„On Jan. 12, 2017, Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, assaulted an Agence France-Press (AFP) photographer and detained – at gunpoint – an Associated Press journalist. Western media outlets largely ignored the violence against members of the press. The unidentified photographer and journalist were covering a protest in which ‚thousands‘ of Palestinians ‚took to the streets … to protest chronic power cuts in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip,‘ the AP reported (‚In Rare Demonstration, Thousands Protest Power Cuts in Gaza,‘ Jan. 12, 2017). Hamas blocked journalists attempting to cover the event and the AP journalist ‚was briefly detained at gunpoint until he handed over his mobile phones to plainclothes security men.‘ The Foreign Press Association, which represents international media, reported that an AFP photographer was severely beaten in the head by Hamas members after he refused to hand over his camera. Iyad Bozom, a Hamas spokesperson, denied that that the assault happened and that a journalist had been detained at gunpoint.
In its statement on the incident, the FPA said it ‚condemns this violent behavior in the strongest terms, and finds it especially shocking in light of verbal promises we have received from the Hamas officials to respect the freedom of the press. We hope that Hamas will properly investigate this incident and provide an explanation and apology for this unacceptable behavior by their forces.‘ As CAMERA has frequently noted, Hamas is a violent terror group – and similar to its rival Fatah that rules the West Bank – it has a long history of lying and intimidating and manipulating press outlets. What is shocking isn’t that Hamas – in a despicable act – attacked members of the press, but how little press coverage the assault received. The AP, for instance, expended three sentences on this incident. Curiously, in their report on the protests, The New York Times failed to mention the attack (‚With Electricity in Short Supply, 10,000 Protest in Gaza, Defying Hamas,‘ Jan. 13, 2017).“ (Bericht auf dem CAMERA-Blog: „If Hamas Assaults a Journalist, Does it Even Make the News?“)