Digging For the Truth

Despite widespread charges leveled against Israel in the international media, some journalists have, to their credit, made the effort to dig deeper amidst the rubble to find out what really went on in Gaza and the crimes committed by Hamas against its own people. Here are a couple of stories that you may not have seen in your local media.

Hamas hijacking ambulances:

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

Palestinian civilians living in Gaza during the three-week war with Israel have spoken of the challenge of being caught between Hamas and Israeli soldiers as the radical Islamic movement that controls the Gaza strip attempted to hijack ambulances.

Mohammed Shriteh, 30, is an ambulance driver registered with and trained by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

His first day of work in the al-Quds neighbourhood was January 1, the sixth day of the war. “Mostly the war was not as fast or as chaotic as I expected,” Mr Shriteh told the Herald. “We would co-ordinate with the Israelis before we pick up patients, because they have all our names, and our IDs, so they would not shoot at us.”

Mr Shriteh said the more immediate threat was from Hamas, who would lure the ambulances into the heart of a battle to transport fighters to safety.

Hamas’s human shields:

Der Spiegel reveals the abuse of Palestinian civilian homes by Hamas:

Hail’s house is just a few streets away and only suffered light damage. There are a few bullet holes in the living room walls and all of the window panes are broken. Hail also found out after the cease-fire that the militants had used his house as a base for their operations. The door to his house stood open and there were electric cables lying in the hallway. When Hail followed them they led to his neighbor’s house which it seems Hamas had mined.

As Hail, in his mid-30s, sat on his porch and thought about what to do a man came by: He was from Hamas and had left something in Hail’s home. He let him in and the man then emerged with a bullet proof vest, a rocket launcher and an ammunitions belt. An hour later a fighter with Islamic Jihad called to the door, then disappeared onto the roof and reappeared with a box of ammunition. “The abused civilians’ homes for their own purposes. That is not right,” Hail says with disgust while trying to remain polite.

IDF INVESTIGATES CASUALTY FIGURES

YNet News reports:

A continuing IDF investigation into the number of civilian Palestinian casualties during the Israeli offensive in Gaza indicated that only 250 of the fatalities were civilians.

The military estimates that between 1,100 and 1,200 people were killed during the offensive. Some 700 of are believed to be militants and most are believed to be Hamas operatives.

The IDF is still trying to ascertain the identity of the remaining fatalities, but security sources said many would probably turn out to be militants as well. “Hamas is familiar with the numbers and is doing everything it can to concealed them,” said an IDF source….

Many of the fatalities were considered to be civilians at first, because there were no weapons found with them, said a military source, “But that method of operation is consistent with the way Hamas was hiding in the midst of civilians, moving between their strongholds with no weapons. In many cases someone thought to be a civilian casualty turned out to be a Hamas operative after we ran our checks.”

CBS SMEARS ISRAEL

We wonder where Bob Simon of CBS’s 60 Minutes has been for the past few weeks. Hamas’s actions in the Gaza Strip, which Israel evacuated in 2005, have led to divisions within the Palestinian people and Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. Hamas is still intent on destroying the State of Israel through terror. Yet, according to Simon, the sole “obstacle to peace” is West Bank settlements. Whether one agrees or disagrees with settlements, Simon has produced a shocking piece of journalism that amounts to a smear against Israel.

  • According to Simon, Palestinians “have to submit to humiliating delays at checkpoints and roadblocks.” Simon fails to mention the Palestinian terror that has plagued Israel, necessitating such security measures.
  • In an incredibly loaded narrative, Simon claims that Israel has three options: “They could try ethnic cleansing, drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank, or they could give the Palestinians the vote. That would be the democratic option but it would mean the end of the Jewish state. Or they could try apartheid – have the minority Israelis rule the majority Palestinians, but apartheid regimes don’t have a very long life.”
  • Intentionally pandering to Palestinian propaganda, Simon immediately follows this up by associating Israel’s security barrier with apartheid: “Apartheid? Israel is building what it calls a security wall between the West Bank and Israel.” As the barrier is mostly a fence, Israel certainly does not refer to it as a “wall” and Simon makes no reference as to why the barrier was constructed nor to its effectiveness at preventing terror. Instead, viewers are treated to one side of the story.
  • It appears that Simon is attempting to misrepresent the majority of Israelis. He claims that “Moderate Israelis who deplore the occupation used to believe passionately in a two-state solution.” Yet, to illustrate this point, he interviews Meron Benvenisti, an Israeli who has long advocated a one-state solution and considers Israel to be worse than apartheid South Africa. Is this representative of the Israeli mainstream?

  • Likewise, Simon’s focus on settler Daniella Weiss is not representative following Weiss’s rejection by the mainstream settler movement.
  • Presenting a one-sided picture of perceived Palestinian grievances, unrepresentative Israeli viewpoints, and completely ignoring the Palestinian role in the conflict, Bob Simon’s report deserves a response.

    Please send your considered comments to CBS through its Feedback Form – http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml. Select 60 Minutes from the drop down menu and register your complaint.

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    The above is how Haaretz chose to illustrate the tensions in U.S.-Israel relations. This cartoon by Amos Biderman is offensive ...