Thomas Wictor

What if I’m wrong?

What if I’m wrong?

The making of my documentary about the Hamas deception that I call Operation Four Little Martyrs is turbulent. The Israeli editor—I’ll call this person “Acapulco”—is fighting me every step of the way. Acapulco keeps asking me, “What if you’re wrong?”

If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

So what?

I finally had to lay down the law in a way that I hate doing: This is my movie. I’m the writer and director, and I paid good money to have a film made the way I want made. Acapulco is remaining anonymous because of the controversial nature of my theory, so there’s not going to be any blowback for the person unless Acapulco blabs. I can keep secrets. Many Israelis have contacted me and told me things that I’ve verified. This is essentially classified information. Nobody broke any laws by telling me, but I could make a name for myself if I were interested in doing that.

But I’m not, so that’s why people tell me things. They help me get the truth out. Israeli sources confirm things very, very obliquely.

In the case of Operation Four Little Martyrs, some things can’t be argued, and others are supposition on my part.

“But what if you’re wrong?” Acapulco asked me for the tenth time.

Then I’m wrong! Big deal.

But who’s going to prove me wrong, and how will they do it?

The rushes I bought from all the Palestinian cameramen were supposed to be raw footage. That was the deal we made. Palestinians being prisoners of Hamas, the cameramen reneged on the deal. What I got was edited all to hell to try and conceal the sequence of events and the existence of the Hamas bomb-disposal expert who blew himself to pieces behind the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop.

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But I anticipated that the cameramen would try and trick me, so I used a little preemptive trick of my own. And it worked! I have one second of a blown-up Hamas bomb-disposal expert—not much of an expert after all—lying right where I figured he’d be. He’s an ex-expert.

“But what if you’re wrong?” Acapulco asked me. “What if that’s just debris?”

Here’s what I told Acapulco.

If a Hamas bomb expert accidentally blew himself up while trying to defuse a malfunctioning IED meant to simulate an Israeli missile strike, then all of Hamas’s actions make sense. If there was no IED and no Hamas bomb expert who accidentally blew himself up, how can you explain all this?

1. Three children were not on the beach when the reporters arrived. That automatically disproves the accusation that the IDF killed four boys on the beach. Why didn’t Hamas make sure that all four dead children were there in plain sight?

2. The ambulance that picked up Ismail Bakr parked as far away from the Hamas compound as possible. Twice, reporters walked through the place where Mohammed, Ahed, and Zakaria Bakr would later be found. That automatically proves that the boys were put on the beach later. Why did Hamas take that risk twice?

3. Paramedics parked in front of the al-Andalus Wedding Hall and Restaurant, ran down to the beach, ran back to their ambulance, and then parked at the corner of the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop. If it was an emergency, why did they park for so long?

4. Hamas operatives stood around on the beach and on the street, doing nothing for several minutes. Then they started running like maniacs. Why did they behave so irrationally?

5. Not a single unedited video of the recovery of Ahed and Zakaria Bakr’s bodies was released. Every video has a few seconds removed between the time Zakaria was put on the stretcher and Ahed was placed beside him.

6. After Ahed and Zakaria were carried to the ambulance by men running as fast as they could, the ambulance didn’t leave. It just sat there.

7. Inside the ambulance, Ahed and Zakaria’s bodies were in different positions than they were when they were carried to the vehicle. They weren’t jostled into different positions; they were moved by hand.

8. No closeup photos or videos were taken of the three dead boys lying together.

9. Tyler Hicks of the New York Times published photos of Zakaria and Mohammed and then of Ahed, but not of all three boys together.

It took me a year to figure out where the three dead boys were hidden.

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They were in this steel trash bin behind the Avenue Restaurant and Coffee Shop. That’s why there was no crater, even though a cameraman caught an explosion in the general area. The boys and the IED were in the trash bin. When the Israeli missile struck the shipping container in the Hamas compound, the bomber was supposed to wait a few seconds and then set off the IED, throwing the bodies of Mohammed, Ahed, and Zakaria into the sand. The reporters would come running up and find them.

But the IED didn’t go off. Hamas had to clear the beach of all journalists and send in the soon-to-be-ex bomb expert. Since they already had the three dead boys, the likely plan was to set off the IED and claim that the boys had been killed by an unexploded IDF aerial bomb. The bomber climbed into the bin, and the IED blew up, tearing off his arms and head. It injured his assistant, paralyzing him from the waist down.

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Tyler Hicks took that photo. In the rushes I bought, Hicks screams, “Other side! Other side!” before he takes the photo below.

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The man in tan stands there for less than two seconds. There’s an edit, and then Hicks screams at the tops of his lungs, “GET BACK! GET BACK!” He sounds insane with rage. The videographer was focusing on the corpse of Zakaria Bakr, so I have no idea who Hicks was screaming at, but then Hicks races from the left side of the screen to the right.

I think that’s when he ran over to the tent to photograph the wounded assistant bomber. The NBC News footage shows a man gesturing at Hicks (red arrow) to put down his camera.

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Here’s the man who confronted Hicks on the beach.

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The rushes show that Yellow Shirt was present at every scene—guiding, directing, and controlling. He’s in unbelievable physical shape, because he ran from one end of the beach to the other, yet he was never out of breath. One rush shows him in full flight, running as fast as a horse. He appears to have tried to prevent Tyler Hicks from taking photos, and Hicks seems to have screamed at him to get back. It’s one of the loudest screams I’ve ever heard on video.

Both Hicks (green arrow) and American photographer Heidi Levine (red arrow) ran back to the beach after Ahed and Zakaria were put in the ambulance.

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I wonder what else they photographed? Since they were accompanied by Hamas killers in black, my guess is that they took no more photos. Hamas had to get the exploded ex-bomb expert off the beach without risking someone taking pictures, so at some point they took Ahed and Zakaria on the stretcher back to the trash bin, loaded up the torso in body armor, and went back to the ambulance.

“But what if you’re wrong?” Acapulco keeps asking.

Then I’m wrong. It won’t be the first time. The thing is, I’m not afraid of being wrong.


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