Jewish Right To Israel

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Excuse Me, Did Someone Say Hamas Fired Rockets Into Israel Again?

From an email from DG:
Yesterday in response to continue rocket and mortar fire the IDF responded striking at positions where terrorists had been. Which newspaper reported the following essential information?
Relatives and neighbors were unusually open about the fact that the Israeli mortar attack was an attempt to hit militants firing rockets from the nearby grove.

“We heard the sound of four mortars being fired by militants from a grove just beyond our house,” said Hassan, the older brother of Mohammed Harrara. “A few minutes later, the Israeli shells landed in the area.”

It was in Fares Akram's report in the New York Times: Israeli Attack on Gaza Militants Kills 4 Civilians

The article is illustrated with a photograph of one of the dead children. However, I give Akram credit for establishing Israeli claims.

By the way the Times headlined the report with "Israeli Attack on Gaza Militants Kills 4 Civilians," which is more accurate than the Washington Post's Palestinian civilians and 4 militants killed by Israeli fire in Gaza

The Post's article leads with:
Eight Palestinians, including four civilians and four militants, were killed Tuesday in two separate Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian spokesmen said. Israeli officials said the strikes were a response to the most serious escalation in rocket and mortar fire from the coastal territory since the 2009 Israeli offensive that sought to end such attacks.
Note that the fact the attack was a response to terrorism is something that "Israeli officials said." I wonder if there's some other way to put it, without that qualification.

The Post of course had a denial from Hamas.
Although Abu Silmiya said the four people killed in eastern Gaza were the victims of Israeli tank fire, the Israeli army said it had fired mortars in response to four military projectiles launched from the northern part of Gaza that landed in the area of the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council inside Israel.

Tahar al-Nounou, a spokesman for Hamas's government in Gaza, said that no one had fired rockets from the area targeted by Israel on Tuesday. "The Palestinian government condemns strongly the awful crime that was committed by the Zionist occupation this afternoon,'' he said in Gaza.
Again, I'll emphasize, the New York Times quoted witnesses who confirmed the IDF's account.

Note these two (non-contiguous) paragraphs at the end of the Washington Post story:
Although Hamas has at times worked to prevent attacks into Israel, three days ago the group asserted responsibility for firing 50 mortar rounds, prompting an Israeli complaint to the United Nations and raising fears of an otherwise low-level confrontation becoming a broader conflict.

... The heightened violence follows calls by Palestinians in the West Bank to end the political divisions with Hamas. Some observers in Gaza have speculated that the increased Palestinian mortar and rocket fire could be an attempt to create a distraction and to undermine any reconciliation effort.
The first asserts that Hamas "worked to prevent attacks into Israel." There's no qualification of "Hamas claims." The subsequent sentence reduces Hamas's culpability for most of the terror. The final paragraph suggests that reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is a necessary step for peace. But reconciliation means that Fatah accepts Hamas's ideology, the explicit call for the destruction of Israel. Both paragraphs have the effect of casting Hamas (or at least its "political wing," as "moderate.")

Meryl has a brilliant critique of the AP's reportage: There’s dead, and then there’s killed by Israel

Here's a taste:
Of course, the real difference between Israelis and Palestinians can be seen in their reaction to the death of civilians. When the Fogels were murdered, Gazans celebrated. At the news that a mortar strike went horribly wrong, the prime minister of Israel expressed his regret for the deaths.
Notice too that Netanyahu's regret wasn't emphasized, while Abbas's regret at the killing of the Fogel's was a major focal point of the reporting. Abbas's statement of regret (however shallow) was news.
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