Note: NYT had a couple sentences on Israel utilizing "Hannibal" in main story earlier--but now it's not-so-mysteriously vanished. See cut here. This was it: "On Friday, Israeli forces immediately used a protocol for captured soldiers known as 'Operation Hannibal' to pursue the Hamas squad into the tunnel and try to cut off any possibility of escape. Hannibal includes intense pursuit and an option to engage the enemy 'even at risk of the soldier,' Colonel Lerner said." Given the paper caving to Israel censorship demands on the soldier story all weekend we can probably guess what happened.
I pointed out early on how unlikely it was that a militant would have a suicide vest right at hand and put it on in this kind of situation. I also asked why Israel was bombing the hell out of the immediate area of the soldier's "capture" when he was no doubt still in the area.
4:00 p.m. Possibly relevant re: controversy over death of Israeli soldier--Haaretz piece on the "Hannibal Directive." In case you thought critics were making it up.
I suppose it's progress that the State Dept. today roundly condemned attack outside UN school that left 10 or more dead. But pathetic that it took U.S. three weeks to call even one Israeli strike on civilians "appalling." Have been hundreds earlier. Death toll topped 1800 this afternoon. No word yet from White House on being misled by Israel on "capture" of that soldier on Friday.
1:30 p.m. What a shock (not): Haaretz reports contrary to Israeli claims, militant did not blow up a suicide vest killing soldiers. Soldiers all shot, which only deepens question (see below) of why IDF claimed soldier captured not killed. See item there at 7:54 p.m.
Additional details revealed about the incident in which Lt. Hadar Goldin, Major Banaya Sarel and Staff Sgt. Liel Gidoni were killed in Gaza: Contrary to initial reports, the militant who fired at the Israeli forces did not detonate an explosive belt, but several other militants open massive fire at the soldiers which wounded the three. One militant, whose body was found in the area, was wearing an IDF uniform. The defense establishment has no conclusive information as to the militants' whereabouts, and whether they're alive or not.And why could he only be identified by DNA of his "remains" if no suicide vest? Perhaps was killed in Israeli air strike?
1:00 State Dept. finally with (somewhat) stronger statement criticizing Israel on civilian carnage. See @JakeTapper tweets.
10:30 a.m. ET Jon Voight naturally accuses fellow actors who signed letter hitting Israel's civilian massacres of "fanning anti-Semitism" around the world. Says they should hide their heads in shame.
10:00 a.m. ET Israel's official (for now) account of the death of soldier Goldin is rather confusing--and needs careful study as it was so important, in that it led to massive bombing of civilians and end of ceasefire. It seems the claim is that he and two others found tunnel but came under heavy fire, seemingly above ground. When things died down, comrades found two soldiers dead, and body of militant who "apparently" detonated suicide belt (if true, this didn't seem to utterly destroy his body or the two soldiers, however). Then soldiers noted that Goldin was missing. They searched in a nearby building and tunnel and found...something. From other accounts it seemed they were suggesting that Goldin, too, was hits by suicide vest but that doesn't seem possible if he was in building or in tunnel in building. Surely, in any case, they suspected he might be dead, but Israel immediately claimed he had been captured and launched bombing assault. And use of the word "later" found raises question of how much later--is it possible he was killed in Israeli bombing of building?
Also: IDF spokesman Lerner tells NYT today, “We can’t determine if he was killed on the ground or from the blast. The indications on the ground are that he was killed in the initial attack.” Since the initial attack was by gunfire only, surely his body would have been identified early on. Yet they claimed he was "abducted."
9:30 a.m. ET See my important update this morning on NYT admitting it allowed censors to cut reference to captured/dead soldier being a cousin of Israel's defense chief.
Another massacre at or near UN school, at least ten dead--the were waiting in line for food. Video:
IDF spokesman, who had lied from the beginning about certain Hamas capture of soldier (and much else), now suggests they may have taken body parts.
Jodi Rudoren home movie--made by husband of the NYT bureau chief, and co-starring Abraham Foxman--must be seen to be believed. And maybe not even then.
@AymanM of NBC: Fighters resisting Israel popular, Hamas leaders not.
Apparently Israel has no shame. Here a spokesman trumpets fact that their analysis shows that only 53% of the 1700 dead in Gaza are non-combatants. This is well below all other estimates but even so--to seemingly take pride that you've almost killed as many alleged bad guys as innocents...
NYT: Israeli spokeswoman refuses to say how soldier died: On Sunday, a military spokeswoman declined to say whether Lieutenant Goldin had been killed along with two comrades by a suicide bomb one of the militants exploded, or later by Israel’s assault on the area to hunt for him; she also refused to answer whether remains had been recovered. Hamas: "Israel tricked and deceived the world when it claimed Friday that a soldier had been abducted and then admitted that he had actually been killed in battle in Rafah. It did this only in order to breach the 72-hour cease-fire agreed upon with the UN and the U.S., in order to commit massacre in Rafah."