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October 31, 2022 10:41 am

Hebron Hatchet Job: Three Ways the Media Misreported Israel’s Latest Terror Atrocity

avatar by Akiva Van Koningsveld


A damaged car is seen at the scene of a ramming incident near Hebron, in the West Bank, May 14, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mussa Qawasma.

On Saturday night, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on innocent Jewish families exiting an Arab store on the outskirts of Hebron, killing an Israeli man and injuring several others, including a Palestinian bystander.

Ronen Hanania, a 50-year-old resident of Kiryat Arba, was reportedly shot dead in front of his teenage son.

Another Israeli victim remains in critical condition after undergoing surgery, the head of Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s trauma unit announced on Sunday. Volunteer first responder Ofer Ohana was met with rifle fire as he arrived on the scene to treat the wounded. “Many people, Israelis and Palestinians, owe their lives to Ofer,” “Fauda” creator Avi Issacharoff noted on Twitter.

Following an exchange of fire, perpetrator Muhammad al-Jabari was killed by a security guard, and Hamas soon mourned the terrorist as “its son, the martyr.” Commenting on the incident, the US-designated terror organization called on its followers to further “transform the West Bank … into fire and flame.”

Notably, Saturday’s shooting was the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting Israeli civilians and soldiers — Hanania became the third casualty in just three weeks.

Yet this is how the Associated Press (AP), a global news institution with 1,300 clients such aThe Washington Post, ABC News, and Fox News, framed the story:

In its headline about the terrorist attack, the Reuters wire service similarly obfuscated the facts, by failing to mention that the victim was an Israeli civilian, while falsely claiming that the shooting took place in the “settlement” of Hebron.

Here are three more ways journalists failed to properly inform their readers about Saturday’s terror attack.

1. Confusing Cause & Effect

In a shocking instance of baseless victim blaming, the Associated Press reported that “[IDF] raids have ratcheted up tensions in the [West Bank] area and have been met by a series of Palestinian shooting attacks that killed 19 people in Israel in the spring.” [Emphasis added]

In reality, Israel only launched Operation Break the Wave in the West Bank on March 31, in response to a series of terror attacks that had, at that point, taken the lives of 11 Israelis. HonestReporting has reached out to the AP directly to request a correction.

2. Erasing Pay-For-Slay

The family of Muhammad al-Jabari, who had reportedly received a terminal cancer diagnosis, will be richly rewarded under the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s “Pay-for-Slay” program. According to Palestinian Media Watch, Ramallah spends 33.34 times more per capita paying terror stipends than it spends on health services.

However, an analysis by HonestReporting shows that in the dozens of media reports about the attack, there was not a single mention of the PA’s practice of offering financial rewards for murdering Israeli civilians, depriving news consumers of vital context.

3. Turning a Blind Eye to Incitement

As noted by some analysts, attacks like the murder of Ronen Hanania do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, they are the result of systematic and pervasive incitement that starts in the Palestinian Authority education system. It is, therefore, imperative to note that al-Jabari worked as a teacher at the PA-run Jawad Al-Hashlamoun boys school in Hebron, indoctrinating future generations with hate.

Furthermore, readers should be made aware that the Palestinian Education Ministry mourned al-Jabari as “the martyr, the hero.”

Barely 24 hours after the attack near Hebron, the Jewish state was shocked by yet another terrorist attack, as a Palestinian driver rammed his vehicle into Israeli civilians and soldiers at two locations in the Judean Desert, injuring five. With fears of a third intifada looming, journalists have a responsibility to tell the whole, unvarnished truth.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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