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Bring them home

There is little discussion of the hostage situation beyond reports on potential negotiations

Press roundup from Germany, November 13, 2023

By Amos Grünstein

What’s being said

German media continue to follow the events of the Israel-Hamas conflict relatively closely. There are many reports about the situation in the Gaza Strip, particularly ruined buildings and fleeing civilians. They also continue to report on pro-Palestinian demonstrations as well as the German government’s attitude towards the conflict and the often-mentioned but ceasefire.

The Berliner Zeitung has reported extensively on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in recent days. There was also focus on the many countries calling for a ceasefire, and French President Macron’s statement about civilian deaths, which caused an uproar. There are also reports of Gaza’s hospitals being unable to function properly, according to Hamas-run sources.

In addition to the most important current events, Die Welt also reported on the major internal conflicts in Germany, including rising antisemitism, Islamist ideology, and ideas for regulating immigrants. In particular, it reported on the plight of peaceful Muslims who are suffering under the large, dominant wave of extreme Islamists. There is also a lot of discussion and speculation about how to deal with immigrants so that "if Europe knows who it is letting in, borders can be better protected."

The Tagesschau reports a lot on the progress that the IDF is currently making in the Gaza Strip. Much is reported on the speculation about the freelance journalists who may have known about the massacre on October 7, but did not warn about it for the purpose of reporting and perhaps also identifying with it. There are also reports of possible negotiations about the hostages.

What’s not being said

There is little discussion of the hostage situation beyond reports on potential negotiations to free some of them. Yet there is new video material available since the war broke out. For example, a video has been released of one of the hostages—thirteen-year-old Yigel Yaakov, who was seen in a video released by the Islamic Jihad and spoke about his condition. I have not yet been able to find this video in any German media.

There was also an exclusive telephone conversation held by Israel’s Channel 13 with the director of the large hospital in the Gaza Strip. Much of the information and statements made by the director are of great importance. He talks about the current situation at the hospital, claims that he knows of no Hamas tunnels or bases at the hospital, but also says that the Israeli army is authorized to destroy them if they exist. His answer to the question of whether he would allow the wounded to be brought to Israel by Israeli soldiers in order to treat them in Israel is yes, as saving the wounded would be of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, this conversation was also nowhere to be found.

There is still also a lack of presentation of the evidence in the German media that Hamas is hiding rocket launchers and weapons bunkers in schools and other civilian buildings. That is why there is still often speculation about this.

What we think

It is of the utmost importance to substantiate the many reports with the materials that do exist. Yes, there are many fake photos and statements that cannot appear in the media without any verification. Still, videos such as the one uploaded by the Islamic Jihad showing Yagel Yaakov are of great importance and need to be shown so that people can draw their own conclusions. The sad fact that the civilians of Gaza, and buildings such as schools, hospitals, and others, are all being used as shields by Hamas also needs to be documented more often, and better.

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