Thomas Wictor

No documentary on the Bakr boys

No documentary on the Bakr boys

With regret, I have to announce that the documentary I had made on the Bakr boys will not be released. I’ve been trying for a year now. It’s time to move on.

I wanted a short film that would expose the murders of Ismail Bakr, Mohammed Bakr, Ahed Bakr, and Zakaria Bakr as part of a Hamas military deception (MILDEC) operation. For that reason I bought all the raw video from the Palestinian cameramen on the beach July 16, 2014. The cameramen edited the video, in violation of the agreement we made, but I was still able to find enough evidence to prove that the Bakr boys were killed by Hamas, not the IDF.

Pierre Rehov made a film called War Crimes in Gaza that was supposed to reveal that the Bakr boys were murdered in a Hamas MILDEC operation, but because of commercial considerations, it was left an open question. I was told that my views are too uncompromising, and that unless I have “experts” backing me up, nobody will believe me.

The reality is that with experts or not, most of the world would’ve reacted to my idea the way Max Blumenthal did.

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I investigated the killings of the Bakr boys for a full year. The reason I did so is that I knew immediately that the IDF hadn’t killed the boys. What we saw was theater for morons.

“ISRAELIS KILL FOUR LITTLE BOYS PLAYING SOCCER ON THE BEACH!”

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Nobody actually believes that.

On June 11, 2015, the Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) Corps released a statement taking responsibility for killing the Bakr boys. Now that my documentary won’t be released, I can talk freely about that statement.

1. It didn’t mention the gigantic explosion that took place in a shed below the terrace of the Adam Hotel.

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See the thick sheets of broken glass on the terrace walls?

NBC News captured the sound of the explosion while filming the beach from the al-Deira Hotel.

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The al-Deira is over 437 yards (400 meters) from the Adam Hotel, yet the explosion shook the window. However, you can see in the NBC News footage that the shipping container on the beach was not hit by any projectile. That explosion was an IED not addressed in the Israeli MAG Corps report.

2. The MAG Corps report said that figures were seen running into the shipping container in the Hamas naval compound. Well, the IDF had bombed the police post on the morning of July 10, 2014. The compound was full of debris. Nobody could’ve run into the shipping container because it was surrounded by rubble and large pieces of wreckage.

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I’m not saying the MAG Corps lied; I have no idea what videos they studied. Someone told me that he was trying to get me authorization to see the videos, but I refused. There’s no point. If I did see the videos, I’d have to sign a confidentiality agreement. Besides, I have my own eyes. Nobody ran into the steel container. Look at all that crap they would’ve had to stumble over.

3. The MAG Corps report said that a missile was fired as several figures left the compound, and it struck one group of runners. Well, there’s no crater anywhere on the beach, and nobody recovered any missile parts.

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The MAG Corps may have seen videos that showed IEDs going off, which investigators mistook for a missile strike. At any rate, there’s no physical evidence of a second missile strike.

As I said before, the Palestinian cameramen edited the “raw” video that they sold me. They did this to try and conceal what I was looking for, but I found it anyway. All four of the Bakr boys have round holes in them, which is the signature of the steel ball bearings that Hamas puts in its IEDs.

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Israeli missiles have fragmentation warheads that produce metal shards.

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Some missiles have what are called “fragmentation sleeves”—metal jackets that have been pre-scored by a laser.

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Fragmentation damage looks like this, even in humans.

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None of the four Bakr boys had injuries consistent with being killed by an Israeli missile. For example, they had virtually no trauma to their faces. An antipersonnel missile exploding in their midst would caused some facial injuries. It’s clear that they were mutilated with cutting instruments and blown up by a Hamas IED filled with ball bearings. Three of them exhibit livor mortis, purple discoloring in the lower parts of their bodies. This indicates that they’d been dead for hours.

WARNING: GRUESOME IMAGES OF DEAD CHILDREN.

Ismail Bakr.

Mohammed Bakr.

Ahed Bakr.

Zakaria Bakr.

One reason I’m relieved that the documentary won’t be released is that I got grief from Israelis who said that they wouldn’t watch it if it had footage of dead children. More ritualized, self-aggrandizing moral preening. I can’t imagine caring more about your own public image than the murders of four little boys.

The documentary won’t be released because the person making it—”Afik”—refused to follow my directions. Afik will remain anonymous, so all Afik had to do was make the film based on my script. However, Afik spent months cross-examining me about every single aspect of this MILDEC operation. I realize now that Afik never had any intention of making a good movie. It’s Stockholm Syndrome: Afik feels shallow guilt about Palestinians. The documentary Afik made is garbage.

Here’s the opening title card.

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Most of the photos are stretched to fit the screen.

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Afik refused to put this image in the movie.

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It shows the distance that Motasem-Muntaser Baker, Hamad Bakr, Younis Bakr, and Nasser Baker ran from the Hamas naval compound to the al-Deira Hotel. There’s a person on the beach close to the compound. You can barely see the figure, right?

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Yet Peter Beaumont of the Guardian and William Booth of the Washington Post said that from their position in the al-Deira, they could clearly tell that the people on the breakwater were young boys. However, Afik said that the figure wouldn’t show up, so we couldn’t use the photo. Though I insisted, the image wasn’t in the final cut.

There were computer-graphic maps made to explain Hamas’s actions. The sequence of events was entirely wrong, even though I explained everything twenty times. Also, the images look as though a seven-year-old made them with construction paper.

Without explanation, Afik removed this shot of a Palestinian hospital staffer (green arrow) who had just seen Ismail Bakr’s terribly mutilated body wheeled past him.

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Was I being mean to a man laughing about a murdered child? Or does Afik apply the Michael Shaw rationale and claim that people express grief differently? In reality that staffer felt horrible!

Hamas intended for an IED to simulate Israeli missile or naval fire. The bodies of Mohammed, Ahed, and Zakaria Bakr were hidden in a steel rubbish bin behind the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop.

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However, the IED failed to detonate. Hamas cleared the beach and sent a bomb expert to try and defuse the device. The explosion was captured on film.

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All the published footage except for one video has multiple edits between the collecting of Zakaria Bakr’s body and Ahed Bakr’s body. There are no clear images of all three dead boys together, and a Hamas operative in a white shirt stood over something in the grass as though keeping guard.

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The only explanation for all the weird behavior of Hamas that day is that the Hamas bomb expert blew himself up and was lying in the grass beside Ahed Bakr. Although the Palestinian cameramen edited the “raw” footage they sold me, they missed less than one second of video that shows the corpse of the bomb expert.

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He was wearing a commercial armored vest.

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Both the screen grabs were taken from the same film. There’s an edit between them, which would’ve allowed the Hamas operatives to move parts of the bomber out of frame. Essentially he’s just a torso. You can see in the top screen grab that it’s not a flat, empty vest. They used a very powerful IED, so the bomb expert lost his arms, head, and most of his lower body. The front of his vest must’ve been shredded.

Don’t bother arguing with me about this. The documentary is dead, so I don’t care what you think. Also, I spent months arguing with Afik. Though I paid Afik to make the documentary I wanted, the footage of the exploded bomber was not included, so the film won’t be released. My movie was sabotaged, and I wasted a lot of money. I’m being bombarded with messages from Afik, claiming that this is all my fault. Again, Afik is going to remain anonymous. There’s no reason for all this drama. It’s an Israeli thing.

I’m done with Operation Four Little Martyrs. I’ll add the photos of the dead bomber to the timeline, and then that’s the end. I really did want to make a film. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible. There’s something about Israel that makes people dangerously irrational.

That’s their problem, not mine. I’m sorry for the disappointment you’ll feel, but I’ve dedicated enough of my life to this. The Bakr boys are still being used as props; this time it’s an Israeli who’s doing it. I was completely unprepared for something so reprehensible.


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