Palestinian version of events in Bilin begin to unravel (Abu Rahma Hoax, part 1)

The initial reports, by Palestinian officials, regarding the death of Jawaher Abu Rahma, are beginning to unravel.

Rahma, 36, died on Saturday as the result of injuries sustained Friday, when she was alleged to have inhaled tear gas during a clash between IDF soldiers and 250 violent protesters in Bilin (in the West Bank) along the separation barrier.

The Guardian went with an AP report which contained the headline, “Israel investigates tear gas death of Palestinian protester”, a title which would imply that the cause of death was known, when even their own report acknowledged that there were “contradictory accounts of the circumstances.”

They also used this dramatic photo of mourners carrying the body of Rahma in a funeral procession in Bilin.

Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP that the death was nothing less than a “war crime.”

The initial skepticism, by Israeli officials, on the veracity of Palestinian claims was based on the reluctance, by Palestinian Authorities, to release medical records of the woman, as is customary after such incidents.

And, a couple of hours ago, Israeli TV and radio news were reporting that the initial investigation, by Israeli authorities, found that the woman was not even present at the that protest.

Further, highly reliable Israeli security officials who I spoke to this evening noted the following:

  • According to records, at the hospital in Ramallah where Rahma was treated, lab work was completed at 14:45 on Saturday.  Yet, the same records indicate that she was only admitted to the hospital at 15:20 that day.
  • The hospital’s records listed the official cause of death as “inhaling gas from Israeli soldier according to the family.”   In addition to the the highly unusual fact that a hospital’s claims, as an official cause of death, were based not on medical reports, but on anecdotal evidence, Israeli officials also noted that its highly unlikely that the tear gas used could be lethal, particularly given that it was fired in a large open field.
  • The hospital admission record stated that the woman had never been to the hospital before, but Israeli officials have confirmed that Rahma had been treated there many times over the last month, and indeed was on various medications – including one commonly used to treat leukemia.
  • The burial was undertaken via an accelerated procedure, and no post-mortem was performed.
  • Her family’s report that she was “hurt by Israeli gas” was not corroborated by any other source.

While we’ll continue to monitor this story, and keep you posted on subsequent developments, it’s certainly beginning to appear as if, once again, mainstream media news organizations, such as the Guardian, have been duped – victims of their own preconceived conclusions of immutable Israeli guilt.

Note: Other bloggers following this story include: Elder of Ziyon, The Muqata, Israel Matsav, and Israelly Cool

12 replies »

  1. Channel 2 of Israel TV this evening quoted an IDF spokesman who said that the woman was suffering from cancer, she was NOT present at the demonstration, and a post-mortem had not been performed.

    Sounds a lot like the fabrication of the fictitious “Jenin Massacre”, where dead cows were dragged in to create foul smells reminiscent of a so-called “slaughter” …

  2. Thanks for this

    Why is the PA so stupid as to keep on doing this? I am beginning to think that they actually believe the lies they are telling which doesn’t augur well for any future state, does it?

    This sort of scam has become worn out since Jenin and the Al Durah hoax

    Worse, why is the world media so downright lazy / stupid /malicious as to fall for it every time?

  3. “Why is the PA so stupid as to keep on doing this?”
    Why not start at home: why does the London Jewish Chronicle keep publishing pro-Arab propaganda under NIF instigation, after it has lost more than 11,000 readers in the last 11 years?

    Hatred can’t be overcome by reason. Which is why Israel must remain strong.

  4. Ah the Jedi mind trick again,
    ‘We are not occupying you’….. ‘You are not occupying us’
    ‘You ran into my bullet’….. ‘ I ran into the bullet’
    ‘She breathed the gas herself’……. ‘ I breathed in the gas myself’
    These aren’t the droids you’re looking for……….

  5. Mondoweiss must have been fresh out of anti-Israel talking points, because mh’s latest is just plain dull.

  6. “Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP that the death was nothing less than a “war crime.””

    Saeb Erekat has a history of lies:

    Saeb Erakat charged during a CNN interview on April 10, 2002, that Israeli troops had killed “more than 500 people.” in the “Jenin massacre”.

    Saeb Erekat told CNN’s Jim Clancy, “You know, the Jenin refugee camp is no longer in existence…”

    Saeb Erekat is an outrageous liar and the astonishing thing is to see the Western media and the US government still pandering to this liar.

  7. re:Serendipity “Why is the PA so stupid as to keep on doing this?”
    Easy, anything they say is gospel and repeated in the Western press as actual truth without corroboration. Now that the full story is coming into view you can guarantee that there will be no follow ups to the original reports correcting the original story, outside of the Israeli media. So from the Palestinian perspective: “Mission accomplished”, more mud thrown at Israel that sticks.

  8. Tebboth

    There are other rancid bullshits on the web masquerading as reports too -just for your kind of bloggers.

    Enjoy this: Saudi Arabia ‘nabbed Israeli-tagged vulture for being Mossad spy’

  9. Tebboth, you should know by now that Mondoweiss has an anti-Israel axe to grind. It’s not your fault that you believe unquestioningly what is written there but do us the courtesy of not assuming that we will, there’s a good chappie.

    Ilan, unfortunately you may be right, and some, like Tebboth, trek that mud onto CiFWatch’s carpet. However, I content myself with the knowledge that blogs like CiFWatch are more than a match for shitty little rags like al-Groan or Mondoweiss or whatever, who couldn’t convince anyone whose mind hadn’t been made up already.

    Tebboth, what do you think of the Mossad vulture spy?? Hilarious, no? It reminds me of the stupidity of the monkey trial during the Napoleonic war! You can confront a belief system with the 21st century but you can’t force it to want to learn or make it intelligent, can you?