Gaza Conflict Day 21: Hamas Threatens Journalists

Today’s Top Stories

1. The IDF released its findings on the shelling of a UN school in Beit Hanoun, in which 15 Palestinians were killed. The Jerusalem Post reports:

. . . Hamas terrorists fired at the army from within the school complex. The terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at soldiers, the army added.


The IDF fired several mortar rounds in response. One IDF mortar fell in a yard near the school, which was empty, according to the military.


“In light of the results of the investigation, claims that people were harmed inside school grounds, as presented after the incident by some, have been ruled out. The IDF regrets every harm to civilians in combat, but stresses again that this is the sad result of Hamas’s decision to use the civilian sphere as a human shield,” the army said.

The New York Times, CNN, Time, and AFP, among others, picked up on this.

2. This is utterly bizarre.

Israel offered medical aid to Gazans, but the PA refused to accept it

3. The Times of Israel reports that Hamas is threatening journalists who expose abuse of civilians.

The Times of Israel confirmed several incidents in which journalists were questioned and threatened. These included cases involving photographers who had taken pictures of Hamas operatives in compromising circumstances — gunmen preparing to shoot rockets from within civilian structures, and/or fighting in civilian clothing — and who were then approached by Hamas men, bullied and had their equipment taken away.

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4. How to Talk About the Gaza Conflict: The four issues you need to understand to speak up for Israel.

5. What Really Happened at the Gazan UN School? The media indicted the IDF for a war crime even though there were no credible sources.

6. The Lancet’s Latest Abuse of Medicine for Political Ends: The medical journal’s history of politicizing medicine to bash Israel continues.

7. Video: Democracy Now, Reality Later: When did the word “liberal” equate to “anti-Israel?



Operation Protective Edge

• For details on today’s developments, see live-blogs at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, and i24 News.

• The UN Security Council called for an “unconditional humanitarian cease-fire.” More on the Turtle Bay diplomacy at AP.

• Egypt reports that its army destroyed 13 smuggling tunnels running under the Gaza-Sinai border. According to AFP, the Egyptians themselves have demolished 1,639 tunnels overall.

Israel HaYom on the conflict’s toll on Hamas:

Combat brigade commanders, who met on Saturday in the south with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, believe that more than 700 armed Palestinian fighters have been killed during Operation Protective Edge, including dozens who were trapped in tunnels as they were blown up. Past experience shows that military commanders tend to overestimate enemy deaths, meaning that the actual number is more likely around 500. Hamas’ critical mass may not have been harmed, but it is in distress in other areas. According to numerous reports, the number of rockets in its possession is dwindling.

• The  New York Times takes a closer look at John Kerry’s uphill battle for a cease-fire.

• The IDF released a map of some of the terror tunnels uncovered during Operation Protective Edge.

terror tunnels


• Reporters from Israel HaYom and YNet went into Gaza embedded with IDF units.

• Around the world: Anti-Jewish attacks on the rise in Britain amid Gaza backlash. Violence breaks out at pro-Israel rally in Toronto. Firebombs thrown at Toulouse Jewish center luckily failed to ignite. Arab community leader calls on Australia to ban its citizens from fighting in the IDF. South African retail giants are resisting getting dragged into a boycott of Israel. Last but not least, the Jerusalem Post reports that one Knesset committee held a special meeting addressing the European anti-Semitism of the European protests.

Despite gains, Hamas sees fight for its existence and presses on.


Blankfeld Award


Media Angles

• Why is the Hamas media strategy failing? Professor Eli Avraham narrows it down to several contributing factors, primarily

  1. The Arab Spring has Mideast regimes fending off Muslim Brotherhood threats.
  2. Media coverage of Gaza human shields undermined European support for the Palestinians.

• Madrid’s Jewish community to take legal action against an award-winning playwright who argued that the Gaza conflict would justify the expulsion of Spain’s Jewish community. The JTA explains:

Antonio Gala, an award-winning playwright and author, made the statement in an Op-Ed which was published on July 23 by the Spanish daily El Mundo.


“It’s not strange that they have been so frequently expelled,” he wrote about the Jewish people in his 233-word article. ”What is surprising, is that they persist. Either they are not good, or someone is poisoning them. I am not a racist.”

Israel still swears Hamas kidnapped those teens

• Oh no, New Zealand Herald!

9 News

The New Zealand Herald reported the death of 21-year-old Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland today, but accidentally used a photo of [Ryan] Dunn, who died in an alcohol-related car crash in June 2011.


The newspaper has apologised for the mistake, saying the photo was lifted from Mr Boyland’s Facebook page.

• Social media makes military censorship harder to enforce

• A Times of London staff-ed makes clear that the paper’s support for Israel is eroding:

This newspaper is a longstanding supporter of Israel, of moderate Palestinians and of a two-state solution between them. Like others, we have understood the demand by Israel that its people should enjoy security from cross-border violence. So we have resisted the facile urge to condemn Israel when, as in the case of the war with Hezbollah in 2006, it has legitimately sought to protect itself from terrorist violence. Other people in this country are regrettably ambivalent on this point.


Whatever modicum of security Israel imagines it is now gaining in Gaza has to be set against the damage being done to any future chances of a long-term settlement in the region.

• If John Kerry loses Haaretz, what’s left?

Rula Jebreal deplores MSNBC’s “Palestinian Journalist” label. She also discussed the issue with CNN (which followed Jebreal with Jeffrey Goldberg’s take on the Israel-Palestinian media battle.


• A staff-ed in The Australian takes Big Media to task:

The deaths of women, children and UN staff were a human tragedy. They followed moving images a few days ago of a boy, covered in shrapnel wounds, screaming for his father in hospital. Last week, the deaths of four cousins who were playing on a Gaza city beach when they were hit by Israeli shellfire also provoked outrage. International coverage has focused heavily on the death toll in Gaza, as it has climbed towards 800. Such reports reflect one side of a complex conflict that needs more balanced coverage by most Western media if it is to be understood. Accounts of the attack on the school shelter differ, but it reportedly occurred after Hamas ignored warnings by the Israel Defence Force for civilians to vacate the area.

• Israeli officials continued their media offensive. Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the ceasefire on State of the Union, Face the Nation, Meet the Press, and Fox News.


Hillel Neuer: A Palestinian ambassador called Hamas missiles a “crime against humanity.” Why won’t the UN do the same?

• Eric Allie, the staff cartoonist at the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, gets it.


St. Paul Pioneer-Press


• For more commentary/analysis, see Herb Keinon (Kerry: He came, he saw, he muddle), Josh Bacon (Terror tunnels undermine NGO narratives), Danny Rubinstein (The Arab betrayal of the Palestinians), Asaf Romirowsky (UNRWA, UNHRC; Fighting for human rights or supporting terror?) David Grossman (Stop the grindstone of violence), and a Christian Science Monitor staff-ed. Last but not least, Fisk’s being Fisk again.

• For more on what the other side’s saying, see The Guardian,

Rest O’ the Roundup

• The crash of Air Algerie AH5017 in Mali just got a little more interesting. The International Business Times reports:

At least 33 French military personnel including three senior intelligence officials and a Lebanese Hezbollah leader were among the 116 or 118 people on board the Air Algerie flight AH5017 that crashed in the restive northern Mali, it has emerged.


Image: CC BY flickr/Petr Dosek


For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.


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