Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The missing picture

I have spent a lot of time looking at the circumstances around yesterday's blast that killed much of the Me'tiq family and there is one thing missing from all of the press coverage:

Pictures of the damaged house.

Palestinian Arabs still claim that it was an Israeli tank shell that went through the roof of the house and exploded (presumably in the kitchen). Israel claims that the explosion occurred outside the house from a terrorist's munitions.

With Gaza crawling with Palestinian Arab stringers and photographers, who spare no time finding time to photograph funerals and bodies, why have we not seen any pictures of the house where a "massacre" supposedly took place? In other Israeli strikes there have been photos shown of the damage.

It would be trivial for AP or Reuters or AFP to send a photographer to Beit Hanoun to take such a picture. So why hasn't it happened?

The reason is almost certainly because the pictures would show a giant crater outside the house, and the damage radiating from that crater. The pictures would vindicate the IDF's version of events. The Palestinian Arab victimhood narrative would be once again destroyed, and the manipulated righteous indignation of the Arab world would evaporate.

Since the Gaza wire service photographers are only interested in furthering the Palestinian Arab cause, they have no incentive to document anything that makes Israel look less evil. (They also live in fear of what Hamas would do to them should they publish things not to their liking.) So they simply refuse to take pictures that does not follow the Hamas line.

Interestingly, while I have great doubts that this is legitimate, a person claiming to be an AP reporter wrote a comment to Ha'aretz:
Title:I reported all this to all news agencies, saw it with my own eyes
Name:Ali-AP Reporter
City: El-AreshState: Egypt
Good Morning to everybody,

Several of us were called by Hamas to witness an attack on the Zionist forces by men carrying a large load of explosives. However when we got close to the Abu Meatik family home the Zionist birds came from the skies and tore to pieces the Martyrs who were charged with this task. In the ensuing explosions of their loads the Abu Meatik children playing in the street in front of them died as well.

Our Jeep full of reporters like me was lucky to be 50 meters behind so it escaped the blast.

The other reporters were afraid to contact their news agencies for fear of retaliation after reporting such unpleasant truths but I was going to be back in Cairo today anyway so I reported everything.

As a matter of fact yesterday I packed my bags as soon as possible to go to Rafah to cross the border last night, just to be safe and I slept in a hotel in El-Aresh.
Probably bogus, but no less bogus than much of the reporting coming out of Gaza nowadays.