Corrections

UKMW prompts important addendum to Indy article on IDF ‘whooping’ video


On April 10th, The Independent republished a New York Times article by Isabel Kershner (“Israeli forces caught in video shooting Palestinian man then whooping”) that was published on April 9th. 

The report cited grainy video footage from several months ago “appearing to show Israeli troops shooting a Palestinian man across the border fence at a time when he posed no obvious threat…and then rejoicing”.  The NYT then highlighted the fact that “another soldier who appears to be videoing the scene whoops with excitement”, footage the NYT claims bolsters criticism that the IDF uses “disproportionate force” against Gaza “protesters”.

However, the report doesn’t include the official IDF statement about the video which was available more than an hour before the Indy republished the NYT piece.  The IDF statement, as reported by multiple Israeli news outlets, significantly changes the story, as it provides Israel’s account of the circumstances – and context – by which the Palestinian man was shot.  This includes prior warnings given by the soldier for the man to halt, the fact that he was shot in the leg and not killed, and that he had led a violent protest at the border which included the use of Molotov cocktails.

These facts are important because the article claims that the Palestinian man who was shot appeared to “pose no threat”. 

Also of relevance is the fact that, per the IDF statement, the man heard celebrating would now be subjected to a disciplinary hearing for his inappropriate behavior.

Following communication with editors at The Independent over the course of a couple of weeks, the following addendum was added containing this relevant information. 

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5 replies »

  1. The Independent is not only sloppy in reporting facts it does not check but also in its presentation. I see 2 typos in that short addendum

  2. The NYT and The Independent: Vigilantly sniffing, selectively and hyperbolically, for “racism” and “war crimes.”

  3. If NATO can kill journalist why can’t Israel? Let’s start with the New York Times.
    In the Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, http://www.icty.org/en/press/final-report-prosecutor-committee-established-review-nato-bombing-campaign-against-federal
    the case is reviewed. In short:

    On 23 April 1999, at 0220, NATO intentionally bombed the central studio of the RTS (state-owned) broadcasting corporation at 1 Aberdareva Street in the centre of Belgrade. The missiles hit the entrance area, which caved in at the place where the Aberdareva Street building was connected to the Takovska Street building. While there is some doubt over exact casualty figures, between 10 and 17 people are estimated to have been killed.

    NATO intentionally bombed the Radio and TV station and the persons killed or injured were civilians. The questions are: was the station a legitimate military objective and; if it was, were the civilian casualties disproportionate to the military advantage gained by the attack? …. Insofar as the attack actually was aimed at disrupting the communications network, it was legally acceptable.

    Assuming the station was a legitimate objective, the civilian casualties were unfortunately high but do not appear to be clearly disproportionate…
    Assuming the RTS building to be a legitimate military target, it appeared that NATO realised that attacking the RTS building would only interrupt broadcasting for a brief period….

    On the basis of the above analysis and on the information currently available to it, the committee recommends that the OTP not commence an investigation related to the bombing of the Serbian TV and Radio Station.

    The prosecutor said that there was no reason to prosecute this as a war crime, as the attack on a broadcasting station that killed 16 (according to later reports) was not disproportionate.