According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
report on Sunday November 11, five Palestinian civilians including
three children had been killed in the Gaza strip in the previous 72
hours, in addition to two Palestinian security personnel. Four of the
deaths occurred as a result of Israeli military firing artillery shells
on youngsters playing soccer. Moreover, 52 civilians had been wounded,
of which six were women and 12 were children. (Since we began composing
this text, the Palestinian death toll has risen, and continues to rise.)
Articles that do report on the killings overwhelmingly focus on the killing of Palestinian security personnel. For example, an Associated Press article
published in the CBC world news on November 13, entitled 'Israel mulls
resuming targeted killings of Gaza militants,' mentions absolutely
nothing of civilian deaths and injuries. It portrays the killings as
'targeted assassinations.' The fact that casualties have overwhelmingly
been civilians indicates that Israel is not so much engaged in
"targeted" killings, as in "collective" killings, thus once again
committing the crime of collective punishment.
Another AP item on CBC news
from November 12 reads 'Gaza rocket fire raises pressure on Israel
government.' It features a photo of an Israeli woman gazing on a hole in
her living room ceiling.
Again, no images, nor mention of the numerous
bleeding casualties or corpses in Gaza. Along the same lines, a BBC headline
on November 12 reads 'Israel hit by fresh volley of rockets from Gaza.'
Similar trends can be illustrated for European mainstream papers.
News items overwhelmingly focus on the rockets that have been fired
from Gaza, none of which have caused human casualties. What is not in
focus are the shellings and bombardments on Gaza, which have resulted in
numerous severe and fatal casualties. It doesn't take an expert in
media science to understand that what we are facing is at best shoddy
and skewed reporting, and at worst willfully dishonest manipulation of
Furthermore, articles that do mention the Palestinian casualties in
Gaza consistently report that Israeli operations are in response to
rockets from Gaza and to the injuring of Israeli soldiers. However, the
chronology of events of the recent flare-up began on November 5,
when an innocent, apparently mentally unfit, 20-year old man, Ahmad
al-Nabaheen, was shot when he wandered close to the border. Medics had
to wait for six hours to be permitted to pick him up and they suspect
that he may have died because of that delay.
Then, on November 8,
a 13-year-old boy playing football in front of his house was killed by
fire from the IOF that had moved into Gazan territory with tanks as well
as helicopters. The wounding of four Israeli soldiers at the border on
November 10 was therefore already part of a chain of events where Gazan
civilians had been killed, and not the triggering event.
We, the signatories, have recently returned from a visit to the Gaza
strip. Some among us are now connected to Palestinians living in Gaza
through social media. For two nights in a row Palestinians in Gaza were
prevented from sleeping through continued engagement of drones, F16s,
and indiscriminate bombings of various targets inside the densely
populated Gaza strip. The intent of this is clearly to terrorise the
population, successfully so, as we can ascertain from our friends'
reports. If it was not for Facebook postings, we would not be aware of
the degree of terror felt by ordinary Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
This stands in stark contrast to the world's awareness of terrorised and
shock-treated Israeli citizens.
Continue reading here.