by Independent Online / South Africa –
JERUSALEM (November 21, 2003) — An Arab Israeli lawmaker on Wednesday accused the Israeli military of using a “banned weapon” in a deadly raid in the Gaza Strip in October, as another deputy threatened to reveal confidential information on the attack.
Opposition MP Ahmad al-Tibi said the army had used a “secret banned weapon” in the raid and accused it of employing military censorship to stop the publication of details related to the issue. “This concerns banned munitions whose explosion had an impact that extended over several dozen metres,” he said in a statement.
Twelve Palestinians, including two wanted activists, were killed in the Israeli raid on October 20, which targeted a car in the Gaza Strip refugee camp of Nusseirat.
“Air Force commander Dan Halutz lied in public when he said after the raid that the Air Force used Hellfire missiles that were fired by Apache helicopters. It was not Apaches that launched the banned weapon,” he charged.
Meanwhile fellow member of parliament Yossi Sarid, of the left-wing Meretz party, threatened to unveil “confidential information” over the Nusseirat raid.
Sarid made his threat after Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz refused to tell him the type weapons used in the raid, during a meeting of parliament’s defense and foreign affairs committee, according to the Haaretz daily.
According to Sarid, the army used “powerful munitions with an unusually large range of impact”. Israeli public radio said the army had admitted that arms other than Hellfire missiles had been used in the Nusseirat attack.
According to public radio, the army is now admitting that it used munition in the raid other than the Hellfire missile.
In a statement an army spokesperson said that it was “not possible for operational and security reasons to provide all the details of what went on at Nusseirat. “The version of the facts which we have given was exact.. but it could be, because of the sensitive nature of the operation, that we were mistaken in the manner in which we chose to describe the methods used in this operation,” the spokesperson continued. It is above all important to stress that there was never any wish to misinform the media.”
©2003. All rights strictly reserved.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)