Israel threatens ban of BBC for its refusal to call Hamas terrorists

UAE TV anchor accuses Israel of using Daesh-like language in fight against Palestinian ‘human animals’ comment

LONDON: The host of a UAE television show has accused Israeli officials of using language similar to that of Daesh in describing the war with Hamas as a fight against “human animals.”

During the “Akhbar Al Yom” program on Thursday, Al Mashhad anchor Asya Hesham suggested to Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Avichay Adraee that derogatory words about Palestinians made by Israeli officials resembled the rhetoric of the terror group’s leaders.

“Hamas is worse than ISIS (Daesh),” Adraee told Hesham, claiming he saw no distinction between a political group and a terrorist organization if they employed similar tactics.

He said: “We are not talking of an ideology, we are talking about on-the-ground terrorists who killed women, children, and babies. Hamas has no politics. Whoever supports them is the worst type of person.”

Hesham said: “When you say, ‘we are fighting human animals,’ you do not consider that ISIS language and rhetoric? Are civilians in Gaza human animals? Are the children? The women?”

In reply, Adraee pointed out that Israel was involved in a war against Hamas, not Palestinian civilians, and that Israeli officials were referring to Hamas when they used the term “human animals.”

He added: “Our war is not with the civilians of Gaza. No Israeli official claimed that civilians are human animals, we were referring to Hamas.”

In the same interview, Hesham challenged Adraee on Israeli claims that the recent deadly bombing of Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City was the result of a misfired rocket from Islamic Jihad.

She said: “Allow me, Mr. Avichay, as a human being do you consider what happened at the hospital as a war crime, a terrorist crime?

“The Russians are demanding satellite photos, the International Red Cross wishes to investigate but has been denied access by Israeli authorities. My question to you, do you consider what happened a terrorist crime?”

Adraee acknowledged that the blast was “a war crime, a terrorist crime,” but placed responsibility for it on Islamic Jihad. “Israel is not responsible for this incident,” he said.

In a separate interview with Al Arabiya on Wednesday, Adraee faced criticism from Taher Baraka, who accused him of trying to dictate the broadcaster’s narrative regarding the conflict in Gaza.

Baraka said: “You do not get to dictate what we should say in Arab media.”

The presenter claimed that the IDF spokesperson had been “clearly avoiding” the question about the possibility of an international probe into the attack that left hundreds of people dead.

“If you were confident, you would have consented to an international investigation commission,” Baraka added.

Humanitarian organizations and many world leaders have condemned the hospital attack as a violation of international humanitarian law.

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