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July 13, 2014 12:18 am

The Washington Post Twists the Truth to Protect Hamas

avatar by Steven Emerson

A rocket hits Beersheba during the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. More than 200 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel in the current escalation of the conflict in the region. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In Friday’s Washington Post print edition, a headline blared, “Netanyahu rules out Gaza Cease Fire.”

But in fact, as a Reuters dispatch that morning showed it is Hamas that is preventing a cease fire. Rather than stop firing dozens of rockets at Israeli civilians each day, Hamas terrorists vow to up the ante. “The armed wing of the Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression, and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base,” the Islamist group’s Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement cited by Reuters.

So here we have Hamas clearly stating that it will not cease firing rockets into Israel, and it will in fact escalate its terrorist attacks to include trying to blow up Israeli civilian airliners. Moreover, all through the Israeli ordeal during the period when its three teens were abducted, the Post kept a steady drumbeat demanding to know the exact evidence of the Israeli government’s claim that Hamas was behind the attack, as if the Israeli government answered to the haughty Washington Post.

When during the same period, Palestinian and Hamas officials repeatedly claimed that Israel “staged” the abduction and also the executions of the teens, you could barely find those incendiary allegations in the Post, likely because the Post wanted to protect the Palestinians from being accused of disseminating outrageous propaganda that would damage their credibility (and thus ruin the Post’s ability to quote them in the future).

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But in Friday’s story, the Post accepts as fact a third party claim about an alleged Israeli attack on a home in Gaza killing all civilians without providing any evidence. Israel “leveled” a house” in Gaza killing all seven family members, the story said. And the evidence? “According to a neighbor, the Israeli military had telephoned the intended target, a Hamas rocket engineer named Yassir al-Haj, and warned him that his house was about to be destroyed. But Haj was not at home. He dialed his sleeping family but could not rouse them, according to the neighbor and an Israeli missile killed seven family members … ‘Why kill everyone in the house for just one guy?’ said the neighbor, Fahad al-Dali.”

Now, what’s wrong with this picture? The Post reporter did not question why a Hamas terrorist intentionally placed his family as human shields, an internationally recognized war crime. The reporter accepted as fact the rather dubious allegation that the Hamas terrorist “could not rouse” his family.

Where is the evidence that the Post reporter had obtained for that allegation? We have seen Hamas officials encouraging people to ignore Israeli warnings of an impending strike and risk their lives as human shields. This wasn’t mentioned in the cease fire story.

It does acknowledge that Hamas “hides its weapons in neighborhoods and launches rockets from back yards and agricultural fields,” yet offers readers no cause to be skeptical of the Hamas commander’s third-hand account.

We know that Hamas lies all the time. The Washington Post seems uninterested in showing that.

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