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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Latest "human shield" lie debunked (update)

Al Ahram (Egypt) reports:

Israeli forces used a 17-year-old Palestinian as a human shield while trying to disperse a protest in Abu Dis in the West Bank this Friday, the Electronic Intifada website reported.

Independent journalist Huthifa Jamous took pictures of the incident and shared a video shot by another observer, Kate A, a journalist, on his Facebook page.

The boy, called Muhammad R. by Electronic Intifada, is marched out of an armoured vehicle by Israeli forces. With his hands tied with a single plastic cord and raised above his head, and his shirt pulled up, he is led out to face out-of-frame protestors.

Three soldiers then raise their weapons, and shoot twice in the direction of the protesters. The youth is then forced back to the vehicle. One of the soldiers then flashes the V-for-victory sign.

According to the Jerusalem Media Center and Ma'an news agency, the incident occurred when at least 500 Palestinians in Abu Dis held a protest expressing solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. Israeli forces fired teargas and rubber bullets at them. The protestors responded by hurling stones and empty bottles.
They show this video as proof:


We have seen many times that an event might be photographed accurately, but the caption lies. This is the video equivalent.

Here is a classic case of an ambiguous event occurring where the framework is given by an anti-Israel source - and gullible journalists believe that the video supports the report, when in fact it is the opposite.

Think for a second. How effective is a "human shield" if it is used for only a couple of seconds and then put back in the police van?

Just a quick unbiased view of the video indicates that the soldiers are showing the rioter to his comrades. Before I researched this my guess was that the rioters started a rumor that the teenager (assuming he is a teen) had died and the soldiers were proving that he was not injured.

Which was what indeed happened, as the Jerusalem Post reported after the incident:
Border Police spokesman Idan Iluz said Saturday that the officers were not using the teen as a human shield, and instead had pulled him out of the jeep in order to show the protesters that the boy had not been harmed.

Iluz said that a rumor had made its way among the demonstrators that the boy had been injured, and as a result they began to react violently, throwing rocks at officers.

He said that not long after the boy was taken out of the car and shown to the protesters, the situation calmed down considerably.
A look at the fuller version of the video shows also that the "Jerusalem Media Center" - which is QudsMedia.com, a site that lies continuously, often about "Jews storming the Temple Mount" - is lying here as well as to the order of events. It is clear that the stone-throwing and rioting came first, and the tear gas later.



You can see that the IDF even temporarily withdrew from the dangerous stone rioting, as the rioters yelled "Allah Akbar". This supports the idea that the IDF only returned to show that the youth had been unharmed.

This incident also illustrates how Al Ahram believes the lies of Israel haters without the slightest critical thinking, or even a five second search through the Internet to see the Israeli statement about the incident, even though it published this two days later. Which means that this respected Egyptian paper acts exactly like Hamas in its reporting.

(h/t Israel Muse)

UPDATE: Now Electronic Intifada is walking back the "human shield" claim (even though they keep it in the headline) and restating the "crime" by saying that the IDF exposed the youth to danger by bringing him to a dangerous place. Which is funny, because I thought rock throwing was "non-violent resistance."

They also say, implausibly, that the beginning of the video happened after the part where the teen is shown. Sure, everyone edits things backwards.

I cannot answer why the IDF shot a couple of rounds in the latter part of the video, but clearly this is not a "human shield" situation and the initial lies by EI were picked up by media worldwide. Which is, of course, what they intended, truth be damned.