CBC Radio Front Burner Program Tacitly Blames Israel For Palestinian-Dug Mass Graves In Gaza

On the May 1 edition of Front Burner, a CBC radio program, Elaine Chau, a senior producer on the show, hosted freelance journalist Akram Al-Sattari from Gaza on the topic of “mass graves” found in Gaza.

While introducing the segment entitled: “Mass graves uncovered at Gaza hospitals,” Chau told listeners that “After Israeli troops withdrew from Khan Younis in early April, Palestinian recovery teams were able to assess the destruction. And just last week, mass graves were uncovered on the grounds of Nasser Hospital.”

In linking the discovery of the mass graves to Israeli withdrawal, Chau tacitly blamed Israel. As the podcast continued, Chau and Al-Sattari consolidated this position, referencing UN calls for an independent investigation, discussing bringing the ‘discovery’ before the ICC, and more.

However, these mass graves are not a discovery. In November, Reuters providedphoto documentation of the use of mass graves for bodies taken from Al-Shifa to Khan Younis for burial. Also in November, Reuters reported that doctors in Al-Shifa were experiencing a sanitary crisis due to 100 unburied bodies and therefore they were going to bury them on the Al-Shifa grounds. The hospital reported this themselves.

Likewise at Nasser Hospital, on January 27, none other than the Gaza Health Ministry (a branch of Hamas) posted on Telegram, “The people were forced to bury 150 martyrs and deaths in the courtyard of the Nasser Medical Complex as a result of the siege of the Israeli occupation forces.”

The group GeoConfirmed conducted an analytic comparison between the locations of the pre-existing mass graves with those recently ‘discovered’, finding that the ‘discovered’ mass graves are in the same location as those created by the Gazans themselves.

Chau and Al-Sattiri mentioned reports that some of the bodies show evidence of torture, and they are not all from the same period. It is relevant to note that Amnesty International produced a report as far back as 2015 in which they stated that Hamas were torturing suspects at Al-Shifa. Perhaps they made use of these graves too.

Chau and Al-Sattiri did not even refer to this body of evidence.

The podcast also discussed Israel’s attacks on Gazan hospitals, with aspersions cast on Israel’s belief that Hamas were inside the hospitals, with Al-Sattiri saying “there is no way to accept one way or another” any claims about Hamas’ presence in Gaza’s hospitals, rather than acknowledging the very real evidence that exists.

On the topic of a Hamas Command Centre operating underneath Al-Shifa hospital, Chau blithely swept the idea aside, saying, “Staff there have denied this. There’s also been quite extensive reporting from places like The Washington Post about how there’s been a lack of evidence on this.”

Staff denying it is vastly unsurprising, given Hamas’s treatment of informers. The Washington Post’s analysis disputes that Al-Shifa was used as a command center, but does not dispute the existence of the tunnels under the hospital.

Additionally, there are photos of Hamas terrorists forcibly bringing Israeli hostages through Al-Shifa, with bystanders casually looking on. The bodies of two hostages were found in a building next to Al-Shifa. The IDF has shared photos of weapons found in Al-Shifa, which Front Burner mentioned. The IDF have also shared photos of the tunnels – supplied with electricity and air conditioning from the hospital. A brave UK doctor even admitted that working there one knew of the existence of Hamas on the premises. Captured Hamas terrorists describe capturing civilians from Israel and bringing them to Al-Shifa hospital in an ambulance.

As recently as March, cowardly Hamas fighters shot mortars at the IDF from the maternity, emergency and burns units in Al-Shifa.

Al-Shifa has clearly not been used as ‘just’ a hospital.

Providing context would have allowed her listeners to understand that Israel’s attacks on Hamas’ strongholds within hospitals are necessary.

This episode of CBC’s Front Burner provided their listeners with a distorted view of the conflict and perpetuated Hamas’s latest blood libel against Israel.

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