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August 26, 2016 12:25 pm

IDF Investigation Refutes December 2014 Newsweek Cover Story, Finds Palestinian Family Members Likely Killed by Mortars Fired by Gaza Terrorists

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The December 2014 Newsweek cover featuring the story of the Siyam family.

The December 2014 Newsweek cover featuring the story of the Siyam family.

The tragic story of what happened to the Siyam family in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge two years ago has turned out to be far different from what Newsweek reported several months after the war ended.

In a December 2014 Newsweek European edition cover story titled, “Gaza: One War, One Family. Five Children, Four Dead,” Sarah Helm wrote that 12 members of Nabil Siyam’s family – including his wife and four of his five children — were killed on July 21 of that year as they fled their home in Rafah after “Israeli rockets” hit the home next door.

“We got 10 meters away when I heard a drone,” Nabil Siyam was quoted as saying. “I heard the sound of the bomb — it is a special sound — and looked up. The Israelis must have seen us. Drones see everything. The next thing I knew was a cloud of dust and I looked around for my children.”

However, the results of an investigation by the IDF Military Advocate General (MAG) that were published this week refute the story told by Newsweek.

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The MAG report said, “The factual findings and the material… presented to the MAG indicate that no attack — aerial or otherwise — that could have resulted in a strike on the family as alleged was carried out by IDF forces in the area in question and on the relevant date.”

Furthermore, the report said, “it was found that at the relevant time, and in close proximity to the Siyam family’s residence, terror organizations in the Gaza Strip fired a series of mortars, aimed at the territory of the State of Israel. A number of these launches were ‘failed launches,’ wherein the mortar shells that were aimed at Israeli territory, fell within the territory of the Gaza Strip.”

Thus, the report stated that “contrary to the allegations, it could be concluded, with reasonable certainty, that the members of the Siyam family were not harmed as a result of IDF activity.” Based on this finding, the MAG ordered the case to be closed.

As reported in The Algemeiner at the time, many rockets and mortars fired by terrorists groups in Gaza toward Israel during the war in the summer of 2014 fell short and exploded inside the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

Just this week, a rocket fired from Gaza toward Israel fell short, the popular Elder of Ziyon blog reported, citing Palestinian news outlets.

The Algemeiner submitted a request for comment from Newsweek. No response was received as of publication time.

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  • Meron Levitats

    Justice, perhaps? Newsweek’s print edition is gone.

  • Peet

    What a dirty game played by Newsweek’s editors against Israel!
    It turns out: Nothing but lies! Accusing Israel for crimes against humanity is obviously such a favoured and popular job, no matter whether it’s true or not. Editors, how about your counterstatement giving the truth a chance? Rather silence than admitting your deliberate Anti-Israel attitude?
    And you, editor Sarah Helm, stands in the forefront of this brazen-faced game.

  • nat cheiman

    Siyam family have no one to blame but Hamas and themselves

  • A Simple Jew

    Why did this investigation take two whole years. The refutation should have been released as soon as the incident happened. This is why Arab propaganda is so effective. We are sol slow to respond.

  • Israel is to blame for everything and Hamas are all angels? Even the sun coming up is Israels fault.
    Disregard this rubbish as it is all Islam propaganda. I am surprised that Newsweek has joined the propaganda war on the side of Hamas and Islam but then again if the ‘news’ is anti Israel or antisemitic, the western media shoot first and then check that facts later. BY then the damage has been done to all the faithful to the enemedia.

  • Tika Rosenthal

    Of course, but do you think the residents of Gaza
    will believe the truth? Children killed by friendly fire?
    Just make sure that Newsweek publishes a retraction.

  • Eve

    Now let’s see if Newsweek prints the truth. Don’t bet on it.

  • M. Barry Slater

    I’ll never again subscribe to Newsweek

  • enufizenuf

    Till they print a retraction no Newsweek reporter should be allowed in Israel. Furthermore, Israel ought to sue the magazine for slander against the people of Israel.

  • Israel

    The Algemeiner submitted a request for comment from Newsweek. No response was received as of publication time.

    Of course. Do not expect a retraction.

Algemeiner.com