Haaretz Knocks Haaretz On Israeli Coverage of Death of Bil’in Woman

Alex Kane Jan 6, 2011

Two days ago, the Israeli daily Haaretz added to the Israeli media’s shameful reporting on the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a Bil’in village resident who was killed at last Friday’s anti-wall demonstration due to Israeli Defense Forces-fired tear gas.  Ironically, in a separate article today on Abu Rahmah’s death, the paper slightly knocks Israeli media coverage that repeated the IDF’s claims as fact–something that Haaretz did itself.

On January 3, 2010, Anshel Pfeffer wrote:

The Israel Defense Forces said on Monday that the medical report on the death of a Palestinian woman said to have been killed at a West Bank protest contains significant inconsistencies regarding the circumstances of her death…

Military sources said, however, that there was no evidence that Abu Rahmah even participated in Friday’s demonstration against the security barrier in Bil’in – nor that she died from inhaling tear gas.

The army’s claims have quickly been discredited by eyewitnesses who were at the demonstration against the separation barrier.  Haaretz catches on today with a stellar piece of reporting by Avi Issacharoff:

The Palestinian woman who died last weekend from smoke inhalation was indeed hurt by tear gas in Bil’in, according to new evidence provided to Haaretz. The evidence has also made it clear that the woman, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, had been standing near youths throwing stones at Israeli soldiers on Friday.

This new information runs contrary to claims made in the media, which are allegedly based on military sources.

Haaretz should stop repeating the IDF’s claims as fact in articles until they do their own investigation.  What a difference two days makes.

This article was originally published on Alex Kane’s blog, Palestine on My Mind.

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