Israel: biased reporting on the killing of Ishaq Badran, a 16-year-old Palestinian
Israel is back on top of the news cycle. But how is the UK media covering the story? Let’s look at one incident.
The Independent tells us:
The Israelis have killed a boy. There have been stabbings in Jerusalem.
Lizzie Dearden reports:
A 16-year-old boy has become the seventh Palestinian shot dead by Israeli security forces in just 24 hours as a wave of violence continues.
The boy is dead. The number of dead Palestinians is rising.
He had launched a stabbing attack near Damascus Gate, in Jerusalem’s Old City, and then tried to attack officers on Saturday morning, according to police.
The boy was armed, then. He was on the offensive.
“Two men stabbed lightly are receiving medical treatment,” said police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld. “Police officers shot and killed terrorist at the scene.”
It came hours after militants in Gaza fired a rocket into Israel overnight.
But the “boy” is the headline. Does that alter your sense of what occurred? Does it play to prejudices?
Fear has gripped Jerusalem in the aftermath of a number of Palestinian stabbing attacks targeting Israeli security forces and civilians, leading the city’s mayor, Nir Barkat, to call on citizens with gun licences to carry their weapons at all times.
Taking a knife to a gun fight. Who wins?
In other news sources, we learn who the boy stabbed, something Dearden does not mention.
The AP begins its report:
Palestinians carried out two stabbing attacks in Jerusalem on Saturday before being shot dead by police, while another two Palestinians were killed during a violent demonstration near the Gaza border fence, as a weeklong bout of violence showed no signs of slowing…
In the third paragraph we learn:
In the first stabbing on Saturday, a 16-year-old Arab attacked two Israelis who were walking from the Old City toward the city center, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Police opened fire, killing the attacker. The two victims were lightly wounded, Rosenfeld said.
Sources say the two Israelis were returning from prayers. They were unarmed. the BBC notes: “Police said Saturday’s first stabbing had been carried out by a 16-year-old Palestinian. Two ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in their 60s were wounded, police and medics said.”
This site provides photographs:
Later, just outside the Old City, another Palestinian stabbed two police officers, one in the neck. Rosenfeld said other police forces opened fire and killed the attacker, but also wounded one of their own. Three officers were taken to a hospital, one in serious condition.
What about these stabbings?
Recent days have seen a series of attacks by young Palestinians wielding household items like kitchen knives, screwdrivers and even a vegetable peeler. The youths had no known links to armed groups and have targeted Israeli soldiers and civilians at random, complicating efforts to predict or prevent the attacks.
On the Guardian we learn the 16-year-old’s name:
Earlier on Saturday, two Israeli men in their sixties were wounded when Israeli police said they were stabbed by Ishaq Badran, a 16-year-old Palestinian.
The Indy’s report is loaded.
Peter Beaumont, the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, provides some balance:
The reality is that neither side appears fully in control amid “lone wolf” stabbing attacks by Palestinians and attempted lynchings by Israelis – including an incident in the seaside town of Netanya on Thursday night when a mob set on three Palestinians.
Underlining these concerns, the Israeli public security minister, Gilad Erdan, told journalists at the scene of an attack on a 15-year-old yeshiva student in Jerusalem: “Jewish terrorists are also taking part in attacks. We won’t allow anyone to take the law into their own hands.”
Palestinian anger is largely focused on events at al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City and fears that Israel is trying to change the status quo at the holy site, revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount. Netanyahu has denied wanting to change conditions under which Jews are allowed to visit the site.
And what of the dead count? The Indy says 7 Palestinians are dead but makes no mention of Israelis.
This from the Times:
Israel has taken the unprecedented step of barring Palestinians from Jerusalem’s old city after four murders in recent days.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, last night vowed that there would be “a fight to the death against Palestinian terror” after a Palestinian man stabbed four ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city on Saturday night, two of whom later died, and a second Palestinian stabbed and injured an Israeli teenager yesterday morning.
Both of the Palestinian attackers were shot dead by police. The attacks came two days after an Israeli couple were shot dead while driving between two settlements near Nablus, in the West Bank. They triggered an order for police to bar Palestinians from visiting the old city for two days. Only Israelis, tourists, local residents, business owners and students were allowed through, and Muslim men under the age of 50 were forbidden from praying at the al-Aqsa mosque.
Was the 16-year-old a “boy” or a would-be murderer? Words matter. Monocular views help no-one.
These are some of the comments the end an Al Jazeera report on the bloodshed – the ones they approve for publication:
The news reporting is corrupted.
The facts remain grim.