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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October, 2003, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Israel denies targeting Gaza civilians
By James Reynolds
BBC correspondent, Jerusalem

Israel has released video footage of what it says is its air strike on Monday night into a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli army video of air strike
Israel says the video shows there was no crowd in the street
The Palestinians say that Israel fired a missile into a crowd killing seven people but Israel says its footage shows it did not fire into a crowded area.

The Israeli army very rarely releases pictures of any of its missile strikes but it has come under great criticism for its attack on the Nusseirat camp.

So it has decided to release more than two minutes of grainy footage filmed by a drone.

The footage shows a car driving on a quiet road.

Inside the car, says Israel, was "a group of terrorists".

There is an explosion. The car is hit, apparently by an Israeli missile.

The vehicle veers and then stops in the centre of the road.

At this stage from Israel's fuzzy pictures no bystanders are immediately visible.

The road looks empty.

Nusseirat camp after Israeli missiles hit
The attack after dark at Nusseirat caused panic
Then, a minute after the first explosion there is another blast - that is the second missile strike.

Israel believes its pictures prove that there was no crowd of civilians when its second missile was fired.

But witnesses tell a very different story.

They say that after the first strike people from the refugee camp rushed towards the damaged car.

They were already there, the witnesses say, when the second Israeli missile was fired.

Their question to the Israeli army is simple. If there was no crowd around the car then why were so many people injured and killed?

The BBC's James Reynolds
"Palestinian witnesses tell a very different story"

Israel and the Palestinians



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