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Update: The article in question has been taken down at the behest of the palestinian French journalist. But it can still be seen here and here. He was either intimidated or decided it was against his people’s interests.
A new report reveals what we have already known: Hamas is using hospitals for their own, cynical purposes.
The source? A (French) palestinian journalist (hat tip: EoZ).
Correspondent Radjaa Abu Dagga for years divided his time between Paris, where his wife and son live, and Gaza, where his parents live and where he works. On 18 June, when he wanted to cross the Rafah border, an officer banned his way and took his passport like all Palestinians trying to cross into Egypt that day.
After four blocked attempts to leave Gaza without explanation over weeks, the Palestinian journalist was summoned by the security services of Hamas on Sunday. “I received a call from a private number. They summoned me to Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza City center, ” explains Radjaa. He carried with him his two phones, his press card and a small camera.
A few meters from the emergency room where the injured from bombings are constantly flowing, in the outpatient department, he was received in “a small section of the hospital used as administration” by a band of young fighters. They were all well dressed, which surprised Radjaa, “in civilian clothing with a gun under one’s shirt and some had walkie-talkies .” He was ordered to empty his pockets, removing his shoes and his belt then was taken to a hospital room “which served that day as the command office of three people.”
A man begins his interrogation: “Who are you? Who do you call? What are you doing?” “I was very surprised by the procedure,” admits Radjaa, who showed him his press card in response. Questions came. They asked if he speaks Hebrew, he has relations with Ramallah. Young Hamas supporters insistently ask the question: “Are you a correspondent for Israel?” Radjaa repeated that only works for French media and a chain of Algerian radio.
It was then that the three men deliveed this message: “This is yours to choose. We are an executive administration. We will carry the message of Qassams. You have to stay at home and give us your papers. ” Stunned to be covered by the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, Radjaa tried to defend himself and especially to understand why such a decision was taken against him. In vain. “It is impossible to communicate with these people,” laments the journalist.
He is not the first to undergo this kind of pressure and combatants in front of him did not hide. “They are enraged against the presidency and accused me of collaborating with Mahmoud Abbas,” he says. Reporters Without Borders confirms that this is not an isolated case. The organization has indeed been alerted by the threats of Hamas against Palestinian and foreign journalists for their professional activities.
Despite the presence of these terrorists in plain sight, right near the emergency room, this has not merited mention by the plethora of other journalists there. Nor Dr Mads Gilbert. No prizes for guessing why this is the case.
To put it bluntly, they are aiding and abetting Hamas’ war crimes. By hiding these facts, and blaming any civilian deaths on Israel, they serve to embolden Hamas and place pressure on Israel to stop before we can finish the job.
As such, they are also working against the civilians of Gaza, who are being deliberately placed in harms way, and will have to endure life under Hamas for a longer period of time.
Update: The Washington Post had reported a similar thing (hat tip: L J Spivak):
“At the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, crowds gathered to throw shoes and eggs at the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, who represents the crumbling ‘unity government’ in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The minister was turned away before he reached the hospital, which has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.”