On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces uncovered a Hamas combat manual detailing the terrorist group’s strategy of placing civilians in harm’s way. The manual explicitly stated, “The soldiers and commanders [of the IDF] must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead of the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].”
This went virtually unreported in the media.
That’s not the only story about Hamas routinely buried by media across the world. Hamas had one goal in its current conflict with Israel: win concessions by swinging world opinion against the Jewish state. Its entire strategy: prey upon media malfeasance. And the media have readily complied.
Here, then, are the top nine facts about Hamas you haven’t heard on the mainstream media – which is why Hamas is winning in the court of public opinion:
Hamas Restricts Media Access and Threatens Journalists. According to the Times of Israel, Hamas has “questioned and threatened” journalists:
These included cases involving photographers who had taken pictures of Hamas operatives in compromising circumstances — gunmen preparing to shoot rockets from within civilian structures, and/or fighting in civilian clothing — and who were then approached by Hamas men, bullied and had their equipment taken away. Another case involving a French reporter was initially reported by the journalist involved, but the account was subsequently removed from the Internet.
The media never report on such restrictions, fearful of blowback from Hamas. That means that the worst facts about Hamas never see the light of day. Including videos of Hamas firing rockets from civilian areas (only Indian television has broadcast such images, one month into the conflict).
Hamas’ Military Headquarters Are Located Underneath a Hospital. The media sometimes mention the fact that Hamas’ military headquarters are located beneath al-Shifa Hospital. But, as Tablet points out, the media will mention that little fact only deep into their coverage, and will bury the importance of the fact that Hamas is using wounded civilians as a shield for their military infrastructure. That’s because Hamas forces certain types of coverage of al-Shifa:
[T]he rules of reporting from Shifa Hospital are easy for any newbie reporter to understand: No pictures of members of Hamas with their weapons inside the hospital, and don’t go anywhere near the bunkers, or the operating rooms where members of Hamas are treated. While reporters can meet with members of Hamas inside the hospital–because it’s obviously convenient for everyone–they are not allowed to take pictures. Reporters inside Gaza who are risking their lives to bring the world whatever news they can should hardly be blamed for obeying Hamas’ media rules, which the organization has helpfully written down in case anyone has doubts about what they are permitted to show.
Yet more media acquiescence to Hamas’ rules.
Hamas Shoots Peace Protesters. According to the Jerusalem Post, Palestinian sources state that Hamas has used terrorists disguised as civilians to ferret out Palestinians in the Gaza strip who stand against Hamas’ violence. Then, Hamas shoots them:
Over the past few days, Hamas has executed more than 30 civilians from various parts of the Gaza Strip which it suspected of collaborating with Israel, unidentified Palestinian security sources told the Palestine Press News Agency.
In a rare piece of actual reporting from the Associated Press, we get a glimpse into how Hamas treats supposed “collaborators”:
Masked gunmen publicly shot dead six suspected collaborators with Israel at a large Gaza City intersection Tuesday, witnesses said. An Associated Press reporter saw a mob surrounding five of the bloodied corpses shortly after the killing. Some in the crowd stomped and spit on the bodies. A sixth corpse was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets as people screamed, “Spy! Spy!”
Of course, the AP then justified the killings:
Israel has relied on informers ever since it captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast War. Some are recruited with promises of work permits or money, while others are blackmailed into collaborating. There is broad consensus among Palestinians that informers for Israel deserve harsh punishment, and it is rare to hear someone speak out against killings of alleged collaborators.
Hamas Falsifies Casualty Numbers. The media routinely report casualty numbers handed them by Palestinian governmental sources. The only problem: Palestinian governmental sources routinely falsify such numbers, particularly in failing to distinguish between terrorists and civilians. According to the Times of Israel, “The authorities in Gaza generally count every young man who did not wear a uniform as a civilian — even if he was involved in terrorist activity and was therefore considered by the IDF a legitimate target, military sources said.”
Hamas has issued instructions to all people within Gaza using social media on how to misreport casualty numbers. The Hamas Interior Ministry website, as translated by MEMRI, states, “The Information Department of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security has instructed activists on social media websites, particularly Facebook, to correct some of the commonly used terms as they cover the aggression taking place in the Gaza Strip.” The instructions themselves state: “Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.”
Worth noting: in 2008-2009, Israel’s military operation in Gaza ended with 1,166 dead Palestinians. The Palestinians attempted to claim that two thirds of those dead were civilians. Later, they themselves admitted that two thirds were terrorists.
Hamas Built Its Terror Tunnels Thanks to Dual-Purpose Aid. One of Hamas’ main talking points has been that Israel’s embargo is the rationale for Hamas’ terrorism. First off, that would not explain why Hamas has not attacked Egypt, which has destroyed hundreds of terror tunnels and placed an embargo on Gaza. But second, the media fail to report that Hamas got the materials for its terror tunnels because the supposed embargo was not strong enough. As Investors Business Daily reports, “the deal [Hillary] Clinton brokered required Israel to ease its blockade of building materials and other dual-use goods bound for Gaza, which is ruled by the terrorist group Hamas. Israel had banned construction goods because Hamas used them to build an underground network of weapons depots, bunkers and rocket-launching pads.” Hamas utilized at least 600,000 tons of cement to build the tunnels, which cost an estimated $100 million.
And, by the way, Israel ended the so-called “occupation” of Gaza in 2005. It forcibly removed thousands of Jews from their homes in order to do so. It handed over their greenhouses to the Palestinians. Who promptly burned them.
Hamas Killed Children in Building The Terror Tunnels. According to a 2012 paper in the Journal of Palestine Studies titled, “Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege,” children were used to dig Gaza’s tunnels. In fact, 160 children were killed. The author, Nicolas Pelham, wrote, “nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies.”
Hamas Uses Women, Children, and the Mentally Ill as Human Shields. Hamas’ official television station informed viewers:
An important and urgent message: The [Hamas] Ministry of the Interior and National Security calls on our honorable people in all parts of the [Gaza] Strip to ignore the warnings [to vacate areas near rocket launching sites before Israel bombs them] that are being disseminated by the Israeli occupation through manifestos and phone messages, as these are part of a psychological war meant to sow confusion on the [Palestinian] home front, in light of the [Israeli] enemy’s security failure and its confusion and bewilderment.
On July 8, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri explained the rationale: “The people oppose the Israeli fighter planes with their bodies alone… I think this method has proven effective against the occupation. It also reflects the nature of our heroic and brave people, and we, the [Hamas] movement, call on our people to adopt this method in order to protect the Palestinian homes.”
These messages work. IDF parents have reported, “soldiers have repeatedly seen young children in Sheijaya, Gaza, be sent out into the streets with guns to try to attack IDF troops. One parent reported that terrorists had run at IDF soldiers with a gun in one hand and a baby in the other, apparently in hopes that the soldiers would see the child and hold their fire. If soldiers fired, the parent added, the child’s death could be used as propaganda against Israel.”
Hamas Routinely Uses United Nations Facilities and Red Crescent Ambulances to Hide Terrorists and Weapons. As I have pointed out in the past, the UN works hand-in-glove with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. That endangers civilian lives. No less than three times, UN facilities have been used by Hamas to house weapons. In one case, the UN discovered that rockets were hidden in one of its facilities, and promptly handed those rockets back to Hamas. And Hamas uses ambulances to transport both weaponry and terrorists.
Hamas’ Goal Is The Total Destruction of Israel and The Murder of Jews Everywhere. On the defensive, CNN has finally begun to cover the facts about Hamas’ ultimate goals – facts that Hamas so cleverly hid in its charter. It only took CNN eight years to discover this mysterious charter, which has been publicly available on the internet via simple Google search. Yet the world is supposed to swoon when Wolf Blitzer finally asks a Hamas spokesman whether he support the blood libel that Jews use Christian blood in their matza. As John Nolte points out, CNN treats Hamas terrorists better than it treats Tea Partiers.
Is it any wonder that the world sympathizes with Hamas, given that the media refuse to cover the vast majority of these basic facts, instead focusing on contextless and heartrending pictures of dead civilians?
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.