Inside the pressure cooker, the battle between the clans and Hamas ebbed and flowed according to the fortunes and political needs of the Islamist group. One of the first clans targeted by Hamas was the al-Bakr family, which controls much of the strip’s fishing fleet. Known as Fatah loyalists, they came under attack during the clashes between Hamas and Fatah in June last year; after suffering heavy casualties, more than 200 al-Bakr gunmen surrendered to the Hamas fighters.
Buck, Tobias. “The clans of Gaza take on the men of Hamas.” FT Magazine, November 22, 2008.
From threaded chat correspondence with independent forensic media analyst Thomas Edward Wictor (July 21, 2015):
The problem is that reporters don’t bother to educate themselves, and words are losing their meaning. I have idiots arguing with me that shrapnel now means any fragment of a projectile. Fine, but the four victims had round holes in them, and not a single IDF munition uses round metals balls, whether you call them shrapnel or potato chips.
The IDF MAG Corps report says that the IDF fired two missiles. I can find physical evidence of only one missile being fired. The second missile left no trace evidence. No crater and no debris.
There’s video evidence of three separate explosions. One was the IED below the terrace of the Adam Hotel, one was the IDF missile hitting the shipping container, and one was the IED going off in the rubbish bin behind the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop.
Those are the only explosions I know for sure took place.
If there’s a difference between the “Rule of Law” and the feudal alternative that is the “Rule of the Lawless”, it lies in final obedience to dispassionate courts working the representative will of a free people — free to speak; free to argue law in creation, theory, and fact; free to seek and hold office; free to submit themselves to their own best common and deeply argued and informed wisdom.
Wictor’s forensic investigations engage assertions and incidents that could do with such courts.
In relation to the murders of Mohammed Bakr, Ahed Bakr, Zakaria Bakr, and Ismail Bakr on July 16, 2014, Wictor has assembled raw video footage, media footage, research (as above) on Gaza’s true underlying political history and sociology, and both meticulously and repeatedly queried the same.
While Wictor may not represent a court of the lawful either — not more than anyone else — he represents a different kind of public defender and prosecutor: a global citizen fighting — in relation to this incident — the defamation of the Jewish People, which is equally a struggle for what is truthful and possessed of integrity regardless of the interests of men: good principal, good law, honest research — “clear, accurate, and complete” remains the journalist’s standard — and discerning, reasoned, and responsible judgment.
And if Wictor’s collection of conclusions remains doubtful?
Examination by a court of the lawful would begin with “discovery” in the presence of the prosecutor and the accused.
Here is a smattering of Wictor blogs on this piece.
“Timeline of the Hamas Gaza Beach Operation.” October 6, 2014.
“Hamas used three IEDs in the Gaza beach operation.” October 16, 2014.
“Why did Hamas threaten journalists in Gaza?” October 18, 2014.
“Reader questions, Hamas beach operation.” October 25, 2014.
“Gaza beach operation: the four decoys.” December 27, 2014.
“Journalist confirms Gaza beach deception operation.” April 10, 2015.
“The IDF conclusion on the Bakr boys.” June 11, 2015.
In the last article listed, Wictor says of himself, “What I’ve become—without either knowing it or planning for it—is an investigative reporter. I use what are known as open sources, meaning everything that I study is available on the Internet. This is something anyone can do. All it takes is patience.”
Do others see what Wictor sees?
The answer is unimportant, for it should be understood that the findings of one investigator remain subjective, however clinical and objective the undertaking: the presenter of so many reports — and ruminations — would appear to know that he is neither also judge nor jury nor even colleague or professional rival. Still, there is only one true story about what happened on July 16, 2014, and Wictor has done more to look it over twice, three times, and more in the public venue that is his blog and the “Hamas Operation on Gaza Beach” portion of it.
Hamas, which promotes political Islam, has mounted occasional crackdowns on more radical groups that chafe at its engagement with Abbas and truces with Israel. Such groups support the broader struggle led by Islamic State and al Qaeda.
Al-Mughrabi, Nidal. “Palestinian gov’t condemns Hamas for killing Islamic rival in Gaza.” Reuters, June 2, 2015.
Jewish Virtual Library. “Fact Sheets: The Hamas War on Palestinian Rivals.” Updated May 2015.
Hamas has attempted to crack down, often through violent means, against opposition displays in Gaza. In May, the Palestinian entity demolished a mosque that was allegedly a recruiting ground for ISIS jihadis. At the time, a tweet from a Gazan ISIS-aligned group said, “Armed men from Hamas came to Deir Al-Balah and destroyed the mosque, acting in a way that even the Jewish occupiers and the Americans have not acted.” Also in May, a group that claimed to be affiliated with ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing of Hamas headquarters.
Schachtel, Jordan. “ISIS Threatens to Take Gaza From Rival Terror Group Hamas.” Breitbart, July 1, 2015.
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