Why Do Journalists Still Assume Everything Hamas Tells Them Is Truth?

An unfortunate event happened earlier today: a Hamas bomb disposal crew took some journalists with them, and an unexploded ordinance exploded, killing them all.

Beyond the obvious question of why would Hamas place journalists in an unsafe area, there’s yet again disparity between what journalists report, and events that took place.

Three days ago, the Guardian interviewed Rahed Taysir al-‘Hom, and published it following the events today. Here are some interesting excerpts:

Rahed Taysir al’Hom was buried in the sandy soil of the cemetery of Jabaliya, the rough Gaza neighbourhood where he had grown up, at 1pm on the third day of the ceasefire.

His funeral was quick, attended by a hundred or so mourners, and accompanied by a quick sermon from a white-turbaned cleric, a sobbing father and some shots fired from a Kalashnikov by a skinny teenager.

The 43-year-old father of seven lies next to his brother – a Hamas fighter killed in an Israeli air strike two weeks ago. But the al’Hom who died on Wednesday was not a warrior. He was head of the sole bomb disposal unit of Gaza’s northern governorate and his job was to protect several hundred thousand people from the unexploded ordnance that now litters the streets, fields and the rubble of many homes.

Al’Hom, who died when a 500kg bomb he was trying to defuse exploded at 10.30am on Wednesday, was an incidental casualty of a month-long war that no one seems able to stop.

Further on, Burke gives us some more interesting info:

He had no protective clothing and used basic tools – screwdrivers, pliers and cutters – as he worked to make everything safe, be it Hamas rockets which had fallen short of their mark or huge bombs dropped by Israeli warplanes.

But what was the ordinance that exploded? The Guardian says a 500 Kkg bomb, without, to the best of my knowledge, being there. Yet the BBC reports it was an Israeli missile, and so too does the Daily Mail. The New York Times, however, uses the word “bomb” without giving more details, except that which “officials” – read Hamas – claims.

Two of the journalists, an Italian videographer and a local Palestinian helping him with arrangements and translation, were killed along with three members of Gaza’s unexploded-ordnance squad as they were attempting to defuse what officials described as an Israeli bomb that detonated.

I’m not doubting that there are unexploded Israeli ordinances in Gaza, I am, however, raising a red light about the source of the claim, given previous examples of “officials” lying, and the media willfully parroting them.

The Guardian’s article had two accompanying images of the bomb disposal man at work:

sap sap2

Keen eyes will spot several interesting things:

  1. Most, if not al,l of the 155mm artillery shells are smoke rounds. They are the ones with the missing fuse, and a hollow base, like the one he is holding in the second image. Israel used these smoke rounds, and not the white phosphorus based ones.
  2. There are numerous munitions used by Palestinian terrorists in these picture. The silver projectile he’s holding in the first image, the projectile with six nozzles in the foreground, and the one leaning against the wall, are all 107 mm rockets, the likes of which we’ve seen before.
  3. There are several 122mm Grad rocket tail sections scattered around. You can see two of them clearly in the second image, one right next to his right elbow, and one cropped at the bottom left.
  4. Those two barrel looking things are not barrel bombs.

In other words, besides having proof of rockets falling short, we now also have proof there are clearly many Palestinian unexploded ordinances in Gaza. This puts into doubt the claim an Israeli bomb killed those people. Apart from one journalist who doubted the location of this event, none have raised even one iota of doubt about Hamas’ claim.

Perhaps they don’t want to be blacklisted.

About Judge Dan

Dan Smith has been exposing anti-Israel fallacies since the first time he opened the world wide web on Netscape Navigator, sometime in the late 90's. His lack of formal journalistic, political and sociological education means he is still capable of objective, unbiased views and opinions. A judge of media, pundits and media pundits.

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  • Norman_In_New_York

    Since all foreign journalists assigned to Gaza have to pass through Israel, Israel has one remedy for this. Before these reporters are allowed into Gaza, they must sign an affidavit declaring that because of Hamas heavy censorship enforced by threats of bodily harm, the stories they file will have a high probability of being false, misleading or deceptive and therefore unreliable, that they are aware of these working conditions, that if they persist in knowingly not telling the whole truth, the Israeli Defense Ministry reserves the right to declare them enemy combatants, and that in any event Israel reserves the right to publish these affidavits with the reporters’ signatures affixed. Let the media bosses howl. In so doing, they will unmask themselves to be the objects of contempt by the news consuming public.

    • walt kovacs

      most go through egypt

      • Norman_In_New_York

        If so, they must be warned, given what has become public knowledge, that Israel will regard them as enemy combatants unless they refuse their assignment.

  • Souliren


    I’m actually surprised at the balance in this article considering it is the CBC.
    Yes, I know the “believed by” statement should replaced with the same phrases they use when the IDF “claims” and I can’t imagine an unbiased editor letting that pass but still, at least they qualified it a teensy bit.

    The cameraman was hospitalized by a secondary explosion. Maybe they were at a bomb disposal center but I consider it unlikely that two unexploded Israeli bombs would be in the same place. They could have expanded on that, I suppose.

    i know most here would consider this article as biased against Israel but I am encouraged by it. I have been watching CBC on tv here at home and I have noticed a shift towards occasionally providing some balance. Since I am biased in favor of Israel it’s probably unreasonable to expect them to always have my approval.

  • Vlad Tepes

    But is not an unfortunate news, is a great one!

    I would say the journalist carved for themselves a special status, special access, special aura. In my experience, the vast majority are the sleaziest bunch – either government propagandists, or some local mafia guy tools or, in this case, an islam apologist.

    You take no risk when you embed with Hamas or Al-Quaeda in Iraq and then report on those animals crimes with a hidden pleasure. A contractor working in high risk area as an engineer or a driver or whatever take a much more risk and many are there to feed their family, not to disseminate propaganda.

    I’m pretty sure that the disposal team was in fact a recovery team, meaning any active components were to be used in their rockets if possible. Karma is a bitch!

    And let me repeat: I’m sick and tired of these extreme-left ghouls, who on one side are serving as the best islam apologists just because they hate other religions, or whatever their idea of destroying the evil capitalism is, and on the other hand they make a small fortune going around and filming dead kids without asking who killed them really. Even go to lengths to “improve” the death scene, as we all know happened a lot in the last Lebanon war and now.

    Case at point, from New York Slime – “Mr. Camilli, who is survived by a longtime partner, Ylva van den Berg, and their 3-year-old daughter, Nour, covered conflicts around the Middle East. He had been in Gaza during the last major Israeli military operation in 2012, when his footage of a bomb exploding on Saraya, a collection of historic buildings that housed government offices, was among the most widely used. Colleagues said he had chosen to return to Gaza last week rather than go to Erbil, Iraq, because of a deep attachment to the place and its people.”

    1. Sure he did not wanted to Erbil. There muslims kill thousands of other muslims, and Christians and others, is not in line with his hobby nor much money to be made.

    2. His translator was provided by “Doha Centre for Media Freedom” which mainly is just another terrorist outlet supported by Qatar, on the much less known media jihad front.

    3. His quoted “partner” – just another muslim apologetic, worked her whole life in the “non-profit” organizations which for me is just taking a bunch of money running your mouth about nothing. Make note of her impressive resume doing nothing but propaganda working in “occupied Palestinian territory” in 2013. Occupied…

    • faboutlaws

      Do blown up reporters get 72 virgins, too?

  • spondres

    There’s no sign of his Hanas fighter brother in the updated Al Jazeera list. Must be one of the hundreds of ‘unidentified’.

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