Gaza Stampede Gives Hamas Opportunity To Spread Lies; Canadian Media Takes The Bait

February 29, 2024

In the early morning hours of February 29, a convoy of dozens of trucks bearing humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip. As they approached, a crowd of Gazans descended upon the delivery, seeking to take goods.

In the ensuing fracas, a number of Palestinians were killed as a result of being trampled, and reports say some were also killed as they fell underneath the moving aid trucks.

In separate incidents, Israeli forces fired at a group of armed combatants who approached an Israeli tank nearby, as well as towards a group of armed men who attempted to loot the aid delivery. Israel acknowledges that 10 Palestinians were killed in those skirmishes.

Never missing an opportunity to leverage a tragedy into a public relations win, Hamas, the Gaza-based Islamic terrorist organization currently waging war with Israel, immediately sought to twist the rioting incident into an event defaming Israel.

Rather than acknowledge the truth – which would also remind the world that aid trucks are still entering Gaza daily – Hamas instead claimed that Israeli forces were indiscriminately firing on innocent people, and that upwards of 100 people had been killed by Israel.

Within hours, Israel released footage unmasking Hamas’ propaganda as pure fiction.

As seen in the aerial video footage, crowds of Gazans began rushing the humanitarian trucks, clearly creating a human stampede. According to Israeli reports, some of the aid trucks continued their path further into Gaza, where they were subsequently attacked by armed men.

Hamas’ unfounded claims are reminiscent of an incident on October 17, 2023, when the terror group claimed that Israel had bombed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, killing 500 people.

News media outlets around the world, jettisoning their mandate of objectivity and need for rigorous fact-checking, soon parroted Hamas’ claims uncritically, despite vehement Israeli denials that the country had bombed the hospital.

Before long, Israel was vindicated, and video footage showed a rocket being fired from Gaza landing at the hospital. Estimates from international intelligence agencies later concluded that the likeliest culprit was an errant rocket originating from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Over the last five months, even as more than 14,000 trucks filled with humanitarian aid have entered Gaza, much of it has been seized by armed groups, helping lead to the frenzy seen on February 29, when civilians, desperate to gain access to aid before it is stolen by terror groups, rush to the aid trucks.

In this latest incident, Israel has promised a thorough investigation to ensure that the full details can be unearthed, even as evidence shows a thorough repudiation of Hamas’ claims.

Within hours, at least three major media outlets – CBC News, The Globe & Mail, and The Toronto Star, had published uncorroborated and unsubstantiated Hamas propaganda. CBC News, for instance, made reference to “health authorities in Gaza,” without informing readers that those authorities report to Hamas, which has a track record of fabricating lies for ideological purposes.

While there is always a deadline for news media outlets to report the latest developments, Hamas’ track record of spreading patent lies should serve as a cautionary tale to be particularly conscientious about ensuring fairness and accuracy.

HonestReporting Canada has filed official complaints with CBC News, The Globe & Mail, and The Toronto Star, about their coverage.

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