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More Confusion Arrives in Hebron Incident

Video of an assault on an Israeli border guard emerges

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Less than one week ago, a 17-year-old Palestinian teenager named Mohammed Salayme was killed in Hebron by a female Israeli border guard. And until yesterday, that seemed to be the lone incontrovertible fact about the incident.

The Israel Defense Forces claimed that Salayme had threatened and attacked border guard with a gun that turned out to be fake, which then became the widely disseminated narrative that even Palestinian media reported. A picture of the fake gun surfaced on Twitter, posted by one of the IDF spokespeople who tweeted “Pretty sure (even where I grew up in NY)realistic toy guns outlawed in many places due2 such incidents. looks real2 me”

The following day, after riots had broken out over the death, Salayme’s uncle told Agence France Presse that the fake gun part of the story wasn’t real and other relatives added that Salayme was simply on his way home from buying himself a birthday cake when he was shot. That story made its way from AFP to the various clearinghouses for anti-Semitic conspiracies to the New York Times, which lumped the uncle’s statement into a blog post that bizarrely gave the accounts of Reuters, Haaretz, and the Electronic Intifada equal weight.

Meanwhile, the border guard’s identity was revealed online and a picture of her was posted by Palestinian activists on Facebook, where it was declared that she was wanted for “murder.” In her subsequent remarks to the press, the border guard explained (amid death threats) that she had no regrets about doing her job and keeping her partner from danger, which quickly became distorted as a soldier’s heartless bragging. The head of Columbia University’s Palestine Studies program called the soldier a “terrorist” in a Facebook post.

Riots in Hebron carried on into second and third days and troubling reports of Israeli abuse of journalists made the rounds.

All of this changed late last night, however, with the release of the (grisly) security video capturing the incident. It’s difficult to see much because of the darkness, most importantly, whether or not Salayme has a gun (other publications apparently have writers with better vision than me). But what it does show, quite clearly, is that Salayme clearly and viciously attacks a border guard before being shot.

Going forward, that should be the starting point for conversations about this terrible episode.

Palestinian teen in Hebron killed after pointing fake gun at border police
[Times of Israel]
IDF releases video showing shooting of Palestinian attacker
[Times of Israel]
Journalists punched by Israeli soldiers after fatal shooting [NYT]
Fake gun or not, I know I did the right thing [JPost]
Israeli soldiers assault two Reuters cameramen [Reuters]
Thousands mourn Palestinian teen killed in Hebron [NDTV]

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Of course, Robert Mackey at The New York Times. He just doesn’t like Israel or Jews.

So today Mackey is also posting about the Ireland/Israel/facebook story, even though it was yesterdays news. I’m sure he was stung by criticism over this story so immediately reached for something else to throw at the Jews. So petulant, and so beneath serious journalism, not to mention inflammatory, highlighting as it does the alleged mockery of Irish journalists on the part of Israelis. This is what this guy does for a living?

    Oh, wait, I see Mackey wrote about the incident yesterday, and just felt compelled to revisit it, because of course, there’s nothing more significant in the world for him to blog about. Seriously, two stories about an Israeli Embassy facebook posting.


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More Confusion Arrives in Hebron Incident

Video of an assault on an Israeli border guard emerges

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