Israel Under Fire: Missile Barrage Hits South

One million Israelis live under rocket fire

Once again, 1 million Israelis have spent the last 48 hours running to the nearest bomb shelters or their reinforced rooms. Most of the headlines and articles have focused on Israeli air strikes on terrorist targets in Gaza that have resulted in the deaths of over a dozen Palestinians. But what about the impact of some 130 rockets (so far) aimed at Israeli towns and cities?

The Times of London describes rockets being fired at “Israeli border towns” while the Financial Times headlines its story “Escalation in Gaza border violence”. Ashkelon (population 113,000), Ashdod (population 206,000) and Beersheba (population 194,000) are anything but “border towns”.

Likewise, the weaponry deployed by Gazan terrorists is a far cry from “homemade” rockets.

Some of the latest information courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit:

  • More than 130 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at major population centers in southern Israel in the last two days.
  • On Friday, March 9, four people were wounded, one severely. On March 10, a mare was killed and a home near Ashdod was damaged by a direct rocket  hit.
  • In light of the ongoing rocket attacks, schools in many cities and towns in southern Israel are closed on Sunday, March 11.
  • Areas targeted include Ashdod, Be’ersheba, Yavne, Netivot and Ashkelon, as well as the Eshkol and Shaar Hanegev regional councils.
  • The Iron Dome system intercepted about 90% of the rockets fired at Be’ersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon.
  • The terrorist squads are launching their rockets from densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip, including Bet Lahiya, Jabaliya, Rafah, Gaza, and El-Bureij.
  • Despite the rocket barrage, the Erez Crossing into Gaza is open for passengers and employees of international organizations. Kerem Shalom is open for the delivery of 200 truckloads from Israel into Gaza.

Keep an eye out for these issues in your local media:

  • Moral equivalence: Is the media distinguishing between pinpoint Israeli strikes against terrorists as opposed to indiscriminate Palestinian rocket attacks purposely targeting Israeli civilians?
  • The “Cycle of Violence”: Despite this oft used description in the media, this is not a “cycle of violence”, which apportions equal responsibility and intent to both sides. In this case, as in previous conflict situations, Israel exercised its right to pre-emptive self-defense by targeting a terrorist squad planning a combined terror attack that was to take place via Sinai in the coming days.
  • Chronological inversion: Where does your media coverage start? With the launching of missiles from Gaza or the Israeli response? If the focus is on Israeli air strikes, does this skew the coverage to present Israel as the aggressor?
  • A “Disproportionate Response“: Is Israel accused of overreacting or responding to Palestinian terrorist activity in a disproportionate manner? For more on this issue, see our Excessive Force presentation below:

If your local media is reporting on the latest events, make sure to take the time to send your emails and letters making it quite clear where responsibility for the violence lies – squarely with the terrorists firing rockets and planning terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. Make sure that your media is also aware of the suffering of 1 million Israelis living through this latest rocket barrage.

For the latest updates on this fluid situation, follow HonestReporting on Facebook, Twitter and our Backspin blog.

Authors
Top
More in , (1 of 538 articles)
unnamed


Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor for the New York Times, is struggling with a tough ethical dilemma ("Should David Brooks Disclose ...