Headline RoundupJune 11th, 2024

WSJ Obtains Private Messages by Hamas Leader in Gaza

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Wall Street Journal (Center bias) reviewed “dozens of messages” from Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar to mediators and allies, casting a light on Hamas’ decision-making. 

Key Quotes: In one message, Sinwar reportedly told Hamas negotiators, “We have the Israelis right where we want them.” In another message, the Hamas leader said civilian deaths in historical national-liberation conflicts were “necessary sacrifices.” Discussing a 2018 border protest that resulted in Israeli troops firing on Palestinians, Sinwar told an Italian journalist, “We make the headlines only with blood.” 

For Context: Much of the global public discourse surrounding the war in Gaza has centered on Hamas’ operations within and below civilian areas — what Israel labels as using “human shields.” This has not deterred Israel from attacking Hamas, however, resulting in high numbers of reported civilian deaths and prompting global protests. On Tuesday, a senior Hamas official said Hamas accepts a U.N. resolution backing a temporary ceasefire plan approved by Israel and the U.S.

How the Media Covered It: The Journal did not appear to publish the original messages, but it said Sinwar’s writings reveal “a calculation that more fighting—and more Palestinian civilian deaths—work to his advantage.” Echoing the Journal, coverage often relied on interpretations of the intent behind Sinwar’s messages; for instance, taking his statement about civilian deaths in other conflicts to mean that he saw Palestinian deaths as justified. Some, like The Daily Caller (Right bias), took it further — framing the WSJ report as factually revealing that Sinwar’s “ultimate goal” was to “let as many Palestinians die as possible.”

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