AP Notices That Hamas Fired Rockets From Civilian Areas as NGOs Find Excuses
Newsflash: Cutting-edge wire service AP just sort-of discovered that Hamas fires rockets from civilian areas!
Two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, there is growing evidence that Hamas militants used residential areas as cover for launching rockets at Israel, at least at times. Even Hamas now admits “mistakes” were made.
But Hamas says it had little choice in Gaza’s crowded urban landscape, took safeguards to keep people away from the fighting, and that a heavy-handed Israeli response is to blame for the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians.
OK, let’s first let Hamas explain itself before getting to the evidence:
“Gaza, from Beit Hanoun in the north to Rafah in the south, is one uninterrupted urban chain that Israel has turned into a war zone,” said
Here might be a good place for a news agency to put a few satellite images of Gaza to see just how true that statement is. Like these, north to south:
AP is too polite to disprove Hamas’ statements so easily. It is their narrative, and narratives are sacred.
But since Hamas is admitting that it did shoot some rockets from areas that we all know they shot from, the pro-terror crowd needs a new meme:
Increasingly, the discussion is not about whether the Hamas rockets were fired from civilian areas, but exactly how close they were to the actual buildings.
“The Israelis kept saying rockets were fired from schools or hospitals when in fact they were fired 200 or 300 meters (yards) away. Still, there were some mistakes made and they were quickly dealt with,” Hamad told The Associated Press, offering the first acknowledgment by a Hamas official that, in some cases, militants fired rockets from or near residential areas or civilian facilities.
AP actually does a tiny bit of reporting to show that Hamas’ statements are hogwash, although it also downplays Israel’s “reams” of evidence proving that Hamas was near houses, mosques and schools.
The article also mentions (but doesn’t link) to its own video of rocket launches from urban areas.
It also doesn’t mention that AP reporters themselves witnessed rocket launches right next to their offices:
And it just seems that these rocket batteries are located everywhere, around every corner. Just yesterday, my colleagues in Gaza City in our office looked to the side off the balcony out of our building. Swoosh, two rockets just took off right — almost from outside the building. They had no idea that that was there.
So much for hard-hitting reporting.
Human Rights Watch and The Carter Center, so concerned about human rights, do everything they can to excuse these war crimes by Hamas:
“I don’t think there’s any doubt urban areas were used to launch rockets from in the Gaza Strip,” said Bill Van Esveld, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. “What needs to be determined is how close to a populated building or a civilian area were those rocket launches.”
The issue may never be conclusively settled as both sides voice competing narratives over their conduct in the deadliest and most ruinous of the three wars since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007.
“Yes, Hamas and others may have used civilians as human shields, but was that consistent and widespread?” said Sami Abdel-Shafi, a Palestinian-American who represents the Carter Center in Gaza. “The question is whether Israel’s response was proportionate.”
According to the Carter Center, human shielding is only a violation of international law if it is “consistent and widespread” – and the only real question is about Israel, not about Hamas.
Can you imagine how NGOs would react if Israel would respond to alleged incidents of war crimes by saying, “well, it isn’t consistent or widespread, so you can just ignore it!”
We see yet again so-called “human rights” groups who don’t even attempt to hide their desire to excuse the war crimes of a genocidal terrorist group. (And the media itself, too clueless to push back.)
Here is an IDF video showing some of Israel’s “competing narrative:”
[iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/IUrDAEgisXM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]
The funny part is, I don’t think AP would have even published this pathetic piece of “even-handedness” had it not been for the withering attack on its biased coverage by Matti Friedman.