7/18/2002 08:10:00 AM
by Ocean Guy
Thanks to Tal G for the link to this article explaining the possible origins of the fantasy "Massacre at Jenin." Ze'ev Schiff looks back to Jenin and gives us glimpse into the lies and denials that gave life to the rumors as well as the shortfalls in the Israeli bureaucracy that failed to present the truth when it was needed.
Many of these details came out during a conference held by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies on Israel's media strategies, with the Jenin episode used as an example. Lt. Col. Fuad Halhal of Shfaram told the most fascinating story, about serving as the Civil Administration officer in Jenin. Previously he had been in Tul Karm and Hebron. He illustrated his talk with photographs, including meetings with International Red Cross and Red Crescent representatives, who were surprised to see the pictures after they claimed the meetings never took place.
After 13 soldiers were killed in Jenin, there was indeed a tendency on the part of some soldiers to be quick on the trigger. Nonetheless, even during the combat and explosions there were efforts made to assist the civilian population, including supplying food, oxygen canisters and an Israeli generator to the Palestinian hospital, the transfer of 83 patients from that hospital to Israeli hospitals, sending technicians from the Jerusalem Electric Company to fix damaged lines in Jenin, repairs to the drinking water pipes, and repairs to a well that ceased to function. This was all documented, and sometimes photographed by Lt. Col. Halhal.