A correspondent covering the Gaza conflict for a Finnish media outlet reported seeing a rocket being launched from Gaza City’s main hospital, Shifa, but later lashed out at the pro-Israel media for its “disgusting” use of her report as a “propaganda weapon.”
The report filed by Aishi Zidan of Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat noted that the rocket was fired from the backyard of the hospital. Israel has widely derided Hamas for what it calls a human shields policy, hiding its military assets and firing from behind civilian sites including mosques, schools and hospitals. Here is the video of Zidan’s report which was first discovered by the blog Tundra Tabloids (for English translation, ensure that captions are enabled):
A translation of the Finnish report obtained by the blog Legal Insurrection read, “Also, a rocket attack was conducted from the ‘backyard’ of the hospital at 2 o’clock in the morning. It (the rocket launch), in fact, happened somewhere close by because the noise right here at the hospital area was really loud. Indeed, these rockets launched here from the Gazan side (of the border) are headed into Israel.”
Following the posting of her report on pro-Israel blogs, Zidan took to Facebook this weekend, writing, “Don’t use me as your propaganda weapon.”
Noting the main purpose of her report was to cover the “Palestinian civilians who were victims of war,” Zidan wrote, “During the night someone launched a rocket somewhere behind the hospital. Now this sentence from my article is spreading in the pro-Israeli medias. I mentioned this in my article because I’m a professional journalist. I try to cover the events truthfully as I see them and I strongly condemn these kind of actions.”
“But I find it very disgusting how this one sentence was taken out context to be used as an excuse to target civilians in Gaza. My story became quickly a tool of propaganda. The people sharing this story are not even trying to understand the situation as a whole. They are just looking for excuses to Israeli actions in Gaza,” she added.
“I refuse to be part of this kind of propaganda,” she concluded.
Shifa Hospital where the rocket was launched is also where a Hamas rocket aimed at Israel fell short last week, slamming into the outpatient clinic, the Israel Defense Forces said, backing up its claim with aerial images showing the launch and impact points of the rocket. Hamas officials did not allow the media to take photographs of the impact area.
Several other reporters including from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have noted that the hospital is being used as Hamas’ headquarters, with press briefings and interviews being held there.
“Zidan’s admission on camera served to show what we know to be true – Hamas are hiding behind Gazan civilians while they fire rockets at Israeli ones,” observed the blog Israellycool. “By posting this ugly screed, Zidan has confirmed something else: there are journalists deliberately skewering the truth and adopting the Hamas narrative.”
Last week, videos emerged of Palestinian terror group rockets being launched adjacent to reporters as they were filing live reports, essentially inviting Israeli retaliation on the correspondents.
This video was posted on Saturday by the Middle East Media Research Institute showing a France 24 Arabic correspondent in the shadow of a rocket launch.
The blog Legal Insurrection noted, “The media has a narrative it wants to tell, and that narrative does not include the deaths, injuries and damage Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and others are causing. If you don’t think the international media is anti-Israel, then you aren’t paying attention.”