US Officials: Hamas pushes misinformation to play the victim

False information is being spread, and quickly, in part because the media and UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, parrot Hamas lies and distortions, a Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing is told
The Media Line|
"We are witnessing in real time Hamas carrying out their covenant from 1988, which states, 'Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it just as it obliterated others before it,'" Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said at a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing about U.S. support for Israel.
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Assistant Secretary of State Barbara A. Leaf and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dana Stroul provided expert testimony to the committee.
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סיור עצוב בניר עוז, אחד מכל ארבעה חברים נרצח, נחטף או נעדר
סיור עצוב בניר עוז, אחד מכל ארבעה חברים נרצח, נחטף או נעדר
Kibbutz Nir Oz after the Hamas massacre
(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
The 1988 covenant is a 9,059-word terrorist manifesto. "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad," it says.
It is an inclusive movement, as seen in Article 12 of the covenant: "A woman can go out to fight the enemy without her husband's permission, and so does the slave: without his master's permission."
Slaves are mentioned two further times in the document.
Thirty minutes into the hearing, after the experts and politicians testified that Hamas was using civilians as human shields, had cut a baby out of a mother's abdomen, beheaded other babies, cooked a live baby in an oven in front of its parents, and wiped out an entire nursery full of young children, a protester interrupted the meeting with unbridled sympathy for Gaza.
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הפגנה פרו-פלסטינית בקפריסין
הפגנה פרו-פלסטינית בקפריסין
Pro Palestinian demonstration
(Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou)
Other protesters showed support by sitting behind the witnesses with painted red palms extended towards the committee members to signify that the blood of Palestinians was on their hands. The dead Israeli children did not seem to bother the pro-Palestinian protesters.
This type of behavior and the way certain segments of the U.S. population are siding with a designated terrorist group were discussed at length. Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida), a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who served in Afghanistan and also did a volunteer stint with the Israel Defense Forces, did not mince words.

"Hamas lies. Hamas and the Palestinians lie"

Misinformation is spreading so fast partly because the media and UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, "parrot" Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry statistics, Mast said, which ultimately leads to misinformation responsible for anti-Semitic attacks across the United States.
When Mast asked Leaf why combatants are not included in the Gaza Health Ministry's body count, she told him it was because the ministry includes dead Hamas terrorists in its civilian casualty reports.
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מורים ובתי ספר באונרא חגגו את טבח ה7 באוקטובר
מורים ובתי ספר באונרא חגגו את טבח ה7 באוקטובר
UNRA teachers and schools celebrated the October 7 massacre
"They expect the world to believe that all these people and these groups … that none of them are combatants. And that is what they want the world to believe and that is what the United Nations goes out and parrots and that is what the media goes out and parrots," Mast said.
The experts agreed that the number of Palestinians killed is unknown.
"Hamas lies. Hamas and the Palestinians lie … then they pretend everyone is a victim," Mast said. "Are all combatants Hamas?" he asked Stroul, who responded, "No."

"Hamas could end this today. Just surrender"

The media's use of Hamas-sourced information, even though the group is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and others, was brought up by other representatives as well. However, not long after Mast spoke about the Hamas misinformation campaign being pushed and amplified by U.S. media sources, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) was called out for regurgitating Hamas propaganda.

"This is a good example of the misinformation and disinformation environment," Stroul told Castro about parts of his statement. Although Castro, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has access to government reports, he continued to cite things he read in newspapers while questioning Leaf and Stroul.
According to Rep. Gregory Jackson (D-New York), Castro's misinformation was what he called the CNN-dead baby strategy. This strategy involves Hamas getting Palestinians killed, shifting blame to the IDF, and then playing the victim.
"The success of this CNN strategy depends on the mainstream media and, unfortunately, perhaps members of Congress, as we recently heard [from Castro]," Jackson said.
The terrorists who killed over 1,400 people in Israel and kidnapped over 240 others documented their attacks with GoPro action cameras.
Stroul revealed that the U.S. had conducted a defensive attack on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria less than an hour before the hearing. This was in response to one of the most recent attacks by Iranian proxies.
U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have been attacked 41 times by Iranian proxies since Oct. 7.
"You know, Hamas could end this today. Just surrender and nobody else gets killed. Just surrender," ranking member Gregory Meeks (D-New York) said during the hearing.
This article is written by Clint Van Winkle and reprinted with permission from The Media line.
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