Hamas media, Qatar’s Al-Jazeera call Israel’s Kiryat Gat a 'settlement'

Israeli plane that flew to Abu Dhabi was named for the Israeli city of Kiryat Gat.

Kiryat Gat (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Kiryat Gat
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Hamas-linked media and Qatar’s Al-Jazeera English both bashed the name of the plane that brought Israelis to the United Arab Emirates during the first commercial flight between the countries.
The flight had “peace” in three languages written on it. However, it was the name of the plane, which is named for the city of Kiryat Gat, which drew ire from Gaza and Doha.
On August 30 the Shehab News Agency’s – which is based in Gaza – Twitter account showed a photo of the plane being painted with “peace” and wrote that the plane will carry the American and Israeli delegation to the UAE.
“Below the cockpit window, ‘Kiryat Gat,’ the name of the illegal Jewish settlement that sits on the remains of ethnically cleansed village, al-Faluja,” the post said.
On August 31, Al-Jazeera English Twitter account shared a remarkably similar statement to the Shehab tweet.
“The plane is named after Kiryat Gat, a Jewish settlement built on the remains of two ethnically-cleansed Palestinian villages, Iraq al-Manshiyya and al-Faluja.”
Usually the term “settlement” is used to refer to Israeli communities over the Green Line, in the West Bank for instance. That Qatar’s Al-Jazeera now is claiming Israeli cities like Kiryat Gat are “settlements” appears to imply that all of Israel is a “settlement.”
As of Tuesday morning the claim that Kiryat Gat is a “settlement” was still on the Al-Jazeera website.
The Shehab media outlet has been accused of being linked to Hamas and sharing its propaganda in the past.
Facebook even removed one of its pages in 2015 that had more than 2 million followers.
Qatar has long supported the Gaza Strip and Hamas members have been based in Qatar in the past.
Both Hamas and Qatar are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, either due to ideological background or support for groups linked to far-right political Islamic group.
Kiryat Gat is a major city between Ashkelon and Jerusalem and was founded in 1954. It had origins as a camp for new immigrants, many from Morocco, and has housed many communities with diverse origins from all around the world, including Ethiopian Jews, olim from Russia and the Arab world.
The Arab village of Al-Faluja was the scene of battles during the Israeli War of Independence. Occupied by Egyptian soldiers who were invading Israel, the area became encircled by the Israeli army in late 1948 and it wasn’t until February 1949 that the Egyptian brigade withdrew.
Kiryat Gat was not founded on Faluja or the former Arab village of Iraq al-Manshiya, but rather on the road between them. Only in more recent years did Kiryat Gat’s growth come to encompass lands of the former villages.
Kiryat Gat is not a settlement and it is not considered “illegal” under international law. The area was briefly illegally occupied by the Egyptian army prior to their withdrawal under the armistice terms that ended the 1948 conflict.
However the website later added a clarification that "a previous version of this story referred to Kiryat Gat as a 'Jewish settlement.' This has been changed to 'city' to mark the distinction between communities in Israel proper and illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank."