Mar 11 2013
The UN Human Rights Council released an advance version of its report on Operation “Pillar of Defense,” exonerating Israel and the IDF in many cases in which it had been previously alleged that the IDF committed war crimes. When it relates to Gazan civilians killed by IDF fire during the operation, the UNHRC report concedes that there was a legitimate military target in the area in most of those incidents.
Jewish Press On presenting Hamas’s violations, the report says:
“Palestinian armed groups continuously violated international humanitarian law, by launching indiscriminate attacks on Israel and by attacking civilians, thereby disregarding the principle of distinction. The armed groups failed to take all feasible precautions in attacks, in particular by launching rockets from populated areas, which put the population at grave risk. Furthermore, several Palestinians were killed by rockets launched by the armed groups that fell short and landed in the Gaza Strip.”
The report states that Omar Mishrawi, son of BBC reporter Jihad Mishrawi, was killed by a Hamas rocket. The UNHRC report states:
“On 14 November, a woman, her 11-month-old infant, and an 18-year-old adult in Al-Zaitoun were killed by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel. In addition, OHCHR received reports related to an incident in which two civilians, including a child, were killed, and five persons, including three children, were injured, as a result of what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short and hit a house in Al-Quds Street, near Khilla Gas Station, Jabalya, on 16 November.”
Honest Reporting Referring to the impact of Israeli air strikes on Gaza during November 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defense the BBC’s Wyre Davis wrote:
In the BBC Gaza office, that feeling was most tangibly felt on the first day of this conflict when Omar, the 11-month-old son of our cameraman Jihad Misharawi, was killed when a missile hit his home. It was a pointless, terrible tragedy that deeply affected Jihad’s colleagues who live and work here in these testing conditions.
Indeed, the BBC in its coverage, claimed Omar almost as one of its own, making sure to mention him in dispatches as the victim of an Israeli attack without even considering any other possibility:
Many of the Palestinians killed in Gaza during the last two days by the Israeli aerial and naval bombardment were members of militant groups, but civilians – including at least four children – were also among the dead. They included 11-month-old Omar, the son of Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic picture editor.
And thanks to his links to the BBC, Misharawi’s tragedy became one of the highest profile incidents of civilian casualties during the conflict, appearing in many other media outlets including the Washington Post, where it made the front page and a behind the scenes feature which stated:
An Israeli round hit Misharawi’s four-room home in Gaza Wednesday, killing his son, according to BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar.
The first incident is the Mishrawi case; the second one concerns Mahmoud Sadallah. The photo of Mishrawi in agony while carrying his dead son, flanked by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah, became famous during the operation and was instrumental in Hamas’s propaganda against Israel. The photo of Sadallah, a four-year-old boy, was used for a photo-op with Egyptian PM Hesham Kandil and Haniyeh.
The UN itself investigated this case and believes that the attack came from a Hamas rocket, not Israel, contrary to the way the BBC reported it, as well as the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Daily Mail and others. They assume that Israel must be guilty by default.
Israel Frontline It was a defining image of the last conflagration in Gaza. Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh (photo below) and Egyptian prime minister Hashim Kandil held up a Palestinian child’s corpse to the cameras, his face bloodied, his lifeless eyes a compelling entreaty to the world: “Will you not stand against Israel for killing this child!?”
In a grotesque irony, one of the thousands of rockets Hamas had aimed at Israeli children reportedly landed on the 4-year-old Gazan boy instead. The Islamist group thought nothing of turning the child into a PR weapon — and the international press obliged.
That same week, Palestinian activists repeatedly tried to pass off photos of dead Arab children as Israel’s doing. The photos were in fact of Syrian children massacred weeks earlier by Bashar Assad.
And this month, following unprecedented public criticism, the UN fired Kulhood Badawi, one of its senior public affairs officers in Jerusalem. Badawi had tried to peddle a photo of a girl killed in an accident in 2006 as a victim of Israel. These activists, Badawi and Hamas — whose minister boasted in 2009 of its use of “human shields of the women, the children… to challenge the Zionist bombing machine” — assumed that the international press would simply take them at their word, as it had always done.
Similar charges against Israel appeared in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Huffington Post and others.
Bloggers exposed their lies, such as the Hamas-published photo of a dead child below which really was a dead child in Syria, but the damage had been done. And the damage when journalists help certain Palestinian activists abuse public compassion to demonize Israel is counted in lives lost — on both sides.
Honest Reporting This information was released on March 6. As yet, no mainstream media outlet has covered the UN report let alone revisited the story of Omar Misharawi. The media, so quick to judge Israel as the brutal killer of Palestinian children, have not bothered to correct an error when it turns out that Hamas is responsible for the killing.
Clearly, confirmation that Hamas is responsible for the deaths of its own people, including children, isn’t news for the mainstream media and that includes correcting those errors where Israel has wrongly taken the blame.
HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams adds:
Yet again the reflexive anti-Israel attitude of the foreign media has led to false accusations against Israel. That the media is unwilling to correct the error or to hold Hamas publicly responsible is not only a slap in the face for Israel but also to the readers and viewers who are entitled to proper standards of accuracy from the media. Those media that published a falsehood should hold up their hands and print a retraction immediately.
You can help force the media to print those retractions by sending your comments to outlets including: the BBC – www.bbc.co.uk/complaints, the readers’ editors of the Washington Post – email@example.com – and The Guardian – firstname.lastname@example.org, the Daily Telegraph – email@example.com, and the Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/contact/.
In the BBC report below, the ‘injured’ guy who had to be carried out at 2:12 seems to have made a miraculous recovery by 2:43.