IBT: Palestinians Fire First, Israel ‘Ends Ceasefire’

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UPDATE

Having received no response from a complaint registered on the day of publication, we tweeted the IBT and IBT UK Editor-in-Chief John Crowley three days later.

 


HRsuccessShortly afterwards, the IBT’s headline was updated and now reads: “Israeli planes attack four Hamas sites in Gaza after mortar attacks on IDF troops.”

In addition, the story has been updated to confirm the Palestinian mortar attacks, thus removing the sentence referring to an Israeli ‘claim’ that its air strikes had been a response to the Palestinian attacks.

We thank the IBT for eventually making the necessary corrections to the article (the original of which can be seen cached here).

 

* * *

If mortar shells are fired from Gaza into Israel, wouldn’t that be seen as a Palestinian breach of a ceasefire? Not if you are covering the story for the International Business Times:

 

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How can Israel have ended a ceasefire if the Palestinians were responsible for firing first?

Even the IBT’s opening paragraph states:

Israel has launched an air strike on Palestinian forces on the Gaza strip, threatening the two-year old ceasefire.

Has the ceasefire ended or is it merely ‘threatened’ by Israel? The IBT cannot seem to make up its mind. Either way, the IBT has irresponsibly and inaccurately painted Israel as the aggressor despite it air strikes coming as a response to Palestinian attacks.

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But did the mortar strikes even happen? According to the IBT:

Israel claimed their raid was in response to an earlier attack from the other side, when mortar shells were fired from Gaza.

Is the IBT seriously suggesting that the mortar attack was merely an unsubstantiated claim by Israel as a means to excuse an unprovoked air strike on Gaza?

Even Hamas acknowledged attacking Israeli forces. Senior Hamas official Abu Marzouk said:

What is happening on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip is an Israeli attempt to set new facts on the ground, over 150 meters away from the border. This is what caused our men to enter this confrontation, to prevent their bulldozers from perpetuating this conduct.

Indeed Israel has been operating near the Gaza border. As Ynet reports:

The IDF estimated that the mortar fire throughout the day Wednesday was directly aimed at IDF troops during engineering work in the border fence area in search of any other Hamas tunnels crossing into Israeli territory. These operations are taking place in several different spots along the border since [Operation] Protective Edge, but it was only over the past 24 hours or so that it garnered a violent response from the Palestinians.

Given that searching for tunnels that could be used to attack Israel cannot be considered a breach of a ceasefire, there is clearly only one side that has initiated aggressive actions – Hamas.

 

A complaint has been sent to the IBT from HonestReporting. You can also add your voice by sending an email to info@ibtimes.co.uk. Watch this space.

 

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