Palestinian Responsibility for Gaza Patient Deaths Is All But Ignored
No one who is at all familiar with Israeli newspapers really expects honest journalism from Haaretz — but that doesn’t mean that their methods shouldn’t be exposed.
Amira Hass recently wrote an article for the paper about how Israel is delaying Gaza patients from being approved for medical treatment in Israel, saying that things are much worse this year than ever.
About 25 paragraphs of the article are accusations against Israel, and descriptions of specific heartbreaking cases of Gaza children who have died, or are very sick, because they are waiting on responses and treatments.
Buried in the middle of the article is the Shin Bet’s response:
The Shin Bet said in response, “Over the past year, we have seen an increase in the practice whereby terrorist organizations, headed by Hamas, exploit the departure of Gaza residents (including for medical treatment) to promote terrorist activity, including by transferring explosives, money for terrorism and other means of promoting terrorist activity.
“This past April, two Palestinians who had been allowed entry into Israel so that one of them could receive medical treatment for cancer were caught at the Erez crossing. Their baggage was found to contain medical tubes, inside of which explosives were hidden that apparently were meant for a Hamas attack in Israel.
“Given the great danger this activity presents, strict security checks are performed on everyone applying to leave Gaza.
Naturally, these checks take time, and efforts are constantly being made to reduce that time and prioritize the handling of all entry applications, with an emphasis on humanitarian applications whose subject is entering Israel to receive life-saving medical treatment.”
Although the article includes the usual hyperlinks to topics when they are relevant, this article doesn’t bother to link to Haaretz’s own reporting of the story of the two sisters — one who had cancer — that were caught attempting to smuggle explosives into Israel.
Later on, the Shin Bet is quoted as saying that many of the cases that Haaretz mentioned to them of people waiting to enter Issrael, or who had died waiting, had been approved to enter the Jewish state. Hass didn’t bother to verify the Shin Bet response, making the reader think that they are simply making it up. It would undermine the entire story if the Shin Bet claims were true, after all.
Finally, in the next to last paragraph, she writes:
In recent months there has been a drop in the stock of medications used in conjunction with chemotherapy, they wrote, and it is difficult to perform surgery to remove tumors because of the shortage of fuel and electricity. Moreover, in Gaza there are no radiation or radioactive iodine treatments, nor is there equipment for following the progress of the disease. In addition, both the Majadala-Efrat letter and the B’Tselem report note that the Palestinian Authority is now pursuing a policy of reducing the number of patients sent for treatment outside Gaza.
And what is the reason for the drop in medication, which has resulted in more applications for medical treatment in Israel, and therefore more delays? The Palestinian Authority.
The reasons for the drop in electricity and fuel, causing surgeries not to be possible in Gaza and causing more people to seek treatment in Israel, endangering their lives? The Palestinian Authority.
The reason that there are fewer patients being approved to leave Gaza? The Palestinian Authority!
But Haaretz and Hass downplay this. She barely mentions enough to pretend to be even-handed (which, in Amira Hass’ case, is an improvement) — but the average reader comes away with more hate for Israel, and none for the Palestinian government, which is directly hurting its own people.
Which is, after all, the intent.