Round-up of media errors in covering Hamas’s war on Israel – Oct. 8

The unprecedented multi-front attacks on Israelis carried out by the terrorist group Hamas on October 7th  (both the Sabbath and a Jewish holiday) included thousands of missile attacks, the indiscriminate murder of over 600 Israelis (mostly civilians) and the wounding of thousands more, the bombing of an ambulance and scores of kidnappings, including of children – videos of which are truly hard to stomach.
While the conflict between Hamas and Israel is ongoing, we’ll be publishing posts on  most days to serve as a compilation of British media errors, omissions, distortions and propaganda in their coverage of the war.
Guardian omits murdered Israelis
A Guardian article (“White House condemns Hamas and pledges support for Israel after attacks”, Oct. 7), written by Coral Murphy Marcos, managed to mentions the number of estimated Palestinian casualties as the result of IDF strikes on terror sites in Gaza, but omitted the number of Israeli casualties from the initial savage attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas.
Here’s the relevant sentence where the writer mentions Palestinian fatalities.

The statements come after retaliatory Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, which have so far left 48 dead and 461 injured, according to the the Palestinian Red Crescent, with the death toll likely to rise.

We complained to Guardian editors asking that they amend the article to note the number of Israeli casualties.

Guardian falsely claims breaches of Temple Mount status quo.

A Guardian analysis by their Jerusalem correspondent Bethan McKernan (“Civilians will pay price for biggest challenge to Israel since 1973”, Oct. 7) focuses on the current threat to Palestinian civilians in the aftermath of Hamas’s offensive. It includes the strap-line “Inhabitants of Gaza now face the prospect of an Israeli ground offensive”, and a photo of Palestinians in Gaza mourning their dead.

It also included the following claim:

But the timing and scale of this unprecedented aerial and ground attack have caught both Israelis and Palestinians by surprise.

[the Hamas attack] was ostensibly launched in response to Jewish visits over the holidays to the faultline al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, which is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. Yet in the past Hamas has settled for less serious attacks for graver violations of the Jerusalem status quo.

First, even Hamas has acknowledged that Iran – a key backer of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as Lebanese terror group Hezbollah – encouraged the attack. Indeed, as other outlets reported, Iran likely had a direct role in the Hamas offensive, in part in order to scuttle Saudi normalisation with Israel.

Further, contrary to McKernan’s suggestion, there have been no “violations of the Jerusalem status quo” on the Temple Mount in the lead-up to the war. Indeed, Hamas and other Palestinian groups typically frame all peaceful visits to the Temple Mount (Al Aqsa Compound) as illegitimate, and as a provocation.  The lie by Palestinian extremists that the mosque is in danger has incited violence against Jews for over a century.

McKernan also opines that “the [Hamas] attack is a clear signal that the 16-year-old siege of Gaza is not sustainable”, as if all Hamas wants is to end Israeli security restrictions on Gaza, rather than to destroy the Jewish state. This is a classic case of the media conflating cause and affect, ignoring that the blockade is an Israeli defensive response to Gaza terror, rather than the cause of their terror.  If Israel were to end all Gaza-related security measures, Hamas and Islamic Jihad would respond by importing more deadly weapons into the territory.

Guardian characterises terrorist infiltration into Israel as a prison break

A Guardian article by Bethan McKernan (“Netanyahu warns of ‘long and difficult war’ after surprise Hamas attack on Israel”, Oct. 8) included the following:

Backed by a barrage of rockets, hundreds of Hamas operatives broke out of Gaza early on Saturday morning and fanned out into 22 Israeli towns, shooting at civilians, in an attack that stunned Israel.

McKernan, instead of using plain language describing the terror group’s infiltration into a sovereign country to murder its civilians, decided instead to use language meant to evoke the propagandistic cliche of Gaza as an open-air prison. This ignores the fact that over 18,500 Palestinians from Gaza are free to  pass through the border each day for work in Israel, while thousands more cross over to receive medical care in Israel or West Bank hospitals.

The Times falsely claims that Hamas revoked its genocidal charter

An analysis in The Times by Louise Callaghan (“Israel-Gaza conflict: who are Hamas and why are they attacking now?”, Oct. 7) included the following:

Over the years a call for the destruction of the state of Israel was quietly dropped from [Hamas’s] manifesto.

This is flatly untrue, as CAMERA explained several years ago.  Though in 2017, Hamas unveiled what it termed “A Document of General Principles and Policies” from Qatar, which was designed for Western audiences, it does not replace the original genocidal Hamas charter.

We’ve complained to Times editors.

Daily Mail calls Gaza “occupied”

An Oct. 7th Daily Mail article about the Hamas war on Israel included the following claim:

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places in the world, with around two million people packed into 140 square miles. But it depends on Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications, and other utilities, and imports are carefully controlled by the occupying country.

The claim is also made in one of the photo captions.
We complained to Daily Mail editors, pointing out that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and noting that we’ve prompted many corrections to that same false claim at other publications.
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