In a heated CNN appearance Thursday, Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, criticized the network’s coverage of the Israeli conflict, claiming that reporters haven’t shared important details with viewers about Hamas’ use of U.N. schools to house weapons.
“They’re using schools as weapons depots and I think it would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different … schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas,” Dermer told host Erin Burnett.
The ambassador, who was speaking with Burnett about the murky details surrounding a recent attack on a school that served as a U.N. shelter, went on to share a statement from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that decried the use of educational facilities for weapons storage — a statement Dermer said CNN wrongly left out of its coverage.
Comments from the U.N., which Dermer shared on air, read as follows: “The Secretary-General is alarmed to hear that rockets were placed in an UNRWA … school in Gaza and that subsequently these have gone missing. He expresses his outrage, and regret, at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school. By doing so, those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children, UN employees working in such facilities, and anyone using the UN schools as shelter.”
Dermer rhetorically asked Burnett whether she thought it would have been relevant for the network to cover the U.N.’s comments on the matter.
“Erin, I’ve been listening for two hours of reports on CNN I have seen split screens — horrible pictures —horrible pictures that any decent person would be horrified by,” he continued. “I have not heard a single person say what I just said to you now and I think that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make these judgements.”
Dermer said that he’s not angry with the media for showing images of the carnage, but that he’s frustrated with outlets for not “connecting the dots.”
Watch the heated exchange below: