By Yossi Gurvitz
During the weekend, the news website Real News interviewed a senior IDF Spokesman officer, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovitz, who’s in charge of the IDF Spokesman with the international media. Leibowitz denied that the IDF connects the PRC to the attacks, said she was not responsible for that the prime minister said, but claimed that the attackers did come from Gaza, citing as proof the fact they were using Kalashnikov assault rifies (Sic! 2:28 and onwards in the video). I dunno how to put it to Col. Leibovitz, but Kalashnikovs are the most common light assault rifle in the world – a gift that keeps on giving from the defunct Soviet Union – and are rather easy to get all over the Middle East.
In a phone conversation with Leibovitz yesterday, she said “senior officials have already expressed themselves on the issue”, and declined to provide more information on the attackers, aside from insisting on them being Gazans. I asked her if she could provide me with the identity of the attackers killed by the IDF, which was until recently standard procedure, carried out within hours of an attack. She said this is unfortunately impossible, and repeatedly insisted they were Gazans. B’Tselem researchers in the Strip, contacted via B’Tselem today, were unaware of the identity of the attackers. Again, usually they are quickly identified and a mourners’ hut is rapidly constructed. They were killed on Thursday; if they resided in the Strip, their families would have heard of their deaths by now.
Yesterday evening the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that Egyptian security forces have identified three of the dead attackers. Egypt has a strong interest to claim the attackers were Gazans, since this would lessen its responsibility for the attacks; nevertheless, they say at least two of the attackers were known terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. As far as I could find out, the rest of the bodies are in the hands of the IDF – which, again, does not reveal their identity.
And probably with good reason. After all, it seems Barak and Netanyahu pulled off a major disinformation campaign here, which the IDF (in the form of Colonel Leibovitz) has to cooperate with, somewhat unwillingly. They took us to a false war against the Gaza Strip. You can’t really blame Leibovitz: She’s a uniformed officer. She can’t contradict “senior officials [who] have already expressed themselves on the issue”. more