Tom Gross, whose work is exceptionally good, and represents just the kind of excellent journalist driven from the ranks of a Pallywood-dominated 21st century news media (Richard North is another), has a round up of what’s happening in Gaza according to wire services that somehow don’t get much play from their subscribing newspapers. It reminds me of when I took Pallywood and al Durah to a guy at ABC and, although I had convinced him, he declined with the comment: “I don’t know how much appetite there is for this kind of stuff around here.” Apparently, still no appetite.
For the full articles and the links, go to the posting at Gross’s site(ed note – rl)
* In another especially horrific incident this weekend, Hamas kidnapped Mohammed Sweirki, 25, took him to the roof of a 15-story apartment building and threw him off
* In revenge, a Hamas activist was thrown off the 12th floor of a building and killed last night. Four other Hamas men in the building were shot
* This dispatch contains news from non-occupied Gaza that most of the western media are refusing to print, even though to their credit both Reuters and The Associated Press have been sending it out prominently on their main international news wires to which almost every major news outlet in the world subscribes
* In spite of its prominence on the news wires, none of this was mentioned in international newspapers today such as the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune, not even in passing or in their short one-paragraph news briefs. Western media such as the BBC are too busy defaming Israel to notice what is happening in Gaza and Lebanon
– Tom Gross
1. Medics in Gaza protest kidnapping and shooting of doctor
2. Taken to the roof of a 15-story apartment building, and thrown off
3. Palestinians “yearn for a return to the Israeli occupation”
4. Gaza: The unreported kidnap victims
5. Palestinian journalists angry at use of “TV” vehicle in attack
6. Lebanon camp battle enters 4th week, death toll rises
7. Hamas doubles its warhead size
8. Islamic group in Gaza threatens to kill women appearing on TV
9. “Gaza hospital on strike after violence” (AP, June 9, 2007)
10. “Palestinians say fed up with gunmen” (By Wafa Amr, Reuters, June 7, 2007)
11. “Palestinian journalists slam use of ‘TV’ vehicle in Gaza attack” (Reuters, June 10, 2007)
12. “Poll: Most Palestinians depressed by violence” (Washington Times, June 10, 2007)
[Note by Tom Gross]
MEDICS IN GAZA PROTEST KIDNAPPING AND SHOOTING OF DOCTOR
The thousands of people who marched against Israel in Europe over the weekend and in Washington, D.C. yesterday seem barely to have noticed what the Palestinians have been up to since Israel withdrew from “occupied Gaza” almost two years ago. This is largely because the western media have not been reporting properly on the situation, even though the news has been sent out prominently by Reuters and The Associated Press, agencies to which almost every major news outlet in the world subscribe, and it is certainly gruesome enough to report.
For example, The Associated Press reported that “Medics at a northern Gaza Strip hospital walked off their jobs for a few hours Saturday to protest the kidnapping and shooting of a doctor by Palestinian militants… Dr. Fayez al-Barrawi, a known Hamas supporter, was blindfolded, handcuffed and shot six times in the legs, including a kneecap, and then tossed on the street. Hamas has said Fatah militants were behind the kidnapping.”
The AP article, which is attached below in full, continues: “Al-Barrawi worked at Beit Hanoun hospital in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Hamas and Fatah supporters have been kidnapped in recent months by rival gunmen. The treatment of the hostages, who are usually released after a few hours, has become increasingly harsh, and captives are often shot in the legs… Militants have also used hospital rooftops and grounds as firing points, prompting their rivals to fire upon hospitals, threatening staff and patients.”
TAKEN TO THE ROOF OF A 15-STORY APARTMENT BUILDING, AND THROWN OFF
In another story, The Associated Press reported yesterday: “In an especially grisly incident Sunday, Hamas militants kidnapped an officer in a Fatah-linked security force, took him to the roof of a 15-story apartment building and threw him off. Mohammed Sweirki, 25, from the guard of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, was killed in the plunge…”
“And just before midnight, a Hamas activist was thrown off the 12th floor of a building and killed, security officials said. Four other Hamas men in the building were shot and wounded.”
PALESTINIANS “YEARN FOR A RETURN TO THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION”
Meantime, at Reuters, even Wafa Amr*, their infamous Chief Palestinian Correspondent, has quoted a Palestinian legislator who says that Palestinians are “so fed up with the armed groups ‘they now wish the Israeli occupation would take [back] over in Gaza or hope for the return of Jordanian rule in the West Bank’ to get rid of them.” (The full Reuters article is attached below.)
(* For more on Wafa Amr and Reuters, see “The case of Reuters, A news agency that will not call a terrorist a terrorist.” www.tomgrossmedia.com/Reuters.htm)
Last week, a leading Palestinian rights group reported that in recent months an estimated 620 Palestinians (including many civilians) have been killed by Hamas or Fatah and thousands injured often deliberately by knee-capping and other such crimes.
This morning, gunmen opened fire at the Palestinian government building during a cabinet meeting, forcing ministers (including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh) to flee the premises.
In the last full article below, the Washington Times reports that “More than nine in 10 Palestinians show signs of depression caused by despair over violence between Hamas and Fatah gunmen and the apparent demise of the Palestinian unity government, according to a West Bank pollster. Jamil Rabah, the director of Ramallah-based Near East Consulting, said he found that 92 percent of Palestinian survey respondents suffer from depression-related anxiety.”
Does anyone plan a march in London and Washington to demand that Hamas and Fatah (which together make up the Palestinian “national unity” government) actually govern under democratic norms?
GAZA: THE UNREPORTED KIDNAP VICTIMS
Instead western news media like the BBC have reached new depths in their historical revisionism in recent days. With the BBC’s absolute skewering of the truth and ugly tone about Israel and Israelis (most recently in its reporting on the Six-Day War), it is not surprising that anti-Semitism has increased in Britain more than in almost any other country in the west in recent years.
Additionally, dozens of people have been kidnapped in Gaza, but the BBC has barely mentioned them in its daily reports about its kidnapped Gaza correspondent, Alan Johnston.
For example, a group of 15 armed men burst into the ministry of finance in the center of Gaza City and abducted the general director, Hashim Abu Nada, but the western media didn’t report it. (Abu Nada is former general director of Yasser Arafat’s office, and the administrator of hundreds of millions of dollars of western aid.)
In its world news bulletin a few minutes ago, for example, BBC World radio again mentioned that Johnston had been kidnapped but didnt mention the gun attack on the Palestinian cabinet meeting today.
PALESTINIAN JOURNALISTS ANGRY AT USE OF “TV” VEHICLE IN ATTACK
The Palestinian journalists’ union yesterday criticized militants for using a vehicle marked with a “TV” sign to enter Israel on Saturday and attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
“The use of vehicles that carry ‘Press’, ‘TV’ or other signs… expose journalists’ lives to danger, gives the Israeli occupation a pretext to target and kill journalists and restricts their ability to perform their professional and national duties,” the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate said.
The Jerusalem-based Foreign Press Association said in a statement the use of a vehicle marked with TV insignia represented “abuse of this recognized protection for the working journalist” and was “a grave development.” (Full article below.)
Neither organization bothered to condemn the attempt to kidnap Israelis, only the misuse of press credentials.
LEBANON CAMP BATTLE ENTERS 4TH WEEK, DEATH TOLL RISES
Fighting between the Lebanese army and Islamic militants in north Lebanon has entered its fourth week. Dozens of Palestinian civilians at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, where the militants are based, have been killed. It is Lebanon’s worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war.
The Lebanese army has refused to allow Red Cross ambulances in to treat the injured civilians, some of whom are lying bleeding to death in the street, according to Reuters. Can you imagine the outcry at the UN, Arab League, European Union, human rights groups and in the international media if Israel had behaved this way?
HAMAS DOUBLES ITS WARHEAD SIZE
The ruling Hamas movement has doubled the size of the warhead of its Qassam-class, short-range missile, security sources say. They said the conventional explosive warhead was increased from three to six kilograms: “The new warheads are clearly more lethal, and kill or maim people in a larger radius.” Hundreds of missiles have been fired from Gaza into Israel in recent months, killing and injuring Israeli civilians.
Separately, Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced on Wednesday that it had “improved” rockets that had sufficient range to hit strategic targets inside Israel. In a statement issued by the group’s al-Quds Brigades, it was claimed that the new weapons, based on the Russian Grad-type rocket, contain more explosives and have greater range.
ISLAMIC GROUP IN GAZA THREATENS TO KILL WOMEN APPEARING ON TV
The Righteous Swords of Islam, a radical Islamic group in Gaza, issued a death threat last weekend against Palestinian women working for the Palestinian Authority’s official television station. The group accused the women of dressing immodestly and behaving in a way that violates the teachings of Islam.
They distributed a leaflet referring to the women who appear on Palestinian TV, “The saying these days is that the enemy has withdrawn from the Gaza Strip and so have our morals… It’s indeed disgraceful that the women working for the official Palestinian media are competing between each other to display their charms.”
The leaflet concluded by threatening to “slaughter” the women for supposedly spreading corruption in Palestinian society.
Members of this group have been known to splash acid in the face of a number of young women accused of “immoral behavior.” The Righteous Swords of Islam had previously claimed responsibility for attacks on Internet cafes in the Gaza Strip over the past year.
The threats against the female journalists and employees are very serious, but groups like Britain’s 40,000-member National Union of Journalists are too busy boycotting Israel to notice.*
– Tom Gross
* (For more on this, see: “Guardian editor condemns U.K. journalists’ call to boycott Israel” www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/000846.html)