18 May, 2009 – MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media
On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive assault on Gaza. 22 days later, around 1,400 Palestinians, including over 300 children, and 13 Israelis were dead; about 5,000 Palestinians were wounded. Israeli forces bombed and shelled schools, medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, United Nations buildings (including UN schools), power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes. This was described in much of the press as hitting “Hamas targets” (e.g. David Gardner, ‘U.S. accused of white phosphorus against Taliban’, Daily Mail, May 11, 2009).
Earlier this month, the UN announced the results of an inquiry into attacks on its buildings and personnel in Gaza. It concluded that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were:
“involved in varying degrees of negligence or recklessness with regard to United Nations premises and to the safety of United Nations staff and other civilians within those premises, with consequent deaths, injuries, and extensive physical damage and loss of property.” (Donald Macintyre, ‘UN retreats after Israel hits out at Gaza report’, Independent, May 6, 2009)
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