The following is an edited version of a post published by Thomas Wictor
Someone asked me if I’d seen Channel 4 News’s report “What Really Happened to Salem Shamaly?” I hadn’t. Now I have, and I believe that it should make reporter Inigo Gilmore the laughingstock of the news profession. But of course it won’t. It’s a followup to the fake Gaza sniper video I wrote about on July 21, 2014. I’m stunned that a supposedly reputable news outfit would put out such propaganda, but it did.
First, the Channel 4 News video.
Here’s the original International Solidarity Movement (ISM) video for your reference.
At 4:18 in the Channel 4 News video, Inigo Gilmore says, “The first shot that hit him is not caught on camera.”
It most certainly is. At 2:23 in the fake sniper video, you hear a gunshot and its echo. Mohammed jostles the camera to add crappy Blair Witch Project drama, and then you see this.
Channel 4 News didn’t ask the International Solidarity Movement why this white screen appears in their video. It’s because the reporters didn’t want to hear the answer: The video has been clumsily doctored.
At 5:02 in the Channel 4 News video, Rina Andolini gets “choked up” when she talks about the third shot killing Salem, but in the original ISM video—in which Salem is purportedly being shot to death right in front of her—she shows no emotion whatsoever.
This is what Channel 4 News says is the alley that served as the shooting gallery.
Facing the alley, here’s the left side in the ISM video.
And here’s the right side.
Absolutely nothing is the same. Nothing at all.
As for the house that is said to have served as the sniper’s nest, I’m at a loss for how any news organization could accept what the Palestinians told them.
Let’s start with the “X” on the side of the building, put there by Israeli troops.
Shijaiyah was the “center of gravity” of Hamas’s military capabilities. It was a fortress that required a seven-hour assault to demolish. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, and aerial bombs were used. The Hamas counterattack was so violent that for the first time in their history, the IDF took refuge in their armored personnel carriers and called down artillery and air strikes as close to themselves as possible.
Hamas did not honor the ceasefire of July 20, and it put up ferocious resistance to protect the fortress of Shijaiyah. So you’re telling me that during this ongoing battle, IDF snipers—men and women who rely on concealment to survive—put a big “X” on their position? Why not a sign that said, “SNIPER’S NEST HERE”?
Hamas terrorists are armed with antitank guided missiles (ATGMs), ideal for talking out snipers’ positions and observation posts. Why would IDF troops on the front line mark their locations?
The rest of the report is nothing but projection. The Israeli units involved in the battle—the Nahal Brigade; the Givati amphibious Brigade; the all-volunteer, special-forces-capable Paratroopers Brigade, and the Golani Brigade—were watching for heavily armed Hamas terrorists in every building. When did they have time to trash the house and spray paint graffiti on the walls?
These spent shell casings are hilarious.
Although most appear to be the the 5.56 X 45 mm NATO round that the IDF uses, they’re ancient, battered, and weather-beaten. There are no large-caliber casings; to hit Salem three times from that distance, you’d need a specialized rifle with a scope. It would fire a much bigger round.
And what’s this supposed to mean?
“Discarded” Israeli uniforms? Did the IDF soldiers desert, or did they return to base in their underwear? Seriously, how is a store-bought Israeli tunic supposed to prove that IDF troops were there?
Finally, Channel 4 News allowed itself to be used as a platform by an Israeli named Eran Efrati (affiliated with the radical NGO, Breaking the Silence), whose story about the “shooting” of Salem Shamaly is beyond laughable.
Soldiers in two different units inside Gaza leaked information about the murdering of Palestinians by sniper fire in Shuja’iyya neighborhood as punishment for the death of soldiers in their units. After the shooting on the Israeli armored personnel carriers, which killed seven soldiers of the Golani Brigade, the Israeli army carried out a massacre in Shuja’iyya neighborhood. A day after the massacre, many Palestinians came to search for their relatives and their families in the rubble.
In one of the videos uploaded to YouTube, a young Palestinian man Salem Shammaly calls the names of his family and looking for them between the ruins when he is suddenly shot at in his chest and falls down. A few seconds after that, there are two additional shootings from snipers into his body, killing him instantly. Since the video was released, there was no official response from the IDF spokesperson.
Today I can report that the official command that was handed down to the soldiers in Shujaiyya was to capture Palestinian homes as outposts. From these posts, the soldiers drew an imaginary red line, and amongst themselves decided to shoot to death anyone who crosses it. Anyone crossing the line was defined as a threat to their outposts, and was thus deemed a legitimate target. This was the official reasoning inside the units. I was told that the unofficial reason was to enable the soldiers to take out their frustrations and pain at losing their fellow soldiers (something that for years the IDF has not faced during its operations in Gaza and the West Bank), out on the Palestinian refugees in the neighborhood
There was no massacre in Shijaiyah. As I said before, it was an anti-massacre. The IDF destroyed Hamas’s terror fortress while killing 65 Palestinians out of 100,000 in the process. It would’ve been the easiest thing in the world for the IDF to carry out a real massacre by shooting, bombing, and shelling everything, but that didn’t happen.
If we’re to believe Eran Efrati, the IDF instead set in motion a comic-book plot of allowing its men to shoot civilians who crossed imaginary red lines. That accusation says everything about Eran Efrati and nothing about the IDF.
It is clear that nobody died in that shoddy, poorly acted, fake atrocity video. The sounds of the “bullets” were wrong, one exploding squib was caught on camera, we saw no visible wounds, the entire group passed the alley once without getting shot, Salem Shamaly was instantly teleported over fifty feet when hit, and the shadows in the video indicates that hours passed in seconds.
When people lie, they eventually trip themselves up. Here’s the alleged sniper’s nest. I’ve used a red arrow to mark where Channel 4 News says Salem died.
See the minaret off to the left? Note how far it is from the alley.
Well, this is Mohammed Abedullah pointing to where Salem lay in his agony.
Now the minaret is almost close enough to touch.
When you’re reduced to lying, it means you know you’re in the wrong.
Someone sent me a very high-resolution image of Salem’s “death” scene.
You can finally see that the building with the blue wall is very short. Also, note the near-total lack of fragmentation damage. This may as well be a city hit by an earthquake. The Israelis used inert munitions to set off IEDs in the Hamas fortress to the right; pressure waves did the rest.
In the Channel 4 News “alley,” the building on the right shows no trace of blue, and there are steel-reinforced concrete walls. In fact, most of the rubble is concrete, not cinder block. It’s a different location than in the photo above.
It was such a slapdash production that when we first see the Israeli “sniper’s nest” down the “alley,” it doesn’t have that blue “X” on it.