The IDF admits that the Eilat attackers weren’t Gazans, but buries the news
Some 34 days ago, a group of terrorists attacked several points on the Israeli-Egyptian border, near Eilat. While the attack was still going on, Security Minister (the term “Defense Minister” does not capture the Soviet/Socialist undertones of the title) Ehud Barak quickly claimed that the responsibility for the attacks rests with the Gazan Popular Resistance Committees. A short time later, the PRC’s leadership was assassinated from the air.
Several hours later, however, the official version of events began to crumble (see here). Even though the IDF claimed the attackers came from the Gaza Strip – nobody explained how, precisely, that happened, and the IDF Spokesman backed down from this claim for a short while – the IDF did not publish the names of the attackers, which it generally does, and there were no signs of mourning in Gaza.
When I published those points earlier, I found myself under attack by a gaggle of Hasbara useful idiots, who claimed that Hamas could have suppressed mourning so as to distance itself from the attack – which is an interesting point, given that nobody actually blamed Hamas for the attack.
So, 34 days later, why were there no mourning huts in Gaza? Because the attackers weren’t Gazans. Quietly and without drawing attention, Yediot Ahronot published yesterday (Wednesday) a report on pg. 13, which says that the IDF’s internal investigation reached the conclusion that all of the attackers were Egyptians or residents of Sinai – and we know the three attackers killed by the Egyptians were Egyptians.
The investigation also claims that the attackers were trained by the PRC, but this looks like an excuse to whitewash the acts of the IDF in retrospect. We have facts: the bodies of the attackers are those Egyptian nationals. And then we have conjecture: that they were trained by the PRC. We have no evidence to support this conjecture, and must treat it as such – and a suspect one. I mean, the IDF has been spouting disinformation about this attack for a month now. Why should we believe what it says without proof? Also, we should remember that a few days after the attack, the IDF killed an Islamic Jihad operative, and then claimed he was responsible for funding the attack. Again, we have no proof for this. It may be the truth. It may be just an attempt to justify an attack on a Palestinian target of opportunity.
So, to sum, the IDF’s position nowadays looks like this: The attack near Eilat, which nearly sent the IDF into a major offensive in the Gaza Strip, was carried out by Egyptian nationals, trained by the PRC and funded by the Islamic Jihad. Now, this could happen – stranger things have; it is commonly heard in Israel that Australian messianic Jews of a heretical sect have once funded the campaign of a secular Israeli politician, who was once married by a Conservative rabbi and who changed his name so that it would sound more American. It could happen – but it contradicts what the IDF so stridently told us about a month ago. Then, it kept repeating the attackers were Gazans. That, afrer all, was the casus belli.
In short, the IDF and Barak – not necessarily in this order; the army may well have been trying to cover for the lies of its minister – lied to our faces, nearly dragged us into a major offensive, all of which took place during a massive social protest which put the military’s budget at risk, and protecting that budget is the army and its minister’s first priority. When the chairman of the Security and Foreign Relations Knesset Committee tried to summon senior IDF and ISA officers, the security minister and the prime minister blocked them from testifying. In a normal country, parliament would create an investigative committee and/or announce the army is out of control; in Israel, it ends with a hidden headline on pg. 13 on a day full of international news, and the army and its minister can count on the fact no one would remember, or make a fuss.