Telegraph ignores evidence undermining desired narrative

As we noted previously, a Telegraph report on Aug. 7 by their Mid-East correspondent Abbie Cheeseman strongly suggested that all the children killed in Gaza during fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were the result of IDF strikes. It failed acknowledging that at least four, in the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza, were almost certainly killed as the result of errant Palestinian rockets.  At the time of the Telegraph report, evidence that the four were killed by PIJ was so widely ciruclated that even the Qatari governemnt mouthpiece Al Jazeera acknowledged it.

Following our complaint to editors, the Telegraph did acknowledge, in a subsequent report on Aug. 8, the Israeli evidence that errant Palestinian rockets killed the four children.

Flash forward to today, where the Telegraph again has ignored widely available evidence that contradicts their desired narrative.  The article, written by Jerusalem correspondent James Rothwell and Gaza-based translator Siham Shamalakh, (“Inside the bloodstained Gaza tower block ripped apart by Israeli airstrike”, Aug. 10), includes the following:

The airstrike on Palestine Tower was the first salvo in an intense three-day round of fighting between PIJ and Israel which left 44 Palestinians dead, including 15 children, and injured hundreds of others. Israel said it launched the “pre-emptive” operation as it suspected PIJ was about to launch its own assault on Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip.

Israel has also said that a number of rockets fired by Palestinian militants failed to launch and landed inside the Gaza Strip, including an explosion in Jabaliya which killed several people. But Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, has blamed the incident on an Israeli airstrike.

First, Israel didn’t just say that “a number” of rockets fired by PIJ landed inside Gaza, they said that around 200 of the 1100 fired fell inside the territory.  Also, they didn’t just “say” that there were misfires. There’s video evidence demonstrating that this occurred during the war, and further evidence to back up Israel’s assertion about the incident in Jabaliya.

Additionally, the Telegraph ignores an exclusive investigation by Associated Press (AP), published on Aug. 8, (“Misfired rockets may have killed over a dozen in Gaza battle”), which corroborates Israel’s general claims about PIJ rocket misfires casusing Palestianin civilian deaths, as well as the specific explosion in Jabaliya.

Here are the relevant paragraphs from the AP report:

Close to one-third of the Palestinians who died in the latest outbreak of violence between Israel and Gaza militants may have been killed by errant rockets fired by the Palestinian side, according to an Israeli military assessment that appears consistent with independent reporting by The Associated Press.

The Israeli military said 47 Palestinians were killed in the weekend of fighting — at least 14 of them by Islamic Jihad-fired rockets that fell short.

No one in Gaza with direct knowledge of the explosions in question was willing to speak about them publicly. But live TV footage showed militant rockets falling short in densely packed residential neighborhoods. And AP visits to the sites of two explosions that killed a total of 12 people lent support to suspicions they were caused by rockets that went off course.

On Saturday night, seven Palestinians were killed in a blast in the crowded Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. The Israeli military said it carried out no operations in the area at the time. It released video footage purportedly showing a barrage of militant rockets, with one falling short.

Islamic Jihad had announced a rocket attack on the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, just north of Jebaliya, at around the same time as the explosion.

Video footage of the aftermath circulated online, showing what appeared to be a rocket casing sticking out of the ground on a narrow, busy street. When the AP visited the site on Monday, the casing was gone and the hole had been filled in with dirt. Palestinians are usually keen to display evidence of Israeli airstrikes to international media.

Yesterday, we tweeted this AP story to Rothwell – and other British-based journalists covering the region.

However, even if Rothwell didn’t see our tweet, it’s hard to fathom how a professional journalist covering the war – and is based in the region – could have totally missed the widely circulated AP investigation.

We’ve complained to Telegraph editors, requesting a correction.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Grimey

    If the Telegraph is joining the ranks of lying Jew-hating rags – such as the The Grauniad and The Independent – I will cancel my online subscription immediately.

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