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February 23, 2016

Thoughtful Time Magazine Story Offers Insight on Looming Gaza Tunnel Campaign


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So much of the news coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is tainted by bias and subjectivity. That is why it is notable when a major media outlet publishes an article on the topic that is informative and free from bias. Such was the case on Feb. 22, 2016 in Time Magazine. In "The Next War Between Israel and Hamas May Be Fought Underground," correspondent Kate Shuttleworth (with help from Mohammad al-Zaharna) provides readers with the facts and refreshing insight from interviews in Gaza about the looming danger.

Shuttleworth describes Hamas's expansive tunnel digging into Israel near the Gaza border in preparation for its next war with Israel. She manages to find unusually candid subjects to explore the diverging opinions among Gazans.

One of them, Mkhaimer Abusada, is a professor of political science at al-Azhar University in Gaza. Abusada "estimates that two-thirds of the Gazan population do not support another war with Israel," but admits there are many who do. According to Abusada,

“The Palestinian community in Gaza is divided — those affiliated with Hamas are very comfortable with the strategy of digging tunnels and developing missiles. Hamas creates an illusion that Israel will be defeated and that people will be able to pray in al-Aqsa mosque — people buy this fantasy.”

Abusada also asserts that building materials intended to help rebuild homes destroyed in the last round of fighting are diverted by Hamas to help in the construction of the tunnels.

Shuttleworth also interviews a Gazan mother of a tunnel digger who firmly supports Hamas. Shuttleworth writes,

Yousra al Shobaki, mother of 22-year-old Ghazwan, who dug tunnels and fought for Hamas’s military wing, al-Qassam, told TIME she supports Hamas’ efforts. “We will win in the end. I ask all the mothers in Gaza to support the jihad and to go to the mosques to teach them how to defend their country — and to teach their sons what jihad means. I wish all the young Qassam men the best in their work, and I hope they will win in the end of all these conflicts with the Israelis. There is no such thing as Israel — these people occupied our land, there is nothing called Israel.

The Time piece puts the Gaza population at 1.2 million. This estimate is in line with figures calculated by a group of Israeli demographers, whose controversial study asserts that the official Palestinian Authority figures exaggerate the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza by more than a million.

Shuttleworth's informed and objective reporting contrasts with that of longtime correspondent Karl Vick, whom CAMERA has criticized on several occasions. It also demonstrates more of a commitment to journalistic standards in covering the Israeli-Arab conflict than found at the struggling news magazine Newsweek, once regarded as Time's main competitor.

Posted by SS at February 23, 2016 03:13 PM

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