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November 25, 2022 9:28 am
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Terror Bombings in Jerusalem: Media Biases and Distortions

avatar by Akiva Van Koningsveld

Opinion

Security and rescue forces work at the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Within seconds, residents of Jerusalem were thrown back to the dark days of the Second Intifada — the wave of Palestinian suicide attacks that killed more than 1,000 Israelis in the early 2000s.

Just after 7 AM on Wednesday, as rush hour got underway in the capital, a bomb went off at a bus stop near Jerusalem’s western entrance. Soon after, another explosion rocked the neighborhood of Ramot.

Hospital officials told local media that there were at least 23 victims, including one person who was killed. The fatality was identified as 16-year-old Aryeh Shechopek, an Israeli-Canadian student who was studying at a Jewish religious school in the Jerusalem hills. Several others remain in critical or serious condition.

Authorities believe the two terror attacks were carried out with near-identical, “high quality” explosive devices that were detonated remotely. The bombs were reportedly packed with nails, ball bearings, and other shrapnel, in order to cause maximum damage.

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The Hamas terrorist organization praised the perpetrators, calling the bombing a “heroic operation,” while also threatening more bloodshed. Iranian proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad likewise issued a statement in support of “the strikes of our people’s resistance.” Both groups stopped short of claiming responsibility, leading Israel to suspect that an independent cell planned the attack.

In response, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank distributed candies in celebration of what they called “Jerusalem’s World Cup.”

For months, Israel has been coping with a wave of deadly Palestinian violence; since a March 22 attack in Beersheba, 28 Israelis have been murdered in shooting and stabbing attacks throughout the country. Yet Wednesday’s attacks marked the first bombing in Jerusalem since April 2016, security sources reportedly said, raising fears of further escalation.

Reuters claimed that the terror attacks were somehow linked to “unauthorized Jewish worshippers at the Al Aqsa mosque complex.” Notably, the outlet’s take on events echoed Hamas’ statement, which blamed Israeli “crimes and aggression against our people and the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

Reuters later responded to our tweet and removed the offending paragraph.

The Associated Press consistently spoke of “suspected attacks by Palestinians,” and referred to the “apparent attacks,” blatantly ignoring the fact that the Israeli Police had already confirmed, before the publication of the AP story, that both explosions were, in fact, set off by terrorists. In the same story, the AP falsely asserted that the northern Jerusalem community of Ramot is a “settlement.”

The New York Times, for its part, told its readers that the bombings were “the first bomb attacks on Israeli civilians since 2016.” In a widely-shared tweet, HonestReporting reminded the “newspaper of record” that 17-year-old Rina Shnerb was murdered in a bomb attack near Dolev in 2019.

Within hours of receiving our complaint, The New York Times removed the erroneous reference in its sub-header.

In an attempt to contextualize the murder of Aryeh Shechopek, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that “violence has flared this year, particularly in the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli army has launched near-daily raids since a series of deadly attacks on Israeli targets earlier this year.” [Emphasis added.]

Apparently, the AFP regards the innocent civilians slaughtered in malls and bars as “targets.”

As Palestinian terrorists continue to spread death and destruction in their quest to destroy the world’s only Jewish state — and annihilate its 9.5 million citizens — it is imperative that journalists around the world accurately convey the facts on the ground.

HonestReporting has requested that Reuters, the AP, The New York Times, and AFP update their articles to reflect the truth. We also encourage our subscribers to monitor their local media for imbalanced reporting and notify us of anti-Israel bias. Together, we will make sure that media outlets are held to account.

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.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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