UPDATE to The Red Cross Ambulance Incident:

The Human Rights Watch Report

A Point-by-Point Examination of the Document Titled "The 'Hoax' That Wasn't"

On December 19, 2006, the international advocacy organization Human Rights Watch issued a detailed, intensively researched report unequivocally affirming the factuality of an intentional Israeli attack on Red Cross ambulances at Qana on July 23. The report (titled "The 'Hoax' That Wasn't") by Human Rights Watch was created specifically to counter the claims made in my original essay titled "The Red Cross Ambulance Incident."

This commentary is a response to Human Rights Watch's new allegations.


If you are not already familiar with the claims and counter-claims concerning the July 23, 2006 "Red Cross Ambulance Incident" at Qana, Lebanon, then this article will likely make little sense to you. If you have not yet done so, first invest the time to read my original report that started this discussion:

The Red Cross Ambulance Incident, at zombietime.com.

Next, read the entirety of Human Rights Watch's rebuttal of that essay:

The "Hoax" That Wasn't: The July 23 Qana Ambulance Attack, by Human Rights Watch.

The story, in a very small nutshell, is this:

Various media outlets claimed that on July 23, 2006, Israel intentionally bombed two Red Cross ambulances in the village of Qana in Lebanon, piercing one of the vehicles right in the center of the red cross on its roof. I wrote an essay disputing the media's version of events, eventually concluding -- after examining all known evidence of the incident -- that there most likely had never been an attack at all. This essay received a great deal of notoriety, which prompted several media outlets to attempt to re-confirm the incident; in updates to my essay, I rebutted those new reports as well. After several months, Human Rights Watch has now issued what it deems to be a definitive re-affirmation that the July 23 incident actually occurred. This essay is a response to that new report.

My conclusion -- at which I did not arrive lightly -- is that Human Rights Watch, despite an elaborate investigation, failed to make a convincing case that the ambulances were indeed intentionally attacked by Israel.

But don't just take my word for it: read the analysis below and draw your own conclusions.


Above, you will find a link to the report by Human Rights Watch (hereafter HRW), so that you can read and assess it fully. I give that link despite the fact that HRW's report directly attacks me and my arguments, because for me not to present their side of the discussion would be unfair. But in its entire 24-page report, HRW never once gives a link to the very essay that they're attempting to rebut -- my original article. It's as if they are trying to make sure that none of their readers sees the full evidence. Why is that? HRW (and media outlets as well) should take the high road and present all the evidence from both sides of the argument (as I have done) so that readers can make fully informed judgments on their own. By hiding opposing viewpoints in this case, HRW may only be fueling the impression held by many that HRW -- despite all its good works in other arenas -- has grown biased against Israel.

Also, just to be clear: zombietime is a one-person website. I work alone, in my spare time, and receive no funding or support from any group, individual, or government. I have no connections of any kind to Israel. HRW, on the other hand, is a huge international organization with hundreds of employees and an annual budget of over $30 million. They devoted an immense amount of time, energy, money and manpower to this investigation. I do not have the resources, free time or political stature to go to Lebanon to inspect the scene on-site myself. All I can do is forensically analyze the evidence presented by others. This puts me at a disadvantage, which HRW points out repeatedly, dismissing my analysis as "armchair conjectures." If you, the reader, agree with this characterization, then you may as well stop reading now.

My continued questioning of the "official" version of the ambulance incident is not a result of my stubbornness, or of me digging in my heels. I'm merely trying to pursue the story by analyzing the evidence in front of me. As HRW has presented new evidence, I feel it merits a discussion. If that evidence had proven beyond any doubt that the attack had indeed happened, then I would not hesitate to concede the point and acknowledge the reality of the attack. Instead, I was surprised by the weakness and unevenness of HRW's seemingly exhaustive investigation, and in the interest of accuracy I felt several of their arguments needed dissection. Similarly, if Israel were to admit that they indeed had attacked the ambulances on purpose, then of course I would throw in the towel. But as of this writing, they haven't (despite some overstated recent headlines which are discussed at the end of this analysis).


The foundation of HRW's entire 24-page report is the portion concerning the actual purported attack itself and how it happened. The excerpts below contain the key passages:
As Chalan was closing the back door of ambulance 777, a missile most likely fired from an Israeli drone (not from an Israeli airplane or helicopter, as earlier reported) struck the rear of the roof of ambulance 777... .
The limited damage and the high precision of the strikes on the ambulances suggest that the weapon was a smaller type of missile fired from an Israeli drone or helicopter. Israel is in possession of an arsenal of highly precise missiles that can be fired from either helicopters or drones and are designed to limit the damage to their targets. The Israeli- designed and manufactured SPIKE anti-armor missile system and the still experimental DIME (dense inert metal explosive) missile are examples of smaller missiles designed to cause smaller explosions and limit collateral damage. Such missiles cause less powerful explosions than the previous generation of US-manufactured TOW and Hellfire missiles (often used by the IDF in assassination attempts against Palestinian militants in Gaza and the West Bank), which would have destroyed the ambulances completely. While the smaller missiles can be fired from either drones or helicopters, none of the witnesses reported hearing helicopters in the air before or during the attack, so it is most likely the missiles were fired from an Israeli drone.

HRW cannot conclusively state which missiles were used in the attack on the ambulances, because our researchers did not find diagnostic shrapnel or missile parts at the scene, and because of the experimental nature of some missiles used by the IDF. The DIME is a weapon with a casing designed to disintegrate in an effort to minimize collateral damage from its fragmentation. Regardless of the weapon used, the IDF certainly has the capability to attack vehicles with limited impact missiles designed to cause low collateral damage.
The missile traveled from the roof of ambulance 777 through the gurney on which Ahmed Fawaz was strapped, severing his leg, and then through the floor of the ambulance deep into the pavement of the road.
Israel has continuously advanced its drone-fired missiles, such as the STRIKE [sic: they mean "Spike," which was spelled correctly above. --ed.] missile and the still-experimental DIME missile, so that they are capable of limited damage to their targets.
Thus, in order to explain the physical evidence, HRW proposes the theory that one of three types of Israeli weapons caused the damage seen in the photographs:

- A Spike anti-armor missile; or
- A DIME (dense inert metal explosive) missile; or
- An as-yet unidentified mystery missile of unknown type.

Even a cursory examination shows that none of these options matches the evidence, and that HRW was misinformed as to the nature of the Spike and DIME missiles that they say must have caused the damage. Nor could any type of mystery missile explain the forensic evidence, as discussed below.

Let's look at all three of HRW's possible claims one by one.

When reading the following sections, always keep in mind the nature of the damage to the two Red Cross ambulances: no burning, no scorching, clean circular holes punched through metal, intact unsinged fabric, no surviving pieces of shrapnel, and so on; and that the people who are supposed to have been inches away from the impact-points of these missiles showed no burn injuries at all.


The Spike is a relatively small but very powerful anti-armor missile developed by the Israeli military to destroy enemy tanks. In a footnote, HRW gives this link to the GlobalSecurity.org's page about Spikes, which is fairly informative but which has no photographs of the missile itself or the damage it causes. Since such images are widely available, one can only assume that this was an intentional "oversight" on HRW's part. This picture above, taken from Israeli-Weapons.com, shows what a real Spike missile looks like.

This diagram from the EuroSpike site reveals that Spikes have not just one warhead, but two warheads, both of which detonate upon impact. (The odds of both warheads malfunctioning are practically nil.)

This is what happens when a Spike missile hits a tank. This photo was also taken from an Israeli-Weapons.com page that features several other Spike images. As you can see, Spike missiles contain high-powered explosives that detonate and erupt into a massive ball of flame when they strike their targets.

This page at the EuroSpike site features several videos showing Spikes in action. The three videos shown below were all taken from this page.

This video, available here on YouTube and here in its original high resolution format (14mb QuickTime movie) shows the launch, trajectory, impact and detonation of a Spike missile. Notice how the explosion at the end of the video (visible in the screenshot on the right, and in the previous photo above) is very powerful, with intense heat and flames. Yet as the evidence clearly shows, and by HRW's own admission, there was no fire and no significant explosion in or around the ambulances. In fact, HRW developed the Spike missile theory for the very purpose of explaining away the absence of any explosion evidence. Apparently HRW misunderstood the nature of Spike missiles, which are designed to destroy armored tanks, and which would obliterate a regular vehicle.

This screenshot is taken from the very end of this video showing the flight and impact of a Spike on a tank in a test-firing range. This image was snapped from quite a distance away, but the picture reveals that the resultant explosion engulfed the entire tank. If the ambulances had indeed been hit by Spike missiles, this video pretty much shows exactly what the attack would have been like -- yet the massive fireball and concussive impact of the missile proves that a Spike attack could not possibly account for the clean puncture holes and unburned interiors of the ambulances.

This screenshot comes from this 4.2mb QuickTime video montage of Spikes being launched in various test scenarios. Very briefly near the beginning is this short scene of a target apparently being destroyed by a Spike missile. It matches the size and strength of the explosions in the other videos, and adds further confirmation that Spikes are far too powerful to have caused the minimal damage to the ambulances.

The very final few frames of this 13mb Spike demonstration video also show what one can only assume is an explosion caused by a Spike missile (as the whole point of the video is to show the Spike's capabilities). Again, any non-armored vehicle would be obliterated by such an explosion.

The only possible conclusion that one can reach from all this evidence is that HRW's theory -- that a Spike missile caused the damage seen on the Red Cross ambulances -- is incorrect.

One minor last point (not that the Spike theory needs any further debunking): HRW insists that the weapon that struck the ambulance could not have come from a helicopter but rather must have come from a drone, yet as this photo shows, Spikes are fired from helicopters -- yet there is no evidence that Spikes have ever been launched from drones.


HRW alternatively proposes that Israel must have attacked the ambulances with DIME missiles, a controversial experimental type of weapon reportedly being developed by the United States and Israel.

DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) missiles are designed to destroy a relatively small area compared to that of conventional munitions. To achieve this, the warhead incorporates tungsten powder (as opposed to the more explosive aluminum powder) which, according to reports, creates a contained but intensely hot and powerful blast area. The warhead is held in a disposable carbon fiber casing that disintegrates into harmless filaments upon detonation. Despite the name, DIMEs are not "inert" as a whole; the moniker comes from the use of a type of metal filler (tungsten) that does not chemically accelerate the blast.

The weapon became a minor cause celebre in the summer of 2006 when a film crew for the Italian news network RAI accused Israel of using DIMEs on Palestinians during incursions into Gaza. Whether or not those accusations are true, descriptions of the supposed effects of a DIME blast reveal that it could not be the cause of the ambulance damage. From the RAI article above:
The weapon, according to the military magazine "Defence Tech", is called DIME which means "Dense Inert Metal Explosive". It is a carbon shell that when it goes off breaks into small splinters. At the same time, there is the explosion of a charge which shoots a blade of tungsten dust charged with energy which burns and destroys everything in the radius of four meters with a really precise slant.

This graphic -- produced by the Sydney Morning Herald and reproduced on the virulently anti-Israel site "Palestine Free Voice" -- confirms that a DIME blast incinerates everything within a 4-meter radius area (four meters is approximately 13 feet).

Israel has denied using DIMEs in battle:
"With regard to allegations of the use of Dime weaponry, the IDF denies the possession or use of such weapons," the military said in a statement.
The media has contributed to a baseless hysteria concerning DIME missiles, portraying them as some sort of nefarious Israeli super-weapon specifically crafted to torment people. In fact, the exact opposite is true: the whole motivation behind DIMEs was to design a "humane" weapon (to the extent that any weapon can be humane) that only affects the intended target, and minimizes collateral damage by eliminating shrapnel and creating a smaller but more intense blast area. If Israel was using DIME weapons, they ought to be praised for trying to protect civilians in a battle zone.

All of this is a moot point, however, because DIMEs could not possibly have caused the damage seen in the Red Cross ambulances.

This is one of the few known pictures of a DIME missile detonating. (The image comes from here, as part of this page, and can also be found here, as part of this page.) The 4-meter (13-foot) radius blast is plainly evident, as is the intense heat it produces. Now, viewing this picture, consider again the lightly damaged and unburned interiors of each of the Red Cross ambulances, as well as the other vehicles HRW says were hit by DIMEs. Could such an explosion have happened inside those vehicles? Obviously not. The fabric and upholstery inside all the damaged vehicles is fresh and not burned in the slightest, and could not have survived the white-hot conflagration produced by a DIME missile.

Here is another picture of a DIME detonation (found here, as part of this page). Though the scale of the explosion is not as apparent in this image, the wave of super-heated tungsten particles is clearly visible. As described in the various articles about DIMEs, this tungsten micro-shrapnel incinerates and seriously damages anything within the 4-meter radius of the blast, with the worst damage being closest to the point of explosion. Yet, as mentioned repeatedly, no such damage is visible on the insides of the ambulances. Fabric and other soft materials just inches from the purported missile's trajectory are not damaged at all. And the photographs of the roofs of the ambulances show that they were not hit from above by millions of tiny particles, but rather were dented inward by large objects. As DIMEs don't create any normal-sized shrapnel, A DIME explosion above the vehicles would not explain why the roofs are pockmarked with fairly large holes.

On a related note, this anti-Israel page about DIMEs features these photographs of what they purport are DIMEs in flight just before hitting their targets. However, they are not DIMEs at all: they are "small diameter bombs," and the photos were taken from this page about small diameter bombs (SDBs). Despite their name, SDBs are in fact very powerful munitions, and couldn't themselves possibly be the cause of the limited damage to the ambulances.

These screenshots are taken from a video showing a test-firing of an SDB. (You can see the video here, or here, or here.) In the left-hand photo the SDB is about to hit its target; and on the right is has just detonated. As you can see, the explosion is intense, and far exceeds the damage done to the ambulances. (As for the picture of the jet in the simulated aircraft bunker at the upper left, you can also see a video of what happens once the bomb hits here and here; the jet is completely destroyed.) Hence, "small diameter bombs" are ruled out as possibilities as well.

One more point which we'll explore further in the next section: HRW produced photos of a clean circular grapefruit-sized hole in the floor of one ambulance and in the pavement at the purported site of the attack. HRW claims these holes were likely created by DIME missiles; but as the descriptions above spell out very clearly, the entirety of the DIME missile disintegrates upon detonation, as even its carbon casing is rendered into microfibers. Hence, there is no part of a DIME that could have caused the holes shown in HRW's photos.

HRW may have been misled by the word "inert" in the DIME missile's title, thinking that it indicated an entirely inert hunk of metal that could have passed through the ambulance non-explosively. They were, however, mistaken, as DIMEs are highly explosive.

Lastly: DIMEs were created in response to media criticism of munitions that caused too much collateral damage, and were specifically designed to hit a highly particular military target without harming any surrounding civilians. What then would be the purpose of firing such a weapon at a random ambulance full of civilians in a deserted town square? If Israel was killing innocent people just for the irrational bloodthirsty joy of causing death, why use an experimental weapon designed to limit casualties? Why not just use a normal missile? It makes no sense, even within the biased viewpoint that Israel is killing innocents intentionally.

In conclusion, DIMEs could not possibly have been the cause of the damage to the ambulances. What then did do it?


After proposing the Spike and the DIME as the probable weapons used in the attack, HRW hedges its bets by stating that the attack might have been carried out by some kind of experimental Israeli mystery missile:
Human Rights Watch cannot conclusively state which missiles were used in the attack on the ambulances, because our researchers did not find diagnostic shrapnel or missile parts at the scene, and because of the experimental nature of some missiles used by the IDF.... Regardless of the weapon used, the IDF certainly has the capability to attack vehicles with limited impact missiles designed to cause low collateral damage....The missile traveled from the roof of ambulance 777 through the gurney on which Ahmed Fawaz was strapped, severing his leg, and then through the floor of the ambulance deep into the pavement of the road.
But this brings up an interesting question: considering what is purported to have happened, exactly what kind of projectile could have been the cause?

These are details of three photos supplied as evidence by HRW, showing the damage done by these putative missiles to the ambulance and the ground. One of the missiles passed through the center of the ventilation cover (on the left), punching a clean hole in it. The other missile passed through the floor of the other ambulance (second photo, showing the hole at the bottom), leaving the carpet unburned. And then both missiles ended their trajectories by entering the pavement (last photo), leaving perfectly circular holes in their wake.

What kind of projectiles could have caused this result? The answer: projectiles that don't explode. But which necessarily must have been aimed with extreme precision, since one purportedly struck the exact center of the red cross on the ambulance's roof.

The only type of projectile weapon that doesn't explode is a kinetic energy penetrator. In other words, an inactive, non-explosive piece of metal launched at a target with great velocity to cause damage using the projectile's inherent kinetic energy. Nothing else would explain how a "missile" could have passed through the entire ambulance and embedded itself into the ground without ever exploding, or creating shrapnel, or burning anything, or making a hole larger than a few inches across.

The most basic type of kinetic energy weapon is a cannonball, which is simply a metal sphere. A bullet, once it is has been fired, is also a kinetic energy weapon. But we can safely assume that Israel is not using cannonballs these days, nor could a single bullet have made such a hole in the pavement. Instead, we are looking for some kind of weapon that comes straight down from directly above, to match what would have to have been the perfect downward trajectory of the purported projectile.

One possibility would be inert bombs -- solid chunks of metal dropped from an aircraft. Pictured here, for example, are Lazy Dog darts (found here, as part of this page), a type of small non-explosive bomb (called a "dart" in military parlance) used by the US during the Korean War and the beginning of the Vietnam War. A slightly larger version of this type of dart might conceivably have caused the damage to the ambulances.

But there are three major problems with this theory. Firstly, and most importantly, darts such as these cannot be aimed precisely, nor in fact be aimed at all, as they are designed to be dropped at random in large numbers on enemy positions. Lazy Dog and similar darts have no guidance systems. Since one of the ambulances was purportedly struck in the exact center of the cross, one can only conclude that whatever struck it was aimed with extreme precision. Hence, it could not have been a "dumb bomb" such as this. Secondly, these types of bombs were banned by international treaty in the 1960s, and have not been manufactured since then. And lastly, there is no evidence, nor has anyone claimed, that Israel has developed such a weapon. In this era of high-tech weaponry, why would Israel be making a weapon that is essentially no more sophisticated than dropping rocks on your enemy?

There are, however, a few kinds of kinetic energy penetrators in the modern arsenal. The first and most common are anti-armor KEPs, such as the one shown here shedding its casing mid-flight. But these are almost always fired from ground level by tanks or artillery at great speed horizontally, to strike other armored targets on the battlefield. Because of their speed, they travel directly parallel to the ground, and do not arc downward, as would be necessary to explain the trajectory of the ambulance damage. Conceivably, similar projectiles could be fired from the largest cannons on a AC-130 gunship, and thereby be pointed at least somewhat downward (though not directly downward as would be necessary). However, Israel does not possess any AC-130 gunships; KEPs have no in-flight guidance systems to effect hyper-accurate targeting; and HRW insists that the missile was fired from a drone. So this possibly seems to evaporate as well.

So what could this "mystery missile" possibly be? HRW was unable to identify it, and after extensive research I was not able to identify any possible candidates either. LOSAT kinetic energy missiles are far too powerful and would have obliterated the ambulances.

Another serious flaw in any of these "mystery missile" scenarios -- in fact a serious problem with the entire purported attack as HRW proposes -- is that the roofs of the ambulances are scarred and pierced with a wide variety of holes, which could only have come, under HRW's theory, from the shrapnel of an exploding missile. Yet HRW produced several photos of a vent, a gurney, the floor and the pavement all pierced by a single intact projectile. If that is the case, then what caused all the roof damage -- and where is all the shrapnel that must have created it? By HRW's own admission they found no shrapnel of any kind either in the vehicles or at the scene. Something's obviously awry here -- the roof damage precludes the "single projectile hole" theory that is at the heart of the HRW scenario. Either a missile exploded, or it didn't explode. Can't have it both ways.

There are no known extant munitions that could have caused the damage seen on the ambulances. Until HRW or someone else can name a type of projectile that matches the evidence, then this remains the most intractible problem with the entire ambulance attack story. The forensic evidence does not support the theory that each ambulance was struck by a single missile.


This picture included in HRW's report has the following caption:
"The roof of ambulance 777, showing the entry and exit points of the missile. The location of the exit point of the missile corresponds with the missile impact location on the gurney mattress on which Ahmed Fawaz was located (see picture below)."

While HRW seems to think this photo helps to confirm their case, a careful examination of the scene's details only raises more difficult questions:

Why did the missile create a large hole in the roof yet only a tiny hole in the floor? Did it get smaller once inside the vehicle? It could not have decreased in velocity much, as the missile supposedly subsequently punched a deep hole in the solid pavement under the floor.

Why is the rug around the edges of the hole in the floor unburned -- even the part that hangs over into the hole? Missile impacts create intense heat.

Why are there irregular smaller holes in the roof that seem to have been caused by shrapnel or axe blows coming from above? Did the missile penetrate the roof, gurney, floor and pavement intact, as HRW seems to be claiming, or did it explode and fragment above the roof, as the irregular holes would seem to indicate? As stated above, it can't both explode and not explode.

Why is the hole in this roof (#777) so much larger and more irregular than the clean, small circular hole in the roof ventilation cover of ambulance #782 (the one that was hit in the center of the cross), if the missiles that struck each ambulance were identical?

The picture was taken too long after July 23 for the rust to be of any significance, but why is the red paint at the lower right peeling up? Presuming the ambulance was in good condition before the incident (and all pictures of functional Lebanese Red Cross ambulances show them to be in excellent condition), and that the photos were taken in mid-September as HRW reports, then the roof has only sat unattended for less than two months. Does the average car start to have its paint peel off after sitting outside for two months? Or could the ambulance have been sitting unattended for a longer period of time?


Several people who have seen the HRW report have already written to me concerning the peculiar appearance of the holes in the pavement.

These two images, provided by HRW in their report, show what are purported to be holes created by the "missiles" that caused the ambulance damage.

One correspondent wrote in to say,
Are they seriously claiming those holes in the road come from a missile strike? It's ridiculous. When missiles hit the ground, they create a large crater, not a pristine little hole. Where did all the missing material go? The soil, asphalt, rocks etc that formerly occupied the empty space of that hole didn't just disappear. They couldn't have been ejected because the hole is too narrow. If something had actually pierced the ground like that, the ground matter would have been squeezed sidways in all directions, creating a raised area around the hole. The asphalt should have buckled. But its totally flat in the picture. Also, there's no evidence of heat or burning, which should be around the edges. If anything, that picture proves that it couldn't have been a missile.
Another wrote,
I know a drilled hole when I see one. Someone took a cement drill with a dull blade and made those holes after the fact. Gimme a break.
And another:
There is no lifting or heaving of any sort at the site of the hole. Wouldn't an entering projectile, explosive or not, with enough force to puncture the tarmac expend enough energy underground to warp the pavement or at least raise the perimeter even slightly? (Drive a nail into plaster or drywall and see the surface raise up evenly around the nail). It's a road - that is, a road bed, with gravel and fill underneath, not empty air -not just a thin veneer of asphalt that can be punched through.
And another:
In the HRW report of December 2006, page 19, there are pictures of two men pointing to the missile craters in the road caused by the missiles that struck the ambulances. The distances of the craters from the kerb do not match the positions of the two ambulances as shown in the video replayed on the ITV News report.
Several correspondents also pointed out that, if the holes were made as claimed, then the missiles must still remain buried at the bottom of the holes, to this day. Why haven't they been dug out to provide incontrovertible proof of the attack?


In my original report, I discussed the injuries to the the driver, Qasim Chalan, and how he seemed to be wearing bandages to protect injuries to his head that were not apparent at all once the bandages were removed. HRW responded to that point with this statement:
While the gravest injuries the crew suffered were to their ear drums, they also sustained minor shrapnel injuries to the face, as verified by hospital records. Qasim Chalan, the ambulance driver pictured, suffered the most severe bleeding from his ears because he was standing right next to ambulance 777 when it was struck. The bandages were used to stem this internal bleeding (and a minor cut on his chin). The ear drum injuries were internal, and the minor cut of Chalan's chin could have healed within a week.
By "internal bleeding," one assumes that HRW means bleeding that originated deep within the ear, with the blood emerging to the outside. (Otherwise, there would be no reason to wear an exterior bandage to contain "internal bleeding" that was entirely internal.)

Yet look at the following pictures, which were presented in my original report:

This is Qasim Chalan (on the left) as he first rushed into the hospital immediately after the alleged attack. Look closely at his right ear (the one that was later bandaged and which was supposed to have been bleeding). Do you see any blood, fresh or dried, anywhere in or around the ear? I don't either.

This scene was taken the next day, and is a screen capture from a video that shows Chalan's head at an angle from which it is possible to see under the bandage over his ear. Again, is any blood visible, fresh or dried? No.

And the final question: if blood was coming out of his ear canal, why wasn't a wad of cotton or some other absorbent material placed into his ear, in the manner of an earplug? No such plug is visible in the second photo.

Of course, neither of these photos proves that Chalan was not bleeding from his ear, but as the only evidence available, they do cast serious doubt on HRW's version of events.


In my original analysis, a great deal of attention was paid to the rust that was visible on the ambulance roofs just one week after the purported attack. HRW dismisses all of this analysis with one short paragraph:
The claim that the damage to the ambulances must have occurred long before July 23 because of the appearance of rust on the ambulance in photographs taken a week after the attack is baseless. Coastal Lebanon is not a "dry climate...in the summer," as alleged, but is extremely humid -- as anyone present in Lebanon during the war can recount. The saline humidity of Lebanon's coast causes rapid rusting, especially on damaged metals such as shrapnel-torn roofs.
However, HRW's dismissal addresses none of the issues raised. If you refer again to the extensive three different sections on rust in my original report, I discuss in great detail the humidity of Lebanon, "dew point temperatures," precipitation, "flash rust," and so on, and after assessing a great deal of evidence arrived at a definite conclusion that most of the rust was much older than July 23, indicating that the damage to the ambulance roof happened at an earlier date. HRW's report addresses not a single one of these points, and simply re-states a "fact" (that the extensive dark rust appeared as a result of extreme humidity in just a few days) that has already been thoroughly debunked. Instead of rehashing all the rust evidence again, I refer readers to the three links given at the top of this paragraph, which show that the rust evidence remains extremely problematic for those who claim that the ambulances were damaged on July 23.


In my original essay I predicted various possible counter-arguments and gave pre-emptive answers to them. Interestingly, I foresaw exactly what HRW would claim in the future, and gave my answers four months ahead of time. Since I can't improve on what I wrote all the way back in August (before HRW even began its investigation), I'll just reprint it here verbatim:
Non-explosive missiles

A few commenters on blogs have asserted that Israel sometimes removes all explosives from small missiles, relying on the kinetic energy of the projectile's impact to do the damage to whatever vehicle is being targeted. The reason for this is to minimize "collateral damage" and not injure bystanders by making a precision strike no larger than it needs to be. If this is true, then it is theoretically possible that Israel did use a non-explosive missile to attack this ambulance, and fired it so precisely that it passed through the ventilation cover in the center of the roof and then continued right through the leg of a patient, the floor of the ambulance, and into the ground underneath without exploding. This would account for a few of the incongruities of this case. But not for most of them. The non-exploding missile theory still does not explain the rust on the roof, the reports of explosions and fires, the undamaged flanges of the siren hole, the shrapnel holes coming from the outside, the apparently undamaged floor, etc., and most importantly: If Israel really did target a random ambulance with no military value, apparently for the sole purpose of killing rescue workers and civilians, then why would it go to the trouble of using a humane hyper-precise attack designed to minimize injuries? It makes no sense.

G. Tikotzinsky, of the Al Hamatzav blog, has published an extremely incisive two-part refutation of the HRW report that merits close consideration, as it not only succinctly examines many of the same points raised in this essay, but points out several other flaws in HRW's report not discussed here. As G. Tikotzinsky writes,
Unfortunately, the current HRW document does nothing to dispel the doubts about the incident and HRW's initial reports. Instead, HRW has produced 25 pages of non-evidence and foggy speculation. ... In fact, the report is so rife with inconsistencies that it gives rise to more questions than originally existed. It is a pity that the HRW team in Lebanon went through so much trouble, only to produce such an incomplete report.
Click on these two links to read the two parts of the Al Hamatzav analysis:

Al Hamatzav blog: "HRW's Report on the Ambulances - More of the Same" (Part I)

Al Hamatzav blog: "The HRW Report - Part II"

Highly recommended.


This photo from HRW purports to show the entry and exit holes of the "missile" that struck ambulance #777. If we are to accept this as true, then the trajectory of the missile must have been almost directly straight down. It's not easy to determine exactly the angle of the strike, but it's obvious to the naked eye that the lower hole in the floor is approximately directly underneath the upper hole in the roof, within a few degrees. The second HRW photo above shows the same ambulance from a distance, and in that photo the upper and lower holes are both visible in relation to each other; again, the lower hole is pretty much directly under the upper hole.

Why is this significant? Because it is extremely unusual for a projectile to fall directly straight down on a target. As this commenter said on the Atlas Shrugs blog:
No aircraft, helicopter, or drone fires a missile from directly above a target. All targets for missiles are acquired and the missiles launched when the launching platform is in basically level flight. Therefore, the missiles strike the target from the side, not the top down. Only bombs have a trajectory that would cause a stike on the top rather than side of the vehicle. The HRW report fails a "smell test" on so many levels as to be ludicrous on its face. Basically it boils down to physical evidence that doesn't support the conclusions, and statements that don't match the capabilities and methods of employment of any known weapons systems.
But even bombs would not fall straight down if launched from a drone (as HRW alleges) or airplane or helicopter in motion; because dropped objects continue to travel forward as fast as the platform from which they were dropped, only a bomb dropped from something like a stationary blimp or a hovering helicopter would fall straight down, as the mysterious projectile alleged by HRW must have done.

The four rough sketches below were sent in by reader Keith H. to illustrate why it's practically impossible for a projectile that has been dropped or launched from any modern aircraft to strike something on the ground directly downward:

Here's the note that Keith H. sent with the sketches:
Unless the attacking aircraft was stationary overhead, the missile would still have a forward trajectory. A dropped object would have the same forward velocity of the aircraft when it began its downward descent. If the aircraft or drone was moving at 150 miles per hour and was relatively close to the ground, the object would be traveling forward at about the same speed when it hit the ambulance and the ground.

The object would also be angled in its trajectory since it would be fired or dropped well before the moving aircraft was directly over the target. The hole in the ground also should reflect the impact of an object moving horizontally as well as vertically. Shouldn't the asphalt be pried up on the leading edge of the impact and compressed on the trailing edge (assuming there was no explosion to destroy the pristine impact hole)? And shouldn't the hole be angled?

If the aircraft were flying very high the missile could lose some of its forward motion due to frictional air resistance. But dropping objects from an extreme altitude would not be accurate enough to perfectly hit an ambulance, let alone two ambulances. Thus the dropping theory is out and a guided missile would be required.

A propelled missile would certainly have an angled entry and forward motion. It would seem the only option to angled entry and forward motion of the object is dropping or firing it from a stationary aircraft directly overhead. This requires a hovering helicopter, not a drone as HRW says, as drones can't stop mid-flight. However, helicopters can not fire weapons directly downward, and must be fired at somewhat of an angle.

I have provided some sketches to clarify my point as it may be somewhat hard to visualize from just descriptions.
Theoretically, it is possible for a sophisticated guided missile to be launched from a distance, take an arched trajectory upward and then come nearly straight down on the target. However, such missiles always have an explosive warhead. To rig up an inert cannonball-style projectile with a hyper-precise guidance system would be pointless.

A reader writes in to say that certain kinds of sophisticated missiles can do a "pop-up" at the end of their flight paths, in which after a horizontal flight they then go upward and finally downward on top of a target; they are specifically designed to hit targets that are strong on the sides but weaker on the top (such as naval ships). However, such missiles are always extremely powerful and would have obliterated a small vehicle. Similarly, "loitering" kamikaze-style missile-drones can hover over a target area can theoretically hit a target from above; but such missile-drones leave a large amount of debris (wings, propellers, fuel tanks, and so on) that were not found in or around the ambulance site.

Thus, the photos supplied by HRW showing the "exit hole" directly underneath the "entry hole" in ambulance #777 only serves to undermine the believability of their theory.


Throughout their investigation, HRW seems to have awarded maximum credibility to anyone whose testimony supported HRW's thesis, and made no effort to pursue or acknowledge anything to the contrary. Israel has repeatedly said that during the Lebanon conflict it did not target and has never targeted ambulances carrying civilians, and has expressed complete ignorance of this supposed incident. Yet those claims are dismissed by HRW -- in fact, not even mentioned. And did HRW make any attempt to find people who might contradict the ambulance drivers' version of what happened? Did they ask residents of Qana if they saw anyone drilling holes in the street? Did they inspect other damaged vehicles in the area to see what type of rust they develop in one week's time? And so on? We don't know, but it's doubtful.

A great deal of the apparent persuasiveness of HRW's report comes from their use of presumptive language. Throughout their account, they use presumptive declarative statements to support their case. For example, at one point the report contains the sentence, "Both ambulances clearly show missile entry points on the roof". Wait a minute. Is that true? Both ambulances clearly show holes in the roof, but that's all we know. By presumptively but baselessly declaring the holes to be "missile entry points," HRW is committing a form of the "begging the question" logical fallacy in which one reaches a conclusion by presupposing the premise that leads to that conclusion. According to HRW, we know that missiles must have struck the ambulances because there are "missile entry points" in the roofs. Similar fallacies are found throughout the report.

Such credulity even affects the photographic evidence. Take these two photographs, for example, which seem at first to be among the most compelling bits of evidence produced by HRW:

According to HRW, these photographs show the remnants of the vent from the center of the red cross of ambulance #782, and the gurney from ambulance #777. If that is the case, then these photographs possibly present important evidence. But how do we really know where these ambulance parts came from? Nowhere in HRW's report does it say. All we have are HRW's presumptive assurances that they are the correct vent cover and gurney. How can they be so sure? Did someone dredge the parts up out of a junkyard and declare them to be from the ambulances at Qana? Who said this? Where? How can HRW be sure that the person was telling the truth? Again, we are forced to trust what HRW says, and they presumably trusted what some third party said. Is this a strong basis for an investigative report? No. Why didn't HRW give us more details about the origins of these artifacts? Possibly because the origins are murky?


The nonprofit group NGO Monitor has just issued a significant investigation documenting the anti-Israel bias of both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in their reporting on the Hezbollah-Israeli War in Lebanon. The report clearly shows how HRW relies on and believes any testimony by Lebanese opposed to Israel, while not investigating these witnesses' possible connections to Hezbollah or potentially partisan political motivations.

As mentioned above, the Wikipedia entry for HRW lists many of the charges of serious anti-Israel bias against the group, while Discover the Network also charts the institutional anti-Zionism that has emerged within HRW.

HRW does not name any of the authors of its report, but Peter Boukaert, the photographer for almost all of the pictures in the HRW report, stars in the anti-Israel film "Occupation 101," alongside people like Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, and other anti-Zionists. We might reasonably conclude from this that Boukaert has an anti-Israel political viewpoint. And since he is the just about the only HRW staffer mentioned by name in the report, the only evidence we have of the investigators' bias is that of one against Israel.


A new detail was revealed for the first time in the HRW report: that the purported attack happened directly in front of the "Qana Memorial." This in itself is very bizarre and raises many suspicions about the authenticity of the entire incident.

This photo from the HRW report has this caption:
"The location of the two missile impact craters outside the Qana memorial (visible in the background)."

What is the Qana Memorial?

In 1996 during an earlier conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, Israeli shelling (accidentally or on purpose, depending on whom you ask) killed approximately 100 civilians in a U.N. compound. While the details of that incident are themselves highly disputed, the "Qana Massacre," as it has come to be called, plays a large role in the national psyche of Lebanese Muslims, it being portrayed as a significant incident of martyrdom. The event is considered so significant that the Lebanese government even issued commemorative medals about it. A sign displayed at the site describes the incident as "The New Holocaust." The Qana Massacre is frequently cited as the epitome of Israeli villainy, in which they shelled civilians for no reason other than cruelty. A monument that was built on the site is now known as the "Qana Memorial."

It was directly in front of this highly symbolic memorial, almost exactly ten years after the original "Qana Massacre," that this new ambulance incident is supposed to have occurred. Coincidence? Possibly, but this too-perfect synchronicity of time and place may raise more doubts in some people's minds.

As I noted in my original essay, "Could it be that -- just maybe -- the ambulance drivers of Tyre decided to re-create a duplicate Israeli ambulance attack to mark the anniversary of the first one, in the exact same spot (Qana) where it had happened ten years earlier?"


As mentioned earlier in this essay and in my original essay, Israel has never admitted targeting or hitting the ambulances. In fact, it has frequently repeated the statement that it never targets ambulances on principle -- as would be expected.

But a recent headline in The Australian misled readers into thinking that Israel had confessed to targeting the ambulances: "Israel admits it may have hit ambulance." But a cursory reading of the article itself reveals that the headline was deceptive:
"We (IDF) certainly do not target ambulances but in a combat zone, we cannot always co-ordinate their safety," Captain Benjamin Rutland said. "It (the ambulance) could have been struck by our mortar or artillery.

"There was (Israeli army) shelling in the vicinity of the ambulance, but we do not have UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) footage and we don't have access to the ambulance so we cannot tell for sure."

He made the comments during an Israeli army-hosted inspection of the South Lebanon border given to a group of Australian reporters earlier this month.

While admitting the possibility of a tragic mistake, Captain Rutland cited several incidents during the recent Lebanon conflict in which Hezbollah fighters had stage-managed or misrepresented evidence of civilian casualties.
In other words, the IDF spokesman was saying that they do not know what happened to the ambulances or if anything happened at all; that they did not aim at them; but that in the absence of any knowledge about the supposed incident, he cannot rule out the possibility that the ambulances might have been hit by accident. Also, the fact that he refers to a single "ambulance" means that he knows little about the incident.

This "admission" only further confirms that Israel did not aim at the cross on the top of a Red Cross ambulance for the purpose of killing innocent civilians. And that's what the dispute over the Qana ambulance incident is all about: Did Israel intentionally hit the ambulances (as the media and HRW has claimed), or did they not?

(I should also point out the extreme unlikelihood of a misguided mortar round accidentally hitting the center of the cross at random; but I suppose anything is possible.)


Most of the remainder of HRW's evidence is verbal testimony from various people associated with the incident. While first-person testimony does have some evidentiary value, its trustworthiness is very difficult to assess. Throughout the HRW report, there are official-looking footnotes; but when one looks at the footnotes, most of the time they say "Human Rights Watch interview with so-and-so, Tyre, September 15," or something similar. In other words, their footnotes refer back to the people who are making the claim in the first place. This type of cyclical "proof" deflects all potential criticism, and becomes a tautology: "It is so, because we say it is so."

As a result, it becomes impossible for anyone to dispute or disprove many of the claims made, because they are self-referential -- there is no independent evidence against which to check them. Each reader must decide for him- or herself how much credibility to place on the claims of those who say they were associated with the incident.

Even so, this one aspect of HRW's investigation is admittedly the strongest part of their case: The more people who claim something happened, the more believable the claim becomes. When the ambulance story first appeared, it seemed as if there was just a small handful of ambulance personnel who were making the claims, with one in particular (Qasim Chalan) who seemed to be the source of almost all the information. This was potentially suspect, as one or a few people could easily conspire to concoct a tale. But the more people that testify to a particular fact, the more believable that fact becomes, even absent any physical evidence. HRW cites several different people who all supply at least some part of the story: ambulance drivers, hospital workers, passengers, and so on. If this incident did not happen as described (or if indeed there was never any incident at all), then at least a few of them have to be lying. But since I was not there at the interviews, I have no basis to accuse anyone in particular of dishonesty. Again, the self-confirming and self-contained testimony defies criticism.

But, as the analysis presented above (and the analysis in my original essay) shows, whenever there is any physical evidence to examine, it almost always contradicts the verbal claims made by those involved.

Another important point to consider when assessing the testimony:

There were no actual eyewitnesses to an "attack." No one saw any Israeli drone hovering overhead. No one saw or heard missiles descending or hitting the ambulances. No one has found any remnants of any ordnance or any shrapnel. No Israeli pilot or soldier has stepped forward to say "I pulled the trigger." Nothing. Even if you accept the premise that there was an "incident" of some kind involving ambulances at Qana on July 23, all anyone claims is that two loud explosions of some kind happened in or near the ambulances, that some kind of blast injured people in the vicinity, that a man lost part of his leg, and that there were various sizes and types of holes in the vehicles afterward. Even those who accept the reality of the incident do not know for sure what caused any of that to occur.


I'm not so bullheaded that I don't recognize the strong points of HRW's report. Despite serious problems with the forensic evidence and several other issues, certain aspects of HRW's report may indeed be persuasive to some readers. Because many of these strong points consist of stand-alone testimony from various individuals that therefore is immune from disputation, in the interest of full disclosure I'll provide here a run-down of all of HRW's points not discussed elsewhere on this page. In each instance, I will state HRW's version unchallenged, and only insert explanatory comments (in italics) where needed.

· Photos of two people who were injured in the ambulance.
Perhaps the strongest aspect of the entire report. But the mere existence of two injured people does not necessarily mean that they were injured by Israel, intentionally or not.

· The Red Cross office in Tibnine has documents showing the injured family was treated at the local hospital before being transferred to an ambulance.
But since HRW doesn't show us the documents, we have no basis to investigate this detail.

· The man who lost his leg did so in the other ambulance (#777), not #782, which is the one I and others analyzed earlier, so the absence of blood in #782 has no significance.
Fair enough. But since there were no decent photos of the interior of #777 prior to HRW's report, there was no way anyone could have known this fact. Even so, there doesn't appear to be any blood in #777 either, so the original analysis remains valid.

· HRW admits that they had earlier reported an untruth when they previously said the attack had come from an Israeli airplane.
This is the only instance in which HRW concedes a single point.

· The missiles were fired from an Israeli drone (unmanned aerial vehicle).
Since Israel reportedly keeps some of its drone technology top secret, there's no way to verify whether or not this is even technically possible. It's worthwhile to point out, however, that no drones currently listed in the Israeli arsenal are capable of firing missiles. Speculations that Israel used drones in 2006 to fire weapons in Gaza and Lebanon are as yet unconfirmed.

· A different vehicle elsewhere in Lebanon was also struck by identical missiles fired from an Israeli drone, and that vehicle exhibited damage similar to that of the ambulances -- proving that the Qana attack was not a unique incident.
This exact same argument could be used against HRW's theory as well. The photo of the other vehicle shows a van that HRW says was struck by two missiles directly on the roof, killing people inside; but the complete absence of any damage to the seats directly under the impact location only serves to raise suspicions that this incident is dubious as well, and creates the impression of a pattern of deception.

· A photograph from above of the hole in the roof of ambulance #777 and the hole in the vehicle's floor directly below.
Though HRW seems to think this photo helps to prove their case, it in fact only raises more questions, as discussed earlier in this essay.

· Testimony from various people in the ambulance that they hid in a nearby basement, along with a photo and reportage from HRW that they found discarded medical detritus still in the same basement two months later.

· Testimony from various people that the incident was reported to Red Cross higher-ups immediately afterward, along with reportage from HRW that they themselves saw the log books and notations.
We know that the incident created an immediate big stir in the Tyre Red Cross office (the injured people's arrival was even captured on film), so it is not surprising that the event was officially recorded and noted down at that time. It's not clear what point HRW is making with this information.

· Since Hezbollah's military wing is known in Arabic as the "Islamic Resistance," my earlier speculation that a Red Cross employee's reference to a Hezbollah member as a "resistance fighter" indicates his political bias is baseless, since everybody in Lebanon refers to Hezbollah as "the resistance," regardless of their political affiliation.

· Media reports about the incident were "sloppy," "exaggerated" and led to "confusion," but did not justify my speculations that the incident was a hoax.

· "The missile traveled from the roof of ambulance 777 through the gurney on which Ahmed Fawaz was strapped, severing his leg, and then through the floor of the ambulance deep into the pavement of the road."
This claim necessitates that the "missile" was a single non-explosive inert piece of metal -- a theory which is addressed extensively above.


One thing everyone can agree on: Human Rights Watch is to be commended for revisting the scene and attempting to verify some of the evidence, however successful they were in doing so. Their resulting report has had an interesting if unintended side effect: it contradicts many of the details reported by the world's leading media outlets. If one is to accept the HRW report at face value, then one is forced to concede how egregiously erroneous, incomplete and deceptive most previous media reports were. Refer to the summary of media reports at the beginning of my original ambulance essay to see how the Associated Press, Time Magazine, the Guardian, the Boston Globe, ITV News and many others got the facts of the case wrong.

Based on those error-filled and conflicting reports, a reasonable person would conclude that the attack never happened. HRW, by insisting that its version is the only true version, has helped to clarify the situation -- even if I feel that they did not convincingly prove their case. The silver lining of this entire dispute, no matter what side you come down on, is that it points to the emergence of a new standard of journalism; in order to retain any credibility, the media must provide substantial evidence and/or proof when making controversial claims. Until now, the media has relied on its own reputation, on decades of accrued organizational prestige and trustworthiness, to bolster any unverifiable statements they made -- as revealed in the old adage, "If it's in the newspaper, it must be true." But the media has in recent years begun to lose its credibility; in order to regain readers' trust, they need to carefully document and verify any news stories that are potentially disputable or are politically sensitive.


After assessing all the evidence -- including HRW's new evidence -- I'm still not convinced that there was even an attack at all. Yes, I realize that if the whole story is a hoax, then more than a few people must be lying or fabricating details, which is also problematic -- yet the forensic evidence in no way matches the sequence of events that HRW insists happened.

But even if there was some kind of violent incident involving the ambulances that produced casualties, there is no solid evidence whatsoever that it was an Israeli weapon that struck the ambulances. Yes, I realize that if it wasn't Israel, then there's no evidence that the destruction was caused by anyone else either. But there were no witnesses who saw Israeli craft; no shrapnel of an Israeli munition was ever found; nothing.

And even if you believe that the ambulances were struck by munitions, and that those munitions were Israeli, there's still no proof that the attack was intentional. For all anyone knows, the ambulances could have been hit by accident in the middle of a war zone; or that the vehicles were presumed to be carrying Hezbollah fighters, and were not recognized as ambulances until it was too late to call back whatever munition was fired.

And if, in the final analysis, you the reader think that Israel truly did hit the ambulances on purpose, then please accept that the erroneous and misleading accounts by contradictory news reports (prior to HRW's latest investigation) led a great many reasonable people -- including me -- to the honest and inescapable conclusion that the story seemed dubious at best.

Human Rights Watch concludes its report with this statement:
"Human Rights Watch trusts that, now that the truth has been demonstrated, these armchair deniers will devote their energy to pressing Israel to determine why this attack occurred, who was responsible, whether disciplinary or punitive measures are in order, and what steps can be taken to ensure that similar attacks are not repeated in the future."
I agree, but with one minor amendment: we don't press Israel about this incident, but Hezbollah, the Red Cross, and anyone else who might possibly shed light. Because, despite HRW's presumptive declaration of certitude, the truth has not yet "been demonstrated." And at this stage, it may never be.

I'm not blinded by ideology: if new and convincing evidence emerges that Israel intentionally attacked the ambulances at Qana, then I will change my opinion and accept that the attack happened. But so far, I see no such conclusive evidence. For me at least, Human Rights Watch's new report failed to make its case.


Here is a selection of emails to zombietime from people who have read the HRW report:

From: K. and S. Jaffar

There are many discrepancies in the HRW report, amongst which:

1. How did the missile enter the ambulance, shear off a man's leg, go through the floor of the ambulance into the road (into a beautiful round hole) without exploding, and then dematerialise? No shrapnel or bits of missile left to examine.
2. Why would Israel develop such a weapon? What would be the point?
3. If Israel truly developed a weapon designed to do such a thing, minimising collateral damage to such an extent, surely Israel should be congratulated, not condemned.
From: Mike B.

HRW tasked itself with ending speculation regarding what happened and wants the armchair detectives to press Israel for victims compensation based on their 24 page report. I think a lot of people would be happy to do so if they were convinced by this "end all" report. A couple of observations regarding the HRW report which leave me wanting in a report designed to erase all doubt:

1) Not a single picture of the "missile exit" on ambulance 782 was provided showing the path through the vehicle, damage to the floor, substantiating the claim that it penetrated into the ground.

2) Not a single picture of the stretcher on 777 that was pierced cutting off the mans leg.

3) A picture of a gurney mattress, patient side up, which is supposed to show evidence of a missile going through it after severing a mans leg. Then this man laid there for 1.5 hours according to his own account with no medical attention while his stump and his leg apparently did not soak the fibrous material with any amount of blood which would leave any discernable red stain? (cauterization is fine but 100% cauterization with no blood loss at all is laughable) Perhaps we would expect to find a stain like this one.

4) Speaking of that above link: This person is not mentioned in the HRW report but the caption here states that he was a rescuer in "both the 1996 and 2006 massacres." The odds of two ambulance attacks in the same city 10 years apart in front of the national memorial for the previous attack, AND the same Lebanese red cross employee? Man this is just amazing coincidence!

5) Two holes in the pavement which under the HRW theory could only be made by an object that is still stuck in the ground, yet nothing has ever been recovered? I mean if we are talking about Israel deliberately attacking wounded civilians lets dig up that evidence! Nope. Nothing.

6) I sure would have liked some measurements on those holes, how about how deep they go? At what angle?

7) HRW states that the all ambulance personnel were in their vehicles except the driver of 777, who was "closing the back door" of ambulance 777 when the right rear of 777 was hit. In effect putting him within 3 feet of this missile. The 782 ambulance which was behind him and to the right sustained enough force to blow the windshield inside the vehicle but this man who was standing in effect between that missile and that windshield had no injuries to his face?

8) The researchers did not find diagnostic shrapnel at the scene? Since there was apparently no explosion inside the vehicles causing massive fire damage there and with all the personal accounts of "so much shrapnel" there would be shrapnel embedded in every soft surface inside both vehicles. The seats, headliner, etc should all be full of this stuff. Yet there is no pictures of this provided or anything that could even be pointed to as a "fragment"?

9) HRW goes to great lengths to provide numerous examples of other incidents in which Israeli missiles "struck" vehicles but did not destroy them. Providing one such picture in which three people were killed but showing no damage to anything except the roof of the vehicle. I certainly would have liked to see more pictures of this vehicle and the other cited examples. If Israeli missiles hitting cars and leaving them virtually untouched is so common then I would love to have seen those examples in clear, high resolution pictures at many angles. When I look for pictures of cars hit by missiles I seem unable to find examples such as these. All the cars look like the examples cited in this zombietime report in which the car is severely charred throughout the inside.

10) The HRW report states that two workers and three patients were inside 777 when the first missile came through it. The Strike missile or the DIME missile would clearly have killed not only the man who lost his leg, but also his son laying inches away from his as well as likely all people who were inside the vehicle, including the red cross worker who by process of elimination must have been seated in the back of the van when the missile hit the van.

11) Directly targeting Red Cross ambulances would certainly be a war crime. But someone tell me if I am incorrect, impersonating a Red Cross vehicle while in a war zone is also a war crime? Isn't that what on several occasions muslim extremists have been caught doing? I am not suggesting Israel directly targeted this vehicle, but even if they did who took the gloves off and put the red cross people at risk by using their vehicles and also posing as civilians only to attack army targets? Not Israel. That honor is reserved for muslim extremists and the blood of civilians is on their hands for doing so.

12) In the middle of a war zone, created by muslim extremists who attacked Israel across a relatively peaceful border, and who hide among civilians, the loss of civilian life is unfortunate but it is a forgone conclusion in this scenario.

13) The idea that this region (religion) has an endless supply of people who are willing to strap on bombs and kill innocent women and children but the same region does not have people who would tell a lie regarding what happened is simply ludicrous. Personal accounts are nice, but please note that all interviewees "knew" the story had been challenged ahead of time and could easily have been supporting the story knowing that it hurts their archenemy, Israel. I prefer forensic evidence as there is no way this can lie.

14) Extremists have proven time and time again that to kill other muslims, even women and children, is OK just as long as it serves the larger purpose. Why is it not possible that certain extremists attacked that convoy in order to "serve the larger purpose"? The RPG theory seems to match the physical evidence closer than any other put forth thus far.

If you read zombietime it reads similar to a court room exhibit trying to prove why something did not happen one way, full of details and with a plausible explanation for all seemingly incriminating details. If the HRW report were presented in that same courtroom as the opposing viewpoint their side would be demolished because they leave more questions unanswered than they answer. Maybe this is explainable for a reporter who is under a time deadline but any attorney who with time and resources came up with this to prove their point would be chastised by the judge and their client would lose. This report is just a terrible effort, either intentionally or because of incompetence.
From: R. Maynard

One thought I had is that when, say, a bullet, impacts something it does two things. 1, slows down and 2, deforms. So if I shot three objects lined up, the first and third would look very different, due to the changing size of the projectile, and speed, which prolongs the the "penetration" stage. Round about way of saying, that it if this ambulance thing really did happen, it looks like it was from a missile shot out of the ground, because the bottom hole is smaller than the top hole! (Except for how the metal is bent downward on the roof, which makes the whole thing nonsensical.)
From: Richard V.

Regarding the "exaggerated bullet holes" hypothesis. Even if these ambulances were hit by an aircraft strafing them, how do the people making the claim explain that some of the bullets were powerful enough to rip holes through the roof and amputate legs, etc, but others apparently just dented and then bounced off the roof? And NOT ONE of the munitions seems to have been powerful enough to pierce both top and bottom of the vehicle (which would've set the fuel tank ablaze).

From: S. Jones

I don't see why zombietime should question that Israeli projectiles should punch clean cylindrical holes in the pavement without a surrounding bulge. Everyone knows that when Wile E. Coyote falls from a great height in his various attempts to catch the roadrunner, he punches a clean coyote-shaped hole in the ground. The material that was once in the hole always disappears completely. Wile E. then climbs out of the hole to go to a new roadrunner capturing scheme. It has always been that way. The doubters need only watch more cartoons.
From: JW

You might want to pick up a copy of "Introduction to Impact Engineering" by M.A. Macaulay (published by Chapman and Hall). It explains the mechanics of different impact scenarios and helps show the reality of what the physical evidence implies.

Case in point: The holes in the pavement. Estimating the diameter of these holes at approximately 65mm, with evidence of spalling around the perimeter, it would be entirely likely that a similar scabbing pattern is evident on the underside of the slab. This would indicate penetration at ballistic speed by a projectile of lesser diameter. If the penetration was made sub-ballistically, there would not be spalling and the underside scabbing would flow out at approximately a 45 degree angle through the balance of the slab. This would leave a considerable undermining of area around the hole. The van roof perforation was undoubtedly sub-ballistic, due to the discernible progression of deformation (bend, buckle, stretch, tear) of the metal.

Thus, an object would have had to enter the ambulance slowly (in relative terms) and speed up to penetrate the roadway -- which is impossible.

This shows that the holes in the road are unrelated to the ambulances.
From: david m.

there is one one possibility that may be responsible for the damage:

Is it possible that a rocky meteor broke up just above the ambulance? I know there should be a raised rim on the impacts to the ground, but if the subsurface is soft enough, the projectile would punch a clean hole through the hard pavement, I think.

Wasn't there a meteor shower going on at that time?

Photos of meteors going through people's roofs, couches, beds, are usually lacking in burn damage.
From: G.T.

By chance, I ran into one of the engineers involved in the Strike project. He said that the plasma ejected from a hollow charge could theoretically travel through the empty interior of the ambulance intact, exit, and make a small impact crater in the road. The problem is that the entry hole would be a small, neat circle of 7 cm. In other words, not the large square found on ambulance #777. Additionally, there would be missile junk lying around - empty parts of the casing, fins, electronics, etc.
From: Jason F.

As I was reading your very well written response about the HRW article, I came upon a point about whether a drone could fire a missile.

In this ynet news article, a video shows the IAF attacking a Hamas mortar position. In the article it explicitly states that the IAF has not confirmed that a drone was used. However from this video it looks to me that a drone is the most likely case, because why else would the terrorists keep shooting and not notice the noise? However considering Gaza's small size it could have been a drone targeting the area while a helicopter, jet, or even an MLRS position could have fired upon the area.

But let's just assume for the sake of argument that this was a drone that launched the missile at Hamas. It becomes fairly obvious that the drone pretty much wipes out everything, had created a large fireball, and created quite a large tower of smoke. So again claiming a drone doesn't help HRW's argument.

I just wanted to point out this article so that someone doesn't try to 'pull the rabbit out of the hat' and say they have found the end all to be all. The reason is that the best way to beat someone's argument is to pre-empt it.
From: Jörg

If there are two entry holes in the vehicles and two holes in the pavement there have to be two exit holes in the vehicles as well!
From: Y.T.

1. Who were the HRW team members, and what were their military and forensic qualifications?
2. Were the interviews conducted in English or in Arabic? Were there any interpreters or intermediaries present? If there were intermediaries, they are suspect. If the researchers were Arabic-speaking, they could also be biased.
3. What kind of known missile will leave an impact crater like that when it explodes in the tarmac? There must surely be some ordnance expert who can answer this question, for the craters are VERY unique. I've never seen anything like it. To me it looks as if they were drilled or dug.
From: H.

The "blast" damage on the "fake ambulance missile strike" is exactly reminiscent of "bored redneck kids shooting guns at roadsigns" including shotgun pellet patterns, and small caliber arms.

Some of the ambulance damage is old and rusted while the "missile strike" is fresh and new, perfectly cut and sanded.

"Fresh" bullet holes and shotgun blast on a road sign.

Small arms bullet holes on sign, rusted.

Shotgun pellet damage likely here.

Look familiar ?

As noted, this image of one of the ambulances shows that the damage in the lower 1/3 is fresh bent inward and composed of bullet holes (likely AK-47) and some kind of "frag damage" lower right, again bent inward possibly shotgun pellet damage.

Note the upper 2/3 is the same kind of damage, only rusted, which means this former ambulance has been used as junkyard target practice for some time.

Missile hole is too fresh too large and too perfect, and it looks like the interior furnishings were brought in fresh or "rehabbed" since it doesn't show the damage from the aged bullet holes.

As you noted of the interior, no "burn" damage from the blast -- dang the sheet looks nice and white on the gurney doesn't it?

The top of the ambulance shows that rednecks with guns in Lebanon shoot abandoned vehicles for fun too.

The inside of the ambulance says "Thanks for the free propaganda SUCKAS" all over it. As a friend noted: "Clearly this damage is from the new Israeli supersecret Rust Inducing/Double-Aught/Redneck Bomb (RIDAR), which they have been illegally testing on Palestinian ambulances." Correction, that should be "Hezbo Ambulances" or "Hezbo-ulance" for short.
From: Phil S.

Here's a potential discrepancy you may wish to address. This excerpt is from the HRW report: "but one of the Tyre ambulance crew, Muhammad Hasan, was hit with so much shrapnel to his helmet that he momentarily lost consciousness." And "Muhammad had received additional shrapnel wounds to his chest and head from the first attack on the ambulance." Shrapnel? What shrapnel? HRW also said this: "Human Rights Watch cannot conclusively state which missiles were used in the attack on the ambulances, because our researchers did not find diagnostic shrapnel or missile parts at the scene."
From: Justin B.

Subject: Hospital notes

The next step is that they will produce some paper documents (if they want it to look official they will of course produce them electronically) that show the hospital records. I work in an American Emergency Room that is fully computerized, and yet the records of an admission including diagrams of injuries are still largely written by hand, and by date and content are only as good as when they are actually received by someone outside the hospital. This deception is not something that I have ever witnessed here, but could very easily be accomplished with sympathetic hospital staff. My suspicion is that the hospitals in Tyre are nowhere near computerized, and producing documents that say nearly anything will take roughly 30 minutes. The only thing in this entire report that would be difficult to forge would be phone records, and those don't say what the content of the calls were.

The forensic evidence is beyond flimsy, as you have pointed out. Just know that faked hospital records will likely be the next step.
From: Mark B.

Just wanted to offer a few comments (not specifically on *your* analysis -- but on some info some others have postulated and that appear on your site and in your rebuttal to the HRW assessment).

- "Commonly used weapons would never strike the vehicle from a perfectly vertical trajectory."

It's a safe generalization to say that MOST weapons would not strike with a vertical trajectory, it is not safe to assume this is an impossibility. There are a good number of guided munitions designed specifically to strike on a dead-vertical trajectory. There are weapons that can be launched from helicopters, fast-attack fixed wing aircraft and drones that hit the target from directly overhead. Drones routinely operate and attack from altitudes between 25,000 and 35,000 MSL (to remain out of audible range while patrolling). A vertical attack profile is preferred in most instances because vehicle armor is typically most-vulnerable from that aspect. If I were using a strictly kinetic weapon (perhaps a conventional weapon with the HE components removed?) that is exactly how I would want to strike the target. Of course, I'm not even suggesting that's what actually occurred -- but I wouldn't give much credence to the "too vertical to be real" argument.

- "The rust on the vehicle is obviously more than a few days old. The shown damage could not have taken place in the alleged time-frame."

I agree that there is a lot of rust on the top of the vehicle that is, inarguably, too old to have formed in the period between the alleged attack and the time the photographs were taken. I've done a heck of a lot of automotive sheet metal work (restoring cars as a hobby). The rust is absolutely old damage that has been exposed to the elements for a long time.

That said, when looking at the 1.4Mb image that you've made available... I can't help but notice that most of the patches of old rust also have spots of clean, bare metal where it looks like the old rust was knocked off by spall or shrapnel. These spots of clean metal all appear to radiate out from a central point (as does the powdery-looking light blue discoloration on the roof, which also seems concentric to the spots of bare metal). I wonder what could have caused this damage and discoloration radiating out from a central point.

Honestly, to me it looks like the vehicle has been damaged by at least two events. The old, rusty damage all looks like the vehicle was hit by spall or shrapnel from a distant source (with a low angle-of-incidence) and a later impact that knocked chunks of the old rust away, with a much clearer point-of-origin.

I haven't read any speculation to date as to why these patches of old rust show more recent damage within them.

There is clearly rust of different ages on this vehicle. Take a look at the "clean" ring of sheet metal around the bottom of the missing roof vent (with "old" rust around the screw holes where, presumably, water incursion had caused corrosion over time).

- "There is no blood on the gurney. A patient who lost a leg should have bled-out all over the place."

This one is a tough call. I worked several years as volunteer EMT and I've seen several, relatively "bloodless" amputations before. When a limb is severed (cleanly), the blood vessels can initially retract into the limb and pinch themselves off -- with remarkably little blood loss. Over time, the vessels DO dilate again and bleed profusely though. I agree that this is still suspicious though -- I wouldn't expect a kinetic strike from above to cleanly sever a limb. I'd expect it to produce a pretty nasty crushing injury that would bleed like a stuck pig.

Overall, I agree that the bulk of the evidence points to this alleged missile attack being BS. Hell, the HRW folks manage to hang themselves with their own petard when they state that there was no recoverable evidence of even a shred of the supposed munition. Even an idiot could surmise that some portion of the weapon could be dug out of the hole in the pavement. Where did that go? Was the ambulance attacked with an air-dropped icicle? Did the entire weapon evaporate on impact? Feh.

In short, bravo for your detailed analysis of this ham-fisted propaganda. I still think there are a few, odd, as-yet explained things seen in the photos -- but these hardly support the claims of the "victims" of this alleged attack.
From: Steven D.

Looking at the evidence, I have another theory. I do not know if it is right or wrong, but I wanted to share it with you.

The ambulances might have been showered by the debris of a defective missile that exploded in mid-air. That missile would most likely be from Hezbollah. Their missiles were smaller and more primitive. They were more likely to go off course or explode before they hit their mark.

Nothing exploded in the ambulances because it had already exploded above the ambulances.

What went through the vehicles were shrapnel.

The small holes and dents in the roof were created by the shower of shrapnel.

If a missile were launched nearby and went straight up in the air its pieces would come down almost vertically. Also, the irregularly shaped pieces would have more air resistance. Even if the missile had a forward trajectory, the shrapnel would be slowed down and come down at a much sharper angle.

As I said, it is just a theory, but I thought you might be interested.
From: W. Sullivan

The new images of the ambulance damage and holes in the pavement do seem to defy explanation as to their cause. But there might be one munition that may fit nicely.

To summarize --

Ambulance roof:

- Hole in dead center, appears to have "discernible progression of deformation (bend, buckle, stretch, tear) of the metal"; appears roughly head-sized.
- Shrapnel damage surrounding center hole which, due to the angle and radial nature, appears to come from an explosion above the hole.
- Downward denting of the roof.
- Smoke/burn marks caused by an explosive or propellant, again showing a radial distribution similar to shrapnel damage.

Interior of ambulance:

- Interior roof shredded by shrapnel.
- Evidence of increased temperatures/pressures in ambulance shows that they were present but not extreme (some charring but no fires; doors not blown open).
- Evidence of a fist-sized penetration through gurney and floor of ambulance.
- Path of damage appears roughly (within 10-15 degrees?) vertical.
- Gurney pad shows evidence of a fist-size penetration traveling at great speed (evident in star-shaped tear and loss of material from exit area).
- Shrapnel and heat/gas from the explosion was not severe enough to kill the occupants of the ambulance.

Road damage:

- Fist-sized hole in the pavement.
- Spalling around edges of hole.
- No evidence of explosion underneath roadway/no upheaval of road surface.
- The hole appears even all the way around, which would suggest that the cause of the hole traveled through the pavement roughly (within 10-15 degrees?) vertically.

Adding all of these up, and assuming that none of it was faked or tampered with, we can say of the event that caused the damage:

1. An explosive projectile was fired at the ambulance.
2. The projectile was relatively small, due to the fact that the ambulance was not destroyed.
3. The projectile was traveling nearly perpendicular to the ground when it impacted the ambulance.
4. The projectile exploded above the ambulance.
5. Something emerged from the explosion that was dense, solid and at a speed analogous with that of a bullet.
6. This something penetrated the ambulance from roof to ground, severing a leg and puncturing a gurney on its way through.
7. The explosion scalded the roof, dented it in and resulted in smaller shrapnel damage.
8. The explosive force acted upon damage caused by the penetrator, bending and tearing at the entrance hole and causing the metal at the edges to tear and bend in, enlarging it.
9. Gas from the explosion entered the body of the ambulance, but not enough to set it on fire or to destroy it or kill its occupants.

From this series of events, I would suggest that the weapon used was a high explosive anti-tank RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) round. The HEAT RPG round is designed to explode outside of the intended target, using the force of the explosion not to create shrapnel but to create a molten metal "penetrator" designed to slice through armor. Once fired, the warhead travels until the fuse contained in its nose comes in contact with the target. Upon striking the target, the shaped charge of the warhead detonates, which deforms a metal (copper, steel or other) "cone" into the aforementioned penetrator. The body of the RPG round is fragmented, but it is not designed specifically to cause damage this way. I believe that this picture shows a spent RPG round penetrator (in hand -- roughly fist-sized and flattened out) after being defeated by a countermeasure. The countermeasure is designed to cause the RPG to detonate further away from the vehicle, thus making the round ineffective. More interestingly, check out this page and view the damage to an Abrams tank caused by a RPG round. The penetrator has been successful in this instance. Note that the gasses that entered the tank were not enough to kill or severely hurt the crew. Also note the radial shrapnel damage and the smoke/burn marks caused by the warhead detonating. The Abrams fared better, of course, because of its armored nature. But you can compare the fingerprint of the explosion on the exterior of the tank to that on the roof of the ambulance. They appear very similar. I haven't been able to find any pics of non-armored vehicles hit by RPG rounds; perhaps you might have better luck.

Assuming my theory is correct, we can derive a few corollaries. First, because of the nature of RPG platforms, we can safely assume the attackers of the ambulance (possibly both, if the damage to both is the same) were not drones or other aircraft but individuals on foot stationed above the vehicles. These individuals would have had to have been on buildings or some other structure very close to the location where the vehicles were damaged. This therefore indicates that the attackers were Lebanese. Also, due to the difficulty in striking a moving vehicle with an unguided round from a position perpendicular to the line of travel, it would suggest that the vehicles were in fact not moving at the time they were struck. These two facts would indicate that it was a setup; that ambulances were selected for destruction, placed in a location of symbolic relevance, struck with RPG rounds, and then stories appropriate to the resulting damage were constructed for use in propaganda.

The events would have had to have transpired like this:

1. Two ambulances are selected to be destroyed for propaganda purposes.
2. They are placed outside of the Qana Memorial for increased propaganda value.
3. One or more men with RPG launchers armed with HEAT warheads head to the roof of nearby buildings, to simulate an air attack against the ambulances.
4. The men fire one round into each ambulance.
5. Stories are concocted that roughly match the damage to the ambulances.
6. Additional damage may be caused to the ambulances to sweeten the pot.
7. Willing participants in the fraud are used as supposed occupants; their real injuries caused in other areas of the Lebanese conflict.
8. Gullible western media outlets are brought in to spread the propaganda.

This seems the most likely scenario. There are, of course, alternatives. The ambulances may have been ambushed, their occupants truly suffering their injuries in the attacks. Alternatively, the ambulances may have been struck accidentally by ordanance fired in the air at some other location; this seems the most unlikely alternative.

Anyhow, that's my musings on the whole mess.
From: Trevor C.

After having read your fascinating article, I would like to point out that the Spike missile has a tandem warhead. The Eurospike web site notes in this pdf file that "The tandem warhead system ensures penetration of the most highly developed armour." This would suggest, even though it doesn't say specifically, that it can defeat targets equipped with reactive armour. The image on your site clearly shows that the second warhead is a shaped charge type. The damage to the roof and floor of the ambulance would seem to be consistent with the precursor warhead detonating, causing the large hole, then the second warhead, which may have been a shaped charge or explosively formed penetrator (EFP) detonating, releasing a narrow stream of superheated liquid metal or a "slug" (in the case of a EFP) which punched a hole through the floor of the ambulance and subsequently into the pavement below. It is conceivable that a "slug" would not have caused a significant fire, hence the intact carpet.
From: Cpl Alexander J.

1. In my experience, Kinetic Energy Projectiles (KEP's) create enormous heat. Designed to MINIMIZE collateral damage is not saying that they do not create damage at all. Consider: The APFSDS-T (Armor Penetrating Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot-Tracer) Round that is fired from the 120mm smooth-bore cannon on an M1A1 (or A2) Abrams Main Battle Tank (round pictured above by zombie) devastates its target by penetrating one side, creating massive overpressure, heat, and fragmentation inside the object, then penetrates the opposite side with the effect of brutally forcing everything that was once inside the object out of it through a hole the diameter of a large man's thumb. Believe me, this is invariably lethal and quite ugly.

2. Such a proposed weapon (KEP, concrete warhead, etc.) still has fuel inside of it. I can assure you that such a substance burns even after the weapon's arrival at it's "terminal destination". It does so at temperatures that liquefy common metals and alloys. If the "victims" heard the drone, the range was at a minimum. It would still have fuel, and plenty of it. Again, a strong assurance of lethality.

3. ALL guided munitions (and most unguided as well) have minimum safe distances designed to protect the actuator and, more importantly, to allow the device to ARM and ORIENT itself. This does not disprove the assertion that they heard anything, but it invites further doubt.

4. Why, oh why, would any military waste what must be at least a US$250,000 (very conservative estimate, as the shoulder-fired Javelin costs US$500,000) missile on an ambulance? No one reported to be inside it was of any political or strategic importance, and Israel has a long standing policy of announcing successful hits on High Value Targets if the hoax was a cover up. If suspected of harboring terrorists, they would use a much more reliable and "collateral-friendly" burst of fire from a machine gun. Even more realistically, they would follow them to their destination, and arrest them for questioning, or simply observe them for further intelligence.

You can research for yourself Israel's full line of tactical capabilities on www.globalsecurities.org Click military, countries, then Israel.

I've seen smaller munitions up close and personal that do substantially more damage than displayed in this obvious ruse.
The following analysis was posted as a comment by Ray P. on this Citizen Media Watch post, which (despite a few typos reversing the ambulance numbers and one or two other minor confusing points) makes several good arguments:
I was quite disappointed with the new HRW report. They took no samples from the inside of the two holes they discovered where the missiles supposedly entered the pavement beneath the 2 ambulances. These are holes that were not presented as evidence before for some reason - leaving the distinct possibility they were created recently.

They showed no shrapnel from the insides of the 2 ambulances that they had access to whereas the roofs of both ambulances show hundreds of holes where shrapnel (or some sharp instrument) apparently entered the vehicle roofs.

It defies belief that a missile could cut off a man's leg just below the crotch and leave no blood on the gurney - or that he would not die of shock within a short time from the injury. Yet he claims he was in and out of sleep / unconsciousness and/or awake for app. 1.5 hours waiting for another ambulance to come after the attack. There are just too many bizarre unexplained events here that HRW made no attempt to explain.

The point you made is good. This is not HRW's first article as Zuckerman carelessly implies. Their first article condemned the IDF a few days of the attack. IMO this is their clumsy attempt to reclaim some of the donors they must have lost for supporting such an obvious hoax last July. They don't even identify their investigator(s) or describe that person's forensic credentials.

The provide a few new photos to support their view but even those are confusing and ambiguous in many cases. Their photo of the hole the missile supposedly made in the roof of ambulance #777 has been cropped to hide a much larger hole next to it that appears on a more distant view of the two ambulances in the lot. Both holes are much larger than the app. 4 3 holes in the pavement and the gurney.

Their diagram shows the two ambulances virtually touching (left-front of #777 touching right-rear of #782) yet contemporaneous photos and a home video taken shortly after the event all show the two vehicles separated by about 6-8 feet. (HRW claims that closeness explains the inblown windshield on #777.)

Nor do they explain how a missile exploding inside #782 could blow in the windshield of #777 without doing serious damage to the interior of #782 - which shows no burn marks of any kind.

Re: DIME - These are missiles with carbon fiber housings that disintegrate on detonation to create no shrapnel and therefore no collateral damage - only a high pressure blast wave to kill within a short radius. Why then are the roofs of both vehicles full of shrapnel holes?

I'm afraid this will tarnish their reputation even more than it has been already. Any reluctance by the public to revisit the event will accrue to HRW's benefit as any close examination of their report will reveal that it is far from a believable rebunking of the episode.


The satirical "organization" Democratic Humanist Institute for Multicultural Internationalism (DHIMI) issued a very humorous yet incisive parody of the HRW report titled "Official Report on the July 23, 2006 Attack on Red Cross Ambulances 777 and 782." With tongue planted firmly in cheek, and using the same techniques and style as HRW, they come to the inescapable conclusion that the damage was caused either by meteorites, hail, golems, sasquatches, or Jewish-looking sorcerors. The Jawa Report blogged about it, and offered a pdf download of the full DHIMI report here. If that one becomes unavailable, you can also right-click (Windows) or control-click (Mac) to download the same pdf here.

Could the damage have been caused by . . . ice from the sky?

Comments from medical experts wondering why the man with the missing leg didn't bleed to death during his ordeal can be found at the end of this Michelle Malkin post.

If you have more evidence about the ambulance incident discussed on this page, above and beyond what is presented here, or if you have comments or corrections, send an email to zombietime here.

(Click here to return to the main zombietime page.)