Ambassador Rips Media For Coverage Of Israel-Gaza Conflict
MIAMI (CBS Miami) -- The Israeli ambassador to the United States is claiming that the "media is not connecting the dots" to Hamas following a story of 15 Palestinians killed when a United Nations school they sought shelter in was shelled.
Appearing on CNN Thursday evening, Ron Dermer chastised the network for not including in their coverage about how Hamas was using schools to hide rockets.
"It would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas," Dermer said.
He then added: "Do you not think that it's relevant to report on CNN that the secretary-general of the United Nations yesterday warned against the use of U.N. schools and shelter for rocket missile deposits of Hamas?"
Palestinians claim that Israeli tanks fired at the school, while Israeli military said it could have been rockets from Hamas.
When pressed on the issue, Dermer said he didn't have all the facts on what exactly happened, but explained that CNN has not been reporting the facts about what Hamas has been doing.
"I've been listening for two hours of reports on CNN. I've seen split screens, horrible pictures that any decent human being would be horrified by. I've not heard a single person say what I just said to you now, and I think that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make these judgments," he said. "Hamas is placing missile batteries in schools, in hospitals, in mosques, and there must be outrage by the world at Hamas to end this."
Dermer doesn't blame the media for showing pictures of the children who were killed in the school, but wants the coverage to contain what Hamas has perpetrated during this current conflict.
"I'm blaming the media for not connecting the dots. The dots point to the responsibility of Hamas for using schools as weapons depots and caches for Hamas," he said on CNN. "It's unacceptable, and the outrage of the world has to be turned on Hamas."
Dermer, who was born in Miami Beach and is the son of former Miam Beach Mayor Jay Dermer, was appointed Israeli ambassador to the U.S. last year, replacing Michael Oren.
MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal -- an Italian-Palestinian -- claims that the U.S. media coverage has been biased toward Israel.
"We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue," Jebreal said earlier this week on MSNBC. "Look how [much] air time Netanyahu and his folks have on air on a daily basis — Andrea Mitchell and others. I never see one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues."
More than 800 Palestinians have died in the 18-day conflict, Gaza officials said. Israel has lost more than 30 soldiers, all since July 17. Two Israeli citizens have also been killed by rocket fire from Hamas.
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