[News] Are Israeli lives worth more than Palestinian?
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 7 12:41:13 EDT 2006
Are Israeli lives worth more than Palestinian?
Press Release, Arab Media Watch, 7 July 2006
A Palestinian carrying the body of a murdered boy
after Israeli mobile artillery fired shells at
Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip July 6,
2006. (<http://www.maanimages.com>MaanImages/Mohamed al-Zanon)
Arab Media Watch expresses its concern at the
amount of coverage given to Israel's killing
yesterday of almost two dozen Palestinians,
including civilians, compared with the kidnapping
of an Israeli soldier on 25 June, as well as the
continued portrayal of the current crisis as being triggered by the kidnapping.
Comparing the initial report of each incident in
the British national dailies, the Daily Mail, the
Guardian and the Sun devoted more words to the
kidnapped soldier than the Palestinian deaths,
with the Times devoting around the same amount of
coverage. The Daily Express and Daily Star report
nothing today on yesterday's deaths.
The Mail devoted 4 times as many words to the
kidnapping (661, compared with 167), the Sun
devoted just 79 words to the killings (105 for
the kidnapping), and the Guardian devoted more
than twice as many words to the kidnapping (826, compared with 393).
The Times devoted 514 words to the kidnapping and
553 words to the killings, though the headline
today says nothing of the deaths ("Israeli tanks
roll back into abandoned settlements").
Furthermore, the media is continuing to portray
the current crisis as being triggered by the kidnapping, which is not the case.
Besides the issue of thousands of Palestinian
prisoners in Israeli jails (including women and
children) that the Palestinian kidnappers have
been trying to highlight, and the well-documented
humanitarian crisis caused by Israel's near-total
control of the Gaza Strip (despite its withdrawal
last September), Israel has been shelling the
territory ever since, intensively so for weeks before the kidnapping.
monitor John Dugard to state that "there has been
a substantial deterioration in respect of human
rights," and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to
remind Israel "to respect international law."
On 12 April, the UN Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs
that Israel had "fired more than 2,300 artillery
and tank shells into the Gaza Strip since 29
March, more than 150 shells a day." It added that
"the continuous firing of artillery shells and
missiles are causing immense
psycho-social strain on the Gaza population,
especially on children. There are also additional risks from unexploded shells.
human rights organisations (three Israeli and two
Palestinian) said that "the massive artillery
fire causes disproportionate harm to the civilian
population...subjects Israeli army officers and
soldiers to war crimes charges," and constitutes
"a blatant violation of the Basic Rule of the
laws of armed conflict whereby civilians and
civilian objects must be distinguished from
military objectives. The fact that Israel is
confronting illegal firing of Qassam missiles at
its own civilian population does not legitimize
disproportionate responsive measures, which will
knowingly lead to civilian casualties."
From the start of June to the kidnapping of the
soldier on 25 June, 49 Palestinians were killed
and 170 injured, including women and children,
according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society,
causing great concern among human rights groups
and threats of revenge from militant groups:
"We have decided to tell the occupier 'no more
truce from today' in response to the bloodletting
of our women, our children and our elderly. We
will not suffer your repeated crimes in silence."
Furthermore, the tank base from where the soldier
was kidnapped is one of the locations from which
Israel has been relentlessly shelling the Gaza
Strip, and just one day earlier, Israeli
commandos had raided Rafah and captured two brothers, Mustafa and Osama Muamar.
"All of this is well known but did not make it to
the front page," wrote
Lavie, who served in an Israeli tank unit near
Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, in Canada's Globe and Mail
newspaper. "Can it be that Palestinian lives are
nothing, Israeli lives everything? That
Palestinian captives are nothing, Israeli captives everything?"
<http://www.arabmediawatch.com>Arab Media Watch
is an independent, non-profit organization set up
in 2000 to monitor and analyse the British media's coverage of Arab issues.
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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