Surprise, surprise: The baby died weeks ago, and the entire story was manipulated by Hamas for sympathy and to try to pressure Egypt.
The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about a 5-month-old baby who was said to have died Friday after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel, the first known death linked to the territory's energy crisis. The timing and reason for the death were confirmed to the AP by a man identified as the baby's father and a Gaza health official, but the report has been called into question after it was learned that a local newspaper carried news of the baby's death on March 4.
A substitute story will be filed shortly reflecting the new information.
The follow-up story:
A Gaza man said Sunday his 5-month-old baby died two days ago after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel, but the report was called into question after it emerged that the timing of the baby's death was misrepresented.I cannot count the number of times we have seen Gaza officials, Palestinian Arab "human rights" organizations, and even "eyewitnesses" lying to the media. The most recent was less than two weeks ago. And here, even when faced with evidence, they continue to lie to the reporter's face!
The baby's death -- which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a man identified as the father and a Gaza hospital official -- would have been the first linked to the territory's energy crisis, and the report appeared to be an attempt by Gaza's Hamas rulers to use it to gain sympathy.
However, the AP later learned that news of Mohammed Helou's death first appeared March 4 in the local Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds, in an article written by a relative of the bereaved family.
The baby's father, Abdul-Halim Helou, said Mohammed was born with a lymphatic disorder and had only a few months to live. He said they miscalculated how much fuel a new generator needed to remove fluids that accumulated in his respiratory system.
"If we were living in a normal country with electricity, I think his chances of living (longer) would have been better," Helou said.
The Al-Quds article contained the same details as the one recounted by the Helou family on Sunday, saying Mohammed died from choking on his own phlegm. The story quoted that father as saying their generator ran out of fuel, causing their son's respirator to stop working and ultimately causing the baby to choke to death.
The fuel crisis was relevant in early March as well, but Hamas apparently missed the report in Al-Quds -- a publication considered loyal to its rival, Fatah -- and Hamas was now trying to recycle the story to capitalize on the family's tragedy.
Confronted by the AP with the newspaper story, the family and Hamas Gaza health official Bassem al-Qadri continued to insist the baby arrived dead at a Gaza City hospital on Friday night.
Yet the mainstream media still continue to report the statements of Gaza officials and "eyewitnesses" without the least bit of skepticism, until someone proves that they are lying.
(h/t Tamand CAMERA)