Israel and Gaza Watch: Using dead children Raja Abu Shaban and Nayef Qarmut to win hearts and minds
ISRAEL is back at the top of the news cycle. Islamists have been firing rockets into Southern Israel. Israeli war planes have attacked Gaza. Adham Abu Selmiya, a spokesman for Hamas emergency services, says “mostly children” have been injured or killed. Israel says this is not so.
An Israeli spokeswoman says the country’s forces “targeted a weapons storage facility and four rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as a rocket launching site in the southern Gaza Strip”.
Israel says Zuhir al-Qaisi, head of the Popular Resistance Committees, an armed group linked to Hamas, was set to order an attack. In the Israeli offence / response to PRC rockets, 18 Palestinians were killed, 16 of them militants. The Islamists fired 120 rockets into Israel, injuring four.
One side has bunkers. One does not.
The war is ongoing. But what of the media? Can they play a part. Do we treat the news that “mostly children” are injured with caution? Do we know for certain an attack on Israel was planned? Do we belive all we see? Take this in the Times:
And what of this? @KhuloodBadawi tweets a photo:
Only, the Israel Defence Force has seen the photo. The IDF points us towards @avimayer, who spotted that the picture was taken in 2006.
The caption reads:
A Palestinian man carries the body of three year-old Raja Abu Shaban, in Gaza August 9, 2006. The three-year-old girl who had been reported killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza on Wednesday actually died of an accident, Palestinian medical workers said on Thursday. Workers at Gaza’s Shifa hospital said on August 10, 2006 that the initial mistake over the cause of death appeared to have arisen because the girl’s corpse was brought in at the same time as the bodies of the gunmen. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES)
The AP has photos of 12-year-old Ayoub Assalya. He is dead. The Globe & Mail reports:
While tens of thousands of Israeli school children stayed home in shelters Sunday, it was school as usual for Palestinians in Gaza. Ayoub Assalya, 12, had just set out for school Sunday morning in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip when an Israeli missile struck and killed him.
The New York Times reports:
More than 150 rockets have fallen in Israeli territory since Friday, and its airstrikes killed five Palestinians on Monday, bringing the overall toll to 23. Though most of those killed have been militants, three of the five who died on Monday were civilians.
One of the victims, Nayif Shaaban Qarmout, 14, was killed and five other youths were wounded as they were walking back from school, according to a Gaza medical official.
The Israeli military said it had aimed at a squad preparing to launch rockets from within a residential area of northern Gaza. It blamed the Palestinian groups for operating from urban areas and using civilians as “human shields.”
Another missile killed Muhammad al-Hassumi, 65, and his daughter Fayza, 30, as they put out a fire on their land. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza said the fire had been caused by a Palestinian rocket that fell short of its target.
Israeli air strikes kill two Gaza gunmen, 15-year-old schoolboy…Hamas and hospital officials said a 15-year-old schoolboy was killed in a separate air strike on Monday. The teenager, Nayef Qarmut, was killed while walking to school past an open area, emergency services spokesperson Adham Abu Selmiya told Agence France Presse.
The Israeli army on Monday denied it had carried out an air strike on northern Gaza which killed a teenager, with an AFP correspondent confirming there was no sign of an air raid Fifteen-year-old Nayef Qarmut was killed and six other teenagers injured as they were on their way to school near the northern town of Beit Lahiya, with a spokesman for the Palestinian medical services blaming an Israeli drone strike.
“A drone strike hit a group of students who were walking by empty land on their way to school,” said spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya, describing an incident which occurred at around 9:30am (0730 GMT)…
According to an AFP correspondent at the scene, there were no signs of any impact on the ground which could have been caused by a missile, with the most likely cause of his death being some kind of explosive device he was carrying. The victim lost his legs in the blast and his body was covered with shrapnel wounds, he said. Six other school children were injured, two of whom were in critical condition, while four sustained moderate wounds, medics said.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has it:
At approximately 09:25, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a gathering of Palestinian civilians, mostly children, near al-Khuzondar fuel station in the west of the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. As a result, Nayef Sha’ban Nayef Qarmout, 14, was killed, and another 5 children were wounded by shrapnel.
All we know for certain is that violence just creates suffering, fear and misery. And that the first casualty of war is truth…