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Biased Coverage of Gaza Hostage Rescue Serves Hamas

Clockwise: Noa Argamani, Shlomi Ziv, Andrey Kozlov and Almog Meir Jan. Photo: Courtesy

Media outlets went out of their way on Saturday, June 8, to make Israel’s heroic rescue of four Gaza hostages look tainted or even immoral, with a reframing that served Hamas’ strategy.

Instead of simply reporting the news — that Israeli hostages Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv had been rescued in a rare and complex operation in the heart of Gaza – media outlets chose to label it as one of the “bloodiest” raids of the war.

They used three tactics to achieve that goal, which effectively turned justice into injustice:

Minimizing the achievement by using the term “freed” instead of “rescued” to describe the hostages
Emphasizing the Palestinian death toll based on Hamas figures
Whitewashing the terrorists’ use of civilians as human shields

The Washington Post, for example, committed two of these journalistic crimes:

Its headline led with the number of Palestinian casualties (without questioning how many of them were terrorists), its sub-header called the operation “brazen,” and the lead paragraph labeled the operation “one of the bloodiest raids of the war.”

Rescuing Israeli hostages is bad news for @washingtonpost.

The operation was even “brazen,” what the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as “marked by shameless or disrespectful boldness.”

There’s only one thing shameless here: the WaPo’s reporting.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) June 9, 2024

The fact that the hostages were rescued alive is mentioned only in the second paragraph. And the word “Blitz” is casually thrown into the fifth paragraph, evoking comparisons to Nazi warfare.

But what’s hidden in plain sight is the complete whitewashing of Hamas’ strategy of using civilians as human shields. The article simply mentions that the hostages had been held in “buildings,” omitting the fact that they were kept in families’ homes in the crowded multi-story structures, amid the civilian population.

NPR‘s coverage has similar faults: The Palestinian death toll is used to frame the hostage rescue with descriptions like “the streets were … covered in blood,” and the sites of the hostage captivity are called “locations in Nuseirat in central Gaza” — which could mean anything from tunnels to military compounds.

Did the Washington Post or NPR journalists independently verify whether the blood in the streets belonged to terrorists or innocent civilians? Or is blood used here — as in ancient times — to demonize Jews?

Either way, their coverage whitewashes the terrorists.

Selective Terminology

Reuters, which also called the operation “one of the single bloodiest Israeli assaults of the eight-month-old war,” used another tactic while focusing on the Palestinian casualties.

One of its headlines used the vague term “freed,” which can be attributed to the goodwill of the terrorists, instead of the value-laden word “rescued” that may paint Hamas as bad:

No, @Reuters, Noa Argamani was not “freed,” she was *rescued* by the IDF.

We’ve fixed it for you.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) June 9, 2024

The BBC did the same, while obscuring the identity of Hamas terrorists and IDF rescuers:

No, @BBCNews, the hostages were not “freed.” They were rescued by the IDF from Hamas captivity.

God forbid you should attribute a successful raid to the IDF and point out who was holding the hostages.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) June 8, 2024

Cognitive Dissonance

But some media outlets didn’t just change words. They descended into a total cognitive dissonance in their attempt to put the onus on Palestinian victimhood.

The AP, for example, shamelessly quoted casualty data from the Palestinian health ministry whose reliability had been questioned by the wire service only a day earlier.

Friday: @AP publishes an investigation calling into question the reliability of Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry casualty figures.

Saturday: Business as usual.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) June 8, 2024

And a BBC anchorwoman actually expected the IDF to warn Gazans ahead of such a dangerous rescue operation.

Similarly, a Sky News anchorwoman gave a platform to Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti, and failed to correct him when he called Israeli hostages “prisoners.”

She also didn’t remind him about starvation and sexual assault when he suggested that those released in the past had been well treated by Hamas:

Israel hostages are just that. Hostages. Abducted from their homes and daily life. Not prisoners.

The best way to bring them home is for Hamas to release them immediately.

Not to do so is a war crime.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) June 8, 2024

The underlying premise of such biased coverage is that Israelis should not fight for their lives because it comes at a cost. They should just sit back and let terrorists slaughter and kidnap their brethren because they run and hide among innocent people.

But media outlets should stop ignoring the increasing evidence of Gazan civilian complicity with Hamas, as well as the fact that Hamas bears responsibility for putting the entire Gazan population in danger since its October 7th attack on the Jewish State.

On Saturday, Israeli special forces undertook a mission in an area that became a legitimate target by virtue of the presence of hostages. As Noa, Almog, Andrey, and Shlomi were rescued after eight months in captivity, Hamas terrorists fired RPGs at them from within the Nuseirat market area. IDF troops responded to save their lives and bring them home.

Any other way to frame it serves the terrorists.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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Will Hostage-Taking Journalist Abdallah Aljamal Be Added to CPJ ‘Casualty’ List?

The Al Jazeera Media Network logo is seen on its headquarters building in Doha, Qatar, June 8, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

One day after Israeli security forces rescued four Israeli hostages from their Gazan captivity, both the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security agency) confirmed that three of the hostages had been held captive in the family home of Abdallah Aljamal.

Aljamal, who was killed during the raid that freed the hostages, had previously served as a spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza Labor Ministry and, as a journalist, had contributed to Al Jazeera, and served as a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle.

His last article was published by the Chronicle one day before the Israeli rescue operation.

Abdullah Al-Jamal was not a “freelance contributor” for the Palestine Chronicle. As the outlet itself has repeatedly stated, he was in fact its “correspondent in Gaza.”

They clearly changed the bio to try and avoid legal repercussions

— Eitan Fischberger (@EFischberger) June 10, 2024

With Abdallah Aljamal’s death as part of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, it begs the question whether he will be added to the running list of “journalist casualties in the Israel-Gaza war” compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Since the start of the war, the CPJ’s list of journalist casualties has been used by a variety of news outlets, activists, pundits, and politicians to highlight the seemingly disproportionate number of Gaza-based journalists killed during Israel’s counter-terrorism campaign, and to question whether Israel is purposefully targeting reporters and other media workers.

However, as noted earlier by HonestReporting, a significant number of the journalists who appear on the CPJ’s list were in some way affiliated with Hamas and other anti-Israel terror organizations.

As of this writing (June 10, 2024), close to 50% of the 103 Palestinian journalists listed by the CPJ either worked for news outlets affiliated with terror organizations, or were active members in these organizations themselves.

While he was working as a so-called “journalist,” Abdallah Aljamal also held hostages captive for Hamas.

Shockingly, his death qualifies him for the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (@pressfreedom) list of media workers killed in the conflict.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) June 9, 2024

If Abdallah Aljamal is added to the CPJ’s list, this will only highlight the problematic nature of the list by including terrorists and kidnappers among the ranks of killed Palestinian media workers, and will serve to further debunk the libel that Israel is targeting journalists in order to stifle their reporting capabilities.

If Aljamal is not included on the CPJ’s list of killed Gaza-based journalists, it will ultimately need to be asked what separates him from the likes of Hamza Al Dahdouh, Mustafa Thuraya, and Mohammad Jarghoun — all three of whom are accused of being active members of terrorist organizations and who appear on the list.

In either case, the mere possibility that Abdallah Aljamal, a Hamas member who helped hold three Israeli civilians hostage, will be added to the CPJ’s list of killed journalists is a cold reminder of the interaction between terrorism and civilian life in Gaza, the influence that Hamas has over the media in Gaza, and the untrustworthiness of outlets that turn a blind eye to these salient factors.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Will Hostage-Taking Journalist Abdallah Aljamal Be Added to CPJ ‘Casualty’ List? first appeared on

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Missile Barrage Hits Northern Israel, Emergency Services Report

Firefighters respond to a fire near a rocket attack from Lebanon, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, near Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, June 14, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Israeli emergency services reported dealing with a string of fires in northern Israel on Friday after dozens of missiles were fired from southern Lebanon into the area around the border town of Kiryat Shemona.

The military said that warning sirens had sounded in northern Israel and emergency services said teams were searching the area, where they reported there was property damage but no casualties.

Television footage on Friday showed damaged buildings and cars as well as brush fires in several locations caused by strikes or falling debris amid heatwave conditions.

The Israeli military has exchanged regular fire with Hezbollah forces across the border in southern Lebanon ever since the start of the war in Gaza in October.

Neither side has appeared to wish a wider conflict, but there has been growing worry that the steady intensification of strikes could push the situation out of control with the risk of a wider conflict in a region that has already seen direct exchanges between Israel and Iran.

The latest salvo came after an Israeli strike killed a senior commander from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, drawing the heaviest bombardment of northern Israel since the start of the war in October last year.

Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes on both sides of the border, creating growing pressure to resolve the stand-off, but diplomatic efforts have so far proved fruitless.

On Friday, the Israeli military said fighter jets and anti-aircraft systems had intercepted 11 of the 16 drones launched by Hezbollah against Israel in the past 72 hours.

“The Israeli Air Force is continuing to operate at all times to thwart terrorist activities and protect Israel‘s skies from any threat,” it said in a statement.

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G7 Warns Iran Over Continuing Nuclear Program Escalation

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel pose for a family photo as they arrive to attend a dinner at Swabian Castle in Brindisi, Italy, June 13, 2024. Photo: Italian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

The Group of Seven leaders warned Iran on Friday against advancing its nuclear enrichment program and said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia, according to a draft communique.

“We urge Tehran to cease and reverse nuclear escalations, and stop the continuing uranium enrichment activities that have no credible civilian justifications,” the statement seen by Reuters said.

Iran has rapidly installed extra uranium-enriching centrifuges at its Fordow site and begun setting up others, a UN nuclear watchdog report said on Thursday.

Iran is now enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity, close to the 90 percent of weapons grade, and has enough material enriched to that level, if enriched further, for three nuclear weapons, according to an IAEA yardstick.

Iran must engage in serious dialogue and provide convincing assurances that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, in full cooperation and compliance with the IAEA’s monitoring and verification mechanism, including the Board of Governors’ resolution of 5 June,” the G7 said.

Iran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

The leaders also warned Iran about concluding a deal to send ballistic missiles to Russia that would help it in its war against Ukraine, saying they were prepared to respond with significant measures if it were to happen.

“We call on Iran to stop assisting Russia’s war in Ukraine and not to transfer ballistic missiles and related technology, as this would represent a substantive material escalation and a direct threat to European security,” they said.

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