Tuesday, February 02, 2010

UN Riposte

After Israel published a response to the Goldstone report differing with several of the key allegations, the UN is now claiming evidence of its own casting doubt on the Israeli explanation of a key point of controversy. I'm not making claims as to which side is right or wrong, just reporting the story.

The (specific) controversy is over the destruction of a flour mill, which Goldstone claimed could have been done to deprive the civilian population of sustenance. The report claims the mill was specifically targeted in an airstrike. Israel released photos claiming the damage was more consistent with tank shells, which had opened fire after engaging Hamas militants -- the mill, in other words, was not a pre-planned target. Apparently, though, UN investigators found the remains of airborne bombs at the site, putting the possibility of a pre-planned airstrike on the table (of course, the mill being destroyed by a bomb rather than a tank is entirely consistent with the mill being targeted due to Hamas fighters in the vicinity).

1 comment:

N. Friedman said...

I believe that Goldstone mentioned the bomb in his debate at Brandeis with Dore Gold. I thus assume that the Israelis are aware of the allegation.

In any event, the Israelis have yet to release their detailed report. The report thus far releases is short while the soon - or, at least I presume soon - to be released report will be over 1,000 pages. Perhaps, the Israelis will deal with the matter in that report.

The UN will, of course, take the view that the discovered bomb shows Israel had evil intentions. But, that would be rather indirect evidence for which there are alternative explanations, as you note.

If the mills was targeted intentionally, why was only one bomb dropped? That fact suggests an error or, as you note, that there was fighting there. Alternatively, the bomb may not have been dropped at that location at all. It may have been dropped elsewhere and then moved, ala the al Dura affair and countless other such allegations.