Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow was among the many foreign journalists who visited Gaza on the one year anniversary of the 2014 summer war. In one of his video segments on his visit, titled ‘Gaza one year on: The Rising Jihadst Threat‘, suggesting that the Israeli blockade was radicalizing the population, he visits the following building destroyed by Israeli forces during the war.
Of course, if Snow (the investigative reporter) would have so much as Googled the terms “al-Basha tower” and “Gaza” he could have easily learned that – in addition to “brilliant IT startups” – the building reportedly housed offices used by Hamas and a propaganda outlet for Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Al-Jazeera, Aug. 26.
Tuesday’s strikes leveled the 15-story Basha Tower and severely damaged the Italian Complex, which had dozens of shops and offices.
Palestinian health officials said twenty people were wounded in the attack on the Italian Complex, which was home to seventy Gazan families.
Al Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson, reporting from Gaza, said Israel fired three non-explosive warning missiles before the air strikes.
“The 13-storey [Italian Complex] building, contained 11 floors of residential units and two floors of commercial offices and a coffee shop. those floors also host the offices of the Ministry of Public Works and offices belonging to the political wing of Hamas movement,” Ferguson said.
“There were some hamas offices in the building, which may be a clue as why it was targeted,” she added.
Declining to comment specifically on the attacks, the Israeli military said it had hit 15 “terror sites”, including some in buildings that housed Hamas command and control centres.
The Wall St. Journal, Aug. 27
Residents of the 15-story Al Basha Tower and the 17-story Italian Complex were evacuated after receiving telephone warnings of the imminent airstrikes. The callers, some speaking only rudimentary Arabic, were assumed by residents to be Israeli military personnel.
The attacks leveled the Al Basha Tower, an office building, and razed all but a quarter of the Italian Complex, a mixed-used development.
Twenty-five people were wounded in bombing of the shops, offices and apartments that made up the Italian Complex, said Ashraf al-Kidra, a spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry.
Israel said the buildings contained multiple units that were used by Palestinian militants as command centers.
Maan News Agency, Aug. 26
[Israeli] warplanes fired on the 14-storey al-Basha building in the western Rimal neighborhood, causing massive damage and wounding another 15 people, witnesses and medics said. Part of the building was used by Sawt Al-Shaab radio, or “Voice of the People”, run by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Remarkably, PFLP, on their English language website, openly acknowledged that they were using the al-Basha building.
Snow’s omission feeds into the false British media narrative that Israel intentionally attacked civilians during the war. And, so, once again, millions of British news consumers have been misled by an evocative yet extremely misleading segment by a presenter who prioritizes advocacy over a commitment to fair, balanced and professional reporting.
- Watch: Jeremy Corbyn’s cantankerous interview on his ‘friends’ in Hamas (blogs.spectator.co.uk)