Israel pulls cartoon mocking foreign reporters who covered Gaza war

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Israel withdrew a cartoon which mocked journalists who covered the 2014 Gaza war accusing them of clueless coverage of the conflict, UK’s the Independent newspaper reported.

The animated clip showed a foreign correspondent reporting from the Palestinian enclave with a militant firing a rocket in the background. “There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people,” the cartoon reporter says.

The clip then shows the same correspondent in a tunnel, which Israel has accused Hamas of using to transport weapons, where he describes it as a “fascinating attempt by Hamas to build a subway system.”

Towards the end of the video, the narrator hands the reporter a pair of glasses and says: “Maybe now you’ll see the reality of life under Hamas rule.”

Israel’s Foreign Press Association criticized the cartoon, saying in a statement issued last week that it was “surprised and alarmed” by the “misleading and poorly conceived” video.

The video was “an attempt to poke gentle fun at some journalists who choose not to see reality,” Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told the New York Times.

“The goal was to show the way Hamas operates and its crimes, but it took on a spin of being an attack on foreign journalists and that was not the intention,” he later said.

The cartoon was launched ahead of a U.N. report on the conflict, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians and 72 Israelis, most of which were soldiers.

The report, released on Monday, said that Israel and Palestinian groups committed grave abuses of international humanitarian law during the 2014 Gaza conflict that may amount to war crimes.

The investigators urged Israel to carry out credible domestic investigations of senior political and military officials, if crimes were substantiated.

They called on Israel to explain its “targeting decisions” to allow independent assessment of its attacks on Gaza Strip which they said had killed 1,462 civilians.

“The commission is concerned that impunity prevails across the board for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law allegedly committed by Israeli forces...” it said.

[With Reuters]