Ha’aretz Rocket Remix

For the second day in a row, Ha’aretz misrepresents the chronology surrounding the recent escalation of rocket attacks on southern Israel, and Israeli counter-strikes on Gaza.

Ha’aretz‘s English print edition yesterday remixed the order of the escalated Palestinian rocket barrage, which began with an unprecedented strike Friday on the Israeli town of Mitzpeh Ramon and on Ovda, north of Eilat, and Israeli counter-strikes. The print edition rewrites the chronology:

Overnight Friday, rockets were fired toward Ovda and Mitzpeh Ramon, which Israeli security officials say were launched on the order of senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Remains of a rocket, 12 millimeters in diameter, were found Saturday morning near Ovda, which is north of Eilat.

Hours earlier, Israel launched two air strikes in the Gaza Strip, wounding five Palestinians, including a woman and her child, local media and officials said.

So, according to yesterday’s print edition, on Friday Israel launched an air strike on Gaza City, wounding five Palestinians, and then a few hours later, Palestinians fired rockets at Mitzpeh Ramon and Ovda. But this account presents events in the reverse order from which they actually occurred. Ha’aretz‘s online version of the article makes clear that the attack on Gaza City in which five were reportedly injured occurred Monday, after terrorists launched a cross-border raid, killing an Israeli civilian — not Friday, as claimed in the print edition:

The Israeli military said Monday that it carried out an air strike against suspected Palestinian militants in the northern Gaza Strip. This was the second strike within 12 hours.

Palestinian medical officials in Gaza said two men were killed in the air strike as they were riding a motorcycle near the town of Beit Hanoun, along the Israeli border.

The two men have not yet been identified, said the Palestinian officials; the Israel Defense Forces said they were wanted militant snipers.

The attack took place shortly after terrorists infiltrated Israel, from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing an Israeli citizen. It was not known whether the air strike was a retaliation.

Hours earlier, Israel launched two air strikes in the Gaza Strip, wounding five Palestinians, including a woman and her child, local media and officials said.

Palestinian sources confirm that the Israeli air strike in which five were reportedly injured took place late Sunday/early Monday, and not Friday, before the attacks on Mitzpeh Ramon and Ovda, as claimed in Ha’aretz’s print edition.

Today, Ha’aretz again deceives about the recent escalation, writing:

For the first time in nearly a year, Hamas took responsibility for most of the rocket fire, which began Monday, after the Israeli Air Force killed four armed Gazans in two sorties.

(This wording appears in today’s print edition, and is no longer available online.) But, as stated above, and as reported earlier in Ha’aretz, the recent round of escalation began Friday, with the strikes on Mitzpeh Ramon and Ovda.
Moreover, rocket fire on southern Israel is a regular occurence. Friday’s attack stood out given that the sites that were hit — Mitzpeh Ramon and Ovda — had never before seen rocket attacks. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 230 rockets hit Israel between January 1, 2012 and June 12, 2012.
Graphic courtesy of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center

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