As yours truly noted a week ago, journalists who have ventured into Gaza operate under coverage restrictions imposed by Hamas, the terrorist group which controls it. Based on the tenor of their coverage, the New York Times and other organizations are complying with Hamas's constraints, usually without telling their readers, listeners, and viewers. This of course begs the question of why those reporters and photographers stay there — unless they'd like to leave and are being prevented from doing so.
A little onsite reality leaked out of Gaza today, in the form of two tweets from Wall Street Journal reporters based there, before they were quickly withdrawn. Twitter user Yair_Rosenberg caught them before they disappeared. They provide evidence that a rocket strike at a Gaza hospital which killed many Palestinians was the result of an errant Hamas rocket, not an Israeli strike:
Here are the separate tweets grabbed before they were taken down:
But there are plenty of photos of property damage in Gaze — just none of terrorists with weapons, or firing rockets, or murdering people they consider to be traitors.
Tamer El-Ghobashy tweeted the following eight hours ago:
A commenter asked if El-Ghobashy had been asked to delete, and he said "No."
Unfortunately, there is no reason to presumptively believe the explanatory tweet or his denial, given Hamas's restrictions and its willingness to torture and murder if doing so furthers its cause.
The Israeli army said it was not operating in the vicinity of Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza on Monday, where an explosion reportedly killed and wounded dozens of Palestinians.
“A short while ago Al-Shifa Hospital and Al-Shati Refugee Camp were struck by failed rocket attacks launched by Gaza terrorists,” the army said in a statement sent to reporters.
The failed attempt to fire the projectile apparently hit a car near the center, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News, causing the casualties.
The station said that a “Hamas Fajr-5 rocket aimed at central Israel, which was fired from a playground outside the Shifa hospital and exploded on the site causing casualties, had at least a 100 kg (220 lbs) warhead,” according to The Times of Israel.
Reporter Nir Devori of Channel 2 and analyst Ehud Yaari confirmed the carnage was most likely the result of a failed Fajr rocket launch — aimed at central Israel.
The Journal and other outlets have allowed themselves to be co-opted by Hamas and their reporters stationed in Gaza to serve as the terrorists' de facto mouthpieces. It's reasonable to contend that Western news organizations should have known what would happen going in and stayed away.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.