Last week, 11 Palestinians were killed in violent crossfire between Hamas and Fatah, as Hamas conducted a raid on the rival Fatah’s Hilles clan in Gaza City. Fatah men fled towards Israel, when Hamas refused to allow Palestinian medical ambulances to evacuate the injured. Israel allowed more that 180 Fatah members to enter through the Israeli Nahal Oz terminal, many of whom were injured in exchange of fire with Hamas.

In a humanitarian gesture, IDF soldiers removed injured Fatah members from Hamas mortar fire on the battlefield, bringing them to Israel to receive medical treatment at top Israeli hospitals. (Note that Fatah’s Al Aqsa Brigades have consistently fired Qassam rockets on Israel).

Five of the injured Palestinians were taken to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment, while ten others were taken to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center. A number of Palestinians were evacuated to Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center.

Where was the international media coverage at this moment?

Truth be told, the Israeli government once again missed a perfect opportunity to shed positive light on Israel. Little if any attention was given to this significant humanitarian gesture. The overall silence on part of the Israeli government serves to highlight its terribly weak information policy. At the end of the week, the images that captured world attention were of the naked Palestinians, standing at the checkpoint, blindfolded as IDF soldiers ran security checks.

What the world does not know and what the Israeli government does not bother to explain is why the IDF operates as it does in regard to the checkpoints and roadblocks. On numerous occasions, Palestinians disguised as innocent civilians, have entered checkpoints with explosives and blown themselves up. Hence, the Fatah men were checked for arms and explosives by the IDF to prevent such tragic incidents from reoccurring. Unfortunately, as international photojournalists clicked their cameras away at the scene, only this captured moment of the ensuing scenario made its way to Israeli and international headline news.

There was not one photo to be found of the Palestinian men being transported by Israeli ambulances to Israeli hospitals. Likewise, there was not one photo of the Israeli soldiers helping these Palestinians off the battlefield.

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Those photos of the naked Palestinians simply substantiate the accepted image of Israel acting as the cruel aggressor while Palestinians remain defenseless against the Israeli “conquerors.”

Unfortunately, repeated images of powerless Palestinians standing against the mighty Israeli army have been branded into the minds of people across the world. There are other angles to the Arab-Israeli conflict that are never shown in the media–the humanitarian gesture of the IDF soldiers in this instance, is only one example among many. Photos capture moments, not absolute truth, and in the Arab-Israeli conflict this has been proven time and time again.

Photo by: Roy Idan


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