About an hour before the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was set to expire, at 7am on Friday, terror groups in Gaza fired a volley of rockets at Israeli communities. Videos of the rocket fire were posted on Twitter as early as 5:49 am, Israeli time.
— Swords of Steel (@ignis_fatum) December 1, 2023
Minutes after the 7am deadline expired, and over an hour after rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel’s military, due to the rocket attacks and Hamas’s failure to send a new list of hostages to be released, which was supposed to result in the release of all children and women, announced the resumption of combat operations, and strikes soon began, Associated Press clearly reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, ending his trip to the region, Reuters reported, confirmed that Hamas had started firing rockets before the pause in hostilities expired, had carried out a deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem on Thursday and had not followed through on commitments on hostages. “It came to an end because of Hamas. Hamas reneged on commitments it made,” Blinken said.
Echoing Blinken, the terms of the cease-fire were broken by Hamas, according to U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, because they failed to produce the next list of hostages to be released.
Yet, multiple British media outlets, including the Guardian, Independent , Financial Times and Sky News, blurred the sequence of events, and used language in both the headline and the text leaving the false impression that it was likely Israel who broke the ceasefire.
A Guardian report by Dan Sabbagh and Jason Burke on Dec. 1 included the grossly misleading headline “Israel launches strikes on Gaza as fighting resumes after truce expires“. The text itself was no better. Here’s the opening sentence:
Israel attacked targets across Gaza after the end of a seven-day ceasefire on Friday, leaving more than 170 Palestinians dead after negotiations over further hostage releases fell apart overnight.
Following three paragraphs describing the damage to Gaza, readers are finally given some information suggesting that it wasn’t Israel who broke the ceasefire:
Sirens also went off repeatedly in southern Israel, starting before the ceasefire expired at 7am, and continuing throughout the day as Hamas resumed a campaign of rocket attacks. Nobody in Israel was reported killed.
Israel said the truce had been broken by Hamas and could not be renewed because the group had failed to offer to release the remaining female hostages in Gaza.
Sky News also grossly misled readers by publishing a 45 second video story on Dec. 1 titled “Gaza: Explosions could be seen as the week-long truce between Israel and Hamas comes to an end“, which included no narration, and only showed explosions in Gaza from IDF fire. Neither the text on the screen nor the footage gave any indication of the rockets fired from Gaza prior to the IDF’s decision to resume targeting military sites in the territory.
Below the video, there was this extremely misleading text:
Israel accused Hamas of violating the truce despite reports of Israel killing several Palestinians during the pause.
Again, viewers aren’t told about the Gaza rocket attacks or Hamas’s failure to provide a list of more hostages to be released – which is of course why ‘Israel accused Hamas of violating the truce’. Also, it’s completely unclear what they’re referring to by ‘reports’ of ‘Israeli killing several Palestinians during the pause’. It’s possibly alluding to Israel’s anti-terror operations in the West Bank. However, nothing in the truce agreement relates to IDF activities in the West Bank.
The Independent also grossly misled readers on the end of the ceasefire, in a Dec. 1 article titled “Israel pulls out of ‘dead end’ ceasefire negotiations as it strikes hundreds of Gaza targets“, written by freelance Jerusalem-based journalist Tom Bennett. It included the following strap line: After a week’s respite, black smoke billowed over the skyline once more as Israel resumed pounding hundreds of targets in the Gaza Strip
The article opens thusly:
Hopes of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas took a hammer blow on Saturday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dramatically ordered officers from his Mossad intelligence agency to leave Qatar.
The Gulf nation has so far brokered a deal that saw more than 100 hostages freed as well as the implementation of a week-long truce, which ended abruptly on Friday morning with the resumption of heavy air strikes on Gaza and rocket fire into parts of Israel.
The word choice of “and” suggests either that the sequence of events regarding “heavy strikes on Gaza” and “rocket fire into parts of Israel” is unclear, or, more likely when factoring in the misleading headline and strap line, that Gaza fired rockets in retaliation to IDF strikes on the territory.
Finally, the Financial Times completely avoided mentioning the Dec. 1 Gaza rocket attacks that occurred over an hour before the ceasefire was set to expire, in a Dec. 2 article titled “Israel-Hamas truce talks stall after Mossad negotiators leave Qatar”. The piece, credited to Chloe Cornish and the outlet’s Middle East editor Andrew England,
We’ve complained to these media outlets asking for corrections.