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The press is at war with Israel

The media often spreads unverified information provided by Hamas, leading to hasty condemnations of Israel. These are some of the most important fake or distorted news stories that were published to demonize the Jewish State after the October 7 massacre.

Titular falso del New York Times sobre la guerra en Israel

Titular falso del New York Times sobre el suceso del hospital de Gaza (Captura de pantalla NYT)

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The war in Gaza, like any other modern war conflict, is not only fought on the battlefield, but also in the press. On the one hand, there is Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, where in addition to the official data provided by the authorities, various media and non-governmental organizations can work freely to report on what is happening there. On the other side is Hamas, the terrorist and authoritarian organization that rules in Gaza, where there is no freedom of expression and all the information that comes out of the Strip is provided by the Islamist group.

The war is currently under the global microscope. The Israeli government must be permanently accountable in a country where a democracy with division of powers governs. On the other hand is Hamas’ version of the story. However, on multiple occasions, a large part of the world press has believed the information provided by the terrorist group to be true. They didn’t even verify or investigate anything at all.

The fire in Rafah that caused dozens of deaths during an Israeli anti-terrorist operation

Israel recently came under heavy international condemnation after dozens of Palestinians were killed during an operation to kill two senior Hamas commanders in Rafah, Gaza Strip.

The international press was quick to suggest that this was a deliberate attack by the IDF against a camp of displaced people. This is the version Hamas wanted the world to believe. Several world leaders condemned the Jewish State. However, according to preliminary results of the investigation being carried out by Israel, in the attacked building, where senior Hamas commanders Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar were killed, there was a large amount of ammunition which, according to the investigation, produced secondary explosions and the fire that killed dozens of displaced people.

The investigation added that neither the IDF nor the Shin Bet (Internal Security Service) were aware of the ammunition stored in that building. The Army stated that two 17-kilogram "smart missiles" launched from a fighter plane were used in the attack. They also said that these types of projectiles are usually used to carry out “surgical attacks.” In fact, they stressed that they have been used in hundreds of offensives without causing damage around the target. "We used these missiles to attack terrorists who were in a room. When there were civilians in another room or in the adjacent apartment, the missiles hit the target without harm to civilians in an adjacent structure,” the IDF stated.

However, the Israeli forces acknowledged that if they had been aware of the ammunition stored in the building where the killed terrorists were located, the operation surely would have been carried out differently. Furthermore, after analyzing intelligence information and various videos of the event shared on social media, the IDF estimated that “secondary explosions occurred at the site due to the storage of Hamas ammunition.”

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari stressed in a statement to foreign media that Hamas has been firing rockets from the area bombed by Israel since the October 7 massacre. Additionally, the Army published a recording of a telephone call between two Gaza residents, in which they specifically stated that the ammunition stored by Hamas there caught fire and exploded as a result of the Israeli offensive, which would indicate that the terrorist group is hiding weapons among the civilian population. Hagari concluded that only Israeli munitions could not have started a fire of such size.

The UN almost halved the number of children and women killed in Gaza

In mid-May, the United Nations practically halved the number of women and children killed in Gaza. Specifically, on May 8, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), stated that the number of women who have been killed since the beginning of the Israeli response to the October 7 attack was around 5,000, compared to the 9,500 that was indicated two days before. The UN took Hamas’ word for it. The number of children killed by the conflict also had plummeted from 14,500 to 8,000. Interestingly enough, the 11,000 people removed from the list of deaths was not reflected in the total number of civilian casualties according to the organization, which at that time was close to 35,000 dead.

In statements collected by the National Post, David Adesnik, director of research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), based in Washington, pointed out that the origin of the rectification is that the UN has decided "discreetly" stop using statistics offered by the Government Media Office (OMG), led by Hamas. In addition, the agency doesn’t take into account how many of the deaths mentioned belonged to the terrorist organization and operated as members of its militia.

Al Jazeera and the false story of sexual abuse perpetrated by Israeli soldiers in a hospital

In March of this year, the Qatari news network Al Jazeera decided to retract and eliminate a series of stories that accused the Israel Defense Forces of committing sexual abuse at the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza.

The story went viral after Al Jazeera published the testimony of a woman who claimed to have witnessed Palestinian women getting raped inside the Gaza hospital.

The Qatari media took down the story shortly after without adding many more details. The report was, however, picked up by many other media outlets. In her testimony, the Palestinian woman claimed that IDF soldiers threw the bodies of mutilated women to their dogs, among other gory descriptions of violence.

A former director of the chain made some clarifications through a social media post. Abu Hilalah , who was part of the leadership of the Qatari state media, assured that the story published by Al Jazeera was not true. Without citing sources, the manager added that the woman who gave her testimony ended up confessing that the story was not true.

This fake news led, strikingly, to several pro-Palestinian media outlets and influencers, such as Sulaiman Ahmed, who said they doubted women were raped by Hamas terrorists during the October 7 massacre, immediately believed this false story, which they spread without hesitation.

The fake murder of two Christians who were allegedly killed by an Israeli sniper in a Catholic church

Last December, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem reported that an Israeli sniper killed a mother and her daughter in the Holy Family Catholic Church in Gaza.

The news, which was shared by a large number of media outlets, caused a worldwide uproar. In fact, Pope Francis condemned the alleged murder of Nahida Khalil Anton and her daughter Samar Kamal.

However, there wasn’t much evidence of the incident. The IDF stated that during talks with community representatives, no reports emerged of an attack on the church, nor of civilians being injured or killed.

The false attack on the medical staff from Shifa Hospital

BBC reported last November that the IDF had attacked medical staff and Arabic speakers at Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

However, the network was forced to apologize and rectify because Israeli forces had actually gone into the hospital with their own Arabic-speaking staff in order to provide assistance to patients who needed help.

Israel's false attack on an Orthodox church

Days after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas following the October 7 massacre, some media outlets - including Al Jazeera- and social media accounts shared a viral video claiming that Israeli planes had bombed the St. Porphyry Orthodox Church in Gaza.

However, many media outlets confirmed that it was fake news, since the church was intact, and that the bombing that appeared in the images was not related to an attack on the church.

The fake Israeli attack on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital

In October 2023, the terrorist organization Hamas claimed that at least 500 Palestinians were killed in a bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City which was coordinated by the Israeli Army. However, it was later confirmed that the incident was caused by the failed rocket launch by Islamic Jihad.

Various investigations and the fact that the hospital appeared intact in photos posted after the incident, since the rocket was fired on the parking lot of the place, demonstrated that the media was quick to believe the information provided by Hamas. In fact, after having published the news based on data provided by the Palestinian terrorist group, the The New York Times published an editors' note apologizing for its coverage of the incident.

Israel does not lie, it takes responsibility when it has to and always investigates

The war that Israel is fighting against Hamas is not simple, especially considering that it consists of urban combat and that the terrorists use civilians as human shields.

In this context, the IDF is to be expected to make mistakes. However, unlike its enemies, Israel investigates, takes responsibility and apologizes when it has to, just as it did when seven humanitarian workers from the organization World Central Kitchen died after IDF soldiers mistook them for terrorists or when Jewish state fighters killed three Israeli hostages in Gaza, whom they also misidentified as radical Islamists.

The contrast between both sides is indisputable, but for some strange reason Hamas is often considered to be a more reliable source of information. The well-being of civilians in Gaza and Israel is not solely the responsibility of the Jewish State. The international community must work together to end the war, helping to eradicate Hamas and other Islamist groups, in order to distance Iran from the region. None of this can happen when the media bases its work on lies.