Jon Snow, a British journalist and television presenter for Channel 4 News, traveled to the Gaza Strip to document the tragedy that continues to unfold as more and more Palestinians die from Israeli attacks. Israel launched its latest offensive against Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protect Edge,” on July 8. Since then, at least 1,023 Palestinians have been killed, including nearly 200 children.
Snow’s coverage of the invasion has been refreshing to say the least. In a recent interview with Israeli Prime Minister spokesman Mark Regev, Snow asked hard-hitting questions about Israel’s seemingly indiscriminate targeting of Palestinian civilians. In the interest of time, Snow narrowed his focus to the shelling of Gaza’s Al-Wafa rehabilitation and geriatric hospital as well as the shelling of a beach that killed four young boys — all related — and injured a fifth.
Despite Regev’s flustered attempts to deflect Snow’s challenging questions with the usual talking points about how ‘Hamas is to blame for the outcome of Israeli strikes,’ Snow makes it clear to him and to viewers that “you [Israel] are deliberately targeting neighborhoods in which you know there are women and children. And if your sightings can’t see boys playing football in a huge, wide beach, then there’s something wrong with your equipment.”
At the end of the interview, Snow asks Regev why Israel, if it is so committed to ending the insanity in Gaza, hasn’t spoken to Hamas directly. “You haven’t got the courage,” he boldly asserts.
Snow traveled to Gaza soon after and documented scenes of distress in Gaza’s public Al-Shifa Hospital. Shifa is the territory’s largest hospital and serves a large majority of those either injured or killed by Israeli assaults. Containing only 11 beds in the Emergency Department, the hospital’s doctors, nurses, and volunteer medical personnel are recognized worldwide for their quick improvisational ability and their capacity to triage patients with enough pace and efficiency to keep up with the steadily increasing inflow of victims.
There, Snow surveyed many of the areas that had been hit by Israeli air strikes or naval shelling. He interviewed the wounded and comforted families of the dead. His blog post details some of what left him “scarred, deeply scarred.”
He returned this weekend to address viewers from the studio with a heart-felt message about the sights and sounds he bore witness to. He talked about the children of Gaza.
One of the more poignant statements he made was the following:
“And you know if you know any ten-year olds, seven-year olds, five-year olds, four-year olds, the idea in the looseness of a war zone that you can control your children, that they won’t be somewhere where they can be hit is beyond the imagination. You can’t hope to control that. So, in a very densely packed urban area if you decide to throw missiles, shells and the rest then undoubtedly you will kill children. And that is what they are doing.”
The footage is designed to move you, or as he puts it, to make you “motivated to do something.”
Jon Snow has won several awards for his journalism and investigative reporting. This is Israel’s third offensive in Gaza since winter 2008.
The video below is a broadcast of Snow’s interview with Regev: