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October 15, 2014

Where's the coverage? U.N. Report Shows Gaza Damaged Limited

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During last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, news reports often highlighted claims of noncombatant casualties made by Palestinian sources or agencies relying on such sources. They also emphasized damage Israel inflicted on housing and other Gaza Strip infrastructure during its war against Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip.

Such reports frequently missed the fact that many of those casualties were not civilians, for example, as indicated three weeks in the 50 days of fighting by CAMERA’s senior analyst Steve Stotsky (“How Hamas Wields Gaza’s Casualties as Propaganda,” TIME, July 29, 2014)

Another analysis, this one by the U.N. Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also was missed or ignored by much of the media. The United Nations, of course, is a font of anti-Israel activity, and one must sift through hyperbole in the Humanitarian Affairs office report about "unprecedented" destruction, but data it contains support Israel’s contention that it targeted Hamas in a restrained manner.

According to a review of the study, done for the Web site www.israellycool.com:

“It now becomes very clear that most of the damage was caused to 5 locations right on the border with Israel. The rest of the Gaza Strip was, for the most part, undamaged. The main population areas of Gaza City, Jabaliya, Khan Yunes, Rafah and Deir el-Balah were disproportionately undamaged.

“If we do a rough estimate of the damage area, it is once again clear the vast majority of the Gaza Strip was unscathed. With a fairly generous estimation that a damage point has a 25 meter radius — the footprint of a house, or the blast radius of a bomb — the total damage area of the 12,433 impacts was in the order of 15 KM2. The land area of the Gaza strip is 360 Km2. In other words, less than 5 percent of the land was affected” (“Assessing the UN’s OCHA ‘Gaza Crisis Atlas 2014’ Report,” Israellycool, Aug. 24, 2014).

Where was the coverage of such basic information? During the July-August war scores of pictures of Palestinian casualties and damaged or destroyed buildings ran in The Washington Post (“More than 100 Palestinians dead in worse day of Gaza conflict; Israel denies soldier captured,” July 24, 2014), New York Times (“Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza Conflict,” Aug. 5, 2014) and Chicago Tribune (“100 Palestinians, 13 Israelis killed in bloody Gaza fighting”, July 20, 2014), among others.

Yet, The Post, N.Y. Times, Tribune and many other outlets did not undertake their own analysis of the report the U.N. Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. This, despite the fact that coverage of the fighting during the summer promoted heightened anti-Israel and, as exemplified by murderous slogans chanted at pro-Palestinian rallies in Europe, antisemitic behavior.

So, Israel’s intensive attacks against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip left 95 percent of the territory unscathed. Where was the coverage?—by Ziv Kaufman.

Posted by ER at October 15, 2014 02:38 PM

Comments

Earlier this week, Yahoo ran an article on Israeli limitations on Gaza fishing areas, which was subsequently thoroughly debated by the readership. This article was headed by a panoramic photo of
Gaza's port and main business district. Despite
coverage that talks about Gaza as if it were Dresden circa 1945, this photo shows the main
business district of Gaza, full of high-value
targets, as totally undamaged.
arcaneone

Posted by: arcaneone at October 26, 2014 06:33 AM

I expect to attend the Nov. 9 conclave in Jerusalem
along with some others, in hope of making a decisive
break with our recent defensive policies. One such
point is an expose' of news media practices, which are outrageous and damaging to Israel's interests.

Note the period immediately before and after the
"Cast Lead" offensive. While the Palestinians are
usually portrayed as being desperate, when they broke through the Egyptian barrier at Rafah early
in 2008, they were reported as returning laden with cases of CocaCola and cigarettes. These are not the acts of people concerned with basic nutrition.

After the war, the prevailing view in the media
was that Gaza had been flattened and busiess had
all but stopped. Suddenly, in approximately June, 2010, everything changed, and Hamas was opening luxury stores, luxury hotels, luxury restaurants,
swimming pools, and apartment complexes.

Each of these projects had to have taken several months to complete, if not more, yet nothing about this massive construction appeared in the world press. Not all the individual companies
represented in Gaza's gargantuan press corps are
sympathetic to Hamas, the reporters must have been passing the construction sites collectively hundreds of times per day all the while, yet no one blew the whistle on this deception.

In a similar vein, no one is saying, let alone
loudly and repeatedly, that in a place supposedly short of electricity, the only way that the
luxury restaurants can get the electricity to keep the ice cream from melting is to take more
away from those already deprived. The same is true of clean water, and everything else in short
supply.

Why isn't the media screaming this from the rooftops? Why, for that matter, aren't we?
arcaneone

Posted by: arcaneone at October 28, 2014 06:21 AM

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