Israel bombed Al-Jazeera as punishment for ‘fake news’? Many in India believe so!

Mafazah Sharafuddin
May 22, 2021

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On May 15, Israel bombarded a residential building in Gaza which housed the offices of Al-Jazeera and Associated Press. Even as the global community condemned the barbaric attack on the media, the Sangh Parivar members in India resorted to celebration on social media and went on to portray the cowardly act of Israeli air force as a “punishment for airing fake news”

Both Al-Jazeera and Associated press have lost valuable footage, equipments and documents in the attack on the eleven story building. 

“Al-Jazeera was punished for broadcasting Fake news about Israeli attack on Palestine. Now all the other media are careful about the news they are publishing about Israel,” a viral message on WhatsApp and other social media platforms stated.

The mischievous message, which was widely circulated by the Sangh Parivar activists, also lauded Israel for having the “guts” to punish the media. 

According to reliable sources, an hour preceding the bombing, the Israeli military sent a warning so the residents of the building could evacuate. AP reportedly made several attempts to contact the Israeli military, foreign minister and prime minister’s office. Their concerns were either ignored, or they were told that there was nothing that could be done to stop the attack. A video broadcasted by Al-Jazeera shows the owner of the building Jawwad Mahdi imploring the military to allow them to retrieve their equipment. 

The video of Jawwad Mahdi speaking on the phone to the officer has since been widely shared on social media. He is heard asking them to allow just four people to enter the building to get their equipment that had documented the situation in Gaza out before the attack took place. He asked for ten more minutes. The Israeli military swiftly denied his request, saying that they had already been given an hour to evacuate. The building was then bombed.

Press freedom groups worldwide have condemned the attack. They have accused the Israeli military of using claims of a Hamas presence to curb the coverage of the incessant attacks upon Gaza. The International Press Institute, a world renowned network of media personnel has deemed the attack a “gross violation of human rights and internationally agreed norms.”

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, explained the situation, only saying that there was a Hamas presence in the building. “It was not an innocent building,” he said.

The official reason given by the military, as well as the Prime Minister is staunchly that there was a Hamas presence in the building, and they were trying to eradicate it. There have been no unofficial or official claims from Israeli officials indicating that the attack was some kind of retaliation or punishment for ‘fake news’.

While this affected the amount of coverage the situation in Gaza has, the military has stuck with the reasoning that it was simply combatting Hamas.

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News Network
October 15,2021

Dhaka/New Delhi, Oct 15: The Bangladesh government has promised swift action against those behind attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja celebrations amid criticism that the Muslim-majority country hasn't done enough to protect minorities.

Four people were killed in violence after some Hindu temples were vandalised during Durga Puja celebrations, prompting Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to deploy paramilitary force in 22 districts on Thursday.

"The incidents in Comilla are being thoroughly investigated. Nobody will be spared. It doesn't matter which religion they belong to. They will be hunted down and punished," she said while exchanging greetings with the Hindus during an event at Dhakeshwari National Temple in Dhaka, news agency PTI reported.

"We are getting a large amount of information. This is an era of technology and those involved in the incident will definitely be tracked down with the use of the technology," Ms Hasina said.

India has sought action against the people behind the violence unleashed during the Durga Puja celebrations.

Videos on social media show large mobs breaking Durga Puja installations, throwing stones and vandalising Hindu temples. Some show idols of Goddess Durga broken by mobs.

India has called the reports of violence "disturbing". "We have seen disturbing reports of untoward incidents, involving attacks on a religious gathering in Bangladesh. We note the government of Bangladesh has reacted promptly to ensure the control of the situation including deployment of law enforcement machinery," foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, news agency ANI reported.

The authorities in Bangladesh enforced a ban on rallies in Haziganj where officials confirmed the deaths of four people with gunshot wounds, adding that two others were critically injured in the clashes, PTI reported.

According to officials in Bangladesh, the police were alerted about an alleged blasphemy incident at a Durga Puja pavilion in Cumilla, about 100 km from Dhaka, after which an investigation was launched. However, violence erupted after a mob attacked temples in parts of Cumilla, neighbouring Haziganj, northwestern coastal sub-districts of Hatia and Banskhali. Social media was used largely to instigate the communal tensions.

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October 23,2021

Jammu, Oct 23: Security has been beefed up across Kashmir ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s maiden visit to the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 on Saturday, officials said.

They said a thick security cover has been thrown around the BJP office at Jawahar Nagar in the city where Shah is likely to pay a visit.

Similarly, roads leading to Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) have been made off-limits for three days from Saturday as the Union home minister is expected to attend an event there, they added.

It will be Shah’s first visit to Kashmir after the Centre revoked J-K's special status and bifurcated the erstwhile state into union territories in August 2019.

The officials said additional deployment of security forces has been made across the valley, especially in Srinagar.

Official sources said 50 companies of additional paramilitary forces are being inducted into the valley in the wake of the recent spate of civilian killings.

Bunkers manned by paramilitary CRPF have come up in several areas of the city as well in other parts of the valley, the officials said.

They said the aim of constructing new bunkers and putting more personnel on the ground was to cut the free movement of militants.

The officials said barricades have been put up on the roads across the valley, especially in the city, while frisking and checking of people has been intensified.

The mobile internet services on a dozen towers -- mostly in the areas where non-local labourers were killed in the past week -- were snapped three days ago as part of the security measures, they said.

The officials said police have started stringent checking of documents of two-wheelers plying on the roads and many have been seized by police.

However, IGP, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar had said these steps were purely related to terror violence.

"Seizing some bikes and shutting down of internet of some towers is purely related to #terror #violence. It has nothing to do with visit of the Hon'ble HM," he tweeted on Thursday. 

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October 16,2021

Mangaluru, Oct 16: Two youth lost their lives when their motorbike crashed into a road median last night at Talapady K C Road near Dakshina Kannada-Kasaragod border.

The victims have been identified as K Prajith (23) and Krishna Prasad (25), both residents of Kumble in Kasaragod district.  

It is learnt that they were on their way home after paying a visit to Gokarnanatheshwara Temple in Kudroli Mangaluru. 

While reaching K.C. Road, the rider lost control over the two-wheeler and crashed into the divider. 

A case has been registered at jurisdictional police station and investigations are on.

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