When will the media learn? How many times have ubiquitous “Palestinian medical sources” turned out to be less than wholly reliable? In the latest example, the aforementioned Palestinian medical sources claimed that a two-year old Palestinian girl had been killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza.
And why wouldn’t the media accept such a claim, having been conditioned to a) believe that Israel kills innocent children and b) to take Palestinian claims at face value?
In this case however, the IDF moved quickly to deny the accusations. Evidently this prompted the BBC’s Jon Donnison to double-check the veracity of the Palestinian claims resulting in a surprising admission from Hamas. Here is Donnison’s Twitter feed showing the progression of the story until the truth emerged.
(Tweets are shown in reverse chronological order i.e. most recent tweet is first.)
Related video: Reuters Fails to Present a Balanced Picture
So Hamas has admitted that its own failed rocket launch was responsible for the girl’s death. This didn’t, however, prevent some media from either running with the initial charge or failing to clarify the incident when the truth became clear. AFP, for example states:
In a separate development, an unexplained explosion in Gaza City killed a two-year-old girl on Tuesday evening, medics said.
An Israeli military spokesman denied there was any air strike in the area at the time.
How is this an “unexplained” explosion?
The unreliability of Palestinian medical officials is highlighted by Israel Hayom:
Emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya told the Palestinian Maan news agency in a statement that Hadil al-Haddad, 2, was killed and her brother injured on Tuesday in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.
But despite the Hamas official’s admission to the BBC, another Hamas medical official told Reuters on Tuesday that the cause of the child’s death was not clear. Witnesses told Maan that al-Haddad was killed when terrorists launched a rocket close by.
Israel Hayom picks up on something that the international media doesn’t want to tell you – that medical officials in Gaza are under the direct control of the Hamas governing authorities, particularly the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
It’s high time the media cut out the unreliable sources.
Unreliable sources and factual accuracy are part of our Six Secrets of Media Objectivity. View our slideshow here.