NGO Monitor: NGO Warfare Update: Distortions on Gaza "Media Center" Attacks
On November 18, the Israeli army targeted Hamas' operational communications
arrays and antennas on the roof of two buildings -- the Shawa Hussari and Al
Shourouq towers. A number of foreign media outlet offices were located on
the lower floors of the Al Shourouq tower. (Hamas has systematically placed
strategic infrastructure and weapons close to or within civilian buildings.)
Many political advocacy NGOs active in the Durban strategy, including false
accusations during the 2008-09 Gaza conflict, immediately accused Israel of
deliberately targeting journalists and the foreign media. As in the past,
these statements provided highly incomplete factual information, lacked
context, and made allegations of "war crimes" and other legal claims without
NGO Monitor's analysis shows
The NGOs incorrectly declare that Israel acted unlawfully -- simply because
the buildings contained civilians. Under international humanitarian law, if
civilian objects are being used for military objectives, they are indeed
legitimate targets (attacks must comply with the rules of proportionality).
This is particularly the case where combatants are exploiting those objects
for cover, as Islamic Jihad members have.
None of these NGOs acknowledges that Al Aqsa and Al Quds TV are an integral
part of the Hamas military structure; that Al Aqsa is a Specially Designated
Global Terrorist; that channels are used by Hamas to transmit threats to the
Israeli civilian population; that they are used to incite genocide and war
crimes on the civilian population of Israel; that they are used to
indoctrinate and recruit child soldiers.
Adalah and Al Mezan falsely claimed that Israel was intending to "demolish
the 'Al-Shoroq Tower'." The building was not demolished; rather, the IDF
issued statements that it was targeting installations on the roof of the
building, and based on video footage from the strikes, that is exactly what
the IDF did.
Reporters without Borders claimed that "these attacks constitute obstruction
of freedom of information," but there is no protection under international
law for Hamas to engage in incitement to violence or hate speech.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), funded by European
governments, accused Israel of "a systematic crime to silence the press and
prevent journalists from reporting on the crimes that are being committed by
Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip." This claim
is wildly incongruous with the reality of hundreds of media stories, blog
posts, tweets, and other reports emanating from Gaza.
HRW's Executive Director, Ken Roth, characterized these news outlets simply
as "pro-Palestinian." The failure to provide the full context is highly
deceptive and immoral.
None of the NGOs involved in this campaign possesses the expertise to
determine whether a military action was "indiscriminate." To make such
claims, they would need access to IDF military intelligence; specific
information known to the IDF commanders prior to the strikes, as well as
their intentions; knowledge of how the targets fit into the overall war
effort; location of Hamas installations, combatants, and weapons; among many
"Israel's most prominent watchdog of human rights groups"
- The Forward
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