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The Media’s Israel-Centric Reporting of the Death Toll in Gaza

The Media’s Israel-Centric Reporting of the Death Toll in Gaza

The Media’s Israel-Centric Reporting of the Death Toll in Gaza
May 07
15:52 2019

With news reports focusing on recent deaths in Israel and Gaza, it’s valuable to enlarge the time period being examined. Israeli soldiers have been shooting Gazan men, women, and children every week for over the past year.

Israeli forces have killed approximately 290 Gazans and have injured over 29,000 since Gazans began their weekly Great March of Return protests on March 30th.  A few additional Gazans died during this time period from earlier wounds inflicted by Israeli forces.

Among those killed and maimed have been medics, women, children, and journalists. Approximately 126 Gazans have had legs and/or arms amputated, and others have been permanently paralyzed.

While Israeli governmental statements, often parroted by U.S. media, claim that Israel targets “terror,” the large majority of Gazans killed by Israeli forces have been civilians.

During the same time period, Gazan resistance fighters have killed 6 Israelis, one of them Palestinian. It is difficult to provide a number for Israelis wounded during this time since Israeli statistics for the injured include those suffering from panic attacks.

[A running list of the names and details of both the Palestinians and the Israelis killed can be viewed here]

In the past 3 days alone, 27 Palestinians and 4 Israelis have been killed:

  • On Friday, May 3, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinians and injured 82. Among the injured were 34 children, two journalists and three paramedics.
  • On Saturday, May 4, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinians (including an infant and her mother). Israeli forces also targeted and destroyed a news agency. Journalistic organizations around the world have condemned this attack. This attack was largely unreported by U.S. news media.
  • On Sunday, May 5, Palestinian resistance fighters killed 3 Israelis and 1 Palestinian Israeli, and Israeli military forces killed 19 Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy and a 4-month-old girl named Maria. The Israeli shelling destroyed or damaged 600 Palestinian homesbusinesses and livelihoods.

The Palestinian Israeli who died, Ziad Alhamamd, was a Bedouin from the unrecognized Negev village of as-Sawaween who was working in an Israeli factory in Ashkelon when it was hit by a rocket from Gaza. Gaza’s rockets are mostly home-made and lack guidance systems.

Unrecognized villages are Palestinian villages that were in Palestine before Israel was created that are not formally recognized by the state of Israel. They have no access to Israeli services such as water, electricity, telephones, sewage systems, roads, and often schools and voting stations. Many of the villages are under Israeli demolition orders and residents never know when their homes will be destroyed.  Alhamamd’s village of Sawaween was even denied a school for its 350 elementary school-aged children in 2011.


The media’s Israel-centric reports

U.S. news media have published a number of reports on the recent violence that emphasize Israeli deaths, begin with Israeli victims, largely ignore the year-long killing of Gazans, and frame Israeli actions as strictly defensive.

The New York Times Fighting in Gaza

The New York Times | May 5, 2019

The New York Times leads its report on the violence with:

Fighting between Israel and Gaza escalated rapidly on Sunday in the worst combat since the last full-blown war in 2014, with Palestinian rocket and missile attacks killing four Israeli civilians and Israeli forces taking aim at individual Gaza militants.”

And Fox News reported on Sunday:

The death toll continues to rise Sunday on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border in one of the most intense flare-ups of violence in the region in years, shattering a month-long lull in attacks.

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired more than 600 rockets into southern Israel in less than 24 hours, killing at least four Israelis and leaving several more in critical condition.”

Below is how the Washington Post introduced its report:

An uneasy cease-fire settled over the cities of southern Israel on Monday after a weekend that brought a rain of 600 rockets from the Gaza Strip, but not all residents thought the truce was a good thing.

Near the explosion-scarred house of Moshe Agadi, 58, who became the first Israeli since 2014 to die in rocket fire from Gaza, mothers took their children to play in a park after 48 hours of sheltering indoors.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli military abducted 11 Palestinians in the West Bank, uprooted 120 Palestinian olive trees,  and an Israeli NGO published a report revealing that Israeli authorities forced almost 3,000 Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem between 2004 and 2019, deliberately leaving them homeless, including 1,574 minors.

Altogether, 343 Palestinians have died from Israeli attacks, and 16 Israelis have died from Palestinian attacks since March 30, 2018. At least 9,908 Palestinians and 1,267 Israelis have been killed by someone from the other side since 2000.

Feature photo | A mourner chants slogans as he carries the body of 14-month-old, Seba Abu Arar, during her funeral in Gaza, May. 5, 2019. Gaza’s Health Ministry said Seba was killed in an Israeli airstrike. Khalil Hamra | AP

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

Source | IAK

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