The Israel Defense Forces claims the target was an “unoccupied shack.”
By Gideon Levy | Haaretz | Nov 17, 2019
‘Why did they do this to us?’
— Mohammed Matar, who had worked in Israel for 30 years, and whose daughter, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren were killed in the bombing
The bomber pilot didn’t know. His commanders who gave him the orders also didn’t know. The defense minister and the commander in chief didn’t know. Nor did the commander of the air force. The intelligence officers who aimed at the target didn’t know. The army spokesman who lied without a qualm also didn’t know.
None of our heroes knew. The ones who always know everything suddenly didn’t know. The ones who can track down the son of a wanted man in a Damascus suburb didn’t know that sleeping inside their miserable hovel in Dir al-Balah was an impoverished family.
They, who serve in the most moral army and the most advanced intelligence services in the world, didn’t know that the flimsy tin shack had long since stopped being part of the “Islamic Jihad infrastructure,” and it’s doubtful that it ever was. They didn’t know and they didn’t bother to check — after all, what’s the worst that could happen?
Reporter Yaniv Kubovich revealed the shocking truth on Friday on the Haaretz website : The target had not been re-examined for at least one year prior to the strike, the individual who was supposedly its target never existed and the intelligence was based on rumors. The bomb was dropped anyway. The result: eight bodies in colorful shrouds, some of them horrifically tiny, all in a row; members of a single extended family, the Asoarkas, five of them children — including two infants.