By J. Levitt
Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati said he was able to speak freely about witnessing a Hamas misfire that killed nine children at the Shati camp, confirming the Israel Defense Forces version of events, but only after leaving Gaza, “far from Hamas retaliation.”
On Twitter, Barbati, Jerusalem Correspondent for Radio Popolare Milano, and a former reporter for Sky Italia, in Beijing, said, “Out of #Gaza far from #Hamasretaliation: misfired rocket killed children yday [yesterday] in Shati. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.”
On Tuesday, the IDF released aerial photos showing how a rocket from Gaza targeting Israel hit the Shati camp, run by the UNRWA, and Al Shifa Hospital, which has become a de-facto Hamas headquarters, against international rules of war.
Barbati said he was unable to speak about the Al Shifa hit, but he was certain that it was a Hamas rocket that hit the Shati camp, and a witness saw militants rushing to clean the debris.
Blogger Elder of Ziyon, who praised Barbati for telling the truth in a war where many journalists have been intimidated by Hamas, noted that “When Hamas made the area off limits to reporters, it was cleaning the area from any debris that could show the truth.”
Elder of Ziyon said, “Every single report on TV from Gaza should have this disclaimer: ‘Our reporters have been threatened, implicitly and perhaps explicitly, by Hamas to only report one side of the story.Viewers must not trust anything they are saying.'”On Tuesday, CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, called out two correspondents from The Wall Street Journal for deleting photographs that would implicate Hamas in the war crime of using the Al Shifa hospital as a military headquarters. Other journalists, including a Gazan reporter for French media recounted to France’s Libération how Hamas had interrogated him in the same hospital, but later asked the newspaper to take down the story.
“There is an assumption of fairness in journalism, a contract between the media and the viewers,” the influential blogger said. “This contract has been broken, as far as I can tell, by nearly every single reporter in Gaza in nearly every report, with a couple of rare exceptions.”