Hamas Admits to Intimidating Foreign Press into Biased, Anti-Israel Reporting
A Hamas spokeswoman has inadvertently admitted that the terrorist organization she represents used force, intimidation tactics, and even death threats in order to coerce foreign journalists reporting in Gaza to provide biased coverage that worked in favor of Hamas and obscured the international lens from seeing the horrors of the group's operations out of the Gaza strip.
Isra Al-Mudallal revealed what the public has been shielded from all along, with the exception of certain media outlets which were able to get the correct story out to the world, while complaining in an interview with Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen that the foreign press was focused "on filming the places from where missiles were launched. Thus, they were collaborating with the occupation [Israel]," according to the Times of Israel.
Al-Mudallal made it a point to express her deep disdain with the fact that foreign journalists were trying to disseminate the truth about Hamas housing and launching rockets from within civilian locations such as hospitals and United Nations-run schools by noting that "we [Hamas] suffered from this problem very much" and admitting that "these journalists were deported from the Gaza Strip."
"The security agencies would go and have a chat with these people [reporters]. They
would give them some time to change their message, one way or another," the Times of Israel notes.
In addition to being precluded from filming the egregious humanitarian war crimes conducted by Hamas via their civilian-based launch pads, "reporters were prevented from filming anti-Hamas demonstrations where more than 20 Palestinians were shot dead by Hamas gunmen," according to Haaretz reporter Matthew Kalman. "Some reporters received death threats. Sometimes, cameras were smashed," Kalman noted.
Hamas has used violent force on Palestinian civilians in order to make them stay in their homes and face death, despite numerous warnings from Israel to evacuate specific areas prior to their targeted bombings. The move has been used by Hamas to drive up the Palestinian civilian death toll in what they perceive to be a successful PR move where the side with the most civilian casualties wins.
Colonel Richard Kemp, in a challenge to the Goldstone Report in front of the United Nations Security Council, stated that the Israeli army "did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare," during Operation Cast lead.
A copy of that video can be seen below:
On Monday, the Foreign Press Association issued a statement strongly condemning Hamas's violence and intimidation tactics on journalists and its interference with reporting from Gaza, notes the Times of Israel:
The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant,
forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and
their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza
over the past month. The international media are
not advocacy organizations and cannot be prevented from reporting by
means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers
an objective picture from the ground.In several cases, foreign reporters working
in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or
information they have reported through their news media or by means of
social media.We are also aware that Hamas is trying to
put in place a "vetting" procedure that would, in effect, allow for the
blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently
opposed by the FPA.
New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren both disputed and criticized the FPA's statement in a tweet: "Every reporter I've met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense." Rudoren is well known for her biased, anti-Israel reporting on behalf of the New York Times.