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What the AP Left Out of a Report from Gaza

Palestinians smoke a water pipe at the site of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza May 23, 2021. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

Although I am not employed by the Associated Press, I thought I’d make some editorial suggestions (adding relevant facts and context) for a brief report that appeared on the front page of my local paper today, under the headline “Gaza fishermen take to water again.” My notes on these passages are in italics.

“The frenzied shouts of an auctioneer at Gaza City’s main fishing port brought a welcome reprieve from the din of gunfire and explosions as life begins slowly returning to normal following 11 days of hostilities between Hamas and Israel” that were solely instigated by Hamas and in which Israel acted defensively.

“Israeli security forces prevented fishermen from sailing during the conflict” to prevent terrorist infiltration from the sea.

“Gazans take pride in their seafood, and the return of fishing buoyed hopes that the ceasefire will hold,” though Gazans know that the ceasefire, and thus their livelihoods, depends on their own leaders’ abstention from further rocket attacks. 

“Meanwhile Sunday, hundreds of municipal workers and volunteers began clearing rubble from Gaza’s streets. The work began outside a high-rise building that was flattened by Israeli warplanes during the early days of airstrikes on Gaza,” which Israel launched in response to rocket barrages on Israeli population centers.

“The recent war saw Israel unleash hundreds of airstrikes across Gaza at what it said were Hamas militant targets” and that clearly were Hamas militant targets; the AP itself shared a building with Hamas militants.

“Hamas and other armed groups fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel, most of which were intercepted or landed in open areas,” Israel having developed the innovative Iron Dome missile defense system to prevent mass deaths among its civilians, which is the specific and explicitly stated aim of Hamas, whose charter seeks the total destruction of Israel. (Also, note that rockets that “land” in open areas were launched to kill.) “At least 243 Palestinians were killed, as were 12 people in Israel,” with an unknown number of Palestinian deaths caused by (a) misfired rockets falling back onto Gazan soil and (b) Hamas’s intentional placing of operations in the midst of its own civilians, including schools, thereby “drawing” the deaths of innocents despite the Israeli army’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas uses this tactic to make Israel look as bad as possible in media reports, including those by the AP.

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