CBS’ Imtiaz Tyab Reports As Fact Disputed Hamas Claims on Aid Distribution Deaths

CBS’s Imtiaz Tyab, formerly of Al Jazeera English, reports as fact Hamas’ unverified and disputed claims blaming Israeli troops for the killing of 115 Palestinians at a chaotic aid distribution scene in Gaza City last week. The Israeli military disputes both the number of dead, citing dozens, and the circumstances of their death, attributing the vast majority of fatalities to the chaotic stampede of thousands.

On consecutive days, Tyab repeatedly treated unverified allegations from the designated terror organziation at face value, despite Hamas’ well-documented track record leveling false charges against Israel. In the March 2 CBS “Weekend News” broadcast, Tyab reported:

Now the rare humanitarian intervention by the president comes after at least 115 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded when Israeli forces opened fire as thousands had gathered for one of the first food aid deliveries in Gaza City in months.

Similarly, in the March 3 “Face the Nation” broadcast, Tyab accepted Hamas’ claims as gospel:

President Biden made the rare American humanitarian intervention after at least 115 Palestinian were killed and hundreds more wounded when Israeli forces opened fire as thousands had gathered for one of the first food aid deliveries in Gaza City in months. In what Palestinian leaders are calling Israel`s flour massacre, people had swarmed the trucks in the desperate hope of getting a sack of flour, only to be killed.

Yet, Hamas’ account is contested and hasn’t been proven. As previously reported by CAMERA UK, the army released

an initial investigation relying on aeriel sattelite footage, that the vast majority of Palestinian casualties were the result of trampling and being struck by the aid trucks.

The IDF further said that a second incident occurred a short time later at another spot at El-Nabusi Square, where armed Palestinians reportedly fired on the trucks and stole supplies.  In the third stage, a large group of Palestinians descended on the trucks, but also came close to a surprised Israeli forces stationed nearby to protect the deliveries. According to the IDF, once the large group of Palestinians were a few dozen meters away from forces, they fired in the air and issued warnings to stay away. When the same Palestinians reportedly continued to come closer to forces, they fired at the Palestinians’ legs.

Though the IDF doesn’t discount the possibility that some Palestinians were killed during that last incident, they’ve determined – in advance of a more extensive investigation they’re conducting – that the vast majority of those killed (who they say are dozens, not over 100, as Hamas claims) were killed in the initial stampede.

Tyab’s wholesale adoption of Hamas’ disputed claims sets the tone for additional skewed CBS coverage, such as a March 1 post on X (formerly Twitter) casting Hamas’ unverified account blaming Israel for the deaths as established fact while qualifying the Israeli denial as “Israel said.”

In both of his aforementioned broadcasts, after stating Hamas’ unverified account as fact, Tyab likewise went on to cite the Israeli army denial, and signaled to viewers that they should not regard the Israeli military’s denial as credible. He patronized and falsified:

the Israeli military continues to insist the deaths were caused by a stampede. But a United Nations observer, sent to Gaza City`s Al-Shifa Hospital, found the majority of the dead and wounded from the convoy had suffered from bullet and shrapnel wounds. 

First, at no point does Tyab indicate that Hamas’ unverified figure of 115 dead is disputed, with Israel citing dozens.

Second, United Nations observers at Shifa Hospital had reported that “many” of the wounded that they met had bullet ot shrapnel wounds, not the “majority.” Moreover, contrary to Tyab’s claim about the “majority of dead” with bullet and shrapnel wounds, the United Nations made clear that its statements regarding gunshot wounds applied to survivors, and not the dead. As even the Qatari-controlled Al Jazeera, Tyab’s former employer, acknowledged:

The hospital received 70 of the dead, and about 200 wounded were still there during the team’s visit, [UN spokesman Stephane] Dujarric said.

He was not aware of the team examining those killed, but said that “from what they saw in terms of the patients who were alive getting treatments is that there was a large number of gunshot wounds“.

CNN coverage also indicated that the UN did not comment on “the majority” of the survivors, much less the dead, contradicting CBS’ coverage:

On Friday, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, citing a UN team that visited the hospital where survivors were taken, said many of the injured civilians had suffered gunshot wounds.

“From what they saw, in terms of the patients alive and getting treatment is that there is a large number of gunshot wounds,” Stéphane Dujarric said.

Moreover, the presence of gunshot wounds is not an indication of the identity of the shooters. Looting Palestinian gunmen reportedly opened fire at the scene and very well could have been responsible for those wounded by gunfire.

Tyab’s misreporting also falsely depicts Israel as almost entirely blocking the entrance of food and other essential supplies: “Since the start of the war, the Israeli military has blocked most food, water, and medicine into the besieged Palestinian territory, triggering a near famine according to the U.N …” From his skewed reporting, viewers would have no way of knowing that as of this writing, Israel has facilitated the entrance into the Gaza Strip of more than 280,000 tons of food, water and medical supplies since Hamas carried out the biggest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust. 

Similarly, regarding food deliveries to the northern Gaza Strip, Tyab invents that the fatal Feb. 29 distribution of food in Gaza City was “one of the first food aid deliveries in Gaza City in months.” In fact, the northern Gaza Strip, where Gaza City is located, saw multiple food deliveries in recent weeks. As Times of Israel reported: “The IDF has coordinated several aid deliveries to northern Gaza in recent weeks, although [the deadly Feb. 29 aid convoy] was larger than usual.” The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that 15 partners delivered food for nearly 240,000 residents of the northern Gaza Strip in mid-February:

Between 12 and 18 February, a total of 15 partners engaged in providing food assistance across the Gaza Strip. Around 1.7 million people were reached, with Rafah Governorate receiving about 32 per cent of the total food assistance, followed by Deir al Balah (28 per cent), Khan Younis (26 per cent), and northern Gaza Strip (14 per cent).

Also within recent weeks, the UN World Food Programme sent a number of trucks to northern Gaza from Feb. 18 to Feb. 20, but discontinued further plans to send more when its convoys were violently swarmed by hungry residents. UNRWA last sent aid to the northern Gaza Strip on Jan. 23.

Subsequently, later in February, Israel coordinated food deliveries to the northern Gaza Strip, working with Palestinian businessmen. COGAT, the Israeli authority which coordinates aid to the Gaza Strip, reported on X Feb. 28: “Overnight, A convoy of 31 trucks carrying food made its way to northern Gaza Strip. Over the last 3 days, close to 50 trucks were transferred to the northern Gaza Strip. There is no limit to the amount of humanitarian aid for the civilians in Gaza.”


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