First, my apologies. Due to some weird wordpress snafu, this post was not published yesterday as intended. It has been updated to reflect information seen today. Also, Please do not respond with information regarding the cease fire, as I have already posted a blog on that topic.

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Most of us are aware that journalists have protections put into place during times of war. Journalists were not always protected, which is why we have specifics regarding them today.

Linkage to Sources for the Protection of Journalists

Protection of journalists during war

Adoption of the 1977 Additional Protocols

Protocol I

Articles 76 and 77, 15 and 79 provide special protections for women, children, and civilian medical personnel, and provide measures of protection for journalists.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) (2nd part)

Article 79.–Measures of protection for journalists
1. Journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians within the meaning of Article 50, para-graph 1.
2. They shall be protected as such under the Conventions and this Protocol, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians, and without prejudice to the right of war correspondents accredited to the armed forces to the status provided for in Article 4 A (4) of the Third Convention.
3. They may obtain an identity card similar to the model in Annex II of this Protocol. This card, which shall be issued by the government of the State of which the journalist is a national or in whose territory he resides or in which the news medium employing him is located, shall attest to his status as a journalist.

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It is those facts, and those facts alone, that reports coming back from Gaza show me that Israel is committing something horrifying in Gaza.

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Im going to be jumping around a little between Monday and Tuesdays events, but I hope in the end, it will make sense to you.

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On the 19th, Al Jazeera English interviewed Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev about air strikes that hit a building in Gaza where local and foreign journalists were staying.

So what you are saying is that a local Arab journalists life is less than an international journalist?

“We hit the targets we want and we are not targeting the media,” Regev said. 

He said journalists affiliated with Hamas are “not legitimate.”

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Also on the 19th, Electronic Intifada posted that When Israel says it doesn’t target journalists, it is lying

Israeli army spokesperson admitted clearly and candidly that the army obviously knows there are journalists in the building.

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On Tuesday, November 20th, Sherine Tadros posted the following article on the Huffington Post: Covering This Gaza War

There is a general problem with media when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The need to sanitize events so as not to be controversial and upset the wrong people, the lack of humanizing the conflict for fear that it will make you look sympathetic or worse empathetic to the Palestinians, which could be career suicide. But not being bold and telling it how it is ultimately is a disservice to the truth and to journalism.

But the thing journalists seem to be struggling most with right now is what constitutes a legitimate target.

Journalists in Gaza who are covering this conflict have no idea where a safe building would be. Potentially, (at least according to Israel) any building isnt safe. And Israel isnt telling international reporters which buildings are safe either.

However, reporters utilizing a building already ‘hooked up’ for media coverage is a smart idea. In other conflicts in other countries, this strategy is used. And, funny thing is, when strikes get close, the whole world cries out for the media to remain safe.

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The Huffington Post also posted the following: Israel Hits Agence France-Presse Building In Gaza Airstrike

Israel said that it was targeting a Hamas operations center in the building. It added that Hamas members “weren’t in the media building to be interviewed,” and told journalists to “stay away” from them, as they were being used by Hamas as human shields.

(Funny how I saw NO reports from any media outlet making the claim that they were being used as human shields)

Abigail Hauslohner, the Cairo bureau chief for the Washington Post who is reporting from Gaza, had a tart response to the tweets. “Nothing like a good threat before bed,” she wrote, before tweeting at the Israeli Defense Forces account, “Seriously, if Hamas is in room 208 (I’m in 209), tell me now.”

And this, (which is mentioned in the post I linked to in the Guardian below)

Israel has also controversially said that it does not consider anybody working for Hamas-affiliated organizations to be legitimate journalists.

Video: 

Yesterday (the 21st) The Guardian posted about the Three journalists killed in Gaza

I know many Americans wont care that Palestinian journalists were killed and I know that the fact that they worked for Hamas run tv wont score them any sympathy points.

And, I have no way of knowing if the Israeli military is telling the truth when they claim these journalists were Hamas operatives (as stated within this article).

But, just because they work for a Hamas run news organization, does NOT make them operatives.

Asked whether Israel had widened its range of targets to include journalists working for media run by Hamas or other militant groups, Leibovich said: “The targets are people who have relevance to terror activity.”

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The Committee to Protect Journalists also covered these deaths

Three journalists killed in airstrikes in Gaza

The Ma’an news agency also took notice of the killing of Gaza journalists, going as far as calling Israel’s bombing of Gaza journalists ‘heinous crime’

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Journalists In Gaza Shaken As Blasts Go Off All Around Them

Reports mostly stated how windows were blown out and how the buildings shook. And contained within this article is a video CBS posted showing the hotel they were staying at.

Correspondent’s close encounter with an air strike

Note that the reporter calls the attacks relentless as well as talks about the civilian casualties in the context of Israel is supposedly targeting Hamas.

Reporters Without Borders condemns Gaza strikes

“Even though the outlets targeted are linked to Hamas, it does not legitimize the attacks,” he said. “Attacks against civilian targets constitute war crimes.”

Later within this same article:

Sky News Arabia issued a statement condemning the attacks and saying they caused extensive damage to its property and “considerable and unacceptable distress to our staff.” 

The statement claimed the Israeli attacks “targeted journalists covering the current military operations in Gaza” and demanded “that Israeli authorities respect and abide by the international conventions not to target media and to ensure the safety of journalists covering conflict zones.”

Hmmmm

Today (the 22nd) Business Insider talks about The Killing Of Two Gaza Cameramen Raises Questions About Israel’s Choice Of Targets

The unprecedented killing of two cameramen for Gaza’s Hamas TV station in a missile strike raised questions about whom Israel considers to be militant operatives, and thus legitimate targets.

Yes, unprecedented because despite the fact that is IS a Hamas TV station, and clearly work for Hamas, and are clearly not objective, they are quite clearly reporting on what is going on in Gaza.

A supporting article posted on the Huffington Post also goes even further stating that even after the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters without Borders contacted Israel regarding attacks on the press, attacks on Gazas media center continued.

Gaza’s Dirty Little Secret Finally Revealed By Reporters

The timing of these attacks on journalists is also significant.

Several reporters were tweeting reports of what was occurring in Gaza, as they were happening, including a report that a cameraman was injured and had to have part of his leg amputated – [ Gaza journalists defiant after Israeli attack on media center )  ]

But Netanyahu spokesman Marc Regev appeared on Al Jazeera this week and tried to blame the journalists themselves for their deaths, questioning whether Palestinian and local journalists should be considered journalists and insisting that the strikes on the building only hit and affected the roof.

(This appeared on the prior video posted near the beginning of this blog post)

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Lets all get real now

Journalists, no matter which network they work for, have opinions. And even though we all know that journalists arent supposed to voice those opinions, sometimes you can tell which view they are espousing. Here, in America, most of those journalistic views are associated with whatever network they are seen on. (re: FoxNews, MSNBC etc) And…..for the most part, our journalists work hard to at least bring us the basic facts.

For the most part, most reports Ive seen here on our mainstream media, has been supporting the views of Israel and their right to defend themselves, and not the other way around.

You would think that Israel would not be giving our media any reason to believe otherwise. These blatant attacks on journalists, no matter where they come from to report on the Israel-Gaza war, definitely bring new light as to just how lopsided the coverage has been.

At the time I was writing this post, an NBC News Reporter Blames U.S. For Not Recognizing Hamas And Not ‘Reining In’ Israel

Granted, this reporter seems pretty alone in his sentiment, and Im sure he will be lambasted by the American people for this line of reasoning (as have many others who want to see Palestinians be treated as human beings).

But the difference between the Americans and Israelis are that, even despite this lone reporters words, we wont consider him a terrorist or any less of a journalist for vocalizing those thoughts.

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