Wednesday, April 16, 2014

16-Apr-14: Someone exploded something in Gaza this morning, killing some people. Mainstream media interest? Not so great

Khan Younis, November 2012 [Image Source]
It's always a tricky thing to base news reports on Palestinian Arab sources, so a grain of salt if not more is needed when processing this report from Maan, the European-funded Palestinian Arab news agency.

Maan reported at 11:15 this morning (Wednesday) that there has been "an explosion" this morning in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, in or near Khan Younis (population: 350,000). It quotes Ashraf al-Qidra whom we have mentioned here in the past, speaking on behalf of the Hamas regime's Ministry of Health, saying "the circumstances behind the explosion were not clear". What is evidently less unclear is that three Palestinian Arab men are dead and four others are injured with shrapnel wounds and in "stable" condition. The Maan report has been picked up by several other news outlets, most of them Israeli, this morning.

For people who follow events in the Hamas-run enclave, it's commonplace for news of failed terror attacks and self-inflicted injuries from mishandled explosives (such as the one that killed three Gazan men a month ago) to be reported via Hamas' Ministry of Health.

Why not the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of War, the Ministry of Jihad, the Police Ministry, the Public Safety Ministry, the Department of Child Welfare, the Ministry of Outbound Explosives? Because they don't have any of those. The ministers who sit in the Hamas government are those who head Justice, Housing/Public Works, Local Government, Agriculture, Finance, Religious Affairs (naturally), Interior, Education and of course Health, as well as "prime minister" Ismail Haniyeh.

The Gazan Palestinian Arabs last had elections more than eight years ago. They have been under iron-booted Hamas rule since June 2007 when its jihadist irregulars carried out a savage massacre of Fatah forces and seized control. The Palestinian Authority's prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, who also stands at the head of Fatah and who is currently in the year ten of his four-year term of office, has not set foot in Gaza in the seven years since then, though he has been widely reported to be about to go there (2013, 20122011 and 2010.)

The Mahmoud Abbas villa in Gaza [Image Source]
Though he owns a multi-million dollar villa (see this 2003 report) there, he has not seen it or stepped across its ample threshold in at least seven years, throughout which it has been held and used by Hamas.

But he shows no visible embarrassment in purporting to speak for the Gazans when he sits down at what passes for a peace table with the Israeli and the Americans and says he's there to negotiate.

Our point is there is almost zero criticism in the global news media of the man's hubris in claiming to seek resolutions and understandings in the name of the Palestinian Arabs while in reality he is forcibly excluded from everything Gazan.

The truth is relatively little is known about what actually happens day to day, and especially the very bad things done to Gazans by the dark forces of Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, as today's explosion report highlights. It's hardly a free and open society. Yet we rarely hear the experts of the mainstream news media owning up to this, even while they bemoan a failed peace process. Perhaps it's time to hold them to a higher standard.

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