Thursday, August 28, 2014


Evelyn Gordon 27.08.2014

It’s not every day that an organization feels compelled to insist it’s truly nothing like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Why Hamas leader Khaled Meshal felt this need is a mystery: He’s in no danger from the global anti-Israel crowd, which takes great care to avoid any information that might challenge its preconceived notions, whereas anyone who knows anything about Hamas knows the disclaimer is ridiculous. Still, since he raised the subject, it’s worth examining some of the common fallacies Meshal’s distinction relies on.

ISIS seeks a global caliphate, while Hamas just wants to end the Israeli “occupation.” Actually, Hamas also seeks a global caliphate, as its own interior minister, Fathi Hammad, reiterated on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV last November:

We shall liberate our Al-Aqsa Mosque, and our cities and villages, as a prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic Caliphate … we are at the threshold of a global Islamic civilization era. The fuel and spearhead of this era will be Gaza.”

Indeed, Hamas’s charter explicitly terms the movement a “universal” one and declares that Islam must ultimately regain “all lands conquered by Islam by force” in the past. It’s just that every global caliphate has to start somewhere, and Hamas started with Israel, whereas ISIS chose Syria and Iraq. This might prove the ISIS is shrewder; starting with a weaker enemy enabled it to progress much faster. But it doesn’t change the fact that the goal is the same.
ISIS kills “anyone who gets in their way: 

Sunnis, Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Iraqis, Syrians,” while Hamas only kills Israelis. Actually, Hamas also kills anyone who gets in its way. That includes Palestinian civilians who dare to protest its decisions or belong to its main rival, Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party; its more memorable murder methods include throwing Fatah members off rooftops. It also includes Egyptians: According to Cairo, Hamas has cooperated with local terrorists on several attacks in Sinai; Egypt even sought to extradite three senior Hamas operatives for involvement in an August 2012 attack that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.

Granted, ISIS has greater opportunities: It controls a huge territory seized from two collapsed states, Iraq and Syria, whereas Hamas is boxed in by two functioning states, Israel and Egypt. But within the limits of its opportunities, Hamas has been no less enthusiastic about killing “anyone who gets in their way.”

ISIS is exceptionally brutal; witness the snuff film it disseminated after executing journalist James Foley. I particularly like this claim, given that Hamas promptly followed suit with its own snuff films showing the executions of no fewer than 25 fellow Palestinians, including two women. A few weeks earlier, Hamas executed over 30 fellow Palestinians. Of course, Hamas claims all were collaborators with Israel, but it offered no evidence. 

Thus as the pro-Palestinian Amira Hass delicately put it in Haaretz, these executions primarily appeared to be a warning to the Gazan public “to be careful in anything it says and does” that might upset Hamas, because “The definition of ‘informing’ and ‘collaboration’ can become very murky in times of war.”

But Hamas brutality doesn’t stop at executions. How depraved do you have to be, for instance, to shell a border crossing while your own wounded civilians are passing through it, as Hamas did on Sunday, hitting four Arabs waiting on the Israeli side to drive them to the hospital?

 Meshal risibly claimed on Saturday that if Hamas had more accurate weapons, it would aim them exclusively at military targets. But Hamas has deployed the extremely accurate smart bombs known as suicide bombers for years, and it used them almost exclusively to kill civilians–from elderly people at a Passover seder to buses full of schoolchildren.

In short, there’s only one significant difference between Hamas and ISIS: Hamas has infinitely less power than ISIS to wreak global havoc, because Israel has managed to keep its capabilities in check. And for that service, needless to say, Israel has reaped nothing but global condemnation.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Lynne Coates; 22nd Aug.2014

THE resumption of hostilities between Hamas and Israel will, no doubt, result in more appalling scenes of carnage in Gaza. No right-minded person can fail to be affected by the tragic images of dead and injured children, graphically displayed on TV and in the press. Yet, as a photo-journalist, I question the veracity of the media coverage of this conflict.

The spectacle of throngs of international media, jostling for the most advantageous position to film and photograph injured or dead children, is both distasteful and disrespectful.

How do they know where to be and when, in order to capture those images, and how do they get there? Gaza is a theatre of war. Unless they know in advance where and when a bomb is going to fall, how can they be at the target site immediately after or, in some cases, before the attack takes place?

The answer has now been well-documented. Hamas deliberately fire rockets from populated areas, mosques, schools and hospitals, in the knowledge that Israel will respond to destroy the rocket launchers. Therefore, Hamas can direct the media to the location from which they have fired rockets, knowing full well the carnage that will follow.

By using this strategy, they manipulate the world’s press. This is how Hamas conduct their war. It is the duty of journalists to witness and report factual information, and to be fair and accurate. How can they report fairly when they are led by events that are clearly orchestrated for their benefit?

Indian television channel NDTV filmed Hamas firing rockets into Israel from a populated residential area next to their hotel. They are to be commended for their courage and for getting that film aired on TV.

 After they had safely left Gaza, the reporter, Jain Sreenivasan, wrote an article in which he asked: “How long do we self-censor because of the fear of personal safety,in return for not telling a story that exposes how those launching rockets are putting so many more lives at risk, while the rocket-makers themselves are at a safe distance?”

The FPA (Foreign Press Association) reported that many foreign journalists in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned.

They also revealed that Hamas have put in place a “vetting” procedure that would allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists.

French-Palestinian journalist Radjaa Abou Dagga wrote in an article for French newspaperLibération about how he was “detained and interrogated” by members of Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigade in a room in Shifa hospital and was forced to leave Gaza immediately without his papers. Similarly, John Reed of the Financial Times was reportedly threatened after he tweeted about rockets being fired from the same hospital.

Gabriele Barbati, an Italian reporter, refuted the Hamas version of an incident which killed 10 children. According to Mr Barbati, a misfired Hamas rocket was responsible, and militants “rushed and cleared debris”. 
The Palestinian version of events, blaming Israel, was broadcast by all major media outlets. Mr Barbati’s version was suppressed. Journalists in Gaza are not allowed free access. They are herded around from bomb site to hospital, stage managed and directed.

Hamas ensures that reporters are exposed to maximum casualties by insisting interviews only take place in the courtyard of the Al-Shifa hospital. In some cases bomb sites are used to provide PR opportunities.

 Sudarsan Raghavan, of the Washington Post, described how he was taken to photograph a mosque that had been bombed and it was obvious that someone had “prepared” the scene by placing a prayer mat and burnt Koran pages, too perfectly, with obvious symbolism. It was easily spotted by a TV crew who filmed it.

Despite reports that Israel hit 1,678 rocket launching facilities, 191 weapons facilities, 977 command centres, and 32 tunnels, there was little footage of those facilities. Given the huge numbers of press in Gaza (an estimated 700) this exposes the prejudiced portrayal of the conflict. 

The tragedy is that the more complicit the media is with Hamas, the more that Hamas continues to sacrifice the lives of innocent civilians.

Hillary Clinton said in a recent interview that Gaza has been “effectively stage-managed” by Hamas, and that the PR battle is one that is historically tilted against Israel. Many of us are guilty of forming opinions based on sensational headlines, and no other country comes under such intense media attention as Israel.

The relentless publication of graphic imagery from Gaza is having dire consequences for Jewish communities throughout Europe, with the exponential growth in anti-Semitic incidents.

However, it would be naïve to imagine that supporting Hamas in Gaza will only harm the Jews. Siding with one terrorist group will serve to empower others. Journalists in war zones have a greater moral responsibility, both to act as witness and to report with integrity and honesty.

 In the 21st century it is the media that has the ammunition to fight terrorism – let us hope they are brave enough to use it wisely.

* Lynne Coates is a Yorkshire-based photo-journalist who has worked in the Middle East on Palestinian/ Israeli co-existence peace projects.
Times of London columnist Melanie Phillips reports on growing anti-Semitism in Europe 
and particularly the UK, and explains.
We consider this is well worth watching.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Whither UNRWA?

By JPOST EDITORIAL 08.13. 2014

UNRWA has never been impartial. Its interest in self-preservation rules out fairness. Its existence hinges on keeping the flames of conflict burning.

UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, has joined Hamas’s clamor for lifting Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip forthwith. This is the gist of what UNRWA’s Gaza spokesman Chris Gunness demands. No surprise here; UNRWA has never been impartial.

Its interest in self-preservation rules out fairness. Its existence hinges on keeping the flames of conflict burning.

That its facilities served as rocket arsenals is one aspect of a greater travesty. The rockets were apparently handed back to Hamas on at least three occasions and UNRWA appears complacent about the fact that its buildings were used to launch rockets at Israel and to fire on Israeli troops (thereby inevitably drawing counter-fire on supposed havens).

Many UNRWA personnel, moreover, are closely tied to Gaza’s powers that be and are not the do-gooders they purport to be. Twenty-five of the 27 members of the UNRWA executive in Gaza are Hamas activists. The agency’s schools are infamous for facilitating Hamas indoctrination.

Gunness’s demand is disingenuous for failing to mention cause and effect. It accuses Israel of “collective punishment of the 1.8 million Palestinians packed into Gaza.” To the uninitiated, it sounds as if this is a product of Israeli malevolence.

There is no mention of what caused Israel to impose a blockade, nor of what happened when no such blockade was in force. The fact that Israel allows food, medication, electricity and water into Gaza at the very time in which Gaza’s rulers fire rockets at Israeli communities is also missing from Gunness’s presentation of the situation.

UNRWA’s mandate is an aberration. The UN established a special agency in 1949 for those deemed to be Palestine refugees. Every other refugee in the world, regardless of objective hardship, is to be looked after by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNRWA works to prevent refugees’ offspring from losing their refugee status, thereby creating the greatest obstacle to the ostensibly desired peace. UNRWA fans the ambition to inundate Israel with millions of so-called refugees, while paying lip-service to a two-state solution.

This becomes evident when we consider the different definitions for “refugee” to which UNHCR and UNRWA subscribe. UNHCR’s refugee is one who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted... is outside the country of his nationality.” By this definition, the refugee’s descendants are not refugees. Florida-born children of Cuban refugees are no longer considered homeless.

The only exceptions are the Palestinians. UNRWA classifies as refugees any Arabs, native or not, who sojourned “in Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, and lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Not only could any itinerant foreign Arab laborer claim Palestinian refugee status, but UNRWA stipulates that the condition extends to “descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948.” One refugee parent suffices to inherit the distinction – even when the inheritor is not “outside the country of one’s nationality.”

By UNHCR’s yardstick, more than 97 percent of those whom UNRWA regards as refugees are nothing of the sort. In 1948, there were some 600,000 self-styled Palestine refugees. UNRWA now boasts that it cares for 5,000,000 people. Its budget for 2014 is $14 billion, versus $5b. for UNHCR (saddled with the rest of the world’s refugees, including those from Syria and Iraq). UNHCR has 5,000 employees; UNRWA has 30,000 (90 percent of whom are Palestinians).

Members of the US Senate this week demanded an independent investigation into UNRWA’s role during Operation Protective Edge. Accusing the agency of maintaining active ties with Hamas and of supporting its activities throughout the war, Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry accusing the UN agency of bias and characterizing its role in the conflict as “troubling.”

The senators noted that the US is the single largest donor to UNRWA, providing the agency with $294 million in 2013 and a total of $5b. since 1950.

With so many layers of hypocrisy cynically contributing to the perpetuation of misery instead of assisting the cause of peace and prosperity, perhaps it is time to regard UNRWA as a problem in and of itself. Unless UNRWA institutes radical changes, the region would be better off without it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

UK to suspend military exports to Israel, if fighting in Gaza resumes

 (“BIG” Committee note:- We believe this is the UK giving the green light to Hamas to continue the fighting by this action.
Israel is being bullied by the West and therefore Hamas has no incentive to negotiate a lasting ceasefire.)

Reuters 12.8.2014

LONDON - Britain said on Tuesday it would suspend 12 licenses to export military items to Israel, including tank, aircraft and radar parts, if hostilities with Hamas in Gaza resumed, citing concerns the exports may be used to breach international laws.

Britain said last week it was reviewing all arms export licenses to Israel after fierce fighting which has resulted in heavy civilian casualties in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

That review concluded on Tuesday that 12 licenses would be temporarily suspended pending further investigation if the current truce breaks down and heavy fighting resumes.

"The UK government has not been able to clarify if the export license criteria are being met," Business Secretary Vince Cable said in a statement.

"In light of that uncertainty, we have taken the decision to suspend these existing export licenses in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities."

Israel says its operation in Gaza is self-defense, aimed at stopping rockets being fired from the enclave by Islamist militants.

According to a report by a British parliamentary committee last month, outstanding government-approved contracts for export of dual use or military goods to Israel are worth more than 7.8 billion pounds ($13 billion). These include contracts to supply body armor, drone components and missile parts.

Cable's department said the vast majority of export licenses were not for items that could be used by Israeli forces in its operations in Gaza, but it was unable to immediately confirm the value of the licenses that could be suspended.

Britain said that the suspensions would not include components for Israel's "Iron Dome" system which protects the country from rockets fired by Hamas.

Last week Sayeeda Warsi, a senior Foreign Office minister, resigned, accusing Prime Minister David Cameron's government of taking a "morally indefensible" approach on Gaza.

Monday, August 11, 2014


not seen too often on TV, the print media or the social media

Interview with journalist Douglas Murray

If you watch only one thing about the conflict, watch this amazing piece of journalism from Canada, please, and then pass it on so others can see what responsible journalism is all about.

Douglas Kear Murray, born: July 16, 1979, Scotland, United Kingdom is a writer, journalist and commentator. He was the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion from 2007 until 2011,] and is currently an associate director of the Henry Jackson Society.
2.     Education: Magdalen College, Oxford, Eton College
4.     Awards: Lambda Literary Award for Gay Biography/Autobiography

Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media, commentating on issues from a conservative standpoint, and he is often critical of Islam. He writes for a number of publications, including Standpoint, the Wall Street Journal and The Spectator. He is the author of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2005) and Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry (2011).

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Commentary: Evelyn Gordon 
There has been a lot of talk lately about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. What has gone curiously unmentioned by all the great humanitarians from the UN and “human rights” groups, however, is the degree to which this crisis was deliberately fomented by Hamas: Aside from starting the war to begin with, Hamas has done its level best to deprive Gazans of everything from food to medical care to housing, despite Israel’s best efforts to provide them.

Take, for instance, the widely reported shortages of medicines and various other essentials. Many of these products are imported, and since Egypt has largely closed its border, Gaza has only one conduit for these vital imports: the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel. Thus if Gaza’s Hamas government had any concern whatsoever for its citizens, ensuring that this crossing was kept open and could function at maximum efficiency would be a top priority.

Instead, Hamas and other terrorist groups subjected Kerem Shalom to relentless rocket and mortar fire throughout the 29-day conflict, thereby ensuring that the job of getting cargo through was constantly interrupted as crossing workers raced for cover. Hamas also launched at least three tunnel attacks near Kerem Shalom, each of which shut the crossing down for hours.

Despite this, Israeli staffers risked their lives to keep the crossing open and managed to send through 1,491 truckloads of food, 220 truckloads of other humanitarian supplies, and 106 truckloads of medical supplies. But the numbers would certainly have been higher had the nonstop attacks not kept disrupting operations. On August 1, for instance, a shipment comprising 91 truckloads of aid had to be aborted on when Hamas violated a humanitarian cease-fire by launching a massive attack near Kerem Shalom.

Then there’s the shortage of medical care, as Gaza’s hospitals were reportedly overwhelmed by the influx of Palestinian casualties. To relieve this pressure, Israel allowed some Palestinians into Israel for treatment and also set up a field hospital on the Gaza border. But throughout the war, the field hospital stood almost empty–which Israel says is because Hamas deliberately kept Palestinians from using it.

Many pundits dismiss this claim, insisting there were simply no Palestinians who wanted to go there. That, however, is highly implausible. Gazans routinely seek treatment in Israel because it offers better medical care than Gaza does; as one Gazan said in 2012, “It is obvious that people come to Israel for medical treatment, regardless of the political conflict.”

 Even Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh sends his family to Israel for treatment; over the past two years, Israel has treated both his granddaughter and his sister’s husband. So while some Palestinians undoubtedly objected to accepting help from the enemy, it’s hard to believe there weren’t also Palestinians who simply wanted the best possible care for their loved ones, and would gladly have accepted it from Israel had they not feared retaliation from a group with no qualms about shooting dissenters.

It’s also worth noting that “humanitarian” organizations in Gaza actively contributed to this particular problem. UNRWA and the Red Cross did refer a few patients to the Israeli field hospital. But you have to wonder why they opted to refer most patients to Gaza’s Shifa Hospital and then make videos about how difficult conditions there were instead of easing the burden on Shifa by referring more patients to the Israeli hospital.

Then, of course, there’s the dire electricity shortage–also courtesy in part of Hamas, which destroyed two power lines carrying electricity from Israel to Gaza and subsequently prevented their repair by shelling the area nonstop.

Finally, there’s the massive destruction of houses in Gaza, which has left thousands of families homeless. That, too, was largely courtesy of Hamas: It booby-trapped houses and other civilian buildings, like a UNRWA clinic, on a massive scale and also used such buildings to store rockets and explosives.

Sometimes, it blew up these buildings itself in an effort to kill Israeli soldiers. Other times, the buildings blew up when relatively light Israeli ammunition like mortar shells–which aren’t powerful enough to destroy a building on their own–caused the booby traps or stored rockets to detonate. As Prof. Gregory Rose aptly noted, Hamas effectively turned all of Gaza into one big suicide bomb. In one neighborhood, for instance, 19 out of 28 houses were either booby-trapped, storing rockets, or concealing a tunnel entrance, thereby ensuring their destruction.

Now, the organization is gleefully watching the world blame Israel for the humanitarian crisis Hamas itself created. And that gives it every incentive to repeat these tactics in the future.
Click on picture HYPOCRISY OVER GAZA
Patrick "Pat" Condell   was born in Ireland[ and raised in England as a Roman Catholic. His father was a compulsive gambler working in a betting shop until he was sent to prison for stealing money. The family was impoverished, moving repeatedly from home to home.

Pat is a writer, comedian and atheist internet personality. He performed alternative comedy shows during the 1980s and 1990s in the United Kingdom, and won a Time Out Comedy Award in 1991. He was also a regular panelist on BBC Radio 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hamas Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields

A Hamas manual on "Urban Warfare" found by the Israeli Defense Forces makes it unmistakably clear that Hamas desires civilian casualties amongst its own people and encourages its fighters to engage in battles in civilian populated areas in order to draw an Israeli response.

"Where is the U.N. Human Rights Council?
Where is Amnesty International? Where is Human Rights Watch? Where is the international media and Middle East pundits. Where are all the lawfare experts? Here is 'Exhibit A' to indict Hamas for war crimes and crimes against humanity by placing the people of Gaza as human shields," said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and founder and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. 

Captured Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields

Published on: August 4, 2014

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which
belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades.
The manual explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces and
reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians.

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned.

This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.

The Manual:

In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:

The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].

Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.

The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:

(1) Problems with opening fire

(2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward

(3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it
Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:

The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces [i.e. Hamas]).

It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.

Why Shuja’iya is Important

It is also of no small importance that this manual belongs to the Shuja’iya Brigade. The IDF fought a major battle in the neighborhood of Shuja’iya, which had been turned into a terrorist stronghold. The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’ plan.

Friday, August 1, 2014


By LaHaV HARKOV  07/31/2014  Jerusalem Post
Foreign correspondents asked to leave enclave for social media posts on Hamas' utilization of civilian sites to attack Israel.

The international press in Gaza has hardly reported on how Hamas has operated in this round of fighting, and photos or video of Hamas fighters from recent weeks are rare.
The reason became apparent this week as several journalists reported being threatened and even expelled from Gaza for highlighting that the terrorist organization used civilian sites to attack Israel.
Reporters from Italy and the US corroborated the IDF’s explanation for explosions near the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and by a playground in the nearby Shati refugee camp on Tuesday – that it was the result of misfired rockets by Gazan terrorists.

One altered his report, however and another waited to leave Gaza, because he feared retribution from Hamas. Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati tweeted a photo on Tuesday as he went through the Erez crossing into Israel.

Barbati then tweeted the following in Italian and English: “Out of Gaza far from Hamas retaliation: Misfired rocket killed children [yesterday] in Shati.
Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.”
He followed that tweet with another: “@IDFSpokesperson said truth in communique released yesterday about Shati camp massacre. It was not Israel behind it.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East correspondent based in Egypt, Tamer El-Ghobashy, tweeted a photo of rubble with the explanation: “An outside wall on the campus of Gaza’s main hospital was hit by a strike. Low level damage suggest Hamas misfire.”
Soon after, El-Ghobashy deleted the tweet, similar to his Wall Street Journal colleague Nick Casey, who tweeted a photo of a Hamas official using Shifa Hospital for media appearances last week and then deleted it.
El-Ghobashy then replaced the tweet with the same photo and the text: “The outer wall of Gaza City’s main hospital was struck. Unclear what the origin of the projectile is.”
He wrote that he deleted the first tweet because it was speculative. However, he presumed that the IDF struck a UN school in Beit Hanun a week earlier, which the IDF Spokesman’s Office denied – and did not delete that tweet.
The French newspaper Liberation published an article last week which detailed how Hamas interrogated French-Palestinian journalist Radjaa Abu Dagga and threatened to throw him out of Gaza – all at Shifa. The article was later removed at Abu Dagga’s request.
They interrogated Abu Dagga and insisted that he worked for the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, even though he said he worked for French media and an Algerian radio station. He was instructed to immediately leave Gaza without his papers.
Pro-Palestinian activists and journalists, including Fadi Arouri from Al-Ayyam, reported on Wednesday that RT (formerly Russia Today) correspondent Harry Fear was told to leave Gaza after he tweeted that Hamas fired rockets into Israel from near his hotel.
In another tweet from last week, Fear called Al-Wafa Hospital “the hospital with human shields.”
These expulsions only work when Hamas allows journalists to leave Gaza. Last week, Huffington Post Middle East correspondent Sophia Jones tweeted: “The Israeli side of the border with Gaza was briefly open today, but Hamas did not let journalists leave Gaza.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson said the Israeli government is aware of the phenomenon but does not know how widespread it is.
He said that, while he does not expect reporters to put themselves directly in the line of fire, danger “comes with the turf” for conflict reporters, and “it is inconceivable that there is zero visual footage of Hamas, as if they don’t exist.”
On the Israeli side, Hirschson said: “The Foreign Ministry in particular, but the IDF Spokesman as well, have been very open and loud in our insistence that foreign media should be let into Gaza.
Years ago the army wouldn’t let them in because it’s dangerous, but now we say ‘they’re adults, they know it’s dangerous and this is their job.’