The incident from Friday night is not the only reason for tensions between Israel and the international media: On Saturday afternoon, the IDF bombed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed the offices of several international media outlets, including the Associated Press.
The IDF said that the building was bombed because it was used by Hamas’ intelligence units. The army said Hamas was using the civilian media outlets as "human shields."
The "deception operation", as some Israeli media outlets have referred to it, has placed foreign journalists reporting out of Israel in an embarrassing situation. Shortly after midnight on Friday, the IDF briefed the foreign media that ground troops had entered Gaza. The military spokesperson’s unit later repeated that message in conversations and text messages with leading correspondents, who wanted to confirm that their reports were correct.
Two hours after the original briefing, the IDF corrected itself and told foreign media representatives that no ground troops had entered Gaza. By then, leading news outlets all over the world had produced top headlines and breaking news alerts about an Israeli ground invasion. They all had to retract those reports, which were based on the official IDF statement and what officials confirmed.
On Friday, the IDF’s chief international media spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, held a phone briefing with foreign journalists, during which he apologized for misleading them and described the incident as a mistake that happened due to the "fog of war."
In the hours after his apology, however, media outlets in Israel began to report that the misleading briefings about a ground invasion were, in fact, a deliberate ploy by the IDF. Its goal, report said, was to deceive the international media – and through it, Hamas fighters in Gaza.
I don’t know how anyone can trust or believe anything Israelis say or do. The Old Testament is full of stories of how evil the Israelites were with tricking enemies, killing women and children, stealing people’s lands and goods because god said they were a chosen people who could do what they want to nonchosen people. Jews have this mindset in everything they do.