Debunking Gaza war lies
The lies generated by the IDF spokesperson and the media on the Gaza war are still being endlessly quoted for the purposes of propaganda.
By John Brown
1. “Hamas is forcing residents to stand on rooftops, leading to their deaths.” The claim originated with the killing of six members of the Kware’a family and two others at 2:30 p.m. on July 8. According to the investigation, the family evacuated the house after receiving a phone call from the army, but returned after the “knock on the roof” missile was erroneously assumed to have been the missile intended to demolish the house.
The Israeli Air Force maintains that it knew that the family had begun to return but could not divert the missile off course. In any case, this argument no longer holds any water since the IDF has attacked other families in a similar manner without any warning. There are abundant examples such as the killing of 26 members of the Abu Jame’ family and 18 members of the Al Batsh family, as well as the widespread bombardment of civilian populations in Rafah.
2. The IDF spokesperson rushed to announce that there was an attempted infiltration into Kibbutz Nahal Oz on July 28 through a tunnel. The spokesperson also stated that at Kibbutz Ein Hahslosha, Hamas fighters were on their way to the local kindergarten. In both these cases the claims are based on a lie; all incursions have been aimed at soldiers. The tunnel exits and sites of attack were a long way off from the sites mentioned in the IDF reports. An Eshkol Council spokesperson requested that a correction be made to the announcements [Hebrew] but it was never made. Reports continued to refer to terror attacks that had been prevented. It is reasonable to assume that the reason for this has been an attempt to cover up operational failures, such as flawed preparation at the pillbox and a non-operational entry in an unarmored vehicle to a danger zone at Ein Hashlosha. Additional confirmation can be found here and here [Hebrew].
3. Notwithstanding the fact that the baseless account was published in Ma’ariv and in Avri Gilad’s absurd “Zombies” status on Facebook [Hebrew], Israel’s military intelligence does not possess any knowledge of a plan to simultaneously use many tunnels on Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) in order to conquer the universe. The claim has been denied by intelligence officials [Hebrew]. Even the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee denied it [Hebrew].
4. “The UN demands that Israel share the Iron Dome system with the Palestinians.” The copyright for this lie is held by a misleading headline on Israeli news sites Ynet and Arutz Sheva [Hebrew]. The UN Commissioner for Human Rights complained that the United States supplies Israel with weapons and a supplementary military budget during the fighting, such as the emergency grant for the Iron Dome, while no one provides Palestinians with protection from shelling. One can find her exact wording here. It’s interesting to note that the English version of the Ynet article didn’t repeat the same mistake.
5. “Hamas executed 20 people who demonstrated against it in Shejaiya,” said a news item by TV reporter Alon Ben-David [Hebrew], which was repeated dozens of times throughout the original day of broadcast and is still being repeated.
This report is not true. Five residents of Beit Hanoun were killed in an incident, after a local resident shot an UNRWA volunteer in the leg, sparking local confrontation. The Hamas police dispersed them by firing live ammunition, killing five. Alon Ben-David himself corrected the story [Hebrew], and yet it was later quoted on Channel 1. At the same time, Israeli forces killed at least 13 protesters in the West Bank, at least 10 of whom did not pose a direct threat to IDF soldiers. And though the report has been verified, it is has hardly been mentioned by the media.
6. Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was not captured after a suicide bomber blew himself up near Goldin’s unit. He was captured after he, along with soldiers in his unit, walked into an ambush near the opening of a tunnel and were killed in a face-to-face shootout. Despite the widespread media attention, the IDF’s immediate response, which whitewashed the incident using the term “Hannibal Directive,” turned into a massive, indiscriminate assault against a civilian population that killed at least 150 people and was hardly mentioned in the Israeli media.
“Hamas invests 40 percent of its budget in the tunnels.” According to leaked Israeli sources, Hamas spends less than 14 percent of its budget on defense. This is less than the Israeli rate of investment in its military buildup.
8. “Human rights organizations forced Israel to provide cement to Gaza, which allowed it to build the tunnels.” From 2007 until September 2013, Israel allowed the entry of cement only for use by international organizations. Throughout September it allowed the entry of cement for use by the private sector. However, the government banned the entry of cement in October after a tunnel was exposed. All these restrictions did not affect Hamas [Hebrew], which continued to smuggle cement from Rafah. Therefore, the restrictions only hampered the private sector.
*Thank you to Itamar Shaltiel and Gisha for data provided in points 7 and 8.
John Brown is an Israeli blogger for Local Call. Read this article on Local Call in Hebrew.