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The BBC, which courtesy of the British tax payer is the world's biggest and most lavishly funded news organization, would of course never reveal how selective their reports are, since such a disclosure might spoil their campaign to demonize Israel and those who support her. But one senior British journalist, working for another company, last week let slip how the news media allows its Mideast coverage to be distorted. "CNN senior international correspondent" Nic Robertson admitted that his anti-Israel report from Beirut on July 18 about civilian casualties in Lebanon, was stage-managed from start to finish by Hizbullah. He revealed that his story was heavily influenced by Hizbullah's "press officer" and that Hizbullah have "very, very sophisticated and slick media operations. When pressed a few days later about his reporting on the CNN program "Reliable Sources," Robertson acknowledged that Hizbullah militants had instructed the CNN camera team where and what to film. Hizbullah "had control of the situation," Robertson said. "They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn't have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath. Robertson added that Hizbullah has "very, very good control over its areas in the south of Beirut. They deny journalists access into those areas. You don't get in there without their permission. We didn't have enough time to see if perhaps there was somebody there who was, you know, a taxi driver by day, and a Hizbullah fighter by night. Yet "Reliable Sources," presented by Washington Post writer Howard Kurtz, is broadcast only on the American version of CNN. So CNN International viewers around the world will not have had the opportunity to learn from CNN's "Senior international correspondent" that the pictures they saw from Beirut were carefully selected for them by Hizbullah. Another journalist let the cat out of the bag last week. Writing on his blog while reporting from southern Lebanon, Time magazine contributor Christopher Allbritton, casually mentioned in the middle of a posting: "To the south, along the curve of the coast, Hezbollah is launching Katyushas, but I'm loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalist's passport, and they've already hassled a number of us and threatened one. Robertson is not the only foreign journalist to have misled viewers with selected footage from Beirut. NBC's Richard Engel, CBS's Elizabeth Palmer, and a host of European and other networks, were also taken around the damaged areas by Hizbullah minders. Palmer commented on her report that "Hizbullah is also determined that outsiders will only see what it wants them to see. Palmer's honesty is helpful. But it doesn't prevent the damage being done by organizations such as the BBC. First the BBC gave the impression that Israel had flattened the greater part of Beirut. Then to follow up its lop-sided coverage, its website helpfully carried full details of the assembly points for an anti-Israel march due to take place in London, but did not give any details for a rally in support of Israel also held in London a short time later.



Israel renews barrage of Beirut AUGUST.4.2006


Israeli jets have renewed strikes on Beirut as the army has been told to prepare for a deeper push into Lebanon. A number of suburbs in the Hezbollah stronghold were struck, with local TV showing fires in the night sky. The Israeli defence minister has told the army to prepare for a push to the Litani river, up to 30km (19 miles) north of the border, officials said. The moves came as UN delegates in the US struggled to reach full agreement on the wording of a ceasefire resolution. Israel's campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers. Lebanon says more than 900 people have died since then, most of them civilians. Israel has lost 27 civilians and 40 soldiers. 'Sign of weakness' Israel had dropped leaflets on Thursday in the Lebanese capital saying: "After the continued launching of Hezbollah terrorist rockets  the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] intend to widen their offensive in Beirut.Early on Friday, local media reported strikes on the Ouzai neigh bourhood of southern Beirut. The media also said Israeli warships had shelled the suburbs of Haret Hreik and Roweiss. The Israeli military told Reuters news agency it had targeted Hezbollah offices and the home of a top Hezbollah official, along with a building operated by Palestinian group Hamas. Israeli jets also struck three bridges north of Beirut, killing at least one person. The attacks came as Israel's army was ordered to prepare for what could be its deepest push into Lebanon for more than 20 years. Three Israeli soldiers have been killed in southern Lebanon, according to Arabic TV channel al-Arabiya. The air strikes occurred despite a warning from Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who said in a televised speech: "If you bomb our capital Beirut, we will bomb... Tel Aviv. Security sources in Israel told a BBC correspondent that "if Tel Aviv was hit by Hezbollah rockets, Israel would target infrastructure in Lebanon In his speech Sheikh Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah would end its rocket attacks if Israel stopped attacking what he called civilian areas in Lebanon. Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman said that suggestion was "a sign of weakness" and that Hezbollah might be "looking for a way out Although UN delegates remained optimistic of agreement on a ceasefire resolution soon, there remained differences on the wording. We're certainly getting close [to a resolution] within days," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said he believed a durable ceasefire would be in place soon. Landmines Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Thursday called for a lasting solution to the conflict. Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight programme, he said Israel had to withdraw from the disputed border territory known as the Shebaa Farms, which the UN says is part of Syria. Mr Siniora said he wanted international leaders to pressure Israel to return detainees, provide maps of landmines and withdraw from "occupied territory Then, he said, "we will arrange that they will get back the abducted soldiers" and ensure that "there won't be any weapons in Lebanon other than those of the Lebanese authorities In other developments The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) warned that fuel shortages were increasingly hampering humanitarian relief operations in Lebanon Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recalled his ambassador from Israel, calling the attacks on Lebanon "genocide" King Abdullah of Jordan publicly criticised the US and Israel over the fighting in Lebanon Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said there will be no ceasefire until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon. A second UN resolution would probably be needed to authorise the international peacekeeping force. Since such a force could take weeks or months to arrive, a smaller force of French soldiers may be sent in first, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner notes.




15 Year Old Girl Killed as Katyusha Strikes Pick Up


A 15-year-old girl in the Druze town of Meghar was killed Tuesday afternoon, when Hizbullah stepped up its rocket attacks on northern Israel.  The teenager was killed when the Katyusha struck her family's apartment in a direct hit. Her 30-year-old brother was seriously wounded and her 12-year-old sister suffered light injuries. 20 other people in the town were treated for shock and light injuries. Police are checking reports that a mosque was also damaged in the attack. One person was injured lightly in a barrage of at least seven rockets on the area of Kiryat Shemona in the Upper Galilee. Missiles fired at Tzfat in the afternoon landed in open fields, although two missiles landed in the city earlier in the day, sending one man into shock. Ten Katyushas struck Ma'alot, south of Tzfat, wounding 11 people. Three people were injured in attacks on Carmiel. Tiberias and Acre also were hit with a number of rockets, but no injuries were reported. In addition, a Katyusha fell near the Israeli Arab city of Shfaram for the first time on Tuesday. The stepped-up rocket attacks throughout northern Israel have also caused great property damage. In one case, a rocket scored a direct hit on a residence in Nahariya, and another missile damaged a building in a Haifa suburb. Nahariya has suffered at least eight Hizbullah rocket strikes during the day Tuesday, five of them in the mid-afternoon alone.


Rice: Ceasefire Important, Humanitarian Issues Crucial


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza called for a ceasefire during her meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday morning, but not at any price.  Rice emphasized that the pre-July 12 status quo which was in place before the war was not an option. “We need to ensure that we will not return to the previous situation,” she said. She connected the issue of safety, however, to the importance of achieving a ceasefire between Israel and Hizbullah.Olmert told Rice that Israel would not consider a ceasefire until the terror organization is dismantled and the two IDF soldiers it captured two weeks ago are returned. “Israel is determined to continue on in the fight against Hizbullah,” he said. “We will not hesitate to take severe measures against those who are aiming thousands of rockets and missiles against innocent civilians for the one purpose of killing them, he warned.Olmert said Tuesday morning before meeting with Rice that Israel would try to work with the U.S. to relieve “humanitarian difficulties”, but reiterated that Israel will carry out “the most severe measures” against Hizbullah terrorists firing rockets at Israel. Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni met with Rice upon her arrival in Israel Monday evening for talks focusing primarily on civilian conditions in Lebanon. Rice underscored the U.S. interest in protecting civilians who are caught in the crossfire as Israel bombs terrorist targets north of Israel’s border. She also talked about the need for Israel to assist the U.S. to rescue its citizens in Lebanon.“We are concerned about the humanitarian situation,” she said, “and nobody wants to see innocent civilians harmed.” Israel opened a humanitarian corridor in its seaside blockade two days ago in order to allow foreign nationals to leave Lebanon and international aid into the country. Most countries evacuated thousands of their citizens from Lebanon last week. Livni told Rice, as did Olmert on Tuesday, that a ceasefire would only be considered after the return of the two IDF soldiers it kidnapped on July 12, dismantling the Hizbullah terror organization and deployment of the Lebanese army in the south of the country. Hizbullah has controlled the region since Israel pulled out six years ago, in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559.The resolution, passed in 2004, calls for the disbanding and disarming of all domestic and foreign militias, and for the government of Lebanon to exercise control over all Lebanese territory. “We have learned that peace must be based on long-term and stable principles, an end to the violence and a resolution of the humanitarian problems,” Rice responded, adding that Resolution 1559 had already spelled out the solution. U.S. President George W. Bush has said he will not support any deal that leaves Hizbullah terrorists on Israel’s border.





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