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Cross-posted from Mondoweiss
Palestinians flee from the Shuja’iyeh neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip.
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In a bid to legitimize Israel's violence in Gaza, Washington continues a disturbing pattern of baselessly blaming Hamas.
A beleaguered-looking President Barack Obama appeared before the Washington press corps on August 1 to lash into Hamas for supposedly violating the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire that his Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations had labored so tirelessly to secure. "I have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third minutes after a ceasefire was announced," Obama said.
But evidence supporting Obama's claim of Hamas responsibility has been difficult to come by. Indeed, even the Israeli Army news desk was unable to provide Mondoweiss with a clear narrative or substantial evidence regarding the incident in question. Moreover, accounts published in Arabic by Hamas's military wing along with details provided by the PLO indicate that the killing of two Israeli soldiers and disappearance of another actually occurred before the ceasefire went into effect -- when Israel was assaulting Rafah.
"Today at 9:30, terrorists executed an attack from which two soldiers were killed and an additional is now missing and therefore he is suspected to have been abducted," an Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss. The army spokesperson went on to state that Hamas and the army "exchanged shelling," yet they were unable to provide details on the source of the Palestinian fire. "They used several forms of fire simultaneously," was all the spokesperson could divulge.
"I cannot confirm at the moment as we are still looking into it, but it may have been live bullets and a suicide belt," which killed the soldiers, the army spokesperson said.
When asked why the army did not have a solid account of the events that broke the promised 72-hour ceasefire, the army spokesperson maintained, "There were terrorists and they attacked the soldiers, two soldiers didn't just drop dead."
Tweets from Gaza contradict official US-Israeli claims
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