Hamas has once again apparently been caught faking an image of a dead Palestinian child–this time using a child likely killed by its own rocket fire and claiming that an Israeli attack was responsible. CNN’s Sara Sidner ran a full report on the child’s death, strongly implying that an Israeli bomb had been responsible.
The dead child was paraded before the cameras during the visit of Egyptian prime minister Hisham Kandil, who kissed the dead child in the presence of Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. But even the New York Times was suspicious.
Bloggers such as Elder of Ziyon quickly pieced together the evidence of Hamas fakery:
The IDF did not launch any airstrikes in Gaza while Egyptian PM Kandil was in Gaza…
If it was an Israeli missile, you can be sure that it would have been shown to the media! Furthermore, PCHR, which is keeping track of everyone killed in Gaza (and which admits that most of the dead have been “militants,”) did not list Mahmoud Sadallah or Aiman Aby Wardah in their list of victims of Israeli airstrikes, although they even include one person who died of a heart attack.
Put this together with the fact that Hamas and other terror groups were firing rockets throughout Friday morning while the IDF did not, plus the fact that over 100 rockets have fallen short in Gaza (both using past performance and IDF statistics as proof), and the fact that the shrapnel in the video matches almost exactly the shrapnel damage we have seen from rocket fire into Israel, and it is very clear: this child was killed by Gaza rocket fire, not by Israel.
Hamas has a well-established pattern of faking civilian deaths in Gaza, even as it seeks civilian deaths in Israel (and fakes that, too, pretending it is firing at military targets). Last week, Breitbart News caught Hamas using a month-old photo of a dead Syrian boy and claiming he had been killed by Israel – a double irony, since the Assad regime that killed the boy hosted Hamas for years before the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.
The international community has reinforced Hamas’s pattern of fakery by applying a double standard to Palestinian civilians killed by Israel and Palestinian civilians killed by Hamas. When Israeli artillery inadvertently killed civilians in Beit Hanoun in 2006, the world sprang into action with accusations of “war crime”; when errant Palestinian rockets have struck civilians in Beit Hanoun, the world has said nothing at all.
Not every civilian death in Gaza is faked, of course. But almost every civilian death can be attributed to Hamas, which deliberately fires rockets from civilian areas and hides its weapons caches in mosques and homes. Since Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9, Hamas has smuggled in more rockets that endanger the local Palestinian populace, and whose only purpose is to target Israeli civilians. Hamas bears the moral burden of this war.
Update: According to the office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 60 of the 703 rockets fired by Hamas and other terror groups since the start of the conflict have fallen on Palestinian civilians. The Israel Defense Force says that 99 rockets in total that were fired at Israel have hit Gaza itself in four days of conflict.
Update 2: Several sources now report that the child was, in fact, killed by a Hamas rocket, not Israel. Those sources include the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Will CNN issue a correction to its earlier false report?