World
Hamas fighters pose after finishing a training exercise in the southern Gaza strip June 25, 2007. An Israeli soldier captured a year ago by militants from Gaza asked for medical treatment and urged Israel to release Palestinian prisoners, in an audio tape posted on the Internet on Monday. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)] - RTR1R4M9 Hamas fighters pose after finishing a training exercise in the southern Gaza strip June 25, 2007. An Israeli soldier captured a year ago by militants from Gaza asked for medical treatment and urged Israel to release Palestinian prisoners, in an audio tape posted on the Internet on Monday. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)] - RTR1R4M9  

Hamas Concealing Their Role In Innocent Gaza Deaths By Threatening, Expelling Reporters

Increasing reports from Gaza suggest Hamas is actively threatening or deporting any international journalist who reports on casualties caused by the terror group or its use of human shields — with one Italian journalist claiming he was unable to report the deadly misfire of a Hamas rocket until he’d left the battered coastal enclave.

On Monday, American media outlets reported that a strike on al-Shati refugee camp killed ten civilians — nine of them children. The Daily Beast called the attack an Israeli “air strike,” ignoring an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) protest to the contrary. The Nation noted the IDF’s denial but added that “several eyewitnesses blamed the explosion on an airstrike.”

On Tuesday, Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati tweeted the following:

Unlike the initial news of the attack, Hamas’ complicity in the childrens’ death was not widely reported in international media outlets. And almost no one reported on Barbati’s inference that Hamas seeks to “retaliate” against inconvenient journalists.

Reporters still in Gaza who reveal Hamas’ endangerment of its own people have mysteriously deleted those reports soon after their filing. On July 22, Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Casey tweeted a photo allegedly taken from within al-Shifa hospital, the main reception point for women and children wounded in the Gaza fighting:

Al-Shifa hospital tweet

That tweet was quickly removed from Casey’s feed after a Hamas media account tweeted the following:

Other reports indicate what has long been suspected — that Hamas uses al-Shifa hospital not just as a multimedia hub to meet reporters and conduct TV interviews — but as a shield for a base through which its top leadership plans operations and hides from Israeli forces. 

On July 15, the Washington Posts’s William Booth reported that the hospital “has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.” But the first independent confirmation of a Hamas headquarter at the hospital isn’t mentioned until the eight paragraph of the story — something TabletMag calls “burying the lede.” And other journalists who routinely visit the hospital to interview Hamas officials fail to mention the significance of their pervasive presence.

On July 29, al-Shifa hospital was hit by an unidentified aerial bomb. Wall Street Journal reporter Tamer El-Ghobashy quickly tweeted the following:

Tamer El-Ghobashy

That post was soon taken down, with El-Ghobashy replacing the tweet with the same picture captioned “Unclear what the origin of the projectile is.” El-Ghobashy later claimed he deleted the tweet because it was “speculative” and that there was “no conspiracy.”

But the experiences of others reporters less accommodating to Hamas suggest there may have been an element of self-preservation in El-Ghobashy’s decision to remove the tweet.

The Times of Israel reports that earlier this month, an unidentified French journalist for local newspaper Ouest France was interviewed for an article in France’s Liberation newspaper.

The journalist reported how he was held against his will, threatened and interrogated by Hamas officials in a back room of al-Shifa hospital. “Are you a corespondent for Israel?” he was consistently asked. The officials eventually decided to expel the reporter from Gaza altogether.

Liberation later took down the article over concerns for the reporter’s safety, which the story named.

And on Wednesday, pro-Hamas journalists in Gaza tweeted that RT reporter Harry Fear was expelled from Gaza after tweeting that rockets were being fired from a location near his hotel:

Harry Fear

Over one day later, Fear’s deportation from Gaza has not been confirmed or denied by RT.

Follow Brendan on Twitter