AP Retracts Story Because of Hamas Lie

March 26, 2012 9:27 by

When Palestinian lies and misinformation go unchecked, it’s inevitable that dishonest propaganda tactics used against Israel will be employed against others.

A Hamas lie meant to pressure Egypt was exposed; the Islamists’ credibility with the media has taken a big hit.

Yesterday, an AP dispatch reported the first Palestinian fatality attributed to the Gaza crisis. Mohammed Helou, a five-month old baby died when the generator running his 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.

Continued on Page 2

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