First, let’s look at what has happened in Gaza in the past week:
1. On Friday, April 1, Israeli forces assassinated a 24-year-old member of a Palestinian resistance group in Gaza.
2. On Saturday, April 2, the Israeli air force assassinated three members of the group.
3. On Tuesday, April 5, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in northern Gaza, reportedly unarmed and not part of any resistance groups.
4. On Wednesday, April 6, at dawn Israeli forces bombarded Gaza in three air strikes, injuring four people, including two women (one of them pregnant) and a child.
5. On Wednesday afternoon hundreds of children in Gaza participated in a march asking the international community to protect them against ongoing Israeli raids and attacks.
6. On Wednesday night the Israeli Air Force bombarded several areas of Gaza, causing extensive damage; at least one resident was injured.
7. On Thursday morning, April 7, the resistance group that had suffered four assassinations fired mortars at a nearby Israeli town, which injured two people on an almost empty school bus, the bus driver and the one student (16) who hadn’t already been dropped off.
8. Thursday at noon Israeli forces bombarded Gaza killing five people and injuring over 40.
9. Thusday evening Palestinian resistance forces all agreed to a ceasefire to try to prevent the violence from increasing.
10. Israel ignored this and continued its air strikes against Gaza, killing still more Gazans.
11. In all, Israeli forces killed 14 people within 24 hours and injured dozens.
Following is how AP reported on this. This story is on hundreds
of newspaper websites around the country:
Israeli army strikes Gaza after school bus hit
By MATTI FRIEDMAN
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli aircraft and ground forces struck Gaza
on Friday, killing two Hamas gunmen and three civilians
No mention in either the headline or the lead
paragraph that Israeli forces killed a total of 14
people in the past 24 hours, including a mother,
her daughter (injured another of her children), and
an elderly man, and that they injured dozens of
in a surge of fighting sparked by a Palestinian rocket attack on
an Israeli school bus the day before.
No mention that this rocket attack was sparked by
Israeli forces killing five Gazans in the preceding
Just over two years after rocket fire from Gaza triggered
Israel had already broken the cease fire three
times, killing seven Palestinian, which is what
triggered the rocket fire.
a devastating Israeli military offensive in the territory,
Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers seemed on the brink of another
round of intense violence.
AP still chooses not to mention the five
Palestinians in Gaza that Israeli forces had killed
in preceding days.
In Thursday’s attack, Gaza militants hit an Israeli school bus
near the border with a guided anti-tank missile, injuring the
driver and badly wounding a 16-year-old boy. Most of the
schoolchildren on the bus got off shortly before the attack.
By Friday morning, Israel’s ongoing retaliation
AP calls the Israeli action retaliation (for two
injured, one with minor injuries) but fails to note
that the rocket attack was retaliation (for the
killing of five people).
had killed 10 Gazans – five militants, a policeman and four
civilians – and wounded 45. The dead Friday included three
civilians killed by Israeli tank fire and two militants killed
in an air strike, both near the southern Gaza town of Khan
Hamas, which had largely held its fire since Israel’s last major
offensive, claimed responsibility for the bus attack.
Had the bus been full, broader Israeli retaliation would have
been all but inevitable and the region – already destabilized by
the popular revolts sweeping the Arab world – could have been
drawn into another war.
It’s odd to put such speculation in a news article,
especially when AP left out so many newsworthy
It is unclear if Hamas was trying to provoke a new
conflagration, if it was not fully in control of all of its
fighters, or if it believes Israel would pull back before
invading Gaza again.
Again, it’s odd to put such speculation and
commentary in a news article, especially when AP
left out so many newsworthy facts.
Israel was condemned internationally after the last incursion.
“Incursion” is an odd word for the massive invasion
by Israeli forces that was condemned in detailed
reports issued by numerous highly respected
Hamas said the rocket attack was in retaliation for the killing
of three fighters in an airstrike earlier in the week. At around
midnight Thursday, with Gaza rocked by explosions, the
organization announced a cease-fire.
This was actually announced earlier and included all
sectors of the Gazan resistance. The announcements
about this also spoke of the 21-year-old killed on
Tuesday, whom AP never mentions in the report.
But the Israeli strikes continued, hitting Hamas facilities and
And many other facilities. AP also fails to mention
that the tunnels are a response to Israel’s
suffocating siege of Gaza, noted by groups such as
Electricity lines and transformers were damaged, causing power
blackouts in some parts of the territory, according to Jamal
Dardsawi, a spokesman for Gaza’s Electric Distribution Company.
While AP speculated about what would have happened
if the nearly empty Israeli bus had been full, there
is no mention here about what electricity blackouts
are actually doing to Gazan patients on respirators,
in hospital operating rooms, etc.
In Israel, studies at some schools near Gaza were canceled
Friday because of concerns for the students’ safety.
No mention of schools in Gaza, whose students have
been injured, one killed, and parents killed and
Palestinian militants launched nine mortars and rockets into
Israel, causing damage to at least one building, the military
said. Israeli casualties have been kept low thanks to reinforced
rooms and early warning systems.
and the fact that the Israeli military, thanks to
Americans’ $8 million per day to Israel, is the
fourth or fifth most powerful military in the world.
Matan Vilnai, the Israeli Cabinet minister in charge of the home
front, told Army Radio that Israel was acting to deter attacks.
“We are acting as we see fit so that this type of fire will not
continue, and so that the people behind the fire will regret
it,” Vilnai said.
Israel’s education minister, Gideon Saar, said in a briefing
with reporters that any civilian casualties in Gaza were
unintentional and that Israel did not target “anyone except the
AP fails to report that numerous international
investigations have found evidence indicating that
Israel has often targeted civilians.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned the bus
attack and expressed concern over civilian casualties in
Israel’s strikes. He called for “de-escalation and calm to
prevent any further bloodshed.”
Thousands of rockets from Gaza have hit Israeli towns and cities
AP fails to mention that these have killed a total
of approximately 20 Israelis. AP also fails to
mention that during the same period Israeli forces
have killed thousands of Gazans, including numerous
Israel’s attempts to stop the rockets have included military
incursions and covert operations abroad aimed at disrupting
Hamas’ efforts to procure arms.
AP again gives the Israeli narrative. It fails to
report that Israeli military incursions and covert
operations preceded Gazan rockets.
In February, a Palestinian engineer was seized from a sleeper
train in Ukraine and showed up several days later in Israel,
The normal way to report this would be to state that
Israel kidnapped a Palestinian engineer in the
where he has been charged with masterminding Hamas’ rocket
Once again, AP emphasizes Israeli claims without
including countering claims.
Last year a Hamas operative was assassinated in Dubai, and
Israeli agents are widely assumed to have been responsible.
Israel identified the man as a Hamas agent responsible for
obtaining weaponry from Iran.
Again, we get the Israeli narrative, and only the
This week, Sudan accused Israel of being behind an explosion
that killed two in Port Sudan. The blast was thought to be
linked to arms smuggling to Gaza. Israel would not comment.
AP doesn’t bother supplying any information about
the two human beings in Port Sudan who were just
Ibrahim Barzak contributed reporting from Gaza City, Gaza Strip.
Yet, the story was written and edited in Israel by
Matti Friedman, a journalist who may have family
ties to the Israeli military.
In case anyone is curious about what occurred before this
period, March had seen increased Israeli hostilities, including
tightening the siege and a gradual escalation of Israeli
military attacks that killed 15 Palestinians, including 5
children, while another 90 Palestinians, including 22 children
and 6 women, were wounded.
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April 1, 2011
ISRAEL AIRSTRIKE KILLS 1 GAZA MILITANT – DECONSTRUCTED
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip* [March 29, 2011] — An Israeli aircraft
attacked a pair of Palestinian militants* riding on a motorcycle
in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing one and wounding the
other, the Islamic Jihad group said.
1. Although the dateline says that the story was
filed from Gaza City, it is highly unlikely that it
was actually written there. Most likely a reporter
in Gaza phoned information to AP’s control bureau in
Israel, where this story was written – probably by
an Israeli journalist.
2. The writer chose to call the victims “militants.”
However, another, probably more historically
accurate term for Palestinian fighters against
Israel would be something like “members of the
Palestinian resistance.” While such phraseology
might seem odd to people used to US/AP news
coverage, it is actually closer to the phraseology
used in other conflicts.
The Israeli military said it had “targeted and hit a terrorist
squad” that had launched rockets toward southern Israel the
previous day. The military said the air force carried out an
additional airstrike overnight that hit a smuggling tunnel in
1. Notice that the story gives the Israeli
military’s claims without any additional context.
2. For example, it doesn’t explain that the
“smuggling tunnels” are used to bring in diverse
goods to Gaza’s 1.5 billion men, women, and
children, who have suffered from immense deprivation
of medicines, building supplies, food stuffs, etc.
due to Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
3. It doesn’t tell that the Israeli military is the
fourth strongest military in the region, supplied
with the best tanks, weaponry, and fighter jets that
American tax money can buy, while Palestinian
resistance fighters usually have little more than
4. It doesn’t report that the “aircraft” was an
5. It doesn’t report that Israeli forces have killed
thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children
Islamic Jihad said the men were on their way to a nearby mosque
to pray.* The Iranian-backed* group, which has killed scores of
Israelis* in rocket attacks* and suicide bombings*, vowed
1. In a less Israeli-centric report the statement
that the men were on their way to pray would have
been placed far higher in the story.
2. The group may or may not be backed by Iran. This
speculation has yet to be confirmed. Yet, here AP
reports it as fact.
3. Notice that AP, which ignored the thousands of
Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, does report
on the “scores” of Israelis killed by Islamic Jihad.
4. Rocket attacks have killed approximately 20
Israelis in total. Why is this fact never in AP
5. The last suicide bombing by Islamic Jihad was
four years ago, it killed three Israelis.
6. AP frequently reports Palestinians vowing
“revenge.” It virtually never describes grieving
Palestinian widows, wives, children, mothers,
fathers of the fallen. Conversely, it describes all
these for the far rarer Israeli victims; yet, it
almost never reports their vows to kill more
Israel invaded Gaza, which is ruled by* the Hamas militants*,
more than two years ago, in a fierce* offensive meant to end
years of rocket fire*.
1. Hamas was elected in fair elections. Some
Christians ran on the Hamas ticket.
2. Again, the use of the derogatory, Israeli-centric
term “militant,” rather than a more normal
desgination, such as “resistance movement.”
3. What AP calls a “fierce offensive,” much of the
world called a massacre.
4. The rocket fire had largely stopped in the truce
that began in June… Israel violated the truce three
times, killing at least seven Palestinians; the
rocket fire only began after that. Moreover, there
is evidence that the invasion had been long planned
and was merely awaiting a pretext. Finally, Israeli
invasions preceded rocket attacks. The rocket
launchings only began after Israeli forces had
invaded and shelled Gaza, killing and maiming masses
The operation inflicted heavy losses on Hamas* and brought about
a period of relative quiet*, but Israel believes the group has
recovered and restocked its arsenal with even more powerful
1. Most of the victims were civilians, including
hundreds of children.
2. For AP “relative quiet” means that Israelis have
not died. In realilty, numerous Palestinians have
been killed since that time.
3. AP says “ever more powerful weapons.” In reality,
the weaponry of Palestinian resistance groups would
never be called “powerful,” and largely consisted of
home-made rockets launched out of the besieged,
poverty stricken strip. Now some have acquired real
rockets with longer range. They are still far from
powerful, particularly when compared to the Israeli
arsenal: nuclear weapons, F-16s, tanks, drones, etc.
Recently, there has been an escalation of violence* along the
Gaza-Israel border. Both sides have indicated they do not want a
repeat of the winter 2009 war* in Gaza.
1.The violence largely consists of almost daily
Israeli invasions of Gazan territory and Israel
declaring large swaths of farmland a “closed
military zone,” creating extreme hardship for
farmers whose subsistence comes from that land, and
Israeli forces shooting farmers and nonviolent
protesters who enter the area. Palestinian
resistance fighters try to fight back, some using
There is no mention in the story that this was the
the sixth member of Islamic Jihad to be killed by
Israeli forces in the last ten days; no Israelis
have been killed or even wounded.
2. The 2009 violence was hardly a “war.” Israeli
forces killed 1400 Gazans; Gazans killed 9 Israelis
(4 more were killed by Israeli “friendly fire.”)
3. There is no mention that the other victim of the
Israeli strike is in critical condition.
4. There is no personal information about either
victim; no mention that the one killed was 24 years
old. If he had been an opponent of China or Libya,
he would be reported as a fahero.
5. There is no mention that a high proportion of
Gaza’s residents are refugees ethnically cleansed by
Israel in its 1948 war to create a Jewish-only
To see how this incident was reported elsewhere view Ma’an News,
IMEMC, Al Jazeera, and AFP. Interestingly, the UK Independent
carried a version of the AP story, headlined
To see other newsworthy incidents that occurred during the same
period see The Missing Headlines.
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January 24, 2010
THE MISSING HEADLINES
“Dissent: Voices of Conscience” www.voicesofconscience.com