Journalists in Gaza working in middle of rocket-launch area

Human shields.

Mainstream media outlets are blaring out the story: “Israel strikes media buildings in Gaza, expanding its range of targets.”  (Well, the link worked when I added it.  Apparently the Washington Post has just, in the last 20 minutes, removed this article. [Note: “20 minutes” was two hours ago as of this posting.]  I’m going to leave the link as a memorial.)  The Reuters story is still out there.

At the Daily Beast, it’s “Bomb the Press.”

Reporters Without Borders condemns the attacks:

Christophe Deloire, the director of Reporters Without Borders’ international headquarters in Paris, called the attacks unjustified and a threat to freedom of information. He demanded an investigation into the circumstances of the raid.

“Even though the outlets targeted are linked to Hamas, it does not legitimize the attacks,” he said. “Attacks against civilian targets constitute war crimes.”

Actually, attacks against civilian targets don’t constitute war crimes, when the civilian targets are broadcasting or otherwise disseminating war information on behalf of Hamas. (Scroll to paragraph III.b.)  Israel has all the technical know-how required to be certain that Al-Quds TV and Al-Aqsa TV, for example – media outlets in the buildings struck – has been filling such a role in the last week.  Both are Hamas-controlled “news” affiliates with a history of supporting terror operations (see here and here, for example).  Al-Aqsa TV audio was rebroadcast from Iran during Operation Cast Lead in early 2009, and Al-Quds TV audio is still rebroadcast from Iran today.

Journalists have no expectation of specially protected status during an armed conflict; in reality, it’s Hamas that skirts pretty close to the commission of a war crime here.  If the buildings in question housed hospitals, schools, or mosques, Hamas would be guilty of a war crime.  It’s a war crime to use protected facilities as shields for armed activity.  It’s not a war crime for Israel to attack buildings in which news outlets are acting as agents of Hamas during a shooting war.

The IDF’s military spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovitch, put it this way:

Hamas took a civilian building and used it for its own needs. So the journalists … were serving as human shields for Hamas.

Notably, Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) reports that the structure of one of the buildings was not actually hit at all.  The strike on it targeted a communications antenna on the building’s roof, and while the antenna was destroyed, the building wasn’t harmed.

Time may clarify the validity of that report (although nothing reported from Hamas’s supporters is to be taken as evidence).  But it turns out the journalists working out of the buildings in Gaza City already knew that Hamas was launching rockets from positions less than a kilometer (0.6 statute miles) away.

BBC Watch, a website dedicated to the interminable mission of pointing out BBC errors and bias, cites BBC’s own journalists tweeting “an almost constant stream of rockets being fired from their vicinity.”  BBC Watch also reminds us of 40-odd seconds with an Al-Arabiya reporter in Gaza in January 2009, when she exclaimed on air:

A missile was launched from our place? From here?  It was launched from here.  No, from under our building.

How many?  Was the missile that was launched from our place a “Grad”?

More in this vein was reported with a cheery giggle.

Hamas hasn’t changed tactics since 2009.  It’s still using all of Gaza as a launching point, headquarters, planning center, and/or weapons storage facility for attacks on Israel.  You go work in the offices of a news organization in Gaza City, and you hear rockets being launched from a few blocks away all day long, you have to know you’re in a dangerous spot.  The BBC’s bureau chief in Gaza, Paul Danahar, clearly knew that when he tweeted the following a few days ago:

Rocket took off less than half a kilometre from our office in #Gaza. It was huge so we are bracing ourselves for an #Israeli response.

Indeed.  I believe the popular expression is “Du-uh.”

Bonus material:  The Israel Project’s collection of videos recording how Hamas treats journalists.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online.

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23 thoughts on “Journalists in Gaza working in middle of rocket-launch area”

  1. “Israel strikes media building.”

    Good for Israel. War is about attacking the vital resources of your enemy.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this great piece. It is so frustrating to see how the world slanders us whenever we try to defend ourselves against the psychotic, genocidal maniacs of Hamas.

    1. Love the accuracy of the professional IDF vs the idiscriminate rocketeers of Hamas. The Hillbillies of Gaza hide behind women and children.
      They seek war, death and destruction. I applaud the Israeli forces that administer what Hamas desires.
      Hopefully ammunition is plentiful for the IDF. All those waiting virgins have my sympathy.

  3. Who ever would have ever predicted that the last line of defense for Western Civilization would be it’s first threads of rational existence?

    There is a reason for the Alpha and Omega. God’s repeated warnings that we mere humans operate in maddening cycles of hubris and cowardice.

    I pray for Israel. It is rapidly becoming the lynch pin of the remnants of our civilization. If it succumbs, we all fail. God told us it would be so, and why have we not listened to Him?

    Israel is not the perfect nation, we have not been either. Israel is a just nation, struggling for survival amongst demons.

    The United States is rapidly turning its collective back on God and God’s first chosen. There is a whirlwind to reap in such perfidy.

    Keep fighting brothers, you have become the last hope of civilized man.


  4. The end of the “two-state solution” is approaching.
    As it stands today I’m calling it Gaza under Egyptian administration and, bye bye Abdullah II, hello “Jordan is Palestine” under the MB.

    I wonder if Bashar sent Bibi a thank you note…

  5. You’re welcome, heshmon. More terrorist ties to the media buildings pop up today — AP tweets the following:

    “BREAKING: Gaza group Islamic Jihad says Israeli strike on media center killed one of its top militant leaders.”

    Dangerous neighborhood.

    1. Hey! Poor guy just went out one morning to pick up a newspaper from the media center, and whammo! Or so we will be told.

  6. The loss of human life is always regrettable. That said, I suspect that 98% of the journalists reporting from Gaza are strongly sympathetic to the ‘Palestinian cause’. Which translates to liberal/leftists who use their ‘journalist credentials’ to ‘report’ stories that are heavily biased toward the Palestinian view and which deceitfully demonize Israel.

    Quite frankly, they are colluding with an ideology that seeks the destruction of the West, which arguably, makes them undeclared enemies of both Israel and our nation. The brutal truth is that Islam, faithfully and completely followed is an ideology incapable of reform, which murders and enslaves and is every bit as evil, as were the NAZI’s.

    1. It may not have been the target. Merely collateral damage (what a horrid reality) for a nearby target. God knows the jihadists SROE is to place their military assets next to sympathetic victims. Which BTW is a war crime.

      If it was intentional, then the most likely explanation is that some Israeli’s view the situation as I outlined and struck back at an undeclared enemy.

      1. not sure what you mean, GB…. the guy killed and 3 other guys that the Israelis wanted to kill were hiding out in the place attempting to find refuge in a building that they thought the Israelis wouldn’t hit, according to Israelis, and it was intentional hit.

        1. I confess that I haven’t been following the story closely (same old story, been there, done that) how do we know that the Israeli’s intentionally hit the building?

  7. If the Israelis keep giving Hamas wiggle room, they are gonna regret it. The longer this takes, the worse for the Israelis and the region. Israeli troops should have begun sweeping Gaza clean 48hrs ago….a truce will be portrayed as a Hamas victory.

    I do hope the Israelis are getting something tangible out of this that is not being made public.

  8. Israel should have begun sweeping Gaza clean many years ago….

    There will be a truce and it will be portrayed as a Hamas victory, as it always is…

    The regret is never sufficient to reexamine Israel’s fundamental premise that it cannot survive without US support.

    Temporary degradation of Hamas’ assets is the only ‘tangible asset’ possible.

    Until the paradigm changes (highly unlikely), a case of too little, too late.

    The inability for Israeli society to do what is necessary results in half measures like the Israeli settlements, an attempt at gradual annexation and expulsion, which assumes that time is on Israel’s side.

    Iran’s soon to be nuclear capability, destroys that premise.

  9. The strikes on the media buildings were intentional, according to the IDF. Israel attacked Al-Aqsa TV facilities in Cast Lead, so there is of course nothing silly about attacking media facilities again. The Israelis may well have known that the Islamic Jihad terrorists were in one of the buildings, but they had other reasons to attack.

    1. silly referred not to the attack, but the attempted defense centered around the utterly trivial point that it’s not impossible to make the claim that there’s propaganda going on there! ( the speculation that there may be some evidence of a c&c function was a little better but hypothetical) ….

      no point in defending the thing reflexively…. and against charges coming from places with less credibility than yourself

  10. Fortuntely, there was no attempt to defend the strikes because of propaganda. Incitement to terrorism is the reason for striking those media buildings.

    1. “incitement to terrorism” I assume rises to more than a misdemeanor when accompanied by acts in furtherance……

      perhaps we might declare that the building was bombed in order to kill people known to be terrorists responsible for murder.
      that one carries a penalty that merits a happy and complete ending

      1. Well I suppose someone has to guard against bad manners and worry about fluffing up the shallow and meaningless pretend gradations of worthless tangential worries of a good neighbor policy during a really excellent IDF cleanout out of idiots that like to fire rockets from schools and crowded neighborhoods.
        Can Paul be far behind with a quip concerning the duality of man and how we can just all get along.
        The IDF command and control speaks the un-varnished truth to terrorists. No sophistry is needed at this time.

        1. and of course who but myself would be ever-consumed with upholding good manners?

          nice try, reed, but perhaps I’m detecting traces informing me that you shouldn’t have scanted last Saturday’s weekly lavage.

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