Was Qana Staged?

According to The Israel Insider, evidence is mounting that indicates that the collapse of the building in Qana and subsequent deaths of women and children were all staged by Hezbollah. Here’s are the facts as The Insider presents them:

On the morning of July 30, according to the IDF, the air force came in three waves. In the first, between midnight and one in the morning, there was a strike at or near the building that eventually collapsed. There was a second strike at other targets far from the collapse building several hours later, and a third strike at around 7:30 in the morning. There too the nearest hit was some 460 meters away, according to the IDF. But first reports of a building collapse came only around 8 am.

Thus there was an unexplained 7 to 8 hour gap between the time of the helicopter strike and the building collapse. Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force Headquarters, in a press briefing, told journalists that “the attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear.”

Gen. Eshel appeared genuinely mystified by the gap in time. “I’m saying this very carefully, because at this time I don’t have a clue as to what the explanation could be for this gap,” he added.

The army’s only explanation was that somehow there was unexploded Hezbollah ordnance in the building that only detonated much later.

“It could be that inside the building, things that could eventually cause an explosion were being housed, things that we could not blow up in the attack, and maybe remained there, Brigadier General Eshel said.

Eshel reported that as recently as two days ago, military intelligence reported the building area had been used by the terrorists for storage or firing of weapons. It was a bad place to cram dozens of women and children.

There are other mysteries. The roof of the building was intact. Journalist Ben Wedeman of CNN noted that there was a larger crater next to the building, but observed that the building appeared not to have collapsed as a result of the Israeli strike.

Why would the civilians who had supposedly taken shelter in the basement of the building not leave after the post-midnight attack? They just went back to sleep and had the bad luck to wait for the building to collapse in the morning?

National Public Radio’s correspondent reported that residents of that building had left and the victims were non-residents who chose to shelter in the building that night. They were “too poor” to leave the down, one resident told CNN’s Wedeman. Who were these people?

What we do know is that sometime after dawn a call went hour to journalists and rescue workers to come to the scene. And come they did, in droves.

While Hezbollah and its apologists have been claiming that civilians could not freely flee the scene due to Israeli destruction of bridges and roads, the journalists and rescue teams from nearby Tyre had no problem getting there.

Lebanese rescue teams did not start evacuating the building until the morning and only after the camera crews came. The absence of a real rescue effort was explained by saying that equipment was lacking. There were no scenes of live or injured people being extracted.

There was little blood, CNN’s Wedeman noted: all the victims, he concluded, appeared to have died while as they were sleeping — sleeping, apparently, through thunderous Israeli air attacks. Rescue workers equipped with cameras were removing the bodies from the same opening in the collapsed structure. Journalists were not allowed near the collapsed building.

Rescue workers filmed as they went carried the victims on the stretchers, occasionally flipping up the blankets so that cameras could show the faces and bodies of the dead.

But Israelis steeled to scenes of carnage from Palestinian suicide bombings and Hezbollah rocket attack could not help but notice that these victims did not look like our victims. Their faces were ashen gray. Their limbs appeared to have stiffened, from rigor mortis. Neither were effects that would have resulted from an Israeli attack hours before. These were bodies that looked like they had been dead for days.

Thus, The Insider presents the following as a possible scenario for what really happened at Qana:

Viewers can judge for themselves. But the accumulating evidence suggests another explanation for what happened at Kana. The scenario would be a setup in which the time between the initial Israeli bombing near the building and morning reports of its collapse would have been used to “plant” bodies killed in previous fighting — reports in previous days indicated that nearby Tyre was used as a temporary morgue — place them in the basement, and then engineer a “controlled demolition” to fake another Israeli attack.

The well-documented use by Palestinians of this kind of faked footage — from the alleged shooting of Mohammed Dura in Gaza, scenes from Jenin of “dead” victims falling off gurneys and then climbing back on — have merited the creation of a new film genre called “Palliwood.”

There is increasing evidence that the Kana sequel is another episode in this genre, a variety which might be called Hezbollywood. The Hezbollah have evidently learned their craft well.

The current suspension of Israeli military air activity is supposedly intended, among other things, to be used for the investigation of what really happened at Qana. It is to be hoped that there are real journalists on the scene, and unbiased medical examiners, who will have the courage and intelligence to sort out the anomalies and contradictions, and get to the buried truth of what happened.

I agree with that last bit completely. It seems that there are some serious discrepancies that need to be explained in order verify the accepted version of this story that is being disseminated around the world. Of course, it could very well be true that an air strike by Israel was the direct cause of the deaths of these civilians. But even so, what can not disputed is that these civilians would still be alive had Hezbollah not been firing rockets into Israel from this location in Qana.

(hat tip: AJ Strata)

UPDATE: EU Referendum has posted photos from Qana and argues that, “they have been staged for effect, exploiting the victims in an unwholesome manner. In so doing, they are no longer news photographs – they are propaganda. And, whoever said the camera cannot lie forgot that photographers can and do. Those lies have spread throughout the world by now and will be in this morning’s newspapers, accepted as real by the millions who view them.” Warning: these photos are very graphic.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Middle East, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Greg Tinti
About Greg Tinti
Greg started the blog The Political Pit Bull in August 2005. He was OTB's Breaking News Editor from June through August 2006 before deciding to return to his own blog. His blogging career eventually ended altogether. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University,


  1. DC Loser says:

    While you’re at it, was 9/11 a Jewish conspiracy? Discuss amongst yourselves.

  2. Greg Tinti says:

    All I’m saying is that given the well-documented and successful use of terrorist propaganda and the dubious facts surrounding the deaths of these civilians, this incident should be investigated to find out what really happened. Why do you have a problem with that?

  3. madmatt says:

    Will you be spinning for the idf full time now? Just like the US they have people denying they did anything wrong…like the bush admin, they are probably lying ude to increasing pressure from the civilized world…I can no longer include the US in that group.

  4. DC Loser says:

    Greg – I’m just a little upset by the propensity of both sides (Islamists, Israelis) to blame the other side for things their side have done. I don’t recall any incident that Arabs have staged any atrocities to cast the Israelis in bad light. Unfortunatlely, the Israelis have mostly obliged the Arabs in that regard and supplied ample ammunition for propaganda. Both sides don’t want to believe they are capable of doing these things, whether out of malice or overconfidence, and want to believe the other side contrived via a conspiracy to score propaganda victories. Sadly this item is just another reflection of that kneejerk reaction.

  5. DC Loser says:

    I won’t even dignify EU Referendum by clicking on the link. His vitriol is the type of denials one used to see in the Volkischer Beobachter.

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Madmatt, DC Loser let us remember how this started. Hezbollah, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in Israel and fired rockets into Israel. If you start a war, you should not bitch about what the other side does to you in executing that war. If the Israelis had the same attitude as the arabs (lower case no error) Israel would drive Lebanon into the sea, which it has the military might to do.

  7. Bill Faith says:

    Dirka dirka Mohammed Dura.

  8. Dave says:

    Kevin Sites via Hotzone is now reporting:

    First two paragraphs:

    “QANA, Lebanon – In the worst incident of civilian casualties in Lebanon since the beginning of
    Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah over two weeks ago, at least 25 people were killed early Sunday, including at least 19 children, when missiles struck a house where many were huddled in the basement, according to Red Cross and Lebanese army officials at the scene.

    Reports of the death toll varied, as is often the case with an event as chaotic as this. News agencies reported that more than 50 were killed, citing conflicting numbers from officials and eyewitnesses.”

    Third from last para:

    “Now villagers in Qana tell them there are only five people that are unaccounted for, not the 25 or 30 they originally thought. The excavation teams give up the dig at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday. A beautiful soft dusk falls over the surrounding hills and valleys, a sharp contrast to the death and destruction they have been knee-deep in for more than 12 hours.”

  9. Steve Verdon says:

    DC Loser,

    Well, I knew nothing of EU Referendum’s vitriol so I clicked the link and it was quite illuminating. It appears we have one guy appearing in lots of photos with inconsistent times. Something looks fishy here. Now maybe the Israeli’s did bomb the building and it collapsed killing many civilians, but at the same token there is a group of people who seem intent on using the dead children’s bodies as propaganda.

    By the way, need I remind you of the blind chicken and the corn thing? Broken clock’s being right twice a day? You get the idea I’m sure.

  10. DC Loser says:

    Steve – you never heard of Photoshop?

  11. Mark says:

    you never heard of Photoshop?

    By all means, explain to us how these photos have been altered.

  12. Of course, in the absence of facts seemingly instinctual biases and hatreds spring forth spontaneously from the chaos like the plague from miasma.

    Since people have lied with words before, I guess we better not use them anymore either.

  13. DC Loser says:

    Mark – and please tell me how this diminishes the fact that those are dead children in the photos? Does that guy in the pic diminish their death?

  14. Steve Verdon says:

    Mark – and please tell me how this diminishes the fact that those are dead children in the photos? Does that guy in the pic diminish their death?

    It doesn’t, and I don’t think anybody has claimed that.

    However, this still doesn’t justify that kind of propaganda.

    And by all means, please show us the evidence that the photos were photoshopped. Photoshopping pictures leaves evidence, so download those pictures, and start looking for it.

  15. Michael says:

    It sees to me that one would have to give Hezbollah a lot of credit to be able to pull of a conspiracy of this magnitude. I’m not so sure they could completely fabricate something like this and not have it noticed by experts.

    A quick conversion of 460 meters is roughly 500 yards. or the length of 5 football fields to put this in perspective. Why would Hezbollah choose a building that far from the nearest missle impact for this fabrication?

  16. DC Loser says:

    However, this still doesn’t justify that kind of propaganda.

    Justify that kind of propaganda? When someone gives you a lemon, you make lemonade. This is just like the “blame the victim” mentality that people on this site always rail about.

  17. Steve Verdon says:

    DC Loser,

    No it isn’t, that your emotionalism wont let you see the difference is your problem, not mine.

  18. Jim says:

    Its funny…people like DC Loser (although to be fair I don’t know if he advocates the following) insist that 911 and the intelligence used to justify the Iraq War be investigated again and again…but to do an investigation of Qana would be a wasted effort…hmmmmmmmm.

  19. Mark says:

    people like DC Loser (although to be fair I don’t know if he advocates the following) insist that 911 and the intelligence used to justify the Iraq War be investigated again and again…but to do an investigation of Qana would be a wasted effort…hmmmmmmmm.
    Posted by Jim

    Where did DC Loser say he was against an investigation?

  20. Ryan says:

    Aren’t we the merry little conspiracy theorists? As soon as a massacre happens, you guys are all over the words “propaganda” and “staged” like white on rice. Bombs kill people and collapse buildings, whatever “virtuous” republic they may come from. It’s unbelievable a bomb could strike very near a building and undermine its stability causing a collapse several hours later! God, I bet that has never happened before! Thanks for sharing the truthiness with me!

  21. Tano says:

    Oh geez, what the hell is happening to OTB? Do you really want to pich yourselves at the level of the most lunatic fringe of the right? Are you guys preparing for your role in the political opposition, with the intention of out-moonbatting the current opposition moonbats?

    Come back!

  22. Herb says:

    Does it not bewilder one to see the comments here from those who choose to believe terrorist over those who fight and die fighting terrorism. One ask why do some people think the terrorist are the “Most Truthful” people around and accuse those who fight to protect the lives of everyone, the bad guys. Make one wonder why, and what’s in it for them.

  23. Herb says:

    Have you ever notices that the naysayers and pro terrorist comments come from the “Accomplished Bush Haters” ?

  24. Derek says:

    That sure looks like a shiney new pacifier on an untouched blue plastic chain. Clipped onto a dead child removed from ton’s of rubble.



  25. jukeboxgrad says:

    Take a look at “Second Draft,” and Pallywood: “Pallywood is the name of a short 2005 documentary/video, produced by American historian and “pro-Israel leftist” Richard Landes, that asserts that Palestinian video journalists stage events in order to put Israel’s policies in an unfavorable light.”

  26. Jane Galt says:

    I’m neither a bush hater nor a terrorist sympathizer, but this seems awfully unlikely to me. For one thing, as someone pointed out, why not choose a building closer to the airstrike? For another, as someone else pointed out, the main issue is all the dead babies. It doesn’t really matter where they were killed, unless you’re suggesting that Hizbollah killed them themselves in order to stage the attack–unlikely both because terrorists don’t often target their own, particularly in the neighbourhood where the victims live.

    I’m no engineer, but having worked at the WTC disaster recovery site, I’ve suffered through a ridiculous number of theories advanced by non-engineers “proving” that the buildings were detonated by explosives because they didn’t fall like some tinkertoy model the author built. Exhibit A is always Building Seven, which didn’t collapse until hours after the plane hit. All the construction guys, demolition experts, and civil engineers I worked with patiently explained over and over that structural damage is not always visible, and does not require a direct impact, but their explanations were generally dismissed as naive.

    It seems much more likely to me that the building suffered structural damage during the Israeli saturation bombing, and then collapsed long after the occupants thought it was safe, than that Hamas somehow chose a random building safely away from the airstrikes, stuffed it with bodies that they somehow located and trucked through a war zone, and then detonated it. Why not just lead reporters to the morgue where all the bodies were?

  27. Ryan says:

    I also think it’s worth a mention that the source for these claims, the Israeli Insider, also features an articles which asserts the proper way to resolve the current conflict is an immediate attack on Iran. The website is full of propaganda and extremist thinking. . . come on, you guys are picking sources that are such easy targets . . .

  28. bains says:

    and furthermore, we know that Hezbullah always tells the truth, and Israel always lies…

    But it does seem funny that when we took out Zarqawi with a massive airstrike, he was still alive, yet errant missles that take down a building leave how many survivors? Interesting that I havent seen nor read any of those accounts. Too bad that someone not already committed to blaming Israel couldnt get in there and investigate.

  29. LJD says:

    The issue is not whether this was propaganda or not. If it is false, the arab world will still believe it and the damage is done. There is still the tragedy that women and children were killed, somewhere, somehow. But possibly the deeper tragedy for truth and justice is our willingness to report and believe in unsubstantiated claims.

    I first saw this story break with the cable news reporter claiming the victims were predominantly women and children. The video footage featured two men on stretchers, not a single woman or child. Perhaps that was telling.

    Where’s Anderson on this one? I was wondering about those WMDs…

  30. Anderson says:

    Where’s Anderson on this one?

    I’m afraid of violating the recently-revived civility policy, is all.

  31. LJD says:

    I thought the motto of the bleeding heart party was ‘Can’t we all just get along’?

    Or does that only apply to every one else BUT conservatives?

  32. Anderson says:

    I thought the motto of the bleeding heart party was ‘Can’t we all just get along’?

    What office did Rodney King run for on the Dem ticket? I don’t recall it.

    Or does that only apply to every one else BUT conservatives?

    Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue, as some Democrat once said.