Harriet Sherwood and the ceasefire that never was.

Harriet Sherwood appeared to wake up rather late to the fact that one million Israeli civilians have been (and still are at the time of writing) under constant attack from missiles fired from Gaza since Monday afternoon, producing her first report on the subject on Wednesday morning

In both that report and the one she produced on June 21st, she seems to be trying to promote a rather curious concept. 

In her article from June 20th Sherwood states: 

“Hamas has largely adhered to a series of ceasefires since the three-week war in Gaza ended in January 2009, although it has not contained rocket fire from other militant groups, notably Islamic Jihad. Hamas was weakened by Israel’s military onslaught, known as Operation Cast Lead, and is reluctant to provoke another major confrontation with Israel.”

In her June 21st piece, she writes: 

“Hamas had earlier announced its militants had fired rockets into Israel for the first time for more than a year. It has largely adhered to previous ceasefires because it is unwilling to provoke Israel into a major military confrontation.”

So Sherwood would have us believe on the one hand that Hamas has ‘largely adhered’ (a strange concept in itself) to various ‘ceasefires’. On the other hand, Sherwood admits that Hamas has turned a deliberate blind eye to the activities of numerous other terror groups operating out of the Gaza Strip and so –as the residents of southern Israel know only too well – there actually was no real ceasefire at all

Hamas is the (albeit unelected) governing body in Gaza. It is responsible for everything that goes on in its territory, just as the British government would be responsible for preventing ‘militants’ in Dover from firing Grad missiles at Calais. And Sherwood must know this full well, because the opening paragraph of her June 21st piece states that: 

Hamas has said it will commit to a ceasefire after more than 100 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in the past three days and eight Palestinians, including three teenagers, were killed in Israeli airstrikes.”

In other words, according to Sherwood’s patronizing approach, Hamas is ruler enough to broker a ceasefire, but not ruler enough to be expected to enforce it across the board. 

Equally patronizing –this time to her readers – is Sherwood’s euphemistic description of “eight Palestinians, including three teenagers” having been killed in Gaza. 

Among those killed in Gaza during the past week  are, (according to various Palestinian sources), Mohammed Bassam Abu Mueliq and Yousef Talbani (both 16) who were killed whilst handling an explosive device near the border fence between Gaza and Israel, 21-year-old Ghaleb Armilat (according to Hamas, a member of the Al Quds brigade of Islamic Jihad), Ismail Abu Ouda and Muhammed Shabat (both members of the Islamic Jihad en route to carrying out a terror attack), and Mahmoud Abdo Za’anin and Ibrahim Abdel Fattah (both members of Hamas ‘Defenders of Al Aqsa’, with the latter apparently belonging to its ‘youth brigade’). Hamas also claimed that a member of its Izz al Din al Qassam brigades named Jihad Abu Shabab (23) was killed.

Here are pictures of Abu Ouda and Shabat taken from the Islamic Jihad website (courtesy of Challah Hu Akbar). 

Ismael Abu Ouda

Ismael Abu Ouda

Muhammed Shabat

Muhamed Shabat

Abu Ouda & Shabat

And here is a video – released via Twitter by Hamas – of its Al Qassam Brigades firing ‘home-made’ rockets at what it describes as ‘military bases’. 

It really is hard to decide which is more patronising: Harriet Sherwood’s assignation of a childlike diminished responsibility to the rulers of the Gaza Strip or her apparent belief that her readers need to be shielded from the realities of an ongoing terror war through employment of delicate euphemisms.   

56 replies »

    • It’s the promises of the black eyed virgins that attracts them, also most of the are mentally retarded, so it’s easy to recruit them with this promises.

      • The hatred you display towards innocent children is disturbing, to say the least. And it tells a lot about you.

    • It’s not stupidity. It is a mind set that registers increased activity when presented with anything negative about Israel but sinks into mind numbing inaction when anything negative presents itself concerning the Palestinians/AQrabs/Muslims. An affliction manifested heavily in the rancid extreme anarchist hard left.

  1. During Israeli military operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, 1,400 Palestinians were killed, half of them civilians, including 300 children; 13 Israelis were killed including three civilians.

    Some of these 300 Palestinian children who were killed were toddlers.

    You should be deeply ashamed for mocking the death of innocent childrten.

    • Nat

      No-one is mocking the death of innocent children, such as Hadeel Haddad who was initially supposed to have been killed by the IDF but who was in fact killed by a rocket that fell short.

      We are merely aware that the people named above were trying to murder civillians and died as a result.

      Can you not see the difference or has your hate blinded you?

      • 300 Palestinian children were killed during Israel’s “Cast Lead” operation in 2008-209.

        • Nat

          You are in charge in Israel and its 2008.

          Over the last three years, Hamas have killed or injured nearly 2,000 of your people in continuous rocket attacks.

          Egypt (who are helping supply the weapons,) negociate a ceasefire and agree to stop smuggling weapons. The rockets continue to fire and the weapons keep getting smuggled in.

          What do you do to protect the lives and security of your people?

          If you don’t launch Cast lead, you are a liar or a coward

        • I suspect that “Nat” knows perfectly well that Hamas use schools and hospitals as rocket-launch sites in order to maximize civilian casualties, but I presume he thinks this is a perfectly acceptable tactic.

          Of course it has to be said, had Bibi been in charge instead of the corrupt imbecile Olmert, the situation would never have got that bad in the first place as he would have been responding to each and every rocket launched at Israel with overwhelming force.

          • ” suspect that “Nat” knows perfectly well that Hamas use schools and hospitals as rocket-launch sites in order to maximize civilian casualties.”

            Can you please back up what you say with evidence??

        • Very few would have died if not for the tactics employed by Hamas and if not for the expertise and care taken by the IDF, 3000 children could have died. Thanks for trying.

    • What have a bunch of 3-4 year-old stats got to do with a) this article b) the facts it contains about the 100+ rockets being rained on Israel this week, c) the fact that the Guardian don’t recognise the constant bombardment as a breach of a “ceasefire” and d) the shocking way Sherwood uses emotive phrases to portray the dead Palestinians as innocent kids, when in fact they were active terrorists.

      • Sorry – I have just re-read my previous post, and I realise it may come across as though I think of 300 (ish) dead children as just “a bunch of stats”. I apologise for that. I completely and totally regret the death of any child, whether Palestinian, Israeli or not.

      • As Gideon Levy writes i Haaaretz, Hamas and the Government of Israel are like two kids in high school who fight each other without taking the time to think.

        The blockade has failed, it has not led to the fall of Hamas and it has not suppressed rockets launches against Israeli civilians.

        Maybe it’s time for a differnt approach?

        • On the contrary, the weapons blockade has largely succeeded in preventing Syrian/Hezbollah/Iranian/Egyptian/Libyan surface to air missiles, chemical weapons, etc falling into Hamas’s hands, and I doubt if it’s ending any time soon.

        • If Gideon Levy wrote it then it is almost certainly not true. The guy is a pathological liar.

          By the way, when some proper investigation was done – for example, comparing names vs lists of “fighters” on terrorist websites – it was discovered half those “civilians” killed in Cast Lead were actually active terrorists.

    • It was 1,166, with civilians being considerably less than half of that, according to both Israel and Hamas. In other conflicts, the ratio is usually much worse.

    • Haven’t you heard on You Tube how Hanie in Gaza openly said that they the children, women, and old people openly “decided” to be used as shield for the Hamas cowards “warriors” and 800 of the so coaled “civilians” who where killed where the Hamas soldiers, just beakose they don’t wear uniforms that doesn’t make them civilians, this has been quoted by Italian journalist a non Jew, so blame the Hamas not Israel.Israeli minimal loss was that they where better prepared, more intelligent and educated professional soldiers, by the way the civilians in Gaza where warned by phone and leaflets to leave, but Hamas didn’t let them.Has anybody EVER done this in the history of wars?? get a education.

  2. “Hamas has largely adhered to a series of ceasefires…”

    What is it with Sherwood and cognitive distortion?? To “largely adhere” to a ceasefire is a logical impossibility – either there is a ceasefire, which is totally adhered to, or there is not, and if Hamas breaks it by launching rockets at Israeli civilians then it is no longer a ceasefire!

    (I wouldn’t be surprised if Sherwood believed that a woman can be a little bit pregnant too).

    And what’s with the “series” of ceasefires? Again if there was really a first ceasefire and Hamas had not resumed shelling Israeli civilians then there wouldn’t need to be a series of them would there?

    Someone ought to lock Sherwood in the room with a plank of wood to hit herself over the head with until she sees sense.

  3. Sherwood is not being patronising by assigning child-like diminished responsibility to the rulers of the Gaza Strip, she is being racist and discriminatory by having us believe that, being Palestinians, they don’t know any better.

    • One has to wonder if ‘dearest Harriet’ could find employment in any other ‘news media’. Apart from Press TV of course.

  4. I loved your last paragraph Hadar. Sherwood infantilizes both Gazans and her readers. It’s an old technique. Typical.

    • Yes it’s understandable that you hang around here like a bad smell since all the anti-Zionist blogs are such a pile of intellectually deficient repetitive shite.

  5. These martyrs are not going to be too happy when they find out that these promised virgins are not virgins at all,in fact these fake virgins will all look like Helen Thomas Hanan Ashrawi Harriet Sherwood baroness Tonge and a few other cast offs.

  6. Cease fires are called when Israel is winning,if ever HF Israel ever lost there will be no cease fire…………….

  7. About that ceasefire:

    Hours after Hamas’ military wing announced Wednesday that it was ready to sign an Egyptian-brokered truce to end three days of cross-border fighting, seven rockets fired from the Gaza Strip slammed into southern Israel within a one-hour span Thursday morning.

    All seven rockets exploded in unpopulated areas, causing no injuries or damage. The barrage came after about 70 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israel the previous day.


    Presumably they are inviting Zahal back in.

  8. In reply to Nat who wanted “evidence” and apparently doesn’t know how to use the internet:

  9. Many guardian reporters may be 2nd class journalists but are undeniably first class propagandists. She’s shitty at both.