Gaza Strip Dangerously Low on Fake Blood, Agency Warns
Gaza City, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has warned that the coastal strip’s supply of fake human blood is close to depleted, and that as a result Hamas must increasingly resort to other forms of media manipulation in the ongoing battle for public perception with Israel.
“Just last week the inventory stood at 40,000 liters, but Israeli attacks both real and imagined have reduced the supply to less than 4,000 liters in a matter of days,” said spokesman Yahya Fakir. “And the ongoing Israeli blockade has made it nearly impossible to obtain a reliable supply.” Israel maintains a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip to prevent weapons from entering the territory. Smuggling tunnels from Egypt are the only other avenue for bringing in goods and materiel, and those tunnels have come under attack in the current Israeli air offensive.
To illustrate the dire circumstances facing the Red Crescent, Fakir pointed to a BBC video of a wounded man being carried by his comrades. The BBC reporter described the man as suffering the injuries in an Israeli air attack, and then the man could be seen getting up walking under his own power, clearly healthy. “This is the kind of unprofessional charlatanry to which we must now resort,” lamented Fakir.
In another case, a young child was brought to a hospital and pronounced dead from shrapnel wounds that Hamas was quick to blame on Israel, even though the IDF did not report a strike in the area at the time and no bystanders reported witnessing an attack. The child’s death resulted from a Hamas rocket that fell short, but the authorities had to resort to quick removal of the shrapnel and other evidence in order to make the accusation less obviously false. “If we had more fake blood our job would be much easier, but our stockpile was mostly destroyed in the first few hours of bombing,” Fakir explained. The Red Crescent’s medical warehouses share space with Hamas missile storage and launching facilities.
The admission statistics at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital have shifted noticeably from the first day of fighting. While initially large numbers of patients were admitted for puncture wounds and lacerations conducive to the use of fake blood, the shortage of that precious material has forced the Hamas-run facility to document many more injuries of a different nature, such as broken limbs or heart attacks.
Already, some Gazans have taken matters into their own hands, trying to produce homemade blood. One group of activists in Khan Younis creatively made holes in the body of a man they accused of collaborating with Israel, using bullets to the head and torso, and allowed much of the blood to drain out for collection. Others have mixed together brownish-red paint, which itself is in short supply as a result of a relentless postering campaign by Hamas.
Israel has said it will open the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip for the passage of basic necessities such as food and medical supplies, but fake blood will not be included on that list, said a Ministry of Defense spokesman. He declined to comment on Israeli manipulation tactics, which include placing upwards of one million civilians in cities and communities that lie within rocket range of the launching sites.
Joe Goebbels, an expert on international media, expressed surprise that Israel was trying to intercept the incoming rockets with its Iron Dome system. “There would be much more sympathy for an IDF operation if Israel would allow more rockets to get through and cause massive casualties,” he said in an interview. “I just don’t know what they’re thinking.”
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