The Israel-Hamas Conflict
IN THIS ISSUE
When the News Becomes a Nightmare
The task of journalism is not to have the answers, but rather to be an honest witness.
IWPR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The first casualty of war is not the truth – it is civilians. In this modern epoch of conflict, and despite a century of international humanitarian law, attacks on civilians – explicit or collateral – continue to brutalise non-combatants in ways which are hard to fathom.
“Facts and logic take a distant back seat to emotion and identity.”
Gaza: “Each Day Seems Darker Than the Last”
A Palestinian journalist describes trying to report amid the danger and chaos of the war.
TV REPORTER BASED IN GAZA
The clock read 6:20 am when the first rockets from Gaza began their ascent into the sky. The jarring explosions that followed left me in a state of shock, uncertain about the world unraveling around me. Clutching my phone, I fumbled for answers and stumbled upon news that sent shivers down my spine.
“Mentally and physically exhausted, I find myself grappling with the unending fear of losing my family or my home while reporting on this unfolding catastrophe.”
Israel: “I Witnessed Horrific Crimes”
An Israeli journalist who covered the kibbutz massacres describes anger, fear and denial.
ISRAELI PHOTOJOURNALIST & REPORTER
On October 7 I was woken by a call from a colleague telling me there were rocket attacks in the south. It was then I realised there were also sirens sounding in my neighbourhood in Tel Aviv.
“I saw the crimes committed by Hamas with my own eyes. Whole families, including women and children, were murdered.”
The War on Disinformation
Open source intelligence (OSINT) can provide facts – but impatient, angry audiences often prefer opinions.
The Israel-Gaza conflict has seen a vast flow of disinformation spread via social and traditional media. Eliot Higgins, founder and creative director of pioneering OSINT collective Bellingcat, tells IWPR managing editor Daniella Peled how the “grotesque” online discourse was amplifying trauma and perpetuating a cycle of violence.
“The disinformation is the worst I've ever seen, by a significant factor.”
Fake News Fuels Fear in Lebanon
A confusing media landscape leaves citizens desperately searching for credible information.
It is not easy to live in a region that has experienced continuous wars and instability. Lebanon has gone through very hard times since the civil war began in 1975; we have been further shaken by the knock-on effect of the conflict in Syria and the devastating August 4 2020 warehouse explosion in Beirut. Our economy has collapsed and the inefficiency of our government system has exacerbated all these disasters.
“Many people believe it is just a matter of time until a new front opens up in this conflict.”
“It will be harder to fight for attention; and without attention, there will be no weapons.”
IWPR EDITORIAL COORDINATOR
As global concern shifts from Ukraine to the Israel-Gaza war, experts warn of potentially serious consequences for Kyiv’s ongoing battle against Russia’s invasion.
“Russian disinformation tries to tie Ukraine to Hamas as an accomplice.”
The region’s geopolitical shift following the Nagorny Karabakh conflict may continue amid the crisis in the Middle East.
PROFESSOR AT TBILISI-BASED EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY
The South Caucasus, already reeling from recent significant geopolitical shifts, may be further affected by ripple effects from the current Israel-Hamas war. The armed conflict is particularly relevant for Azerbaijan, whose military cooperation with Israel was key for it regaining control of the Nagorny Karabakh region in late September, after over three decades.
“A lengthy Gaza war is likely to diminish Israeli involvement in the South Caucasus, potentially paving the way for Iran’s more active role.”