Sunday, November 21, 2010

BBC News Online, November 19, 2010

Israeli air strikes hit two Gaza towns (1)

Trails of rockets fired from Gaza – January 2009
Rocket fire from Gaza has dropped sharply since 2008 (2)
Israeli air strikes hit three sites in the Gaza Strip, in response to a rocket and mortars fired into Israel from Gaza earlier, the Israeli military said. It did not confirm the targets, but AFP news agency said the towns of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis were hit.
At least six people were injured, witnesses and medical officials said.
The Israeli army said Palestinian militants had fired 10 mortars and a rocket into Israel over the past two days which had caused no casualties. "The targeting of these terror-linked sites was in response to the firing of rockets at Israel's southern communities," the army said in a statement. "The IDF will also continue to respond harshly to any attempt to use terror against the state of Israel," they added.
Adham Abu Selmiya, a spokesman for the Hamas-run medical services in Gaza, told AFP that four people were injured in a strike that targeted a home east of the central town of Deir al-Balah.
The injured, who included two women, were taken to Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital, he said.
Meanwhile, two people suffered minor injuries in Khan Younis.

Rocket fireThe long-range rocket fired from Gaza earlier on Friday, which struck near the town of Ofakim, was the first of its kind in several months, an official said.
Grad-type rockets, from a Soviet design, have a range of up to 40km (25 miles), about twice the distance of the Qassam rockets made in Gaza and usually used by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
An Israeli air strike on Wednesday killed two members of the Army of Islam, a Palestinian militant group.
Rocket fire from Gaza has dropped sharply since Israel's devastating 22-day offensive in December 2008.
In the past 18 months one person in Israel, a Thai farm worker, has been killed by a rocket fired from Gaza.
According to Israeli Defence Force figures, 180 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel by militants in 2010.
The United Nations says that in 2010, 55 Palestinians, including 22 civilians, have been killed by Israeli military action in Gaza.
The UN says over 200 Palestinians have been injured in the same period.(3)

What's missing:

(1) This headline focuses exclusively on the Israeli action. It says nothing about the fact that rockets - including lethal Grad rockets - and mortars had earlier been fired into civilian areas of Israel. Also, by referring to "two Gaza Towns", it implies that Israel has targeted civilian areas. A reader going no further than the headlines would not know that Israel aimed specifically at terrorist targets within the two towns. 

(2)  The caption to the photograph reinforces the false impression given by the headline. It implies that Israel had no right to attack the "two Gaza towns", because "rocket fire from Gaza has dropped sharply." Once again, it does not tell the reader that rocket had only just struck Israel a few hours earlier.

(3) Note the contrast here. "Israel's devastating 22-day offensive" vs. a Thai farm worker killed. "Only" 180 rockets, versus 55 Palestinians killed and 200 injured - with no reference to how many of those 200 were engaged in military operations. This is a common approach - comparing "death counts", without any context. Firstly, if no rockets or mortars were fired from Gaza, Israel would have no need to undertake any actions in Gaza. There would be no casualties on either side.  Secondly, Hamas casualty figures cannot be relied upon. In the 2008 offensive, Hamas claimed over a thousand civilians killed - yet the Hamas Interior Minister has admitted that a huge majority of those killed were actually fighters.

No comments:

Post a Comment