Hamas positions under-reported in the media

For the record.

In Haaretz (22/9/09):

The head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has told United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon that the group supports any steps leading to the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, according to the Palestinian news agency Ramattan.

The letter – written by Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday to coincide with a UN conference currently underway in New York – stated that, “We would never thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders [from] June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The missive also comes as Barack Obama prepared to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his first Mideast summit as United States president.

Haniyeh’s message was only covered by Xinhua and was identical to the Haaretz story.

Not very convincing coverage compared to Erekat’s centre stage at ABC News.

There was a glaring lack of coverage elsewhere of Al Jazeera’s reportage of Hamas’s willingness to cooperate with Goldstone’s recommendations:

“AJ: .. to carry out their own independent investigations into their conduct during the war … a request Hamas told us they’d be happy to carry out if it means the international community will then take seriously claims in the report that Israeli soldiers committed warcrimes.

Ahmed Youssef (Deputy Foreign Minister, Hamas): Regarding Hamas firing rockets on the civilian areas, this is something easy to do the investigation by looking where these rockets hit and where is the target of these rockets if these rockets really intended to be targetting civilian areas or military bases in the neighbourhood.”

The closest approximation to Youssef’s position was in the NYTimes, where crucial parts of his statement presented on Al Jazeera were omitted. Youssef was reported substantially in the third person, unlike the plethora of howling Israeli apologists contained therein:

Ahmed Yousef, a senior adviser to the Hamas government in Gaza, said the local authorities would investigate the relevant cases in the report. But he reiterated his government’s position that Israeli civilians killed by rockets were victims of the fact that the Palestinians had only “primitive weapons, and with such weapons, mistakes are to be expected.” The rockets, he added, were fired in self-defense.”

Jpost cites third hand the NY Times account.

3 comments to Hamas positions under-reported in the media

  • From Ma’an:

    Haniyeh said de facto government personnel would offer up their total support to the Goldstone report mission, “offering all we can to convict the Israeli occupation.” The Hamas leader also said he hoped Israeli leaders would be held accountable at the International Criminal Court.

    “We are for a serious, national effort ahead of dealing with this document and implementing its recommendations,” he said, comparing the de facto government’s reaction with the Israeli position.

  • From Xinhua:

    Islamic Hamas movement started preparing “legal responses” to its accusations in a UN fact-finding mission’s report about Israel’s last winter war in the Gaza Strip, officials said on Thursday.

    The report by South African Justice Richard Goldstone “was not built on true information regarding Hamas” which controls Gaza, said Mushier al-Massri, a Hamas lawmaker.

    The 575-page report accused Israel of committing war crimes during its December 27 to January 18 war and also said that Hamas’ rocket attacks on southern Israel communities violated laws of war.

    Al-Massri told Xinhua that a team of legal experts and other leaders from Hamas is working “to present clarifications to Goldstone’s committee because its members have not had complete information.”

    Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader and a member of the legal committee, told reporters that “the committee “will send its answers to the judge Goldstone as soon as they are ready.”

  • From Maan News:

    “If Mr. Abu Mazen [Abbas] did not read the report, he should have been told about this truth. He went on with his claims about our condemnation of the report even though the prime minister himself [Haniyeh] approved on the report with a few comments on it,” An-Nunu continued.

    “The prime minister also called the secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, after the issuance of the report and on the eve of its presentation to the UN Human Rights council, demanding that he adopt the report and to submit it to the Security Council,” added An-Nunu.

    Hamas authorities allowed Goldstone’s team to operate in Gaza, while Israel refused to recognize the investigation.

    In a speech in Gaza on 20 September Haniyeh threw his support behind the report. “We hope the report … will not be doomed to the fate of the dozens of reports that Israel has condemned for decades,” he told thousands of worshipers at a prayer service in Yarmouk Stadium.