UN Report: “One Child Killed in Gaza Every Hour”

For the story that should appear in The New York Times today, go instead to a recent United Nations report by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. There you will find the news that the Times is avoiding, as it prefers to write around the peripheries of the carnage in Gaza.

The OCHA Gaza Situation Report for July 22 tells us: “One child has been killed in Gaza every hour for the past two days.” It highlights “intense overcrowding in shelters” and concern about “eight shelters and thousands of households that could not be reached for two consecutive days, due to intense fighting.”

The report also informs us that, “a request for a humanitarian pause has been rejected by the Israeli authorities.”

All this is alarming news and eminently newsworthy, but rather than give due attention to Israel’s massacre of Gaza’s civilians, especially its children, the Times today features a front page story on how Hamas came to “gamble on” this war. It also presents a cluster of articles on the following topics: how an Israeli soldier went missing, the cancellation of flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns and Israelis who find entertainment in watching the battle from a hilltop.

This is smoke and mirrors in the newspaper world, providing the appearance of reporting on an issue but evading the real story unfolding in Gaza.

The UN, however, tells us this: “The killing of multiple members of the same families as a result of the targeting of homes became increasingly frequent in the past few days, with at least five families (36 individuals) almost completely erased during the previous reporting period alone.”

And this: “The huge loss of civilian life, alongside credible reports about incidents where civilians or civilian objects (including homes) have been directly hit by Israeli shelling, in circumstances where there was no rocket fire or armed group activity in the close vicinity, raise concerns about the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law.”

Readers who depend on the Times to inform them are unlikely to know any of this. Even though the newspaper provides a daily body count, this gives no breakdown of Palestinian casualties into civilians, women and children. The “Toll in Gaza and Israel, Day by Day” is more smoke and mirrors from the Times.

One exception to Times coverage today is the blog by Robert Mackey, “Palestinian Family Finds Missing Son in YouTube Video of His Shooting.” The video shows a man lying helpless and wounded in the rubble of Gaza and the moment he is shot and killed by a sniper. Mackey frequently provides news omitted from the more easily accessed pages of the Times.

In addition to Mackey’s blog, TimesWarp readers may want to read:

Journalist Jonathan Cook on how the media ignored Hamas’s claim of capturing an Israeli soldier, “Media follow Israeli line on captured soldier.”

Larry Derfner on how Netanyahu provoked the war with Hamas. This article provides the background and timeline missing from the front-page story today on how Hamas has gambled on a war with Israel.

[TimesWarp remains somewhat abbreviated as we continue to travel in the Pacific Northwest.]

Barbara Erickson





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