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« Unwanted, And Still Israel's Fault | Main | Hamas Detains Times Reporter »

Tuesday, November 13 2007

A Lousy P.R. Day

Gaza_rally_2Violence at a massive Gaza rally killed seven Palestinians, injured 85 more, and now Hamas has arrested a whopping 400 Fatah supporters in an overnight sweep. Judging from MSM coverage, Hamas is taking a P.R. beating. Consider:

AFP directly contradicts Hamas’ explanation for the gunfire:

Hamas blamed Fatah gunmen for instigating the clashes, accusing them of firing down on police from the rooftops around the square. . . .

His account was disputed by an AFP correspondent and several witnesses, who said Hamas police opened fire on the demonstration.

• The Washington Post noted the same contradiction, adding that journalists also took a beating:

A Washington Post reporter on the scene saw no Fatah gunmen at the rally or in its vicinity. Other reporters gave similar accounts. . .

Following the shooting, other Hamas militiamen moved in to arrest and beat people in the crowd, and ordered journalists not to film the event. Hamas security forces attacked some local journalists.

• See AP for a remarkably detailed first-hand account of Hamas security conduct:

In one confrontation, an Associated Press reporter observed about 30 Hamas policemen — some posted on the rooftop of a government ministry, others on the streets below — firing heavily for about 10 minutes. Some appeared to be shooting over the heads of Fatah stone-throwers while others were firing randomly.

In another, AP Television News footage showed hundreds of young Fatah activists, some wrapped in yellow flags, facing off against Hamas police in black or blue-camouflage uniforms across an intersection.

The Fatah supporters pelted Hamas troops with stones, surging forward even as they were met by heavy bursts of gunfire. One Hamas policeman dropped to one knee for better aim. At one point, a young stone-thrower collapsed and was carried off by others.

Elsewhere, AP photographers observed frantic demonstrators commandeering private cars to take the wounded to hospitals. Medical officials said seven civilians were killed and 85 people were wounded.

The Palestinians are observing three days of mourning -- and not for Hamas' image.



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