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Fadia and Sultana Jamaa. Deaths ignored Reproduction photo: Niv Calderon
Fadia and Sultana Jamaa. Deaths ignored Reproduction photo: Niv Calderon
 
 

Israeli war deaths go largely unnoticed

Hours after mother and two daughters are killed in Hizbullah rocket attack, media outlets around world fail to report deaths; meanwhile, British press continues anti-Israel tirade

Yaakov Lappin
Published: 08.06.06, 02:25 / Israel News

Media bias? Hours after 60-year-old Fadia Jumaa and her two daughters, Samira, 31, and Sultana, 33, were killed by a Hizbullah rocket attack on their home in the Israeli-Bedouin village of Arab al-Aramshe, the international media has so far largely ignored their deaths.

 

Reuters was alone among non-Israeli media outlets to report the deaths, according to a Google news search, a number of hours after the first reports of the attack surfaced.

 

The lack of coverage of the Israeli civilian war casualties stands in marked contrast to the swift response by many sections of the international media to reported Lebanese casualties.

 

Meanwhile, the British press, which has produced some of the most venomous anti-Israel coverage during the war, has continued its tirade against Israel.

 

Inaccuracies

 

An article in the London-based Guardian, entitled "Militants merge with mainstream," argues that Hizbullah has gained widespread, cross-religious support in the Arab world, and uses terms such as "the Qana massacre" to explain the apparent newfound unity.

 

The article argues that Sunnis and Shiites have come together in their backing of Hizbullah: "Whatever qualms Arabs once had about Hizbullah

they have since been dissipated by Israel's attacks, the hundreds of deaths, the sight of up to a quarter of the Lebanese population fleeing their homes, and especially the bombing of UN observers and the massacre at Qana. The Shiite organisation and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, have become symbols of resistance even in such unlikely places as the Gulf countries where Sunnis and Shiites have been spotted waving the yellow-and-green flag."

 

The article was co-written by Issandr el-Amrani, a freelance journalist in Egypt who referred to Hizbullah as " Lebanese resistance fighters " on his personal blog and who describes reports of Hizbullah members operating out of civilian areas as "Israeli lies."

 

The article's authors failed, however, to note that an influential Saudi Sunni cleric, Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, has issued an anti-Hizbullah fatwa declaring that "Hizbullah is not the 'Party of God' but the 'Party of Satan.'"

 

An Associated Press report, which undermines the Guardian's claims, says that "Al-Hawali's words are an addition to a previous fatwa issued two weeks ago in Saudi Arabia by the leader of the Wahhabi movement, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jabrin, which declared that it is illegal to support, join, or even pray for Hizbullah."

 

BBC correspondent reports his own views

 

Meanwhile, an article has appeared on the BBC website in which a reporter for the British broadcaster, Hugh Sykes, relays a conversation he has with Lebanese residents.

 

The article is remarkable as it contains the views of a BBC journalist being given to Lebanese locals, rather than the other way around.

 

In the piece, written in first person narrative, Sykes tells people in Lebanon that there would be "no point" for Israel to strike Hizbullah targets in Lebanon: "'People keep asking me… ' Beirut - will they bomb Beirut again?' 'What would be the point?" I reply.'"

 

The BBC journalist also attempts to second guess where Israeli strikes hit.

 

"Four massive thumps one night, and six the next, as Israeli bombs or shells slammed into the ground a few kilometres away. Or into the children's homes," Sykes wrote.

 

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