Israel Tampered With Video of Strike That Killed Two Palestinian Boys, Investigators Say

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A PAINSTAKING RECONSTRUCTION of a series of Israeli airstrikes that killed two Palestinian boys on the roof of a building in Gaza City this summer suggests that Israel’s military tampered with its own surveillance footage of the attack, possibly to conceal evidence that the children were visible to the drone pilots who carried out what were supposed to be nonlethal “warning strikes.”

The visual investigation of the July 14 killing of Luai Kahil and Amir al-Nimra, both 14, was carried out by Forensic Architecture, a research group based in London that works with communities affected by state violence (and has previously partnered with The Intercept), and B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group that documents Israel’s abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories it has controlled since 1967.

Forensic Architecture created a detailed visual timeline of the incident, which offers compelling evidence that a video report shared on Twitter by the Israel Defense Forces in the immediate aftermath of the attack distorted the sequence of strikes to give the false impression that the roof was unoccupied when the missile that killed the boys was fired.

Using open-source visual evidence — including a rooftop selfie taken by the boys shortly before the airstrike that killed them, timestamped security camera footage of the sequence of Israeli strikes, witness video of the mangled bodies of the two boys after they had been torn apart by shrapnel from what Israel described as the first in a series of four “warning strikes,” and a YouTube cooking video recorded by three children in a nearby kitchen during the attack — Forensic Architecture concluded that the Israeli army had misleadingly substituted footage of the third missile strike for what it described as the first impact, which had killed the boys.

 

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