The Palestinian Who Was Killed Twice
A man sits on the ground waving a Palestinian flag. Barbed wire separates him from an IDF tank. He is an amputee. And to many Palestinians, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya is a hero.
A graphic distributed online shortly after his death depicts Abu Thuraya with tree roots stemming from his body, where his legs once were. For Palestinians, Abu Thuraya symbolizes the struggle of the helpless against evil — disabled and alone, he stood up to the overwhelming force of the IDF.
But how did Abu Thuraya really die?
Abu Thuraya was killed on June 28 during clashes near the Israel-Gaza border. Palestinians claim that he was killed by an IDF sniper. However, significant evidence contradicts the version of events released by Palestinian news sources.
The Hamas-affiliated Shehab news agency, as well as other sources, published two entirely different videos, both purporting to show the death of Abu Thuraya.
In the first video, Abu Thuraya is seen in a wheelchair. All of a sudden, he is swarmed by fellow protesters — wearing long sleeves, sweatshirts, or jackets — from all sides. He is carried away, supposedly after being incapacitated by bullet wounds. The sun appears to be low in the darkening sky, suggesting that it is evening.
The second video shows a completely different scene: Here, it is sunny and clear rather than nearly dark, and the crowd is smaller and younger. They are wearing T-shirts rather than long sleeves and jackets. Despite Abu Thuraya apparently taking a bullet to the head, he keeps his head raised, and lifts up his fingers to mark “victory.”
One thing is clear from examining the discrepancies between the videos: at least one of them is fake.
Abu Thuraya’s lethal head injury also raises questions. In the second video, a red stain is seen on the middle of his forehead. In pictures from Abu Thuraya’s funeral, however, the wound is located above his left eye.
Inconsistent video footage purporting to show the death of Abu Thuraya demonstrates a successful propaganda machine that stages injuries and killings for the campaign against the Jewish state. Beyond the uncertainty around when and how Abu Thuraya died, the question remains — how many Abu Thurayas have avoided being exposed, and how many more will there be in the future?
The details of the full investigation can be found here.
Tal Raphael is a Senior Research Analyst at Presspectiva, the Hebrew department of CAMERA.