Iran demands end to Gaza media blackout

by Press TV

Iran has officially requested that Arab media outlets provide responsible coverage of the developments in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The head of Iran's national broadcaster Ezzatollah Zarghami spoke to the management of Qatar's Al-Jazeera, Lebanon's Al-Menar, Turkey's TRT and Iraq's Afaq TV in separate telephone conversations on Tuesday, requesting more informative coverage of the Israel-Palestinian crisis and developments in Gaza.

According to Zarghami, the Israeli policies and attacks on Gaza amount to a "holocaust".

The media should approach the issue in a way that can resolve the current chaos, lead to the opening of the Rafah border crossing and facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza, he said.

Tel Aviv began deadly aerial operations against the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

Israel says through its military campaign, it seeks to topple the Hamas movement, which took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after winning the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections in January 2006.

In retaliation to the attacks on Gaza, Hamas has vowed to launch rocket strikes against Israel. Unlike the state-of-the-art weapons and ammunition Israel holds, the homemade Qassam rockets rarely cause casualties.

Despite international calls for Israel to end the bloodshed in Gaza, Israel is reportedly preparing to launch a ground assault into the region.

The UN Security Council has also been unable to force an end to the Israeli attacks due to the intervention of and use of veto power by the United States.

The US claims that Tel Aviv is acting in self-defense and that it is the Hamas that it the aggressor. The US contention comes amid a widespread media blackout in America with various outlets attempting to portray the issue as one related to the developments of the past few months.

In the United States, the media mainly focuses on announcing the number of those killed and not on informing the public of the root causes of and the Washington's role in the 60-year crisis.

While six Israelis have died and 16 have become wounded, the Israeli air strikes on Gaza have left over 1800 Palestinians injured and at least 386 dead -- scores of whom were women and children.

Zarghami addressed the issue of current media coverage and described the Israeli raids as ethnic cleansing, warning that those who turn a blind eye to Israeli crimes will be held liable by the public.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey