Did you notice how SBS World News' 6:30 bulletin framed the Palestinians last night? The item, US urges Gaza restraint, began with newsreader Lee Lin Chin (of the hedgehog hair and outlandish clothes) intoning, "Leaders of the Hamas militant group which controls the Gaza Strip say they're working to curb rocket attacks against Israel by smaller factions," and ended with her declaring, quite gratuitously, "Nearly 20 rockets have been fired into Israel in the past month." Which, if you think about it, is part of the larger Palestinians attack, Israelis respond frame. Which, in turn, is part of the even larger Palestinians are perpetrators and Israelis are victims frame.
Nor was the body of the report, a little BBC number by correspondent Tim Franks, any better.
Despite Palestinians being shot at, murdered and wounded on a near daily basis in the Gaza Strip, Franks had the gall to say that "over the past year it's been a relatively rare sight but once again Palestinian hospitals were taking in the wounded, in this case 3 children with minor injuries."
This was followed by a round of Israel Says: "Israel says it's not the one provoking violence. Last week 2 Israeli soldiers died along with 2 Palestinian gunmen after the Israeli army staged a brief incursion into Gaza. The army said it was pursuing Palestinian militants who were attempting to lay bombs along the border. The week before a missile hit this farm inside Israel killing a worker."
Finally, we had Israeli Army PR flak Lt Col Avital Leibovich (Blonde? But of course!) singing that hoary old Israeli number It's Raining Rockets: "If the situation in Israel will be quiet, it will also be quiet in the Gaza Strip. If we will continue to face this war zone, this rain of rockets from the Gaza Strip... then Gaza will not be quiet."
The only fleeting insight into what the Israelis have been up to inside Gaza these days came in that bit about the Israeli army staging a brief incursion into Gaza.
Let's look at the record for the period 1/3/10-1/4/10, shall we? The following data has been abstracted from the Farming Under Fire blog:
1/3/10: Israeli troops shell northern Gaza Strip, fire on Palestinian and ISM demonstrators, and shell Palestinian resistance fighters with 4 flechettes, killing 1 and wounding 1.
3/3/10: Israeli army penetrates northern Gaza Strip and levels land previously razed.
4/3/10: Israeli troops fire on Palestinian houses in northern Gaza Strip.
5/3/10: Israeli troops fire on Palestinians collecting bricks in northern Gaza Strip.
11/3/10: Israeli warplanes bomb village near Egyptian border.
12/3/10: Israeli troops penetrate northern Gaza Strip and level land already razed. Israeli troops fire on Palestinians collecting bricks.
16/3/10: Israeli troops fire into air to disperse peaceful protest over Israel's establishment of a 300-metre wide 'buffer zone' on Gazan side of border.
17/3/10: Israeli troops fire on Palestinians protesting 'buffer zone'.
18/3/10: Israeli troops fire on Palestinians protesting 'buffer zone'. (Thai worker in Israel killed by Palestinian rocket.)
19/3/10: Israeli warplanes bomb Khan Yunis farm and rocket ruins of Gaza International Airport, wounding 13 Palestinians collecting aggregate.
20/3/10: Israeli army penetrates northern Gaza Strip and abducts 17 Palestinians collecting aggregate from ruined site.
22/3/10: Israeli warplane rockets Rafah tunnel. Israeli troops fire on Palestinians collecting bricks in northern Gaza Strip. Israeli troops wound Palestinian in central Gaza. Israeli warplane rockets Gaza City, damaging houses and wounding 8 Palestinians with glass shards.
23/3/10: Israeli army penetrates northern Gaza Strip and levels land.
24/3/10: Israeli troops penetrate Gaza Strip and abduct 5 Palestinians collecting construction materials.
25/3/10: Israeli troops wound 2 Palestinians collecting aggregate near Khan Yunis.
26/3/10: Israeli army penetrates Gaza Strip near Khan Yunis accompanied by tanks and warplanes, killing 4 Palestinians and wounding 8. (This was the BBC's aforementioned brief incursion resulting in the deaths of 2 Israeli soldiers.)
27/3/10: Israeli army demolish house and raze land.
28-29/3/10: Israeli army levels land previously razed.
30/3/10: Israeli troops fire on Palestinians commemorating Land Day, wounding 4.
31/3/10: Israeli troops fire on Palestinians collecting aggregate. Israeli army penetrates Gaza Strip near Khan Yunis and levels land already razed.
1/4/10: Israeli air raids (13) wound 3 Palestinians in Gaza City. Israeli navy shells Palestinian fisherman. Israeli tanks shell northern Gaza Strip.
Had SBS News presented a more balanced report, hedgehog hair's 2nd bookend might have looked more like this: Nearly 20 rockets have been fired into Israel in the past month, resulting in the death of a foreign worker. The Palestinians, for their part, have been shelled, bombed, rocketed and fired on by Israeli forces at least 22 times in the same period, with 5 killed and 30 wounded. Furthermore, the Gaza Strip has endured 6 Israeli incursions, resulting in 22 Palestinians being abducted and the destruction of much property and agricultural land.