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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hamas "human shield" story gains no coverage in MSM

On January 3, Fatah accused Hamas of using arrested Fatah members as "human shields" against Israeli attacks. A Fatah member who fled Gaza during the Hamas takeover was caught by Hamas sneaking back in through Rafah; Hamas arrested him and placed him in an area in Tel Sultan where, with his hands and feet bound, he died in an Israeli attack while the Hamas members fled.

New details in the Palestinian Arab press show that other Fatah prisoners are being held in different locations in Gaza, seemingly for the purpose of increasing the number of casualties in case of Israeli airstrikes against Hamas buildings. (I wouldn't call them human shields; rather human statistic padders. Their purpose isn't to stop Israeli airstrikes but to score propaganda points.)

A Palestinian Arab human-rights organization confirmed Fatah's accusations today, adding that according to Palestinian law the only place in Gaza that prisoners can be held is the Gaza Central Prison.

Yet the only non-Israeli and non-Palestinian Arab reporting of this accusation is in a small UPI story that, as far as I can tell, wasn't picked up by any newspaper. AP, Reuters, AFP, the New York Times, the BBC - all quick to publish similar accusations against Israel - are silent.