The UN Human Rights Council released an advanced version of its report on Israel’s November conflict with Gaza terrorists this week. The report is unusually fair to Israel, and disputes several claims made by Western media against Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense. Most significantly the report says that in all likelihood the 11-month-old child of a BBC employee Jihad Misharawi was killed during Operation Pillar of Defense by Hamas rocket fire rather than by Israel, the side initially blamed in reports by the BBC and several other media outlets covering the conflict.
The UNHRC report says:
“On 14 November, a woman, her 11-month-old infant, and an 18-year-old adult in Al-Zaitoun were killed by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel.69 “
The footnote (69) says the case was monitored by the UN OHCHR, meaning that the UN itself investigated this case and believes that the attack came from a Hamas rocket.
A picture of the mourning father holding his recently deceased son became a symbol of Israel’s campaign in Gaza. His father was working as a stringer there and at the boy’s funeral blamed his son’s death on “the Jews.”
AND THAT REPORT WAS:
The tragic story of Omar, the infant son of BBC Arabic employee Jihad Masharawi, who was killed during the latest round of Hamas-Israel fighting, was widely reported last week. The same incident that killed baby Omar ultimately led to the death of Masharawi’s brother, Ahmed. Who was responsible for the strike that resulted in their deaths remains unclear, and it is a matter of debate whether an Israeli strike took place at the time of the incident. One possibility that has been suggested was that the deaths were caused by a Hamas rocket that fell short.
Now, the watchdog blog BBC watch has uncovered a troubling video, that aired on Hamas TV, and provides additional details and new evidence relating to the case.
Prior to discovering the footage posted below, which shows the funeral of Ahmed, BBC Watch says they contacted the IDF who confirmed that he was a known terrorist. The blog also writes that the al-Qassam Brigades wrote of his death on their English-language website. Additionally, as you can see in the picture above, he is wrapped in a green Hamas flag at the funeral.
In an interview at the funeral, Jihad Masharawi blames “the Jews” for the deaths of his family members, and falsely claims that innocents were targeted by Israel. Here is the full text translated by BBC Watch:
“Thanks to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, who chose him [Ahmed] to be a martyr, from all the people. What was done by the Jews is a shame for the entire Umma [Islamic nation], a shame for the West, a shame for the Arabs, who are silent. The entire war struck only the children and the innocent. They didn’t hit a single muqawim [resistance fighter], nor anyone who works for the government, or whatever.”
According to an Israeli expert on Arab communications and Palestinian broadcast media, it is not uncommon for major news organizations to hire individuals with close connections to terror organizations, whether they are aware of it or not.
“Both Hamas and the PLO have used Arab “stringers”—part-time reporters—to infiltrate foreign news organizations. The stringers are usually working for the terror organization but act as “fixers” and “enablers” for Western reporters, bringing them interviews, bringing them in and out of dangerous areas. They are basically terrorist chaperones who also serve as informers on the Western journalists,” Michael Widlanski, a former New York Times reporter in the region and Algemeiner blogger who now teaches at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, told The Algemeiner in an email.
Whether this was the role played by Mashawari has not been confirm by The Algemeiner.
Jon Donnison, a BBC correspondent who has been at the center of the controversy himself, relayed his version of the story on BBC Radio 4′s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ program.