14 Jul 2014

Gaza live: death and rubble as real and PR battles rage

Channel 4 News Foreign Correspondent Jonathan Miller and team report from the bombardment of Gaza. Follow their tweets, videos and blogs throughout the day here or on Twitter @millerc4 and @c4annalisa.

Please note some of the images in this page are distressing.

From a city rooftop overlooking the Mediterranean beachside-sprawl of Gaza city, you get a grandstand view of the outgoing rockets, fired by Palestinian militants, and of the incoming missiles from Israeli forces, Jonathan Miller writes from Gaza. A dull thud reverberates across the city, followed by the tell-tale pall of smoke.

The precision of the targeting is extraordinary. The home of Dr Nasser al-Tatar, Director of Shifa Hospital – Gaza’s biggest – was destroyed by three missiles just before he joined his family to break the Ramadan fast last night. A warning was phoned through to his nephew; he had 10 minutes to warn neighbours and get his wife and four children out.

He thinks two were fired from drones and one from an F-16 fighter. He watched his home of 30 years blown up in less than a minute. One big missile left a 10-foot-deep crater in what was his front room.

But the houses on either side of his were hardly damaged. A couple of windows were broken — probably from the pressure wave. Israel insists that it takes great care to avoid civilian casualties.

In an effort to prove this, the Israeli military today released footage which it says show three instances in which missile strikes were aborted due to the proximity of civilians to the targets.  The footage is overlaid with radio communications, purporting to be between the aircraft operators and those involved in the surveillance of targets.

This is how the transcript of one of these incidents runs:

PERSON 1: Are you getting this image?
PERSON 2: Yes.
PERSON 1: There are also children on the roof of the building south-west of the target.
PERSON 2: Can you see them playing?
PERSON 1: Are you watching this target?
PERSON 2: There are children playing on the roof as well as people moving in the corridor. There is someone there right now. It seems that the target is not clean.
PERSON 1: We will move to another target because this one is not clean.
PERSON 2: Good.

The trouble is, civilians are being killed. The UN states that 75 percent of casualties are civilians, in fact.

Dr Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian volunteer surgeon at Shifa Hospital in Gaza told Channel 4 News today that among the 1,221 wounded, 600 were women or children — in fact, he clarified, 346 are children. Of the 165 killed by last night, he said, 36 were children and 24 of them were women.

This afternoon we filmed at Shifa Hospital, at the bedside in the antiquated and under-equipped Intensive Care Unit, of a five-year-old boy called Yamin Hamidi.

— Jonathan Miller (@millerC4) July 14, 2014

He was sleeping in his home last Thursday night when it was hit by an Israeli missile. He has what surgeons describe as a closed head injury – a severe brain trauma, causing massive swelling.

Yamin was unconscious, on a ventilator. “We don’t know at this stage whether he will survive,” said Dr Gilbert.

The Israeli Defence Force says it has now struck 1,470 “terror targets” on the Gaza Strip, into which more than 1.7-million people are crammed.  A spokesman says 210 of these were on tunnels, 770 on concealed rocket launchers and 130 on training bases and weapons storage sites.

Israel says its missile attacks on Gaza has been in response to more than 1,000 rockets launched by Hamas and other factions from Gaza over the past week. The IDF says more than 130 of those were fired yesterday, of which 100 hit Israel and 22 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system.

Not a single Israeli civilian has been killed.




Tweets by @millerc4

16 reader comments

  1. sally fitzharris says:

    Channel 4 you are doing a great job. thank you. thank heavens someone has the courage to deal with the facts, unedited and uncowed by Israel and bicom.

  2. Dr Martin Rosendaal says:

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. Alas, that applies to both the Palestinians and the Israelis. What on earth was Cameron doing though expressing solidarity with Netanyahu.?Eventually Arabs will do to the Israelis what they are doing today to the Palestinians. I find Israel’s actions now disgusting. Did they learn nothing from the experiences of my family from the Nazis?

  3. BlackPhi says:

    So the Israelis are explicitly and deliberately targeting the Director of a major hospital. Presumably because he saves Palestinian lives, and that is unacceptable to them.

  4. Farooq says:

    Excellent report on gaza today. Well done. You ought to win an award for this. God bless you for providing a fair view – unlike BBC. Keep up your good work.

  5. Catherine Hutton says:

    Channel 4 news your journalistic integrity is an example to other supposedly impartial news outlets, namely the BBC. Keep leading the way and exposing Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

  6. Robby Martin says:

    It is shameful that Israel has utter impunity to do as it pleases to Gaza. This is the third time they have massacred entire family’s in less than six years. It is also shameful the biased nature of one particular British media outlets reporting on the conflict. Thank you Channel 4 news and Jonathan Miller for your balanced coverage and for giving the Palestinians a voice.

  7. Liam says:

    Dr al-Tattar is an absolute hero. His quiet dignity and indominatable spirit are the most powerful rebuke possible to butchers like Netanyahu and his apologist Regev.

  8. usman says:

    Thank you channel 4, for at least attempting to be impartial, and for not simply following the path of least resistance like the BBC.

  9. Suzan says:

    Excellent! thank you for not following the example of the Biased Broadcasting Company who will discover sooner than later the british public will not stand for their biased coverage anymore!!

  10. Saqib says:

    The bombing of Gaza – a city where civilians are trapped from all sides and nowhere to go – this is a war crime and with the number of civilians dead, is tantamount to a genocide.

  11. Eyal says:

    By showing a one sided picture you are not helping to solve this conflict.Israel doesn’t have any interest in Gaze, in fact Israel wanted to give it back to Egypt as part of the peace agreement with them. Hamas would like to destroy Israel, they say it publicly and have been launching rockets since the day Israel left Gaza. What is your say about Hamas? who is to blame Israel or Hamas? how come on the West Bank things look different than in Gaze? did you try to think what would have happen if England was being attacked with hundreds of rockets every day ? would England not attack back? would England open the siege and let the enemy get more weapons?

    The pictures from Gaza will always win public opinion as they are terrible and outrageous and so sad. On the same time how can we solve this? by just letting Hamas shoot with no response from Israel? we tried that and it didn’t work.

  12. Rauf Mirza says:

    Well done C4 for showing the true reality of the Palestinian suffering. This sort of unbiased reporting puts others like the BBC to shame.What is it about the Israelis that they continue to come on TV (Mark Regev v Jon Snow) and try to defend their planned genocide by a pack of myths, propaganda and distortion of the truth. Are they human? How is bombing kids on a beech self defence? how is blowing up fishing boats self defence? Or looting land and homes from the Palestinians. How much longer can the world stand by and witness this genocide of the Palestinians?

  13. Lloyd S. says:

    The anti-Israel commenters on here are vile. Someone should start shooting rockets at their homes and kids’ schools and see how readily they turn the other cheek. It’s just great that they have so much feeling for the poor, suffering people of Gaza. Too bad the Hamashole government of Gaza has no such tender feelings. The fact of the matter is that all Hamas has to do to stop the bombing is stop shooting rockets into Israel. That’s it. As for the Israelis being butchers, the fact that the death toll in Gaza has been just over 200 in a week and a half of bombing says they are anything but. Even this article mentions the fact that they are giving warnings before any bomb is dropped and refraining from doing anything when a civilian presence at a target is is clear. No military has ever done anything like that before, and certainly not while responding to rocket attacks from an avowed enemy. And genocide, Saqib? Really? The daily death toll in Syria exceeds the entire death toll in Gaza over the ten+ days of this latest outbreak, the refugee total is a third of the population or more, nearly nine million, and you’re calling the death of 200 people (at least a quarter of them combatants) a genocide?

  14. Russell Brown says:

    how many must die for your cameras?
    ban media from Gaza

  15. Saqib says:

    Lloyd S, I think you clearly don’t know the meaning of genocide.

    Therefore to educate you a little here, the following is the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ definition:

    Genocide: The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.

    So, without doubt, I think it obvious that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians in Gaza is genocide!

  16. Sebbysteiny says:

    And yet, nobody seems to care that the majority of these Palestinian civilians are being deliberately killed by Hamas?

    Kids playing football on a beach in the middle of a battle? Is that what you would ask your kids to do? And after Israel warns people to leave an area, Hamas orders them to stay.

    And how do we know these “civilians” are “civilians”? Because Hamas spokesmen say so? How naive are people?

    In English, Hamas call every dead person a “civilian” even if they are Hamas military leaders killed in combat, alleged “collaberators” killed by Hamas or genuine Palestinian civilians killed by their own misfiring ordenance. They then call 15-17 year old male fighters “children”.

    Meanwhile in Arabic, Hamas calls these very same people “herioc myrtered resistance fighters”.

    That Norweigian doctor from the hospital is a known Hamas spokesperson. That’s why he’s in Gaza and is being permitted to speak in English to the media. He does it for every conflict and he like all Hamas spokesmen lies for his chosen cause. It’s amazing how many people simply believe everything Hamas people say hook line and sinker without questions.

    The truth Hamas’ battle plan is to try to get as many of their people killed as possible (especially civilians) on the basis that every dead civilian does more damage to Israel than their rockets. It’s win win for them. They shoot Israel behind civilians. If Israel is forced to shoot back, they win (dead soldiers + civilians all count as “civilians”).

    The worst thing is that the more people see dead Palestinians and blame Israel not Hamas, the more Hamas will try hard to kill its own civilians and the more Palestinians will die in future battles. People blaming Israel for this are therefore indirectly causing more Palestinian deaths.

    The only way to reduce Palestinian deaths is to ensure that Hamas’ attempts to kill its own civilians are punished not rewarded.

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