Oh, so the scores of rockets Fatah groups have fired into Israel aren't meant to actually kill anyone. They are symbolic! Just like these Fatah rockets, fired from buildings!
The oration was pretty standard fare for Hamas or Islamic Jihad funerals. But what surprised us as we turned into the courtyard of Nasser Hospital where the event was taking place was that this was a funeral mainly conducted by Fatah, the party led by Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr. Abbas, known popularly as Abu Mazen, opposes the rockets being fired against Israel and is trying to de-escalate this conflict not intensify it.
But it was definitely the yellow flag of Fatah that flew above the crowd of 300 or so – flying upside down, by the way, whether by design or accident, I couldn’t find out.
And it was the flag of Palestine that was bloodied and wrapped as a shroud around the bodies of seven of the nine men – the other two were wrapped in the green flag of Hamas.
While Khan Younis might be called the original home of Hamas, it also has been a centre of the Fatah movement in Gaza. In the 2006 Palestinian election, the people of this city elected three Hamas representatives and two from Fatah, one of whom was Mohammed Dahlan, who led the party in Gaza and denounced Hamas’s election as a disaster. He even attempted to overthrow Hamas in 2007, but lost in the street battles between the two sides and left the Strip in Hamas’s control.
Yet, despite the bloody history between the two movements, today they stand allied.
A senior Fatah official told me earlier this week in Ramallah that Fatah has felt obliged to fire some rockets against Israel, lest it be seen as collaborating with the Jewish state.
The Israeli civilians who are under fire can breathe easy. It isn't personal, just politics.
Notice also that while the IDF has killed many terrorists like the ones mentioned here, practically all the reporters in Gaza have ignored them completely, implying that all of the dead are civilians. There are no photos of any victims who are not civilian, no reports from terrorist funerals (that would identify which terror group the dead belonged to) - nothing.
All those firefights don't result in a single dead Hamas or Islamic Jihad member. Of course, their webpages avoid any mention - except for a token "martyr" once every couple of days - of the names of their members killed by the IDF. The Hamas Interior Ministry and Health Ministry avoid mentioning how many dead are from terror groups that they admit they support. And reporters ignore all of this, willingly going along with Hamas' sham.
This article is the exception that proves the rule.
It is as if the world media is following Hamas' published guidelines on how to report from Gaza.
This is possibly the biggest scandal of the current fighting. It is because of irresponsible and one-sided reporting from Gaza that criticism of Israel is being hurled by the UN and other diplomats and pundits, people who have no idea of the realities of conflict in an urban area where terrorists are hiding among the general population.