A former Palestinian official appeared Sunday on CNN, where he defended Hamas's massive ongoing terrorist attack against Israel and falsely claimed the group is not targeting Israeli civilians. But videos, celebrated online by Hamas, show its members killing and violently abducting Israeli civilians as well as soldiers.
"What Hamas is doing is they're targeting Israeli civilians: women, children, grandmothers," CNN host Fareed Zakaria said, gently pushing back on rhetoric by his guest, onetime Palestinian information minister Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. "Isn't that classic terrorism? They're not fighting the Israeli government, they're fighting ordinary people."
"That's one way of putting it," Barghouti replied. "But it's not true."
Barghouti blamed Israeli aggression for Hamas's unprovoked surprise attack over the weekend and equated the terrorist group's brutalities with the Jewish state's military response. A similar false equivalence has been evident in much of the early mainstream media coverage.
"Look at what Israeli planes are doing now in Gaza. They are bombarding houses," Barghouti said. "We already are receiving reports about families who are killed."
As Palestinian terrorists bombarded Israel with thousands of rockets over the weekend, Hamas gunmen rampaged through Jewish communities, killing at least 700 people and escaping with more than 100 captives, according to Israeli officials. Children, women, and elderly people, as well as Israeli soldiers, are among those being held in Gaza.
Israel's Health Ministry said Sunday that, so far, more than 2,243 people have been wounded and brought to hospitals in the country.
Also Sunday, Israel formally declared war on Hamas. Israel's military has fought gun battles to remove terrorists from dozens of locations in the south of the country and carried out waves of airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Sunday that 413 Palestinians have been killed and another 2,300 have been wounded in the territory. Israel's military said it has killed at least 400 Palestinian terrorists so far in the conflict.