Cease Fire Ends Operation Pillar of Defense

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Today’s Top Stories:

1. Nasty headline, nasty article looking at the effect of Israeli bombing on Gazan infrastructure, at The Independent.

But McClatchy News blames the rocket squads for some of the destruction — certainly at the Palestine Hotel — where Mel Frykberg writes:

At the Palestine Hotel on the seafront in Gaza City, shards of glass from imploding windows littered the floors on several levels. The reception area showed major damage, with shattered windows and debris strewn throughout the lounge. And it hadn’t even been hit by an Israeli bomb; the target of the F-16 that brought such disarray at 2 a.m. Wednesday had been a Palestinian rocket squad setting up more than 200 yards away.

Oh yeah, Al Jazeera‘s Nour Samaha added her confirmation (via IsraellyCool).

2. Is the foreign press realizing that Hamas used them as human shields? And who is a journalist anyway? I’m very glad AP examined the targeting killing assisted martyring of two cameraman employed by Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV. Some refreshing candor from both Ismail Haniyeh and AP itself:

A wreath sent by Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas read: “With blood we write. With blood we film. They will not be able to silence the truth.”

Al-Aqsa TV is the centerpiece of Hamas’ increasingly sophisticated media operation, launched in 2004 with a small radio station. By the start of Israel’s Nov. 14 Gaza offensive, Al-Aqsa TV and Radio had about 400 employees, including a network of reporters closely covering the Israeli airstrikes.

Al-Aqsa reporters do not pretend to be objective and clearly work in the service of Hamas, using its lingo and loaded terms in on-air comments.

As for the real reporters hurt in the airstrikes, AP quoted this:

Fred Abrahams of Human Rights Watch said that “journalists in a war zone are putting themselves at risk and have very little to complain about if they are near a legitimate target.”

3. Must watch: Christiane Amanpour doggedly grilled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal over terror, recognizing Israel, and Iranian arms. She really had Mashaal was on the defensive. Here’s part of the interview. You can watch it all or read the full transcript.

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