The soldier pictured in #5, #8, and #9, Captain Aviv Hakani, was killed on 12 May in the line of duty.
Released today by the IDF to the press, but unlikely to hit your local papers:
IDF SPOKESPERSON ANNOUNCEMENT
Humanitarian assistance during the IDF operation in Rafah.
During IDF operation in Rafah which began on May 18, 2004, the IDF enhanced its humanitarian assistance through its district coordination offices. These offices were instructed to assist with all requests put forward by Palestinians in order to ease the situation of the civilian population.
· During the operation 70 ambulances, more than 40 trucks loaded with food, water, medical supplies, mattresses and blankets flowed into the combat zone.
· 490 oxygen tanks were delivered to hospitals in Gaza.
Although the IDF coordination office offered to treat the wounded in Israeli hospitals, the Palestinians declined and only two of the wounded were transported to Israeli hospitals for further medical care.
In spite of the heavy fighting, forces were designated for the opening of safe passages for ambulances in order to evacuate the wounded. In addition, the IDF continues to operate the humanitarian hotline through the DCOs which was opened during the activity and continues to facilitate the requests and grievances put forward by the Palestinians.
Due to intensive fighting and the fact the Palestinians rigged the roads and alleys with explosive devices; heavy damage was inflicted to the civilian infrastructure in the area. The IDF facilitated Palestinian professional teams to attend to the electricity, sewage and water systems.
(Via Tom Gross) The first five books deal with anti-Semitism, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and in some cases media coverage. All these books have been published in recent weeks. The other two books are new biographies of Yasser Arafat published last fall.
1. “Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism,” edited by Ron Rosenbaum (Published today by Random House.) This book includes essays and reportage by Paul Berman, David Brooks, Bernard Lewis, David Mamet, Philip Roth, Amos Oz, Frank Rich, Simon Schama, Marie Brenner, Edward Said, Melanie Philips, Barbara Amiel, and some 35 others.
Another damning report of Arab prisoner abuse:
ARAB prisoners beaten and tortured, innocent bystanders killed by gunfire – another damning human rights report.
But the difference this time is that the violence is being perpetrated not by coalition forces in Iraq, but by the Palestinian Authority, and the victims are its own people.
The report, partly funded by the Finnish government, claims Palestinian cities are in a state of near anarchy, with people on the payroll of Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority (PA) blamed for 90 per cent of gangland violence.
It highlights numerous incidents of torture of prisoners and refers to the killing of civilians in gunbattles between Palestinian factions.
It is another blow for Mr Arafat’s organisation, which was recently accused of misusing £134 million of European Union funds. Mr Arafat was accused of signing cheques to people linked with terrorist activity.
Wonder how much play this one will get in the Western media…?
A former US Army officer comments on the media’s role in emasculating the US effort in Iraq:
The media is often referred to off-handedly as a strategic factor. But we still don’t fully appreciate its fatal power. Conditioned by the relative objectivity and ultimate respect for facts of the U.S. media, we fail to understand that, even in Europe, the media has become little more than a tool of propaganda.
An HonestReporting critique of media coverage of yesterday’s Rafah disaster, versus coverage of the Iraqi wedding-party incident, is forthcoming.
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UPDATE: It’s now online here.
This was buried at the very end of a long NY Times report from Jerusalem bureau chief James Bennet:
In a highly unusual incident, at least three Palestinian men attempted to kidnap this reporter here Wednesday night. The reporter, who had identified himself at Al Najar hospital as an American, was speaking on a cellular telephone in the street in front of the hospital when a stranger approached offering a handshake, a smile and the word, “Welcome.”
When the reporter took his hand, the stranger and another man grabbed him and attempted to shove him into an aging Mercedes sedan that pulled up, its rear door open. A struggle and cries for help brought Palestinian police officers at the hospital running, and after a further struggle, the men jumped in the car and disappeared.
Anger at Americans has been building here for three years over the Bush administration’s perceived tilt toward Israel, the occupation of Iraq and, most recently, images of prisoner abuse in Iraq. An American might also be considered valuable for use in bargaining with Israel.
Why does Bennet immediately try to rationalize his own attempted kidnapping? Reminds us an awful lot of Newsweek’s Joshua Hammer, who was also kidnapped in Gaza, then became strangely sympathetic toward his own captors. And Robert Fisk’s affection for his Afghani assailants. Detect a pattern?
And wasn’t this worthy of alot more attention than it received?! A separate story, at least?
An essential post from Instapundit on the ‘seismic’ loss of credibility among mainstream journalists. Glenn Reynolds:
I think the trend is too bad — I’d much rather have trusted and trustworthy mainstream journalism than the reverse — but, frankly, the loss of credibility is well-earned, as pretty much any blog reader knows.
Case in point: Our post yesterday that included the IDF’s version of events on the Rafah disaster was linked by Andrew Sullivan. Thousands of new readers poured into BackSpin, receiving the essential information that was missing on their evening news.
The IDF has stated that its forces did not fire directly upon Palestinians in Rafah today. Palestinians dispute this. Whose side in this dispute have these ostensibly neutral news outlets adopted, as illustrated by their headlines?
Guardian: ‘Israelis Fire on Rafah Protest’
AFP: ’10 Palestinians killed as Israeli army fires on protest against bloody raid’
Reuters: ‘Israeli Forces Fire on Crowd in Gaza, Killing 10′
BBC: ‘Israelis Fire on Crowds in Gaza’
MSNBC: ‘Israelis Fire on Protestors; 10 Reported Dead’
Washington Post: ‘Israeli Attack on Gaza Protest Kills at Least 12′
Australian Broadcasting Network: ‘Israelis Fire on Crowds in Gaza’ (ABC headline to wire service story)