Yesterday, unprovoked rocket attacks carried out by terrorists against Israel (and deliberately targeting schools) cost lives in the Middle East. While the mainstream media wrung their hands at Israel’s response to the evil barrage of rockets and pushed lies about Israeli’s dancing in the streets, a fire raged on the Temple Mount and the world (thanks to a stolen election and communist control) went from prosperity and peace in the Middle East to gas lines and death in a little over 100 days.
The coverage of the clashes in Jerusalem and the rocket fire that followed has focused disproportionately on Israel’s actions, either on the airstrikes that occurred or the threatened evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and clashes in al-Aqsa Mosque.
This may not be surprising, but it also has helped frame the current conflict as largely a product of Israel’s alleged aggression, as opposed to a cycle set in motion partly by Hamas.
The most anti-Israel coverage, unsurprisingly, is in the Iranian and Turkish media. Iran and Turkey both support Hamas.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, a state-run news agency, has about a dozen stories on Israel, and each is more anti-Israel than the last. One says Israel has killed 24 civilians, and another says Israel arrested Arabs who protested in Jerusalem and reports about “Israeli attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Ankara has stoked protests against Israeli diplomatic posts in Turkey, even though the regime has prevented other protests, such as the recent May Day ones.
Turkey uses the COVID-19 pandemic to shut down all critics, but then it encourages anti-Israel protests, the flames being fanned by pro-government media. Turkey has vowed to “defend” the Palestinians. Anadolu also says its journalists were attacked in Jerusalem.
Ankara has spoken to the Jordanian king and says Israeli forces are “storming al-Aqsa.” This is largely a fabricated story. The use of the expression “storming al-Aqsa” is used by anti-Israel voices who try to pretend that securing the Temple Mount against violent protesters is “storming.” In no other place in the world is securing a holy site “storming.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry claims that “many innocent civilians” have been killed in Gaza.
Iranian media have also emphasized the “brutal repression” of Palestinians in “al-Quds,” the Press TV term used for Jerusalem. Al-Quds is also the Arabic and Islamic term, but for major media to replace the word Jerusalem with “Quds” illustrates an agenda that is about more than just terminology.
“Palestinian resistance launched operation Al-Quds Sword as Israel kills 25 in Gaza raids,” is how Press TV says the events unfolded. This makes it seem like Hamas attacked Jerusalem with rockets in retaliation, when in fact the opposite happened.
For CNN, the story is headlined: “Israel launches airstrikes after rockets fired from Gaza in day of escalation.” NBC says: “Jerusalem tensions boil over with rocket fire and at least 20 killed in Gaza.” This neatly captures a more accurate picture of what has transpired.
There have been “pleas for calm as violence escalates,” says the BBC. The Guardian, however, sought to emphasize the “twenty-four dead in Gaza after Jerusalem violence spreads.”
In most of the reports, the Palestinian rocket fire – targeting Jerusalem and aiming some 200 rockets at communities around Gaza – is emphasized. The discussions of the rocket fire were often put further down in the articles or were made to seem like retaliation for something Israel had done.
“The rockets came on the anniversary of Israel’s capture of the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern neighborhoods in the 1967 Six Day War,” NBC reported. “Explosions and air raid sirens were heard in Jerusalem after Hamas set a deadline for Israel to remove its security forces from flash points in Jerusalem and release Palestinians detained in the latest clashes.”
The Independent in the UK said: “At least 24 people – including nine children – have been killed amid a new wave of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza that continued throughout the night into Tuesday morning, the Palestinian health ministry has said. The youngest victim was 10 years old, Gaza health officials told The Independent. More than 700 Palestinians have been injured since the outbreak of violence in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, including around al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”
It isn’t clear from the report that Hamas had fired any rockets until the reader gets past the first several paragraphs. The report made it appear Israel just carried out this “wave” of airstrikes, killing children, and then Hamas fired rockets. The report did note the UK had condemned the attack on Israel, however.
In the US, Fox News said Gaza militants were killed as Israel “hits Hamas.” This seemed to be one of the rare headlines that put Hamas in the title, noting the actual perpetrator of incitement and attacks on Israel.
CBS wrote: “Israel hits Gaza after militants launch rocket attack.” That headline at least explained the timeline of how this recent conflict had unfolded.
Prior to most of the coverage of the airstrikes, a lot of the spotlight has been on Sheikh Jarrah.
On social media, many have posted a video without context showing Israelis cheering at the Western Wall on Jerusalem Day as a fire rages near al-Aqsa Mosque. The video is presented in such a way as to claim Israelis are cheering attacks on al-Aqsa, when in fact the context is very different.
Scant coverage seems to have focused on the rioting in many places in Israel and the West Bank or Hamas incitement as part of the cycle.
A video clip showing Israeli celebrants marking Jerusalem Day by dancing and singing in the Kotel plaza Monday night while a tree is seen aflame on the Temple Mount has gone viral.
The video captured a scene similar to those that Israelis have used to criticize Palestinians in the past – whether dancing on rooftops as Scud missiles landed on Tel Aviv buildings, or handing out sweets in Gaza following a successful Palestinian terror attack on Israelis.
Critics wrote scathing posts of how they were dancing as the Temple Mount was burning.
“Shocking,” tweeted Joint List MK Ayman Odeh in a post accompanied by the video.
“This is a real scene from #Jerusalem today. Sorry, but the best description is: What a shit-show!” tweeted Haaretz reporter Noa Landau.
However, other social media posts pointed out that the primarily young, white-shirted religious nationalists would have been celebrating the day 0 marking the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 – regardless of the fire. The juxtaposition of the dancing and the fire was inadvertent.
Other tweets breathlessly claimed that the fire was the onset of Jews taking over control of the area and of the al-Aqsa compound on the Mount, the third-holiest site in Islam.
According to the Jerusalem Police, the fire was started due to errant firecrackers thrown by Palestinians.
The Foreign Ministry tweeted “A burning tree on the Temple Mount this evening, the result of violent protesters shooting fireworks at police.”
One of the rockets struck a bus in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv, according to initial reports.Earlier in the day, two women were killed in Ashkelon on Tuesday as barrages of rockets struck the southern city and the IDF continued to target Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist sites throughout the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the intensity and rate of attacks will increase following a visit to the IDF’s Southern Command headquarter.
“We are in the midst of a campaign,” he said. “Since yesterday, the IDF has been attacking hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites in Gaza. We have neutralized commanders, we have hit many of their quality targets. Hamas will be struck in ways that it did not expect.”
The Israelis were killed – one woman in her 60s and the other in her 80s – when rockets slammed into their homes in Ashkelon. Minutes later the IDF reported that it had killed two top PIJ commanders responsible for rocket fire in Gaza.
One of the Palestinian terrorists killed was identified as Samah Abed al-Mamlouk. The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said that he was attacked in a hideout together with a number of additional Islamic Jihad operatives. Mamlouk, the IDF said, was in charge of PIJ’s rocket arsenal.
In another strike, Hassan Abu al-Atta, deputy commander of Islamic Jihad’s Gaza Brigade, was also killed when the IDF struck an apartment in an eight-story building in Gaza’s Rimal neighborhood. He was the brother of Baha abu Al-Ata who was killed in an Israeli targeted killing 2019.
Earlier Tuesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved the call-up of 5,000 reservists as the IDF prepared for a large-scale offensive in the Gaza Strip as rocket attacks against southern Israel continued.
“For every day of shooting at the citizens of Israel – we will send [Hamas and PIJ] back years and hit them hard,” Gantz said at an operational assessment with Southern Command officers and heads of local municipalities in the South.
“We will not stop until calm returns. We will not stop until we achieve long-term calm and severe damage to the terrorist infrastructure,” Gantz went on to say on IDF operations in the coming days.
Gantz said Tuesday evening that he anticipates Hamas will make a “victory speech,” but that the reality is they will suffer a “very serious blow.”
“We are less than a day since the start of the operation, carrying out a massive wave of attacks in a campaign that began in Jerusalem. We have embarked on a campaign that will hurt Hamas seriously.”
The IDF struck over 130 targets throughout Gaza overnight Monday as southern Israel was bombarded by over 480 rockets since Monday afternoon, injuring over 90 Israelis.
Approximately 150 failed rocket launches fell back into the Gaza Strip and Air Defense Artillery combat soldiers intercepted approximately 200 rockets.
Shortly afterwards, a number of barrages of rockets were fired towards Ashdod and Ashkelon, with three residential buildings hit directly by rockets, leading to light injuries.
Hamas took responsibility for the barrages, stating that the “Al-Qassam Brigades directed the largest missile strike so far on the occupied cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, in response to the enemy’s continued targeting of houses and resistance men, and the next is greater, God willing.”
As such, the IDF has deployed additional Iron Dome batteries to the southern Gush Dan region and has added an extra Iron Dome battery that had been in reserve.
The 101st Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade and the Egoz commando unit were called up to southern Israel and the 202nd Battalion was called up to the West Bank on Tuesday morning.
An anti-tank guided missile also struck a civilian vehicle near Sderot, causing light injuries to the driver, who was just several meters from his vehicle. He was transferred to the hospital for medical treatment.