Palestinian Media Watch is providing valuable monitoring of media coverage in Gaza. The following are excerpts from PMW’s documentation of Palestinian media coverage of the current fighting.
Dec. 30: Hamas TV: 180 killed are from Hamas armed forces
Among those killed Hamas Police Commander, Tawfik Jaber
Hamas TV acknowledged this morning that the vast majority of those killed are from the Hamas military. A news ticker running repeatedly from 10:00 AM announced:
“More than 180 Palestinian policemen were killed including the [Police] Commander, General Tawfik Jaber.”
In the background Hamas TV is repeatedly broadcasting the same scenes of dozens of bodies of the uniformed Hamas soldiers who were killed in Israel’s first attack yesterday when Israel hit the Hamas officer’s course graduation ceremony.
Dec 30: PA Daily: Media are manipulating Gaza news:
Cameraman to mourning mother:“Hit your face, cry, do some action”
A Palestinian journalist has complained that the media and others are manipulating the images going out to the world:
“A mother of one of the martyrs stood by the door of the intensive care unit while crying… relatives and those around her were telling her what she should say to the television cameras: ‘Say your son [before he died] prayed and went out.’ Another tells her: ‘Curse the Arab leaders’… The journalists [in the hospitals] are going overboard in their insensitivity and taking advantage of the [difficult] moments, with the explanation that they are showing this to the world. One cameraman told a mourning mother: ‘Hit your face, cry, do some action.'”
[Al-Ayyam, December 29, 2008]
February 28, 2008: Hamas explains using civilians as human shields: “We desire death as you desire life.” [Feb. 29, 2008]
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
The UN announcement that 51 civilians have died in the conflict in Gaza must be understood in the context of Hamas’s declared ideology to use civilians as human shields for Hamas fighters.
Indeed, Hamas continues to emphasize and promote the religious ideology that death for Allah is an ideal to be actively pursued. The goal is to convince Palestinians, including women and children, not to fear death but even to face it at the front to protect Hamas fighters.
Hamas’s placement of its military installations and fighters among civilians reflects this ideology, and has led to these 51 deaths.
A Hamas representative in the PA legislative council this year expressed pride in the fact that women and children are used as human shields in fighting Israel. He described it as part of a “death industry” at which Palestinians excel, and explained that the Palestinians “desire death” with the same intensity that Israelis “desire life.”
The following is the full text of the comments by Hamas representative Fathi Hamad:
“For the Palestinian people death became an industry, at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the Jihad fighters excel, and the children excel. Accordingly [Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad fighters against the Zionist bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire death as you desire life.”
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas) Feb. 29, 2008]
International Law specializer Tells The Truth On Al-Jazeera
Dec. 30: After sisters’ deaths, Palestinian girl blames Hamas
by Barbara Crook and Itamar Marcus
In response to many requests, PMW is resending the video clip of a young Palestinian girl who blames Hamas for her sisters’ deaths in Gaza. We are including the seconds before and after the girl’s words to clarify that PMW released the full, unedited interview that ran on the Palestinian Authority TV news report.
The interview is very significant. At a time of extreme stress and grief, the girl blames Hamas and not Israel — likely echoing a sentiment she has heard from adults. If this sentiment is representative of growing anger among Gaza residents at Hamas for the destruction it has caused, it has major significance and could have ramifications on the long-term position of Hamas in Palestinian society.
Given the significance of the girl’s accusation, it is surprising that some media outlets have run the interview, without including the quote in which the girl blames Hamas.
The following is the full transcript of the interview.
Please note that the interview was on PA TV (Fatah).
Girl: We were sleeping seven girls in the room.We were asleep and didn’t know what was happening. In the morning all the bricks were on top of my head, and the heads of all my sisters. My four-year-old sister next to me was dead.
Interviewer: How many were you?
Girl: Seven. In the other room were my mother, my father, my younger brother and another sister, who is 13 days old.
Girl: I say Hamas is the cause, in the first place, of all wars, it’s Hamas.
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 29, 2008]