NYT Reporter Falls for Hamas Ploy

NYT's David Carr thinks terrorists are journalists because they spray-painted 'TV' on their car

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November 26, 2012

The New York Times has again attempted to negate the presence of terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Reporter David Carr claims that two senior Hamas terrorists killed last week in precision Israeli airstrikes were in fact journalists.

The report, sensationally titled "Using War as Cover to Target Journalists," contains serious factual errors that render the accusation that Israel "targets journalists" false. The Times reports:

Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama worked as cameramen for Al-Aqsa TV, which is run by Hamas and whose reporting frequently reflects that affiliation. They were covering events in central Gaza when a missile struck their car, which, according to Al-Aqsa, was clearly marked with the letters "TV."

Yet al-Kumi and Salama were not journalists—in fact, they had spray-painted "TV" on their car in an attempt to disguise themselves as journalists and thereby prevent the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from firing on them. The disguise didn't fool anyone except for David Carr and the New York Times. Who in fact were they?

Muhammed Shamalah, commander of Hamas forces in the southern Strip and head of the Hamas militant training programs, was targeted by an Israeli air strike while driving a car clearly labelled [sic] "TV", indicating it to be a press vehicle, abusing the protection afforded to journalists.

(Free Beacon sources confirmed that Shamalah and Salama are the same person, despite the different spellings of the name.)

Instead of condemning Hamas for attempting to pass off terrorists as journalists, Carr promotes the ploy and condemns the IDF for killing terrorists he thinks were journalists—despite ample evidence of their real profession.

The Times also claims that their cover as "cameramen for Al-Aqsa TV," a Hamas propaganda outfit, renders them immune from being targeted by the Israeli military. The U.S. State Department classifies Al-Aqsa TV as a terrorist organization, a fact left unmentioned by Carr, further misleading readers.

Carr also claims that a precision Israeli missile strike on one floor of a media building that eliminated four senior Islamic jihad terrorists—after which even Islamic jihad acknowledged the deaths of their operatives—was merely an attack that "might have included legitimate targets." It is unclear why Carr insists the strike only "might" have eliminated terrorists.

The report is only the latest in a series of recent Times articles that appear to deny or downplay the presence of terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Published under: New York Times