AP Retracts Story Because of Hamas Lie


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In yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream, I noted an AP dispatch (subsequently updated) reporting the first Palestinian fatality attributed to the Gaza crisis.

A five-month old baby, said the wire service, died when the generator running Mohammed Helou’s respirator, ran out of fuel.

Who wouldn’t be moved by such a tragedy?

Turns out the story was based on a lie. AP issued this retraction (via our colleagues at CAMERA) explaining:

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.

In a subsequent followup, AP called Hamas onto the carpet:

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.

That timing would highlight the human cost Gaza’s 1.6 million residents are paying for 18-hour-a-day blackouts, triggered by a cutoff of Egyptian fuel.

There are 4 thoughts on this:

  1. Palestinian medical officials have a notorious credibility problem.
  2. In a culture where “my son, the martyr” is a hope, not a lament, is it really such a surprise that the Helou family would lie about the date of death?
  3. Had Hamas spotted the original Al-Quds article on time, it would’ve seized on it then.
  4. Israel’s just a side issue to the story. Gaza is increasingly Egypt’s headache.


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