Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's Hannity, 10:40pm ET/PT Wednesday

ABC Relays Terrorist Claim Israel Provoked Hamas Rocket Attacks

Media Research CenterOn Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Alex Marquardt relayed without question a claim by "one of the militant groups behind" the rocket attacks on Israel that they "wouldn't fire rockets if Israel wasn't killing us," even though almost 700 rockets had already been fired out of Gaza into the Jewish state between January 1 and November 5, well before Israel's recent sustained military campaign began.

After recounting that hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza to Israel in recent days, Marquardt turned to an unidentified member of a terrorist group whom he had interviewed. Marquardt: "We asked one of the militant groups behind the attacks what it would take to stop."

The ABC correspondent was then shown asking, "As soon as Israel stops attacking the Gaza Strip, you will stop firing on Israel?" Marquardt then translated the unidentified terrorist's answer: "'Of course,' he said. 'We wouldn't fire rockets if Israel wasn't killing us.'"

Marquardt notably had informed viewers on the previous night's World News that "Israel says this is a response to the almost 800 rockets that had landed in Israel from Gaza this year alone."

By contrast, on Friday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel blamed the Arab Spring for Hamas willingness to pursue the rocket attacks against Israel. Engel:

Why is this happening now? Hamas is challenging Israel with rockets, confident it has real support in the region after the Arab Spring revolutions. Visiting Gaza today, the Egyptian prime minister, a show of support that would never have happened under Mubarak. ... Like Egypt's new president, the prime minister is from the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is a Brotherhood offshoot and is trying to channel the power that toppled Arab strongmen to topple Israel.

Returning to ABC's World News, Marquardt then turned to concerns by Palestinian doctors that their hospital would not be able to cope if Israel continues its military actions:

ALEX MARQUARDT: For days, there has been almost no letup in the Israeli war planes hammering of Gaza. Thirty Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians. At Gaza's biggest hospital today, we saw a steady stream of wounded arriving, including children. In the ICU, men with traumatic brain injuries. Ahmed Darmoush, 21, is brain dead, and doctors are not optimistic. Are you able to cope if this escalation continues?

DR. AYMAN AL SAHBANI, AL SHIFA HOSPITAL, GAZA: No, of course, no. The situation is stable, minimum stable. And if continue, we can't. Of course we can't.

Below is a complete transcript of the relevant story from the Friday, November 16, World News on ABC:

ALEX MARQUARDT: Tonight, there are 20,000 Israeli reservists who have been called up. Tanks and troops are massing along the border not far from here, preparing for a possible ground invasion. Missiles and rockets have been flying back and forth. There has been no letup in this deadly escalation. Sirens today in one of the most sacred cities in the world, Jerusalem, a target for the first time in this battle. A rocket fell 10 miles short. No one was hurt. In Tel Aviv, Israelis ran for cover. In all, more than 550 rockets have now been launched at Israel, leaving three dead. The military says a third have been intercepted by Israel's famed Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Today we saw where those rockets are coming from. Clouds of smoke reveal the militant rocket launching site. We asked one of the militant groups behind the attacks what it would take to stop. As soon as Israel stops attacking the Gaza Strip, you will stop firing on Israel? "Of course," he said. "We wouldn't fire rockets if Israel wasn't killing us."

For days, there has been almost no letup in the Israeli war planes hammering of Gaza. Thirty Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians. At Gaza's biggest hospital today, we saw a steady stream of wounded arriving, including children. In the ICU, men with traumatic brain injuries. Ahmed Darmoush, 21, is brain dead, and doctors are not optimistic. Are you able to cope if this escalation continues?

DR. AYMAN AL SAHBANI, AL SHIFA HOSPITAL, GAZA: No, of course, no. The situation is stable, minimum stable. And if continue, we can't. Of course we can't.

MARQUARDT: Israel, however, is ready for a more drawn-out fight. It was revealed today that Israeli authorities have prepared for seven weeks of fighting. So, Diane, these are very tense times on both sides of the border tonight.

--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center