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PA TV libel: Israel wanted to destroy Gaza’s agriculture during 2021 war

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

Official PA TV and guests on its program Anew completely ignored the fact that the terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip in May 2021, killing 12 and wounding hundreds, when discussing Israel’s response to the rockets. Whereas Israel's response targeted the terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Strip, PA TV and the guests claimed it was a deliberate way to harm Palestinian civilians by targeting Gaza’s agriculture.

Interviewing a nursery owner and a farmer in Gaza, a PA TV host libeled and demonized Israel, suggesting that during the Fatah/Hamas riot and rocket war earlier this year Israel intentionally bombed agricultural nurseries to put an end to Gaza farming. The nursery owner and farmer both readily concurred:

Official PA TV host: “Do you think that the occupation wanted to bomb the agricultural nurseries in order to stop the agricultural process and cycle?”

Nursery owner: “Yes.”

Farmer Ahmed Al-Louh: “Yes. In the last war in the Gaza Strip the occupation wanted to destroy the agricultural cycle completely. Why? Because the nurseries are considered the supporting pillar of the farmers and the agriculture in the Gaza Strip… If the nursery is destroyed, the agricultural industry will not grow.”

[Official PA TV, Anew, Aug. 21, 2021]

However, when responding to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, Israel only attacks military targets. By contrast, Hamas and Islamic Jihad deliberately fire missiles from civilian areas, using the civilians as human shields and their property as cover.

Ironically, PA TV itself admitted during the war that Israel warned Gazan civilians to leave buildings before attacks:

As Palestinian Media Watch documented, Fatah recently criticized Hamas for its continued storage of explosives in civilian buildings and public places after an explosion in a market killed one and wounded several:

Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous PA libels demonizing Israel in various ways.

Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.