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Friday, May 3, 2002
Israel screens fake Palestinian funeral for reporters

Israel screens fake Palestinian funeral for reporters

Main Points of Briefing given by Colonel Miri Eizen about phoney Jenin
funeral and situation in Bethlehem and Jenin

IDF Spokesperson 2 May 2002
[Pictures at http://www.idf.il/english/news/funeral.stm ]

Today, 2.5.02, the IDF is exposing for the first time footage filmed from
above, and in it, an on-film testimony of the Palestinian's preparations for
UN committee's visit to Jenin. In this segment, you see a staged funeral
that the Palestinians organized in order to increase the number of the
Palestinians killed in Jenin. This footage was filmed three days ago, on
April 28, 2002 at around 19:00 and it is very clear and easy to see that the
body has apparently "resurrected" and that the whole funeral is actually one
big charade.

During the past 24 hours there were few fire exchanges around the area of
the Church of Nativity. In is important to point out that fire exchanges
were not aimed towards the church itself, but only to the area close to it.
Until toady, 80 people have left the church alive, among them people of the
clergy, children, civilians, a small number of wanted suspects and five
bodies of wanted suspects. We do not have an accurate number of how many
people are still inside the church, but our estimate is that there are
several dozens. In addition, last night at midnight, a fire broke out in the
northern tower in the area of the church. We believe that the ones
responsible for setting the fire were the Palestinians. In recent weeks the
Palestinians have twice set fire to the same tower, because the tower serves
as very high viewpoint that is easy to photograph from a far away distance,
but we are still checking the possibility of the fire was started by one of
our own light-bombs.
In any event, we do not wish to harm the church in any way.

Questions & Answers:

Q: In your opinion, what is the meaning of this footage?

A: The footage speaks for itself. It is clear that the Palestinians are
faking a funeral to increase the numbers of their killed. They tried to
falsify evidence in preparation for the committee by executing a fake
ceremony, carrying the "body" and filming the entire process. The funeral
took place between the area that was destroyed in Jenin and the cemetery and
people indeed joined the funeral, but when the person fell from the
stretcher the participants were frightened, thinking the body had returned
to life.

Q: The president said that there are 10 wanted Palestinians in the church,
could you respond to this?
A: We do not know the exact number, however we do have an estimate. In any
case, it is important to separate terrorists who are highly active from
terrorists who are only moderately active and terrorists who are hardly
active. We know for a fact that there are 10 terrorists in the churchwho are
highly active and have blood on their hands.

Q: Were there any other funerals?
A: Even before the filming we knew that the Palestinians were holding
exhibition funerals but no one believed our statements regarding them. Now
we have filmed proof of one of the funerals. Several other testimonies were
filmed and are being investigated, we will publicize them when we can.

Q: What is your response to the claims that the IDF did not provide
humanitarian aid?
A: The IDF tried to provide as much humanitarian aid as was possible. I know
that on 05.04.02, 07.04.02 and on 08.04.02 we received requests from
humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross to allow the evacuation of
the wounded and the bodies, but due to the firing in the region and our not
wanting to place the innocent in danger, the humanitarian aid was delayed
and at times canceled.
It is important to make note that we allowed humanitarian aid on many
occasions, such as on 04.04.02 and 06.04.02. Throughout the past days we
have treated some 25 cases: We evacuated a pregnant woman to the hospital in
Nazareth, we evacuated people to hospitals throughout Israel and provided
electricity for the hospital in Jenin. Besides the incident on 05.04.02 in
which we did not allow any humanitarian aid to enter, we allowed
humanitarian aid passage on all other days.

Q: What is the degree of damage caused in Jenin?
A: 130 buildings were completely destroyed by the IDF in Jenin, which is 10
percent of all buildings in the refugee camp. The destroyed region in Jenin
is slightly larger than a soccer stadium. It is important to make note that
many of the destroyed buildings were rigged with explosives by the
Palestinians and their destruction prevented a serious disaster and the
death of many of our soldiers.

Q: Was the footage shown meant for intelligence or for IDF explanation and
A: We do not send a documentary crew to the territories for IDF explanation
and information. The tape was filmed for Intelligence use and it proves what
we already knew, but could not provide filmed proof of. We use it also as an
informative tool as it is proof undeniable of an exhibition funeral held by
the Palestinians, and it is important that it be seen.

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