Palestinians say Israel trying to Silence Media, by Attacking Journalists

The USG Open Source Center translates articles from the Arabic on the Israeli attack on newspapers and journalists in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians Say Israel Trying To Silence Media Following Attack on Journalists
West Bank and Gaza Strip — OSC Summary
Sunday, November 18, 2012 …
Document Type: OSC Summary…

The Bethlehem-based independent Ma’an News Agency in Arabic reports at 0031 GMT on 18 November that “in the early hours of the morning, Israeli war planes shelled the Al-Shawwa and Al-Husari Tower in Gaza City. The tower, which accommodates several media offices, including the Ma’an office, was shelled with four rockets. The attack targeted the eleventh storey belonging to the Al-Quds satellite channel. Three journalists from the satellite channel sustained what was described as moderate wounds.

The tower accommodates satellite channels and local and foreign media outlets, including Ma’an. The Israeli war planes continued their intensive and violent attacks on the Gaza Strip during the night and the early morning.”

At 2359 GMT on 17 November, the HAMAS-run Beirut-based Al-Quds TV carries the following “urgent” screen caption: “Al-Quds correspondent: Media teams in the Al-Husari building call ambulances to evacuate wounded people after an Israeli attack on the building.”

At 0013 GMT on 18 November, Al-Quds TV carries the following “urgent” screen caption: “Our correspondent says that three employees from Al-Quds TV were wounded in the Israeli shelling of the Al-Quds TV offices in Al-Shawwa and Al-Husari Tower in central Gaza.” At 0031 GMT the station reports that the number of wounded people in the station has risen to four.

At 0045 GMT, the station identifies the four wounded media staff as Darwish Bulbul, Ibrahim Labad, Muhammad al-Akhras, and Hazim al-Da’ur.
At 0101 GMT, a correspondent reports that the number of casualties has risen to six and a screen caption says that journalists Khadr al-Zahhar sustained severe wounds.

At 0109 GMT, Al-Quds TV carries the following “urgent” screen caption: “Al-Quds TV views this attack as an ugly crime and a blatant violation of media freedom.”

At 0110 GMT, a correspondent standing outside a Hospital interviews one of the wounded correspondents, Hazim al-Da’ur, together with Imad al-Afranji, head of the Gaza office of Al-Quds TV. Al-Da’ur provides an account of the attack while being propped up by two people holding him.
At 0111 GMT, Al-Quds TV reports in a screen caption that “our colleague Khadr al-Zahhar had his leg amputated after the occupation crime in which the bureau was bombed. Another was wounded by shrapnel all over his entire body and he is in severe condition.”

Al-Afranji is then interviewed and says that “the occupation wants to show the world that it is the victim and that the Palestinian people are the ones who dispersed the Jews, but the opposite is true. They are the ones who came to Palestine and forced us out of our homes. The Palestinian people are a victim and we will convey this picture to the world through our profession. We will show the truth of what is happening on the ground, without exaggerating or using any media fabrications.”

He says that the image of “steadfast” Palestinians “angered” Israel. Afranji further notes that “this was a deliberate targeting of journalists and media staff. Last time they demolished the offices of the Al-Aqsa satellite station, attacked the offices of the Abu-Dhabi channel, and killed around seven journalists.” He adds that Al-Quds TV lost two of its journalists in the 2008-2009 military operation, adding that “now, they want to repeat this.” He says that “They will not succeed in silencing the media.”

15 Responses

  1. One wonders the Israelis can not see, once again, their blind stupidity and arrogance… the shear arrogance of being self-proclaimed ‘God’s Chosen’ as a perpetual source of so called ‘Anti-Semitism’…

    Personally, I am no fan of the Islamification of this part of Eurabia [Berlin / Scandinavia] but the Jewish mentality ‘takes the cake’! QED

  2. One has to lament that once again the Palestinians are less than masters of P.R.!

    Where are their supporters in Lebanon, Hezbollah, the occupied West Bank, and why are they not all rioting and dividing the propaganda and IDF?

    Why?

  3. Given the success of Israeli/Zionic “interests” in the US in warping the public discourse here without firing a shot (as far as I can recall, other than that business about trying to sink the USS Liberty back in ’67), one might reply that PR efforts by the Palestinians have been mighty, but totally obscured by their owners and occupiers in the one “market” where over time, doses of the true on-the-ground might have a chance of making a difference.

    But you know those awful Palestinians are all Arab Terrrorists, don’t you? So they are Our Enemy Too, and the Likudniks are doing us a favor using weapons we mostly supply to push them into the Mediterranean.

  4. The NPR journalist in Gaza reported, this morning, that he saw a person fire a rocket from nearby the building housing the media, and that apparently that person thought he could use the media building as a shield. He then continued his report, not talking about Gaza, but about what was happening in Israel.This journalist apparently never bothered to visit a hospital in Gaza and report what he had seen, including the lack of adequate medicine and equiptment owing to the blockade.

    NPR, of course, means National Propaganda (Israeli) Radio.

    It continually makes me sick to hear NPR’s reporting on the Isreli-Palestinian conflict. I have never heard Juan Cole, or Noam Chomsky being asked to comment on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on NPR, but Martin Idyk, one of the founders of AIPAC, and past president, is on whenever there is a flairup of violence

    • So are you accusing the NPR journalist of lying or merely being unbalanced in his reporting? Because the only thing really relevant about your post to the topic at hand is that there is justification for the Israelis targeting certain sites that house media outlets because people at said sites are shooting rockets at Israel. Oh, and then there’s the matter of said Palestinian media (particularly the Hamas-run media) not mentioning that fact, which is not exactly a surprise.

      I am no supporter of the Netanyahu government, the settlement programs, or a lot of the other things that Israel has done or is doing with regards to its conflicts with the Palestinians. It greatly saddens me that the current government clearly has no interest in pursuing any sort of meaningful peace process. However, at the same time, I have no sympathy for Hamas, especially with regards to this new round of violence. Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza, made the choice to indiscriminately fire rockets into Israel in the hope of killing as many people, military or civilian, as possible while terrorizing the Israeli population. They stockpile and fire these weapons in close proximity to civilians so as to give Israel the choice between not responding to these daily acts of violence or to risk civilian casualties with every strike. The IDF, on the other hand, not only makes an effort to protect their own citizens, rather than use them as a shield, but also makes an significant effort to avoid killing Palestinian civilians, both by going the extra mile to pinpoint strikes towards military targets while leaving civilians unharmed, but also by warning civilians to vacate areas that contain military targets before they bomb them.

      This is not to say, by any means, that the IDF hasn’t been heavy-handed, nor that all of their actions in this latest round of violence are justified or anything like that. But at the same time, there is a clear moral difference between the actions of the IDF and Hamas.

      • If we’re being clear, we should ask what the definition of terrorism is. The US uses violence against civillians for a political purpose. Netanyahu’s election is coming up. Isn’t that a political purpose? Are civillians getting killed by the IDF or not?

        It’s definitely understandable to be scared of chaotic rockets. But they’re not as chaotic as IDF propaganda argues. They’re predictable, just as all terrorism is. It works on political uncertainty. That’s a reason to support violence less, not to balance it with more and draw distinctions where they don’t exist.

        Can Palestinians prove that Israel is responsible for all the violence against them? No. Can you provide evidence that Hamas is responsible for all the rockets? I doubt it. In fact, I think there’s some evidence to suggest they target IDF when they can. It seems they can cut rockets to 1/20th the amount when they want to, but not completely. It seems some rocketers choose to attack IDF directly while some shoot randomly. Shouldn’t we ask on what authority each attack was done before categorically labeling each group?

  5. Gaza, recipient of a large scale Israeli attack in response to a few rockets that killed a few Israelis, comprised as of two days ago of eight hundred air strikes plus shelling from the sea and calls for 75,000 reservists. Thirty two miles long by 5 miles average width, 141 square miles or 90,000 acres, population 1,700,000, population density 12,000 per square mile or 18.7 per acre. Air strikes per square mile: 5.6, population per airstrike: 2125.
    33.7/141

    Manhattan, NY: 33.7 sq miles, 21,568 acres, population 1,600,000, pop density 70,000/ sq mile, air strikes per square mile proportional to Israel’s strikes on Gaza: 192

    Cedar Rapids, IA: 71 sq miles, 45440 acres, pop 126,000, pop density 1774/ sq mile, 2.7 per acre, proportionate airstrikes: 376, population per airstrike: 335, airstrikes per square mile: 4.7

    Israel’s clear preference for their “Palestinian problem” would be that all the Palestinians simply leave. That is remarkably like Nazi Germany’s initial desire for the Jews, at least until the tremendous funding potential of confiscated assets of killed Jews for German military expansion was recognized. Because current nations on earth have no more interest in absorbing the Palestinians of Gaza today than the nations of 1940 wanted to absorb German Jews then, and because the Palestinians today understandably have little desire to leave what remains of their homeland, Israel’s solution set to its “problem” population is also quite similar to a number of Nazi Germany’s Jewish solutions: sequestration, legal disablement, suspension of citizenship, confiscation of land, physical damage to Palestinian people and businesses, intimidation, legal hooliganism (as opposed to Putin hooliganism), disablement of Palestinian social, regulatory, and executive structures, limitations on local and international business transactions inclouding imports and exports, obstruction and criminalization of independent humans rights and internal Palestinian organizations opposing Israel’s encroachment, reductions of access to raw and finished materials necessary for basic human survival, demonization of the population, propagation of hate, disproportional military response (currently in progress), manipulation of media (always in progress), assassinations, and so on.

    The only real differences between Germany in 1942 and Gaza 2012 are overt starvation (because Israel carefully makes sure Palestinians only mostly starve), major outbreaks of disease, unintentional or intentional, and large scale exterminations. Israel manages to fund itself far beyond its own output by continual appropriation of Palestinian assets, and avoids the nasty PR complications of overt exterminations by systematized legal theft which increases the number of internal Palestinian refugees who, it might easily be imagined, are more than chagrined and willing to pick up whatever weapon is at hand. Who then of course deserve to be attacked as the bad guys. And also of course, the generous gifts of ??? billions of dollars from its great friend, the champion of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the United States, were not advantages Hitler enjoyed. But, like Churchill considering the Germans in 1941, a Palestinian chance epidemic of high mortality would probably be greeted today in Israel with more relief rather than hand wringing. Or perhaps relish in one’s rooms and some public handwringing to keep the show going. Shooting fish in a barrel. No exit allowed. A response of silence and duplicity in the West. Just like Warsaw, complete with tunnels.

  6. Viewed objectively, the United States has no vital national interest in supporting Israel. Contrary to the belief of some on the Left, Israel is not a cat’s paw for U.S. interests in the Near East. The U.S. national interest would be far better served by dealing with the Arab World without the baggage and drag that the U.S.-Israeli connection has on our Near East policy.

    The U.S. has been consistent in its opposition to the West Bank settlements, but Israel has been just as consistent in thumbing its nose at the U.S. The attack on the USS Liberty in the opening days of the Six-Day War in 1967, resulting in the death and wounding of many U.S. Navy personnel, was clearly accomplished with the full knowledge that it was a U.S. naval vessel. Unfortunately, domestic politics and an unhealthy policy of support for Israel at any cost prevents the U.S. from really putting the hammer down on these issues.

    In 1948, when there was debate whether or not the U.S. should recognize Israel, Secretary of State George C. Marshall and the Department of State recommended to President Truman that the U.S. withhold recognition. Marshall and the State Department understood that there was no U.S. interest served by recognizing a foreign body injected into the Arab World. Truman rejected the advice, and the U.S. was the first country to officially recognize Israel. Interestingly, the Soviet Union was the second country to recognize Israel, primarily because the founders of Israel were largely East European Socialists, and the USSR thought it would have an ally in Israel. The result of 64 years of U.S. support for Israel at any cost is that we have gained nothing in terms of national interest and lost much.

    • President Truman was facing a tough re-election bid in 1948 and the number of Jewish-American voters in swing states such as Illinois likely was a factor in supporting David Ben_Gurion’s call for recognition. Jewish members in the U.S. Congress pushed for recognition of a Zionist state.

      The Israel Communist Party has been a bastion for Jewish-Arab solidarity in Israel since 1948. The last surviving member of the First Knesset was Toufik Toubi, a Christian Arab from Haifa who was a Communist. Meir Vilner, also a Marxist, was the last surviving signatory of the Declaration of Independence of Israel.

      Today the Israel Communist Party is known under the name Hadash and Arab Israelis in such areas as Nazareth vote heavily Marxist in the Knesset elections.

  7. Megacephalus, your statement about “the shear arrogance of being self-proclaimed ‘God’s Chosen’” is abjectly odious.

    Religions of any sort tend to claim to be the chosen ones. To specifically condem Judasim for this is indeed anti-Semitic.

    It is company like yours that makes it easy for Likkudniks of any color to brush of human right based criticism as nothing but Antisemitism.

  8. Oh, come now., Surely the berserker Netenyahu is only imitating the Bush Gang’s shoot-up of a Baghdad hotel full of troublesome journalists who foolishly insisted on reporting the truth.

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