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Baroud to Anadolu: Israel targets media because it wants its propaganda campaign to continue

Book Launch of Ramzy's Baroud latest book - The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story on 27 March, 2018 [Jehan Alfarra/Middle East Monitor]
Book Launch of Ramzy's Baroud latest book - The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story on 27 March, 2018 [Jehan Alfarra/Middle East Monitor]

Israel targets the international media "because the battle for the truth is so critical and crucial at this stage," a Palestinian author and journalist said Thursday.

"Israel has won international support and solidarity based on deception and erroneous assumptions that Israel is a democratic state that it is fighting for existence against the hordes of Arabs and Muslims. Nothing could be further away from the truth," journalist and author Ramzy Baroud told Anadolu Agency.

Two Anadolu Agency journalists sustained injuries Thursday evening in an Israeli raid on northern Gaza.

Photojournalist Mustafa Hassouna and cameraman Mohammad al-Aloul were injured while covering an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip.

Both journalists, whose injuries were moderate, were transferred to a nearby hospital for treatment.

READ: The untold story of Sheikh Jarrah

"The international media conveys the reality on the ground, just merely conveys that reality. Israel answers them by targeting their journalists as they have done with Anadolu Agency today," Baroud said. "Israel destroys their offices as they did with the Hanadi residential tower the other day."

"The fact is that Israel is an apartheid, racist regime. It is a military occupier and an aggressor upon the Palestinian people," he added.

Ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed 119 Palestinians so far, including 31 children and 19 women, according to health officials, while at least 580 others have been injured.

Tensions have been running high since an Israeli court last week ordered the eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said eight journalists were assaulted by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem between 7 and 10 May.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency's building in Gaza sustained severe damage late Tuesday after Israeli warplanes targeted a residential tower nearby.

This is "because Israel wants to make sure that whatever link the Palestinian people have with the outside world is severed, and by doing so, Israel can continue its propaganda campaign through its allies within the Zionist-Western corporate media," said Baroud, who is also the author of five books.

'Fresh intifada of unprecedented nature'

The ongoing resistance by Palestinians against the Israeli occupation is an "intifada of unprecedented nature and outreach in the history of the Palestinian struggle," Baroud said.

"For the first time in many years, we see the Palestinian people united — from Jerusalem, Al Quds to Gaza, to the West Bank and, even more critically, to the Palestinian communities, towns and villages inside historic Palestine, today's Israel," said Baroud, who edits The Palestine Chronicle.

"This unity matters most," he said.

READ: Award-winning Italian artist Eduardo Castaldo speaks about Palestine

"It is far more consequential than some agreement between Palestinian factions. This is much bigger than Fatah and Hamas and all the rest because, without a united people, there can be no meaningful resistance, no vision for liberation, no struggle for justice to be won."

The result of the current "intifada," Baroud said, has pricked the balloon of "Israel's constant attempt at presenting itself as a perpetual victim of some imaginary horde of Arabs and Muslims, which is no longer paying dividends."

"The world can finally see, read and hear of Palestine's tragic reality and the need to bring this tragedy to an immediate end. None of this would have happened if it were not for the fact that all Palestinians have reasons and are speaking in one voice," he added.

'Israel could have never imagined fresh uprising'

According to the US-based author, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "must have never anticipated that a routine act of ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem's neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah could lead to a Palestinian uprising, uniting all sectors of Palestinian society in an unprecedented show of unity."

"Netanyahu may have hoped to use Sheikh Jarrah as a way of mobilizing his right-wing constituency around him, with the hope of forming an emergency government or increasing his chances of winning yet a fifth election," Baroud said.

READ: The dangerous decision to 'postpone' the election is Palestine's moment of reckoning

"His rash behavior, which was initially compelled by entirely selfish reasons, has ignited a popular rebellion among Palestinians, exposing Israel for the violent, racist and apartheid state that it is; in fact, has always been," he added.

On 23 March, Israel held its fourth election in two years. The country is poised to go for a fifth election soon if a political deadlock persists as Netanyahu failed to cobble up a majority or coalition government which requires the support of at least 61 of the 120 members of the Knesset Israel's parliament.

Palestinian youth leading fresh intifada

Baroud said the leaders of "this new movement are Palestinian youth."

"They have been denied their opportunity to participate in any form of democratic representation, who are constantly marginalized and oppressed, by their own leadership and by the relentless Israeli military occupation," he said.

Late last month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the postponement of elections until the Israeli authorities permit holding the elections in Jerusalem, triggering condemnation from Gaza.

The parliamentary polls were expected to be held on 22 May, presidential polls on July 31 and Palestinian National Council polls on 31 August.

"The Palestinian youth were born into a world of exile, destitution and apartheid. They were told that they are inferior, of a lesser race. Their right to self-determination, and every other right, was postponed indefinitely.

"They grew up watching their homes being demolished, their land being robbed, their parents being humiliated, and they could do nothing about it," Baroud said, adding: "Finally, they are rising up."

He said the Palestinian people have "decided to move past all the political divisions and the factional squabbles."

READ: Bottom-up politics sees grassroots activism behind a pro-Palestine shift in the US

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