Media Misfires on Gaza Ceasefire Breakdown

Media misfires with bad headlines

For the eleventh time in this current conflict, Hamas has broken a ceasefire arrangement, this time firing a volley of rockets into southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s clear who is responsible for initiating the violence and scuttling negotiations that were ongoing up until that point.

Yet some media have still managed to get it wrong.

As the news broke, The Guardian couldn’t do anything but paint Israel as the aggressor:




The Daily Telegraph‘s headline appeared to cast doubt on Hamas’s liability through the inappropriate use of quotation marks:




According to The Independent‘s sub-header, “Israel alleges that Hamas ‘terrorists’ broke truce by firing rockets from Gaza.” This was followed up by a reference to “the alleged attack on Tuesday,” questioning Israel’s credibility as well as the very status of Hamas as terrorists.

Other media outlets indulged in a moral equivalence, assigning equal responsibility on Israel, despite Hamas’s aggression. Take this headline from the LA Times:




And Canada’s Globe and Mail:




Or The Scotsman, which also gave equal billing to Israeli and Hamas responsibility for the ceasefire breakdown by headlining events as an “exchange of missiles”:




For some media, however, the Hamas rocket attack that broke the ceasefire, has already been erased from the pages of history, leaving Israel to be falsely portrayed as the primary aggressor and responsible party.

The BBC, a longtime expert in casually omitting relevant context, focuses on the apparent targeting of Hamas terrorist leader Mohammed Deif, failing to mention Hamas’s breaking of the ceasefire. As with so much BBC content, the reader can only assume that Israel is the primary facilitator of violence.

Likewise, The Times of London also focused on Mohammed Deif, stating that “Israel and Hamas resumed fighting one another after the breakdown of a Gaza ceasefire” and a “24-hour truce due to last until midnight collapsed late yesterday afternoon, with each side blaming the other.

Once again, the reader is not being given the full facts and context.


Be on the lookout. If you see flawed reporting of the latest events, let us know through our Red Alert page.

 Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA HonestReporting, flickr/kr428, flickr/Marina Burity, flickr/Angus McDiarmid.

  Like what you just read? Sign up for more: