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Media Hype and Gaza's 'Terror' Tunnels

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Reprinted from www.fair.org

Coincidentally or not, there's been a noticeable increase in media attention to the tunnels in Gaza, many of which lead to Israel and are used by Hamas militants for attacks. The Israeli government has said that destroying the tunnels is one of the rationales for the war.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer (7/28/14) touted his exclusive on the Situation Room:

Earlier today, CNN was the only US television network to get a look inside one of the tunnels used by Hamas to infiltrate Israel. This is an exclusive report no other American television network can bring you.

Blitzer's guide was Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. Oshik Azouli.

BLITZER: The IDF says the underground passages into Israel have only one purpose. From what you know, what was the purpose of this tunnel?

AZOULI: I think soldiers, they want to attack regular people, children, women, men.

BLITZER: So they wanted to go in, attack, kill Israelis.

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BLITZER: But also kidnap Israelis.


He also interviewed Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev, who told CNN of the dangers of the tunnels:

A group of terrorists with automatic weapons, explosives and rocket-propelled grenades. The idea that they just pop out of the ground on our side of the frontier to murder and kidnap, that's unacceptable.

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The New York Times followed up with a piece by Jodi Rudoren (7/28/14) headlined "Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear." She writes that these tunnels "have lurked in the dark spaces of Israeli imagination at least since 2006, when Hamas, the militant Islamic movement that dominates Gaza, used one to abduct an Israeli soldier." Such attacks "have shaken the collective psyche and stiffened resolve to continue or even expand the fight."

She goes on:

In cafes and playgrounds, on social-media sites and in the privacy of pillow talk, Israelis exchange nightmare scenarios that are the stuff of action movies: armed enemies popping up under a day care center or dining room, spraying a crowd with a machine gun fire or maybe some chemical, exploding a suicide belt or snatching captives and ducking back into the dirt.

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Peter Hart -- Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) ,

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