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July 29, 2014

Hamas Intimidates Press in Gaza Strip

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Does intimidation of journalists by Hamas distort coverage of Israel’s “Operation Protective edge” in the Gaza Strip? The Times of Israel reported that it “confirmed several incidents in which journalists were questioned and threatened. These included cases involving photographers who had taken pictures of Hamas operatives in compromising circumstances—gunmen preparing to shoot rockets from within civilian structures, and/or fighting in civilian clothing—and who were then approached by Hamas men, bullied and had their equipment taken away.

“Another case involving a French reporter was initially reported by the journalist involved, but the account was subsequently removed from the Internet.” (“Hamas threatening journalists in Gaza who expose abuse of civilians," July 28, 2014). Reporting from areas of Gaza under Hamas control is somewhat like reporting from Syria, Iran, China or other closed or partially closed societies. In such place press freedom is a privilege granted by those in power to further their ends, not a right upheld by democratic authorities. This means reports from Gaza under Hamas rule must be considered with some skepticism.

The Times of Israel further reported that: “And it [Hamas] has emphatically limited reporters’ access to aspects of Hamas operations that would reflect to its detriment. One example of this relates to Gaza’s Shifa hospital, the [Israeli] official added. “We know that downstairs there is a Hamas command and control center and that Hamas leaders are hiding there. No reporter is allowed to go anywhere downstairs. They’re only allowed to work upstairs to take pictures of casualties, the pictures that Hamas wants them to take.”

An earlier report by The Jerusalem Post noted that “Several journalists from around the world reported seeing rockets fired from civilian areas in Gaza in recent days, and received threatening tweets in return accusing them of ‘informing’ the IDF” (“Gaza reporters’ tweets: Hamas using human shields”, July 24, 2014) Those tweets were followed by threats:

“Another account, @longitude0 wrote: ‘You are a cretin. Are you working for the IDF’ and “in WWII spies got shot.’ “

More tweets by journalists reveal intimidation attempts:

“On Sunday, Janis Mackey Frayer, a correspondent for Canada’s CTV, tweeted that, while in Gaza City’s Shejaiya’s neighborhood, she ‘saw several Hamas gunmen.

’One passed dressed in a woman’s headscarf ... tip of a gun poked out from under cloak.’

She received threats similar to those sent to other reporters.”

In another example, “Harry Fear, a journalist from the UK reporting from Gaza for RT (formerly Russia Today) television, tweeted last week: ‘Early morning Gaza rockets were fired into Israel. A well-known site in W. Gaza City, near my hotel, was among the origins, confirm locals.’

Fear then took on the critics, tweeting soon after that he rejects ‘loaded complaints that I “informed” Israel about the specifics of Gaza military sites.... These sites are well-known among locals and internationals here.

‘Should a journalist only report the noise and ferocity of Israel’s attacks & not the sounds of Gaza’s rockets? Both terrify people,’ he tweeted.

Later that day, Fear tweeted: ‘Al-Wafa hospital has been hit in the last while; injuries reported—this is the hospital with human shields.’ ”

Treating press coverage from Gaza under Hamas influence as equivalent to that from open societies, including Israel and the United States, is potentially misleading. Audiences should understand the implicit warning label attached to coverage from societies under intimidation. -- by Ziv Kaufman

Posted by ER at July 29, 2014 04:51 PM

Comments

There was a great article how Hamas covers up its crimes in Gaza and tries to blame Israel.
Gabriele Garbati detailed how Hamas was responsible for the missile that killed the 10 civilians at Al Shati Monday and then Hamas tried to say Israel was responsible.

Gabriele Garbati was reporting in Gaza and could only tell the truth, how a Hamas missile killed the civilians at Al Shati once he left Gaza.
Shati could have never wrote this if he was still in Gaza. He knows the terror state Hamas runs.
Here is the article.

http://twitchy.com/2014/07/29/italian-journalist-al-shati-massacre-caused-by-hamas-misfire-not-israel/
Italian journalist: Al Shati ‘massacre’ caused by Hamas misfire, not Israel
July 29, 2014 by Twitchy Staff

Posted by: Barry Meridian at July 30, 2014 09:51 AM

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