Reuters Dodges Rocket Reality

On July 13, 2014, in blog posts, by admin

Reuters Dodges Rocket Reality

The Lebanese National News Agency reported that on Friday 11th July, “an unknown party fired three rockets from the area of Marjayoun – Hasbaya towards the occupied Palestinian territory.”  Israel immediately launched 25 artillery shells into Lebanon.  On Saturday 12th July, Reuters published its report “Israel fires into Lebanon after rockets launched over border.”

This report misdirects the reader.  First, it reinforces the distorted Israeli retaliation narrative regarding Palestine.  Both its orchestrated wording and its failure to provide historical and statistical context manipulate the reader’s understanding of recent developments.

Second, it should be noted that it has been eight years (not seven as reported) since Hezbollah “battled Israel” in the July 2006 War that UN Report A/HRC/3/2 documented as Israel’s “indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force,” and that characterised Israeli actions as “collective punishment,” and “a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”

Oddly enough, though, this Reuters report finds it relevant to bring up Hezbollah immediately upon stating that rockets had been fired from Lebanon, as though to suggest, however sublty, that Hezbollah had some role to play in the rockets fired across the border.  Yet this report goes on to state that Hamas has claimed responsibility for the rockets.  In actuality, both Lebanese and Israeli officials are stating* that the culprit is a group, probably Palestinian, merely acting in solidarity with Hamas (now under siege in Gaza).  This analysis is backed by an August 2013 Israeli intelligence report detailing eight similar ineffectual rockets fired 2006—2013 by Al Qaeda/Palestinian groups.

Lastly, as the Lebanese media has promptly reported, both Lebanese Army and Security Forces as well as UNIFIL are containing the problem.  (Yes, these security forces work quite efficiently within the spuriously reported “stronghold of Hezbollah.”)  The ineffectual rockets caused no damage.  Yet instead of turning the issue over to the UN to manage, Israel intensified its usual illegal overflights and launched a series of flares and artillery bombs into Lebanon.  Reuters failed to address this habitually imperious and disproportionate use of force by Israel.

As the essence of mainstream media, Reuters is thought to be above the blogosphere.  Its readers deserve better; they deserve objective and thorough reporting.

*example sources

Lebanese Daily Star, “Suspects arrested in south Lebanon rocket attack”

Lebanese National News Agency, several real-time reports, nb “Rocket launcher on Occupied Palestine arrested”

Naharnet/AFP, “Arrests Made as Rockets Fired from Southern Lebanon Land in Israel, Drawing Retaliation”

The Times of Israel, “Lebanon’s army finds rocket launchers, arrests suspect”

Arutz Sheva, “Katyusha Rocket Fired on Northern Israel from Lebanon”



The Reuters Report:

Israel fires into Lebanon after rockets launched over border

JERUSALEM Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:21pm EDT

(Reuters) – Rockets fired from Lebanon hit Israeli territory on Saturday and Israel’s army responded with artillery fire, Lebanese security sources and the Israeli military said, in the second such incident in two days.

“Initial reports indicate that at least two rockets fired from Lebanon hit open areas north of Nahariya. No damage or injuries, thus far,” an Israeli military statement said, adding that Israeli forces had fired artillery toward the source of the rocket fire.

A Lebanese security source said three rockets had been fired from Lebanon.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of Hezbollah, a Shi’ite Muslim group that battled Israel seven years ago and is engaged in Syria’s civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad; but there are also Palestinian groups in the same area.

Palestinian militant group Hamas, battling with Israel from Gaza, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire from Lebanon, though it was unclear what kind of influence or presence the Islamist group had there.

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have launched hundreds of rockets into Israel since the start of an Israeli offensive five days ago and at least 125 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.

On Friday rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel and drew Israeli artillery fire. Lebanese security forces arrested a man suspected of firing the projectiles, the national news agency said. He was Lebanese and a member of “fundamentalist groups”, the report said, without naming the groups.

It said he had admitted he had been accompanied by two Palestinians who were also members of these groups, and security forces were still searching for the pair.

The army said it had discovered two missile platforms with more rockets ready for launch after searching the area, and had dismantled them.

([Reuters] Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz in Beirut; Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Maayan Lubellin Jerusalem; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Kevin Liffey and David Evans)

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