Thursday, June 10, 2021

This adorable 4 year old girl, profiled by CNN as a victim of an "airstrike," was almost certainly paralyzed by a terrorist rocket

On May 21, CNN had a story by Arwa Damon about 4 year old Sarah al Matrabeae who was injured in Gaza in what they call an "airstrike." 

She may be paralyzed for life.

Based on what the family and doctors are saying, she was almost certainly injured by one of the many rockets shot by a terrorist group in Gaza that fell short of their intended targets in Israel.

Her doctor says that there are multiple pieces of shrapnel lodged in Sarah's spine and spinal cord. Gaza rockets are built to explode with hundreds of pieces of shrapnel to maximize injuries to people. As we have shown previously, those rockets show spray patterns with lots of tiny holes that end up lodged in walls and people, while Israeli missiles aimed at buildings do not exhibit those kinds of characteristics.

The family says there was no advanced warning before the strike. Unless there is a terrorist who is the target of the strike, Israel always warns families to leave their homes before a strike on a tunnel or other military target. 

Her brother describes how she was injured: "Suzu was sitting on the floor. Suddenly the rocket hit above our apartment and the roof of the room fell on us." If this was an Israeli missile, the rest of the family would be injured or dead, but Gaza rockets - especially the ones from smaller terror groups like the DFLP, Fatah and others  - tend to cause damage more in line with what he is describing. 

The other possibility to consider is that Israel targeted a terrorist in the apartment above. However, in those cases where the IDF targets a specific apartment, the missile enters horizontally and the floor doesn't tend to collapse. There would be very little shrapnel reaching an apartment below. By contrast, terrorist rockets come from above, leave large holes in roofs and ceilings, and explode into lots of shrapnel.

Although CNN does not directly blame Israel, the use of the word "airstrike" and the headline "Why did they do this to me?" heavily implies that CNN assumes that Sarah's injuries were the result of an Israeli missile. There is no evidence of that.

A real journalist would have dug a little bit behind the story and exposed the many pieces of evidence that could shed light on what happened - taking video of the damaged apartment, noting the direction of the rocket, asking the doctor directly what kind of shrapnel was lodged in Sarah's spine. By the time the story aired there were already plenty of examples of Gaza children killed by terror rockets.  

This is irresponsible reporting by CNN.

(h/t Nevet)