Sunday, May 12, 2019

Get Me Rewrite, Or, Who Killed The Palestinian Baby? - Hugh Fitzgerald

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Chalk this tragedy up to not-so-friendly fire

For many days we have read and heard from the world’s media that Israel was responsible for killing a Palestinian baby and a woman first identified as her pregnant mother.

From the very beginning the Israelis categorically denied that they were responsible. Only a few media sources saw fit to include that denial in their reports, always putting it last.

Stories bore the telling headlines: “Israelis Kill 23 Palestinians, including pregnant woman and baby.’

None of the stories noted that Israel has a long record of telling the truth, while the Palestinians have an equally long record of lying. The Israelis insisted that a rocket fired by Islamic Jihad in eastern Gaza fell short and exploded in a nearby house, killing a baby. Few in the media seemed to care..

Now we have an admission supporting Israel’s version. The Islamic Jihad terror group has admitted that a rocket it fired on Saturday evening {May 4] killed a baby in the Gaza Strip, despite initial claims she was killed in an Israeli strike.

“Gazan sources identified the victims as 14-month-old Saba Mahmoud Abu ‘Arar and her pregnant mother Falastin.

The full story is here:
“TPS (Jewish News Agency) has learned that the baby was killed when Islamic Jihad terrorists launched a rocket towards Israel from within a populated area in the east of Gaza City, but the rocket misfired and landed short, exploding in a nearby house and killing the baby.
“The baby’s mother was not killed, but she did have a miscarriage.
“Mahmoud H., a local resident, told TPS about a massive pit he saw inside the house after the rocket’s explosion.
“The rocket was locally produced and may have malfunctioned or exploded prematurely because of the low-grade explosives.
“The Hamas-controlled Gazan Ministry of Health initially announced that Saba’s mother was killed, but then claimed that another woman named Falastin Abu ‘Arar was killed in the explosion. She may be Saba’s aunt.
“A source in Gaza told TPS that Islamic Jihad representatives met with the Abu ‘Arar family on Sunday morning and offered them full compensation and a registry of the baby as a “Shahid” entitled to long-term support in exchange for their silence.
“Arab journalists in Gaza are aware of the facts, but have refrained from reporting on them due to the sensitivity of the situation.
“TPS was successful in capturing Hamas’ report on the Islamic Jihad’s culpability.
“Hamas’ al-Risala News published a news item on the issue in its Telegram account on Sunday afternoon, but removed it shortly after. The item then appeared on another Hamas-lined Telegram channel and quickly disappeared.
The item says: “A leak from the heroes of the [Islamic Jihad’s] Sarayat al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades) on the circumstances of the death of the baby Saba Abu ‘Arar indicates that a rocket of the resistance exploded inside the family’s home due to a technical failure, and prematurely exploded. There is a claim that the technical failure was caused by low-grade explosives in the rocket.”
“There is no doubt that the baby’s death has nothing to do with the enemy’s (Israel’s) planes,” the report added.
“The IDF stated Sunday afternoon that “Palestinian weapons caused the tragic death of a mother in Gaza and her baby.”
“Hamas blamed Israel. Journalists amplified the lie. Our assessment indicates that the incident had nothing to do with IDF strikes,” it underscored.
How many major media outlets– newspapers, radio, television –will now issue a correction, a full report about what has been admitted by Islamic Jihad and Hamas? The BBC? CBS, NBC, ABC? National Public Radio? The Guardian? The Washington Post? The New York Times? Don’t be silly.

I doubt if a single one of those major outlets will bother to carry the truthful account, the one Israel insisted on all along. They have so many other things to get right. The Mueller Report. Trump’s tax returns. Climate change. Baby-naming at Buckingham Palace. I can hear them now: “Who cares if we get a little something wrong in one more story about Gaza? Besides, the Israelis get away with so much, why should we in the unbiased mainstream media care if once in a great while Israel is wrongly accused?“

But at least you and I now know. Spread the word.

Hugh Fitzgerald


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