On the night of July 23, 2006, an Israeli aircraft intentionally fired missiles at and struck two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances performing rescue operations, causing huge explosions that injured everyone inside the vehicles. Or so says the global media, including Time magazine, the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and thousands of other outlets around the world. If true, the incident would have been an egregious and indefensible violation of the Geneva Convention, and would constitute a war crime committed by the state of Israel.

But there’s one problem: It never happened.

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Of all the exposés and scandals surrounding the media’s coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon, The Red Cross Ambulance Incident stands out as the most serious. The other exposés were spectacular in their simplicity (photographers staging scenes, clumsy attempts at Photoshopping images), but often concerned fairly trivial details. What does it matter whether there was a big cloud of smoke over Beirut, or a really big cloud of smoke, as one notorious doctored photograph showed? The fact that the media was lying was indeed extremely important, and justified the publicity surrounding the exposés — but what they were lying about was often minor, a slight fudging of the visuals to exaggerate the damage.

The ambulance incident, however, was anything but trivial. The media accused Israel of the most heinous type of war crime: intentionally targeting neutral ambulances which were attempting to rescue innocent victims. If true — and it is almost universally accepted as true — then Israel would lose any claim to moral superiority in the conflict. The commanders who ordered the strike should be brought up on war-crimes charges. As it is, the worldwide outcry over Israel’s purported malfeasances grew so strident that the country was pressured into a ceasefire. The media’s depictions of Israel’s actions so influenced public opinion that Israel felt compelled to end the fighting right at the moment it was starting to gain the upper hand. And as a result, Hezbollah has now claimed victory.

The Red Cross Ambulance Incident was perhaps the most damning of all the evidence against Israel, and the most morally indefensible. Other incidents were open to debate: in those cases where Israel bombed buildings that turned out to have civilians inside, Israel claimed either that it didn’t know the building was occupied, or that it was trying to hit a Hezbollah stronghold elsewhere in the same building; or that the strike was a mistake, an errant missile. But targeting clearly marked ambulances, and hitting them directly — there’s no possible excuse for that. So this specific incident contributed to the outrage over the war, eventually causing Israel to stand down.

Which makes it all the more shocking to learn that the attack on the ambulances most likely never occurred, and that the “evidence” supporting the claim is in fact a hoax.

If you can, follow the link at the end of this sentence (or “copy and paste” this address into your Internet address line: http://zombietime.com/fraud/ambulance/) for a review of exactly what is supposed to have happened and a look at the media’s coverage of the incident. On this website you can examine how the evidence does not hold up under close examination.