The sound of silence

On Dec. 7, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a report that "strongly condemns" the Hamas regime in Gaza for obstructing the ability of Gazans to obtain critically needed, timely medical care in Israeli and West Bank hospitals.

The report was prompted by 37 Gaza patients and their companions who tried to use the Eretz crossing to get into Israel, but were turned back by Hamas authorities for lack of exit permits from the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry.  Some of these Gazans required surgery.  After being turned back, they had to wait more than three hours at the ministry to get their permits.  And issuance of such permits now has to be completed three days before travel.

PCHR said that Hamas violated both Palestinian Basic Law and international law when it issued a regulation on Nov. 25 requiring elaborate screening procedures for all Gazans desiring to leave Gaza.  The procedures require multiple ID and photo verifications, plus other red tape.   Also, having the exit permit in hand three days before departing Gaza.

Obviously, Gazans requring immediate transfer to Israeli or West Bank hospitals after serious road accidents, strokes or heart attacks can't afford to wait three days to get proper medical life-saving care.

So, PCHR demanded that Hamas immediately rescind these onerous travel restrictions.

One would have thought that such callous behavior by the Hamas regime in Gaza that imperils the lives of sick and/or injured Palestinians might rate some coverage in the Washington Post.  Yet, Post editors totally ignored it in the paper's Dec. 8 edition -- even thought their attention was immediately called to the PCHR report on Dec. 7.

In recent months, the Post has devoted extensive space to Palestinians discomforted by Israeli travel restrictions, such as checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Ban, or by the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza.

But here is an instance where Hamas has erected an onerous and life-threatening blockade against Palestinians in Gaza -- and the Post is silent.  Not one word.

This is not an isolated flaw in Post coverage, by any means.  The paper has a well-established pattern of extensive documentation of any Israeli obstacles to Palestinian movement and travel, while ignoring or paying at best minimal attention to Palestinian abuses of Palestinian human rights.

Israel-bashing is de rigueur at the Post;  Hamas-bashing is not.  A double standard that points up an anti-Israel tilt in the Post's overall "news" coverage.
On Dec. 7, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a report that "strongly condemns" the Hamas regime in Gaza for obstructing the ability of Gazans to obtain critically needed, timely medical care in Israeli and West Bank hospitals.

The report was prompted by 37 Gaza patients and their companions who tried to use the Eretz crossing to get into Israel, but were turned back by Hamas authorities for lack of exit permits from the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry.  Some of these Gazans required surgery.  After being turned back, they had to wait more than three hours at the ministry to get their permits.  And issuance of such permits now has to be completed three days before travel.

PCHR said that Hamas violated both Palestinian Basic Law and international law when it issued a regulation on Nov. 25 requiring elaborate screening procedures for all Gazans desiring to leave Gaza.  The procedures require multiple ID and photo verifications, plus other red tape.   Also, having the exit permit in hand three days before departing Gaza.

Obviously, Gazans requring immediate transfer to Israeli or West Bank hospitals after serious road accidents, strokes or heart attacks can't afford to wait three days to get proper medical life-saving care.

So, PCHR demanded that Hamas immediately rescind these onerous travel restrictions.

One would have thought that such callous behavior by the Hamas regime in Gaza that imperils the lives of sick and/or injured Palestinians might rate some coverage in the Washington Post.  Yet, Post editors totally ignored it in the paper's Dec. 8 edition -- even thought their attention was immediately called to the PCHR report on Dec. 7.

In recent months, the Post has devoted extensive space to Palestinians discomforted by Israeli travel restrictions, such as checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Ban, or by the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza.

But here is an instance where Hamas has erected an onerous and life-threatening blockade against Palestinians in Gaza -- and the Post is silent.  Not one word.

This is not an isolated flaw in Post coverage, by any means.  The paper has a well-established pattern of extensive documentation of any Israeli obstacles to Palestinian movement and travel, while ignoring or paying at best minimal attention to Palestinian abuses of Palestinian human rights.

Israel-bashing is de rigueur at the Post;  Hamas-bashing is not.  A double standard that points up an anti-Israel tilt in the Post's overall "news" coverage.

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