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Media Accused Israel of ‘Strike’ on Palestinians Who Died in Gaza City Aid Truck Stampede

An UNRWA aid truck at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Photo: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Early on February 29, crowds of Palestinians had gathered in Gaza City ahead of an expected delivery by a convoy of aid trucks.

Witnesses described scenes of pandemonium, as hordes of people trampled each other as they swarmed the vehicles when they arrived at around 4 am.

According to the IDF, which released satellite imagery of the incident, dozens of Palestinians were killed in the stampede, while others died as a result of being hit by the aid trucks in the city’s Rimal neighborhood.

Israeli military officials also said that up to 10 Palestinians died when the IDF was forced to open fire on a group that rushed toward them.

When officials in the Hamas-controlled enclave announced what had occurred, they did what they have done repeatedly since the outbreak of war on October 7 — lied to an international media that they knew would uncritically broadcast the falsehood to millions worldwide.

And that is how it came to be that last Thursday — hours after the incident — the Associated Press failed to do even the bare minimum of fact-checking and announced in a headline that an Israeli “strike on Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza” had killed and wounded dozens.

This is just a snapshot of how media such as @AP & @France24_en trust Hamas claims and end up spreading falsehoods around the globe with real-life consequences.

Update: IDF probe says Israeli gunfire caused only some 10 casualties out of the hundreds of people allegedly hurt and…

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) February 29, 2024

The report opened: “An apparent Israeli strike on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza City on Thursday has killed and wounded dozens, according to local hospital officials.”

While the Associated Press later updated its story, the damage was done: countless people saw a headline that accused Israel of striking innocent Palestinians simply waiting for aid trucks.

If @AP relies on unverified information from “Gaza officials,” i.e. Hamas, you get inaccurate and inflammatory headlines like this.

It was no “strike.”

According to the IDF, dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and shoving as they attempted to loot the aid…

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) February 29, 2024

Meanwhile, France 24 also ran with claims of an Israeli strike and rushed off a headline that claimed: “Dozens killed in strike on crowd waiting for aid in Gaza City.”

The effect of the AP — which has partnerships with the world’s biggest media organizations — publishing such a wildly inaccurate claim cannot be understated.

Any inaccuracy by one of the major wire agencies is liable to be repeated by numerous newspapers and news websites everywhere.

The media rushed to report Hamas’ false claim that the IDF had killed dozens in a strike against Palestinians waiting for aid. But what really happened, and who is responsible?@AP @France24_en @haaretzcom

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) March 2, 2024

When the incorrect stories were eventually updated to more accurately reflect what happened, including removing incendiary claims of an Israeli missile strike, some media outlets still insisted on falsely suggesting that Israeli soldiers firing at innocent people caused most casualties.

The Wall Street Journal, for example, failed to mention the stampede in a headline that simply said Israel had opened fire on Palestinians who were “surrounding” aid trucks.

The Wall Street Journal

The Independent even tacitly defended Hamas in a headline that claimed “dozens of Palestinians” were “apparently” shot by the IDF.

It was only in the sixth paragraph of the piece that readers were told that Israeli officials explained that “many of the fatalities occurred in a chaotic crush to reach the food trucks, and that their troops fired because they believed the crowd posed a threat.”

The Independent.

Delving into other reports published about the incident, it is clear that there is a much deeper problem with the international media reporting on these kinds of occurrences: gullibility. Many wide-eyed journalists are far too willing to print the unverified claims of so-called eyewitnesses, presenting their invariably heartbreaking testimony as the unvarnished truth in news reports. The result is stories like that published by The New York Times, which quotes several individuals. As revealed by the Elder of Ziyon blog, at least one person quoted in the piece, who was described as a 22-year-old “journalist,” does not work for any accredited media outlet and only has an online presence consisting of social media profiles.Similarly, a BBC Verify piece about the incident also quoted a “journalist” named Mahmoud Awadeyah, who investigative journalist David Collier uncovered works for a news outlet linked to the Iranian regime.

Even though Awadeyah’s personal social media profiles were awash with praise for terror attacks against innocent Israelis, the BBC did not think twice about relying heavily on his testimony.

The most worrying part of the whole Gaza City stampede reporting debacle is how much it echoes the infamous al-Ahli Hospital explosion incident, in which media outlets rushed to accuse Israel of a deadly missile strike that was actually the result of a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket.

Back then, we were told that such mistakes would not be repeated; media outlets insisted they would be careful in the future and not make false and incendiary claims before the facts become clear.

How hollow those assurances have proven to be.

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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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law?

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”?

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Guitarist Eric Clapton Says ‘Israel Is Running the World,’ Criticizes US Hearings on Campus Antisemitism

Eric Clapton during his guest appearance on the YouTube channel “The Real Music Observer” on May 22, 2024. Photo: YouTube screenshot

British singer-songwriter and guitarist Eric Clapton promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Israel runs the world during an interview last week on the YouTube channel “The Real Music Observer.”

The Grammy Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 79, referenced recent US congressional hearings where lawmakers grilled presidents of elite universities about surging antisemitism and rampant anti-Israel demonstrations on their campuses.

“I was so enthused about what was going on at Columbia [University] and everywhere. And then I saw, what I couldn’t believe, because it freaked me out, were the Senate hearings, which were like the Nuremberg trials, you know?” Clapton said during his guest appearance on “The Real Music Observer,” hosted by David Spuria. “The Senate committee would be asking pointed questions to presidents of universities, saying, ‘I just want to hear yes or no. Don’t talk to me about context. Yes or no, are you promoting antisemitism in your college? Yes or no.’ And I thought, what is this, the Spanish Inquisition? And it is! It’s AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], it’s the lobby. Israel is running the show. Israel is running the world.”

The hearings that Clapton referenced were held by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, not a Senate panel.

In November, a little more than a month after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, Clapton released an instrumental song called “Voice of a Child.” The song’s music video features photos from pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel rallies around the world as well as images of destruction in the Gaza Strip. The music video completely overlooks the Oct. 7 massacre that sparked the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Clapton has recently been performing with a guitar that he painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag. Talking about the guitar while appearing on “The Real Music Observer,” he said, “We’re doing a thing now on this tour that I wrote originally as a tribute to Jeff Beck [who died in 2023]. I performed it at a tribute concert and then I didn’t play it anymore. But for this tour I’m doing it under a different guise. It’s the same tune, but I devoted it to the situation in Gaza. It’s called ‘Blue Dust’ because that’s what’s probably going to be left there. And I play a guitar that’s painted like the Palestinian flag.”

Clapton is a close friend of former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who has openly expressed antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiments, and has performed in garments that resemble a Nazi SS officer uniform. Clapton has defended Waters in the past, claiming that people “misinterpret” the latter’s position on Israel, and said last week that it takes “guts” to share political opinions like his.

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