After my piece Thursday morning asking why mainstream media outlets aren’t showing photos of Hamas fighters in Gaza, The New York Times offered me this response: We don’t have any.
Of the 37 images that comprise the Times’ most recent three slide shows of photos from the conflict, there’s not a single shot of a Hamas rocket launch (though more than 2,800 rockets have been fired at Israel) or of Hamas fighters using mosques, schools or hospitals as bases of operation.
Why not? After all, Hamas attacks against Israel are crucial to understanding what’s underpinning this conflict.
Here’s what Eileen Murphy, the Times’ vice president for corporate communications, says:
Our photo editor went through all of our pictures recently and out of many hundreds, she found 2 very distant poor quality images that were captioned Hamas fighters by our photographer on the ground. It is very difficult to identify Hamas because they don’t have uniforms or any visible insignia; our photographer hasn’t even seen anyone carrying a gun.I would add that we would not withhold photos of Hamas militants. We eagerly pursue photographs from both sides of the conflict, but we are limited by what our photographers have access to.
You leave early in the morning to see the houses destroyed the night before. Then you go to funerals, then to the hospital because more injured people arrive, and in the evening you go back to see more destroyed houses.
It was the same thing every day, just switching between Rafah and Khan Younis.