The Jenin Massacre Allegation:
One of the recent accusations leveled against Israel is that Israeli soldiers [i] massacred Palestinians civilians at Jenin. Palestinian Authority Minister, Saeb Erekat stated on CNN April 10: "Im afraid to say that the number of Palestinian dead in the Israeli attacks have reached more than 500 now."[ii] The director of the hospital in Jenin, Abo Gali, said that Israeli tanks fired 11 missiles at the facility, destroying oxygen bottles, water tubes, sewage pipes, hospital wards, doctors rooms and an infirmary. "The whole of the west wing was destroyed," he testified. "Fighter planes launched their missiles every three minutes." Abo Gali claimed that the Israeli army prevented all ambulances from reaching the hospital, insisting: "They didn’t want people to get medical treatment" and " we had no food left." Australian Christian humanitarian volunteer Dalry Jones said that Palestinians displayed photos of bodies, "gouged and pitted, torn. We were told this is from torture from the Israelis."
Pierre Rehov a French film maker went to Jenin to investigate the above allegations and created a documentary[iii] about what he found. In that documentary Rehov provides aerial images of the hospital on the last day of the incursion surrounding trees, the roof and floors are all intact. He also shows footage of ambulances unloading casualties by the hospital doors and IDF soldiers assisting children and the elderly to reach treatment. Dr. David Zangen, the army’s chief medical officer in Jenin during the incursion, describes how the soldiers even treated Palestinian fighters, including members of Hamas. Rehov even shows a scene of an Israeli authorizing Abo Gali in person to receive anything he’d like for the hospital.
According to the Washington Times[iv], International workers investigated the camp and found no evidence of a massacre after which Palestinian officials drastically lowered the death toll to 56, a number consistent with what Israel had estimated.
Pierre Rehov discovered that Palestinians staged scenes for reporter’s cameras. On Jan. 25, 2003, Rehov accompanied Palestinian journalist Ali Smoddi of the PA-controlled Jenin television station as he and his crew set out to interview a Palestinian man and his wife whose baby was just delivered by a doctor. At the hospital, Smoddis crew does several "takes" of the fathers account of the birth, each with a different spin. In one version, the father claims that the ambulance they intended to meet was held up at a checkpoint for 15 minutes, and he was forced to deliver his infant son in the car, as the ambulance had not arrived. In another telling, the father says: "The soldiers took me down to the ambulance to check my identification and my wife gave birth in the ambulance and went to the hospital."
Dalry Jones, who had initially been believed the Palestinians regarding allegations of Israeli torture saw a Palestinian child blow up in front of her face, and came to the realization that the ripped apart bodies were the result of human booby traps that the Palestinians used against the Israelis.”
Pierre Rehov’s accounts of fabricated Palestinian street theater are supported by other sources. An Israel Defense Force drone filmed a funeral procession on April 28, during which the stretcher-bearers dropped the purported corpse. The "dead" man hopped back onto the stretcher, but the next time he was dropped, he walked away in a huff[v] .
“Almost all Palestinian directors take part more or less voluntarily in these war commissions, under the official pretext that we should use all possible means, including trickery and fabulation, to fight against the tanks and airplanes the enemy has and we don’t.”
The staging of atrocities can be very amusing to Palestinian onlookers. Israeli commentator Amnon Lord, a journalist for the Israeli paper, Makor Rishon wrote how he saw
"incongruous battle scenes complete with wounded combatants and screeching ambulances played out in front of an audience of laughing onlookers”
A major problem with the Jenin massacre allegation is it doesn’t explain why Israelis sent men into Jenin to fight instead of shelling it from a safe distance. This tactic mystified Thaber Mardawi, an Islamic Jihad fighter in Israeli custody, who said: "I don’t know why they [the Israel Defense Forces] sent the infantry [into Jenin]. They knew they would be killed. To see a soldier pass in front of me, I’ve waited for this many years."[vii]
[ii] See CAMERA On Campus Fall 2002 for an in-depth review of PA misinformation.
[iv] Washington Times May 1 2002, “Jenin ‘massacre’ reduced to death toll of 56’ May 1 2002
[v] The Jewish Week 5/20/02
[vi] Soudi, S.E., Metula News Agency Oct. 9, 2002 and “Probe: Famous ‘martyrdom’ of Palestinian boy staged”, Kupelian, D., Worldnetdaily 4/26/03 http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=32137
[vii] Rehov, P. The Road to Jenin