Don’t Look Away, Media: Hamas Roadblocks Reflect An Old Story

The Western media is setting the stage to blame Israel for hardship facing the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, absolving Hamas of responsibility after the terror organization started a war by launching a mass invasion Oct. 7 and carried out Nazi-like atrocities and slaughter of more than 1300 Israelis, most of them civilians, with the deliberate targeting of women and children.

The Israeli military released images accusing Hamas of setting up roadblocks to bloc residents’ escape from northern Gaza October 14, 2023 (IDF)

As Israel is expected to launch a ground operation in the coming hours as the next stage in its response, the American media is largely ignoring Israeli reports that Hamas has erected roadblocks preventing the evacuation of Palestinian civilians seeking to flee the northern Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Post reported last night:

Video and photos shared by the IDF on Saturday showed large objects being placed on the roads designated by the IDF in an attempt to block them, with massive traffic jams seen from the air as tens of thousands of people attempted to evacuate.

Additionally on Saturday, Palestinian media shared a video claiming to show an Israeli airstrike hitting one of the evacuation routes, although a number of open-source intelligence accounts which analyzed the footage noted that the explosion appeared to originate from a van on the ground as there was no projectile visible at any point in the footage.

Moreover, the Israeli military has today released a recorded telephone conversation in which a resident of Jabalya in northern Gaza tells an Israeli intelligence officer that Hamas “is preventing people from leaving,” even confiscating ID cards and car keys.

As of this writing, precious few U.S. media outlets have covered the IDF’s information about the roadblocks, which has been available for many hours. The Associated Press, for example, one of the world’s largest news agencies today reports (“Gaza’s desperate civilians flee or huddle in hopes of safety, as warnings of Israeli offensive mount“):

The military says it is trying to clear away civilians ahead of a concentrated campaign against Hamas militants in the north, including in what it said were underground hideouts in Gaza City. Hamas urged people to stay in their homes. (Emphasis added.)

“Later, 13 paragraphs deep into the story, AP added only a general refence to Israeli information about Hamas holding its population hostage, failing to convey the specific information about Hamas-imposed roadblocks meant to stop civilians’ evacuation:

In a nationally broadcast address Saturday night, Israel’s chief military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, accused Hamas of trying to use civilians as human shields and issued a new appeal to Gaza residents to move south.

As reported by Times of Israel, Hagari had, in fact, detailed:

“We see an active effort by Hamas to block and prevent the population from going south. Hamas wants to show the world that it has casualties and dead,” IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says in a press conference.

The army has released footage of cars at a standstill, trying to escape, blaming the traffic jams on Hamas-imposed roadblocks meant to keep the local population trapped within the northern part of the territory, where an Israeli ground operation is expected to unfold.

Reuters, for its part, has reported:

Hamas has told people not to leave, saying roads out were unsafe. It said dozens of people had been killed in strikes on cars and trucks carrying refugees on Friday. Reuters could not independently verify this claim.

“We couldn’t leave. They said leave toward the south, but there is no transportation… There was a traffic jam. Some cars got bombed by air strikes. During the night, the children hug me and start to cry and scream saying: ‘Save us, Save us’. How can we save them?,” said Gaza resident Fadi Daloul, who was sheltering with his family in a school.

Some Gazans vowed to stay, remembering the “Nakba,” or “catastrophe,” when many Palestinians were forced from their homes during the 1948 war that accompanied Israel’s creation.

The story’s very last paragraph notes (“Israeli military says Gazans can still evacuate south . . .”):

Israel says Hamas is preventing people from leaving in order to use them as human shields, which Hamas denies.

Reuters, too, does not specify Israel’s information about the Hamas-imposed roadblocks and confiscation of refugees’ documents and keys.

The events of the last week do indeed echo the 1948 war but not at all in the way that Fadi Daloul claims: Palestinian leadership is condemning their people to hardship, loss and exile while blaming Israel for the fate which they determined for themselves.

The roadblocks to life, peace, prosperity and statehood are self-imposed by Palestinian leadership, this time a designated terror organization. Will the media tell the story correctly?

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