A Guardian article (“‘I refuse to visit his grave’: the trauma of mothers caught in Israel-Gaza conflict,” June 30) focusing on the suffering of a Palestinian mother who lost her young child in the recent conflict doesn’t explicitly blame Israel for the boy’s death.
But, that would likely be the take-away for the casual reader:
Here are the opening paragraphs of the piece, written by Stefanie Glinski:
In the last month of her pregnancy, May al-Masri was preparing dinner when a rocket landed outside her home in northern Gaza, killing her one-year-old son, Yasser.
Masri had felt the explosion’s shockwave when the attack happened last month, but was largely unharmed. Running outside once the air had cleared, she found her husband severely wounded and her child’s body covered in blood.
With her husband in a West Bank hospital – and likely to be there for months to come – Masri gave birth to a healthy boy a few weeks later. However, the trauma of the attack, and the grief of her loss, have made it difficult for the 20-year-old to bond with or breastfeed her newborn baby.
May’s escalation of violence in the long-running Israel-Palestine conflict killed 256 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Yasser was one of the 68 children killed in Gaza, according to the authorities there.
Though the word “rocket,” instead of bomb or airstrike, would indicate to the careful reader that the child’s tragic death was likely caused by a misfired projectile by a Gaza terrorist group, and not the IDF, it’s telling that the writer doesn’t inform readers anywhere in the article that this is the case.
In fact, in researching the boy in question, it seems almost certain that, although the journalist got some details wrong (his name is usually reported asYazan al-Masri, and he was 2, not 1) al-Masri, as noted on these pages, and by Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, wasindeed killed by a rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza.
Moreover, though a significantpercentage of the 4,360 rockets fired by terrorists in the Gaza Strip during the fighting fell inside Gaza, there’s been almost no coverage of that topic at The Guardian or other British media outlets.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the article was published on The Guardian’s “Global Development” page, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
By obfuscating Hamas’ responsibility for the death of al-Masri and other Palestinian children during the war — which is consistent with the media outlet’s broader failure to hold the extremist group responsible for their prioritization of destroying Israel over the basic social and economic needs of Palestinian residents — the primary cause of the conflict and Gaza’s under-development will continue to elude readers.
Adam Levick serves co-editor of CAMERA UK — an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), where a version of this article first appeared.