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August 4, 2014 11:39 am

Finnish Journalist Who Confirmed Hamas Using Al Shifa Hospital to Launch Rockets Dismayed Viral Coverage Ignores Her Intended Narrative

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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A report for Finland's Helsingin Sanomat says, "Right in the back parking lot of Al Shifa Hospital, a rocket was launched." Photo: Screenshot / YouTube.

A report for Finland's Helsingin Sanomat says, "Right in the back parking lot of Al Shifa Hospital, a rocket was launched." Photo: Screenshot / YouTube.

A Finnish journalist who inadvertently confirmed on-air that Hamas has been shielding its rocket attacks by operating from the parking lot of Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital was remorseful and angry at the weekend because the news was beneficial to the Israeli side.

“My story was about the Palestinian civilians who were victims of war,” Aisha Zidan, a reporter from Finland’s  Helsingin Sanomat, said on Facebook. “I spent a night at the Shifa hospital in Gaza two weeks ago. I was covering the situation in Gaza for my newspaper.”

She said, “During the night someone launched a rocket somewhere behind the hospital. Now this sentence from my article is spreading in the pro-Israeli medias.”

That one “sentence” confirmed a war crime that few journalists had dared to report.

Using hospitals, schools and mosques to store weapons or as a military base is against international rules of war. The Al Shifa Hospital, in particular, was in focus after journalists reported that Hamas was using the hospital as a headquarters, but many of their early reports were withdrawn, deleted on social media or actually taken off their newspaper websites because of fears for their safety and retribution from Hamas for reporting the truth.

“I mentioned this in my article because I’m a professional journalist,” Zidan said. “I try to cover the events truthfully as I see them and I strongly condemn these kind of actions.”

“But I find it very disgusting how this one sentence was taken out context to be used as an excuse to target civilians in Gaza,” she said. “My story became quickly a tool of propaganda.”

Her claims, likely against this newspaper, which was the first to report on her clip on Friday, expressed personal dismay that the first segment of her broadcast didn’t get the same type of viral social media response as her newsworthy “sentence” towards the end of her dispatch.

Before broadcasting hard news to the world that Hamas rockets were, in fact, being launched from hospital grounds, Zidan described her television segment as being about a different narrative, and it “started with a story of four little boys who were killed on the beach…”

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