NBC Touts Palestinian Teen Praising 'Justified' Hamas Terror Attacks on Israel

In a report for Wednesday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel – who on Monday fretted that Hamas would get "nothing" out of a cease-fire deal with Israel – highlighted a Palestinian teenager celebrating the terror group's attacks: "In Gaza, many see these attacks as justified. 16-year-old Farah Bakkar has developed a following online after live tweeting as [Israeli] bombs fell....Farah never supported Hamas before, but does now." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

A sound bite ran of Bakkar proclaiming: "When I see the [Hamas] rockets getting to Israel, I start loving them more and more and I pray for them."

The clip of Bakkar expressing her love of Hamas came moments after Engel featured a video released by the terrorists "claiming to show militants using a tunnel to attack an Israeli kibbutz," an attack in which "five Israeli soldiers were killed."

The first half of Engel's report focused on another U.N. school in Gaza being shelled during the conflict:

Another U.N. school struck in Gaza, killing more than a dozen Palestinians trying to take shelter from the war. The U.N. blamed Israeli incoming fire and told NBC News it has proof, including pieces of Israeli artillery rounds that rained down. Israel says it's investigating, but has previously said militants have fired on Israeli forces from near U.N. schools and stored weapons inside them.

Both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the school being hit, but unlike NBC, neither of those morning shows brought on an Hamas-loving teenager to comment.

None of the network coverage mentioned that a third U.N. school was found containing stockpiles of Hamas rockets on Tuesday.  


Here is a full transcript of Engel's July 30 report on Today:

7:00 AM ET TEASE:

MATT LAUER: Breaking news overnight. The U.N. accuses Israel of striking a crowded school in Gaza. At least fifteen people are dead, including children. Dozens more injured as the fighting in the Middle East intensifies.

7:01 AM ET SEGMENT:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And we start again in the Middle East, it's our top story once again. The shelling of a school being used to shelter people displaced by the ongoing violence in Gaza. This morning the United Nations is blaming Israel and condemning the attack. Let's get right to NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, he's in Gaza City for us once again. Richard, good morning to you.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Shelling Hits UN School; Children Among At Least 15 Dead]

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning, Savannah. Witnesses tell us there were no militants or weapons in this school when it was hit around 4:00 a.m. Women and children were sleeping in one of the classrooms when they heard incoming fire and the ceiling collapsed on top of them.

Another U.N. school struck in Gaza, killing more than a dozen Palestinians trying to take shelter from the war. The U.N. blamed Israeli incoming fire and told NBC News it has proof, including pieces of Israeli artillery rounds that rained down. Israel says it's investigating, but has previously said militants have fired on Israeli forces from near U.N. schools and stored weapons inside them.

This is why Israel says it's still bombing Gaza. Hamas edited and released this video, claiming to show militants using a tunnel to attack an Israeli kibbutz. They open fire, enter the gate, and struggle with an Israeli soldier, apparently trying to kidnap him. And then escape through the same tunnel. Five Israeli soldiers were killed.

In Gaza, many see these attacks as justified. 16-year-old Farah Bakkar has developed a following online after live tweeting as bombs fell. One said, "This is my area. I can't stop crying. I might die tonight." Farah never supported Hamas before, but does now.

FARAH BAKKAR: When I see the rockets getting to Israel, I start loving them more and more and I pray for them.

ENGEL: Israel says Hamas shouldn't be praised, but blamed for bringing on this deadly war.

Regarding this latest attack on a U.N. school here in Gaza, U.N. officials tell us they informed Israel of the school's location seventeen times. There are efforts underway to try and reach a cease-fire. So far without success. Savannah, Matt, back to you.

GUTHRIE: Alright, Richard Engel in Gaza for us. Thank you very much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC