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Did Israeli tanks carve a Star of David into Gaza soil?

Jan. 28, 2010 6:32 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 2, 2010 9:53 A.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Sometime between 3-10 January 2009, Israeli army vehicles carved a Star of David measuring 60 meters into the soil of the southern Gaza Strip, according to a UN report released over the summer.

The issue was raised by South African jurist Richard Goldstone during an appearance on Wednesday at Yale University.

A publication issued by the UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), published by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), includes an apparent satellite image of the symbol.

According to the UN report, "not only do the ground signatures include tank tracks across cultivated fields and paved roads, but also a Star of David measuring 60m in diameter carved into the soil likely by IDF vehicles. It is important to note that this pattern was created during the first week of the IDF ground incursion into Gaza, sometime between 3-10 January 2009."

An Israeli military spokesman had no immediate comment.

The report was issued on request from Goldstone's UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. Analysis of satellite imagery was requested in order to obtain factual information on the time at which certain buildings were damaged and quantitative assessments of the damage caused to certain types of facilities.

"For virtually all areas assessed in the imagery ... there was a significant percentage of observed damage possibly caused by IDF [Israel Defense Forces] ground activity," the report concludes.


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