*Noam Bedein is Director of Sderot Media Center, www.SderotMedia.org.il
On December 7th, 2011, UNRWA issued an extensive report which lauded the vast amount of cement smuggled through the Gaza tunnels, attributing recent economic growth and improvement of humanitarian conditions in the Gaza to the operation of smuggling tunnels from Egypt, which UNRWA claimed to have increased employment in Gaza causing “Construction jobs to grow by more than 9,400, increasing by 3.5 times relative to first half 2010”, according the the UNRWA press release
On December 24th, 2011, Reuters wire echoed the UNRWA press release, published in hundreds of media outlets throughout the world, portraying Gaza residents whose economic well being had been greatly improved by uninhibited smuggling of cement through the tunnels.
Reuters reported that the tunnels were causing an “economic boom”.
The Reuters wire mentioned in the fourth paragraph of its release that there was an Israeli “claim” that these tunnels were used by the Hamas regime in Gaza to carry out “sporadic” attacks.
The UNRWA report and the Reuters wire ignored the assessment of intelligence agencies which confirm that these tunnels have transformed Gaza into a vast arsenal of munitions for missile launchers that can be reach every part of southern and central Israel.
Reuters and its media affiliates also ignore the extensive report of the Meir Amit Intelligence Information Center which has laid out clear documentation that the Hamas regime in Gaza systematically uses cement smuggled from the tunnels to “for military needs as part of its overall strategy of giving priority to its military infrastructure over Gaza Strip residents’ needs”
By using the term “sporadic” to describe the frequency of the attacks from Gaza, Reuters and its media affiliates chose to ignore the fact that the Sderot Media Center has documented that as of December 30th, 2011, 1,064 aerial attacks have been fired from Gaza since Israel declared a “cease fire” to stop IDF operations in Gaza on January 19th, 2009.
So much for the new Reuters definition of “sporadic” activity. The one accurate term used by UNRWA and Reuters was “boom”, which would describe continuing aerial attacks from Gaza.