December 5, 2023

Once again, CBS foreign correspondent Debora Patta has distinguished herself for her open pro-Hamas biases and contempt for Israel while reporting on the unfolding conflict in Gaza. 

WATCH as Patta closes out tonight’s report by issuing a lecture based on her own interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, and by outing the three-year-old American girl held captive by Hamas before cravenly floating Hamas’ offer of 70 hostages in exchange for a 5-day truce:

DEBORA PATTA: For those left inside Al-Shifa, it is a living hell. But even in hell, there are rules. In war, hospitals are off limits. If misused, they can become legitimate targets. But the patients, their caregivers, and above all, children who cannot leave must be protected. 

And CBS has learned that a 3-year-old American girl is among the hostages being held in Gaza after her parents were killed during the Hamas attack. And tonight, Norah, Hamas is floating the idea of releasing up to 70 women and children in exchange for a 5-day truce.

Even in hell, there are rules, says Patta. The actual rules read a bit differently than her on-air recitation. Per the actual Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949:

ART. 19. — The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded. The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants and not yet handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy.

Patta fails to note that the Palestinian Authority, which encompasses Gaza, is a signatory to Geneva and that Hamas, as the authority over Gaza, is bound by these accords. Her reportage seems to suggest that only Israel is restricted by Geneva. As you all know, Patta’s been on quite the tear since Hamas perpetrated the Black Sabbath attack, as seen here, here, and here

Tonight’s report follows that trend, serving to cast doubts on Israel’s discovery of a tunnel netwirk under Al-Shifa hospital, and publication of evidence suggesting that the hospital was used as a hostage detention center:

PATTA: And tonight released this footage from inside the children’s hospital, claiming hostages abducted on October 7th were likely held there. The IDF claims Hamas operated from beneath this hospital. Gaza’s Health Ministry insists Hamas is not using its hospitals, saying Israel has repeatedly attacked Al-Shifa without justification; evidence, it believes, of Israel’s willingness to sacrifice the most innocent of lives. 

Take notice of the portrayal of “Gaza’s Health Ministry” as though it were independent from Hamas. “Hamas insists that Hamas is not using its hospitals” would’ve been both more accurate, and more economical.

And, finally, the float of 70 hostages in exchange for a five-day truce, an escalation of last week’s weeklong “humanitarian pause” news cycle.

If you’re Hamas and you’re getting press like this a month into the war, you must be thinking: who needs spokespeople?

Click “expand” to view the full transcript of the aforementioned report as aired on CBS Evening News on Monday, November 13th, 2023:

DEBORA PATTA: Good evening, Norah. And tonight we are learning that medical staff from Doctors Without Borders won’t leave Al-Shifa hospital before their 600 or so patients have been evacuated, and they want guarantees that there is a safe corridor to do so. And we should warn that some of the images you are about to see are hard to watch. 

A sanctuary turned cemetery. At Al-Shifa hospital, there is no room left in the morgue for those who could not be saved. Gaza’s health system is on its knees. Exhausted staff work in the dark with no medicine, no equipment, no hope. Al-Shifa Dr. Mohammed Obeid sent out this desperate message. 

DR. MOHAMMED OBEID: They hit the hospital many times. We are nearly sure that we are alone now. No one hears us. 

PATTA: The Israeli military says this footage shows their soldiers delivering 80 gallons of fuel to Al-Shifa, which they claim Hamas refused. Hamas denies that, saying that it wouldn’t last longer than 30 minutes anyway. Doctors there say already at least three newborn babies have died. Dozens more seen here fighting for their lives after the incubators stopped working. Both sides are using Al-Shifa to prove the other’s inhumanity. Israel says Hamas is running its operations from tunnels deep below using patients as human shields. 

RADM DANIEL HAGARI (IDF): A woman, clothes, and a rope. 

PATTA: And tonight released this footage from inside the children’s hospital, claiming hostages abducted on October 7th were likely held there. The IDF claims Hamas operated from beneath this hospital. Gaza’s Health Ministry insists Hamas is not using its hospitals, saying Israel has repeatedly attacked Al-Shifa without justification; evidence, it believes, of Israel’s willingness to sacrifice the most innocent of lives.

President Biden makes it clear: 

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The hospital must be protected. 

PATTA: The evacuation of the critically injured is almost impossible. For those left inside Al-Shifa, it is a living hell. But even in hell, there are rules. In war, hospitals are off limits. If misused, they can become legitimate targets. But the patients, their caregivers, and above all, children who cannot leave must be protected. 

And CBS has learned that a 3-year-old American girl is among the hostages being held in Gaza after her parents were killed during the Hamas attack. And tonight, Norah, Hamas is floating the idea of releasing up to 70 women and children in exchange for a 5-day truce.

NORAH O’DONNELL: Debra Patta. Thank you.