Middle East Monitor / August 10, 2022
A French television channel has apparently censored a significant part of an interview with a journalist who called out Israel’s military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. BFMTV questioned Alain Gresh on Sunday about the escalation of tension between Israel and the Islamic Jihad movement.
“First, we must remember that this escalation has been triggered by Israel, without Israel — at the time it conducted its operations — having suffered any attack,” replied Gresh, the director of the online publication Orient XXI. “This is the fourth or fifth war that Israel has waged against Gaza, with hundreds of people killed. The Palestinian people live under occupation, in Gaza as in the West Bank. And this situation can only lead to violence, to confrontations.”
The interview conducted earlier in the day has been “unavailable” online since Sunday evening. Moreover, Gresh has shared on Twitter the fact that his invitation to speak to the French television channel again on Monday was cancelled.
In the uncensored video posted on Twitter, he added: “Unfortunately, Israel does not learn any lesson. Israel does not agree to comply with UN resolutions which asks it to withdraw from the occupied territories and complains of being attacked, which is all the same a paradox.”
BFMTV owner Altice France’s communications director, François Raineteau, said that the clip in question was deleted “to avoid any manipulation” since it “was cut down, not whole.” He added that there is “no censorship on BFMTV” and that “all opinions and all parties to the conflict are present on air, in interviews or in stories, as well as on our site.”
During the bombing campaign, 44 Palestinians were killed, including 15 children and four women, confirmed the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. At least 360 others were wounded.
Some 2.3 million Palestinians live in the narrow Gaza Strip. They are largely unable to leave to seek employment abroad, and have been squeezed by 15 years of a siege imposed by Israel. Moreover, the occupation state has launched four major military offensives against the largely civilian population since 2008. Gaza also borders Egypt, which imposes its own restrictions on passage through the Rafah border crossing.