Reuters Transforms Grenade-Wielding Palestinian Into ‘Anti-Israel Protester’
Hundreds of Palestinians rioted along the Gaza-Israel border in response to a call by the Hamas terror group on Saturday, August 21. Several Gazans — some of them wielding weapons, explosives, and stones — stormed the security fence and managed to shoot an Israeli border police officer at point-blank range, ultimately murdering him. Sources in Gaza have reported that the gunman is a lieutenant in Hamas’ forces.
Despite the violence, the Reuters news agency described the riot merely as an “anti-Israel protest” — and the members of US-designated terrorist groups who participated as nothing more than “Palestinians.”
The riots were orchestrated under the pretext of marking the 52nd anniversary of an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque by Australian Denis Michael Rohan. The Christian extremist was deemed insane by an Israeli court, and admitted to a psychiatric institution. Despite this well-documented fact, Hamas continues to use the 1969 incident to incite violence against the Jewish State.
Some 41 Palestinians were injured in the recent clashes, one of them being Osama Dueji, a Hamas terrorist.
But Reuters evidently considered Dueji’s connection to Gaza’s leading terrorist organization superfluous.
As HonestReporting pointed out earlier this month, incidents of live fire by Israeli security forces are generally in response to Palestinian terrorist attacks. And so it was on August 21: video footage from the riots shows Dueji holding a hand grenade close to the border fence, before being shot in the leg by Israeli troops.
Four days later, Dueji succumbed to his wounds, prompting Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades to admit that the Palestinian “militant” — who they described as a “heroic martyr” — was a fighter in its ranks. Photos distributed by the US-designated terror group show Dueji dressed in military fatigues while holding a rifle.
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) August 25, 2021
Reuters, however, captured none of this in its “photo of the day” or the caption below this scene. Instead, the news agency framed Dueji as the victim of Israeli aggression by focusing solely on his mother’s reaction at the funeral. Similarly, the AFP did not disclose Dueji’s affiliation with the terror group in its reporting on his death.
The lack of clarity over Dueji’s status, civilian or terrorist, is par for the course.
During the 2018-2019 Gaza border riots, Reuters and many other media outlets frequently omitted the crucial fact that terror groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad embedded their operatives among civilians, essentially using Gazans as human shields.
HonestReporting reached out to Reuters through Twitter, but has yet to receive a response.
To its credit, the Associated Press did acknowledge Dueji’s ties to Hamas after the terror group’s official announcement.
While the AP’s initial article on August 25 only identified Dueji as “a Palestinian man,” the text was later updated to read that “Hamas identified him as a member of its armed wing.” Unfortunately, some news outlets have not incorporated the revised text.
Reuters and the AFP are not the only outlets to whitewash the terror connection of Palestinians killed in clashes with the IDF. On August 24, Vice World News published a story that cited a Hamas-affiliated website.
The article, titled “15-Year-Old Palestinian Killed By Israeli Troops in the West Bank,” charged that Israeli troops in the West Bank during a military operation killed “Palestinian teenager” Imad Khaled Saleh Hashas.
According to the IDF statement quoted in the piece, troops opened fire after “a number of soldiers spotted a suspect on a rooftop holding a large object in his hands, attempting to throw it at an [Israeli] soldier standing underneath the building.” In a similar incident last year, Israeli soldier Amit Ben Yigal was killed by a large rock thrown from a rooftop.
While Vice included the IDF’s version of events, it obscured hard evidence pointing to the fact that the “teenager” was likely not an innocent bystander. The story showed a photo of the Palestinian — but obscured a picture of him handling a rifle. Moreover, his funeral was attended by terrorists belonging to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“Israeli gunfire kills Palestinian teenager during West Bank clashes,” says @thejournal_ie.
Readers may be interested in seeing a picture of Imad Hashash. He was allegedly throwing a heavy object from a roof at Israeli soldiers during the rioting. pic.twitter.com/dWbcYtmhv3
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) August 24, 2021
By ignoring the fact that most Palestinians killed by the IDF were in fact affiliated with terrorist groups, prominent news organizations are effectively co-opting the narrative disseminated by platforms like Quds News Network that try to depict terrorists as innocent civilians — with Vice even citing the pro-Hamas publication in its reporting.
The author is a writer-researcher for HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article was first published.