injured men?

Stefanie Dekker of Al Jazeera tweeted a photo with the following caption: “Pic I took after first strike appears to show 4 boys running away #gaza port then there was a second hit.”


I can’t be sure, but it doesn’t look like the group includes a child wearing a red shirt.


I think those four boys ran to the al-Deira, while the four dead children met a different fate.

Peter Beaumont tweeted this.


He wrote that Motasem Bakr was injured in the head and legs, but hotel staff bandaged his arm.

When they carried him out, he had no bandages on his legs or his arm, and the bandage on his forehead had moved from the right side to the left.

At the hospital, he was interviewed by NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, who made this claim.


There are no photos of Mohyeldin playing soccer with the boys, and NBC removed him from Gaza without explanation. Also, the al-Deira is 300 meters from where four boys were killed. Does that constitute “by” the hotel?

At the hospital Motasem Bakr now has a heavily bandaged arm, and the compress is back on the right side of his head. His legs appear uninjured.


Two photos taken before that one show that he actually has no head wounds at all.


That’s a hair curl on the right side of his forehead. The story is that he’d been injured minutes before; if there were a fragmentation wound on his forehead, it would still be bleeding heavily.


I was wrong about Motasem’s injuries. They were real. However, they were not caused by the IDF.

An Israeli source told me that the IDF suspects that there were two sets of boys used in some kind of ruse. We now have proof that the IDF is right. Four boys died…somehow. Peter Beaumont is the only eyewitness who described the second explosion in detail, and he says everyone survived it and ran to the al-Deira Hotel. Was that second explosion fake? Was it an air mortar buried in the sand, timed to go off with a hand grenade on the other side of the tents?

A much worse theory explains all the discrepancies.

The reason why the dead children on the beach bled so little is that they were killed ahead of time, mutilated post mortem, and hidden in the tents until they were needed. Massive holes were gouged in them, and one boy’s legs were broken and twisted, his right foot ending up at the level of his face. Despite his horrendous injuries, his legs didn’t bleed. I also now wonder if the child found in the police post was killed before the IDF fired its missile.

The Bakr family has told four different stories about what the boys were doing: They were playing football (soccer), they were playing hide and seek, they were playing “Arabs and Jews,” and they were collecting scrap metal. It’s clear that the Bakrs have gotten lost in their maze of lies.

One last photo indicates that this was a Hamas operation. Employees of the al-Deira Hotel are carrying an “injured” man up the street, away from the ambulances. The hotel is in the background.


I found a massively high-resolution version, and it shows lots of fascinating details. For one, this man is not wounded.

His clothes are perfectly clean, and he’s not bleeding. They just smeared a little grape jelly on his shirt. Puncture wounds in the abdomen bleed like a fire hose. Unless he had the reflexes of the Flash, he wouldn’t have been able to clamp his hand over the hole before the blood spurted out.

What immaculate feet!

He didn’t run through the sand, but why would paramedics take off his shoes?

And why would a staff member of the al-Deira Hotel have a Secret Service earpiece?

Finally, look at everybody lounging around in the background, without a care in the world.

That style of beard and a shaved head are symbols of Wahabbist jihadis, by the way.

Though I can’t tell you exactly what happened, there’s no question that the IDF was the victim of a deception operation. The faked “running victim” photos alone prove that this was an elaborate Hamas strike planned days if not months in advance.

When you add in the fraudulent wounds of Motasem Bakr, the two conflated groups of four boys each, the two disappearing injured men, the mad dash to the hotel full of reporters 300 meters away, and the conflicting accounts of who died where, we’re left with only one conclusion.

Hamas murdered four children as agitprop against Israel.

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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