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Telling the Truce? By: HonestReporting.com
HonestReporting.com | Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Since a "ceasefire" has come into effect between Israel and Hamas, media coverage of the conflict has also declined.

In the past, the media has failed to properly report on Palestinian terror and provocations against Israel, instead waiting to report on Israeli responses and counter-terror measures, thus portraying Israel as the sole aggressor. Will the same thing happen this time?

The answer may very well be in the affirmative if the international media has failed to cover these serious violations of the ceasefire over the past few days:

  • June 24: Three Qassam rockets land in Sderot; one home damaged, two people treated for shock.
  • June 26: Qassam explodes in an open area in Sderot's industrial zone.
  • June 27: Two mortar shells fired from Gaza; one shell hits near Kibbutz Kfar Aza, another lands in an uninhabited area.
  • June 28: Several mortar shells fired at the Karni Crossing area.

Despite this, the BBC's report on June 27, "Gaza truce 'violated repeatedly'", led with alleged Israeli violations, waiting until the third paragraph to mention Palestinian rockets and mortars:

A fragile eight-day-old truce between Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip appears to have been violated repeatedly by both sides.

A UN source says Israeli troops have opened fire on Palestinian farmers several times, causing injuries. Israel says its forces fired warning shots.

Palestinian militants have also broken the ceasefire, firing rockets and mortars into Israeli territory.

Irrespective of the veracity of an unnamed "UN source" (many Palestinians are employed by the UN in Gaza, including Hamas members), why will the BBC not recognize that there is no moral equivalence between rocket and mortar attacks on the western Negev and the firing of warning shots by an IDF wary of potential terrorist activities near the border fence?

Complaints to the BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

Despite the rocket and mortar attacks, Israel has decided to reopen the Gaza crossings after initially closing them in response. The Associated Press, however, in a fit of chronological inversion, employed the headline: "Israel closes Gaza, Palestinians fire mortars".

Thus, Israel's border closure is falsely portrayed as the reason behind the Palestinian mortars instead of the other way around.

Comments to Associated Press - feedback@ap.org

Please also be on the lookout for the omission of important context - the ceasefire agreement applies to Gaza and not to the West Bank, where Israeli forces are still free to operate against Palestinian terrorists.

For example, The Guardian reported that Palestinian "rockets were fired by the militant group Islamic Jihad, which said it was acting in response to the killing of one of its commanders in the occupied West Bank earlier that day."

While Islamic Jihad needs little excuse to fire rockets into Israel, The Guardian failed to make it clear that Israeli operations in the West Bank are not in violation of the ceasefire.

Comments to The Guardian - letters@guardian.co.uk

Keep an eye on your local media to see how it is covering the "ceasefire" and continuing Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks.

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