MSNBC Reporter Calls Gaza Protesters 'Unarmed,' Then Immediately Says They Had 'Some Light Weapons'

Matt Bradley: Palestinians 'not really peacefully demonstrating' but are peaceful compared to Israelis

May 14, 2018

NBC News reporter Matt Bradley on Monday called Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip "unarmed" before immediately acknowledging they "had some light weapons," adding they were "not peacefully demonstrating" but were peaceful in comparison to the more heavily armed Israeli military.

Bradley reported on MSNBC about the bloodshed at the border fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip. On the day of the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem, violent demonstrators urged on by Hamas, the terrorist group in control of Gaza, sought to breach the fence to penetrate Israeli territory. The Israeli military, which seeks to limit civilian casualties, fired on some of the demonstrators.

Bradley took a stridently pro-Palestinian tone in his coverage, saying the Israelis should not have felt threatened by the violent demonstrations. One Palestinian told the Washington Post that he would try to kill people if he got into Israel.

"You saw tens of thousands of young people crossing fields between the urban part of Gaza and the Israeli border, essentially trying to walk across this heavily militarized border unarmed," Bradley said.

Then, without skipping a beat, he said the demonstrators were in fact armed.

"It's easy to say they were completely unarmed," Bradley said. "They had some light weapons. A lot of them would be burning tires or rolling tires to try to melt the razor wire. They had slingshots. They had a new and crazy invention, incendiary kites, where they would try to loft kites and set them on fire to try to light up some of the agricultural fields beyond the border with Israel."

"But these were hardly the kind of weapons that could frighten any Israeli solder," he added.

Bradley went on to say the Israelis nearly hit him and his team with artillery.

"It's kind of hard to imagine how these Israeli troops could have been threatened by a lot of these young people, who were really not peacefully demonstrating, but peacefully by comparison to the Israeli soldiers, and indeed, no Israeli soldier has been killed and nearly 100 Palestinians have died in the past seven weeks of protesting," he said.

Over the past seven weeks, thousands of Palestinians have massed at the Gaza border in what organizers call the "March of Return." During the Hamas-led demonstrations, some Palestinians, including terrorist operatives, have attacked Israel and Israeli soldiers with explosives, rocks, and other weapons. There have been several attempts to breach Israel's border fence.