Israel and the Media
Hamas Rockets Most Deadly to Palestinian Civilians

In one of those cases where it’s hard to tell which is more newsworthy, the statement or the source, Amnesty International has come forth to condemn Hamas’s tactics during the last Gaza war. AFP reports:

In a damning report released Thursday, Amnesty International said Palestinian rocket fire during the 2014 summer war in Gaza had killed more civilians inside the Gaza Strip than inside Israel.

The comparison, of course, is not to “soldiers inside Israel,” because everyone knows Hamas’s unguided rockets are intended to target civilians. Furthermore, the low number of Israeli civilian casualties (6) is a product of Hamas’s lack of access to advanced technology and the efforts that Israel (and the United States) expend on the Iron Dome system. It’s certainly not due to lack of murderous intent on Hamas’s part: the terror group fired 4,591 rockets into Israel during that period.

According to the report, 197 of them fell short, and some of those killed Palestinian civilians. The numbers involved are both imprecise and relatively small, but those deaths were of significant international propaganda value at the time—for the Palestinians:

It referred to one particular incident on July 28 in which 13 people were killed in deadly blast inside the beach-side Shati refugee camp in Gaza City.

At the time, Palestinian witnesses blamed the attack on an Israeli F-16 warplane, but the army denied firing on the camp, accusing militants of misfiring their own rockets.

“In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian armed group during the conflict, 13 Palestinian civilians –- 11 of them children –- were killed when a projectile exploded next to a supermarket in the crowded al-Shati refugee camp,” the report said.

Contrary to Palestinian claims that Israel was responsible, “an independent munitions expert who examined the available evidence on behalf of Amnesty International concluded that the projectile used in the attack was a Palestinian rocket,” it said.

We’ve written before of the central role the media plays in Hamas’s warfighting strategy. And in December, we examined former AP reporter Matti Friedman’s explosive and detailed allegations about the way in which the intersection of the “human rights” establishment and the media creates a pro-Palestinian focus (and significant blind spots) in coverage of the Israeli conflict. Given that, it’s heartening to see Amnesty International coming forward with this report—though we won’t hold our breath while waiting for its biases to disappear.

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