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February 7, 2023 11:44 am

Reuters Glowingly Describes Palestinian Terror Teen as Wannabe Chef Who Loved Football

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avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue


Illustrative: Palestinian youths at a graduation ceremony for a military-style camp organized by the Hamas terror group in Gaza, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Given the horrific attack perpetrated by 13-year-old Palestinian terrorist Mahmoud Aleiwat, who shot two people at the City of David archeological site in Jerusalem on January 28, it is beyond disturbing that Reuters has chosen to publish a piece glorifying Aleiwat and seeking to suggest he may even be innocent.

The story by the wire agency’s Henriette Chacar, “Palestinian teenager dreamt of being a chef before attack, teachers say,” opens:

In the middle of last week, 13-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud Aleiwat was pressing his teachers for the school report he needed so he could go to a Jerusalem college to train as a chef.

Three days later, he was lying unconscious in hospital accused of opening fire at a group of Israeli passers-by in Jerusalem’s Silwan district.

Two people were critically wounded and Aleiwat was shot and wounded by one of the group. Police have not publicly named a suspect but his lawyer said they accuse Aleiwat of opening fire and attempted murder, accusations his family rejects.

While it is a mystery that Chacar decided to write the piece at all, it is even more perplexing that she has attempted to humanize a terrorist who tried to murder innocent people by quoting his teachers, who claim Aleiwat had ambitions to become a chef.

Furthermore, the way Aleiwat’s involvement in the atrocity is couched, including the word “accused” and leading with his family’s denial of his involvement, is simply shameless.

This after Aleiwat reportedly hinted at his terror plan, writing in a Facebook message to his mother shortly before that said, “Mom, please don’t be angry with me,” but promising that she would eventually be proud of him.

In addition, footage of Aleiwat during his arrest as well as his own notebook confession that he sought “martyrdom” have been widely circulated online:

The bizarre terrorist puff piece quotes people who knew the teenager and are “puzzled about what could have prompted him to carry out such an act.”

Perhaps Chacar should have probed this professed incredulity at Aleiwat’s motivation considering there are more than a few incentives that might have influenced the young man, including the Palestinian Authority’s “pay-for-slay” fund which offers financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists, and the textbooks Aleiwat studied that glorify Palestinian suicide bombings.

Indeed, Chacar even had the audacity to include comments from Souhair Mikkawi, 57, Aleiwat’s school principal, who expresses her surprise at the “shocking” news.

We are presumably supposed to believe that Mikkawi was unaware that books issued at her school encourage impressionable youngsters to “cut the throats of enemy soldiers” and “don explosive belts.”

Chacar’s attempt to absolve Aleiwat continues with the inclusion of extraneous and heartwarming details about his innocent interests, such as his “passion for football” and his desire to work in a professional kitchen.

An implied justification for the attack is also conveniently offered midway through the article:

Many Jews believe the ancient City of David stood on the site of Silwan and Jewish settlers have bought properties there, which Palestinians see as part of a policy to drive them out.

About 600 settlers now live among 50,000 Palestinians in Silwan, according to Aviv Tatarsky at Ir Amim, an Israeli organisation that monitors Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

Apparently buying and subsequently residing in a property is only a problem when one is Jewish, in which case they are “settlers” who are attempting to “drive out” tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Even more incredibly, Aleiwat is not the only terrorist to whom Reuters gives an extreme makeover.

The mother of Wadi’ Abu Ramuz, a 17-year-old in possession of a Hamas flag and a knife when he was shot dead during a riot in which firebombs and Molotov cocktails were hurled at Israeli police, is quoted claiming her son was not even involved in the clashes but was simply “trying to drag a wounded friend to safety.”

Who among us has not been caught with a blade and terrorist flag when bravely administering first aid?

The entirety of the Reuters article reads more like a press release from a PR firm representing Palestinian terrorists than it does a serious piece of journalism.

That said, what terrorists need PR when they have the world’s biggest news agency rehabilitating their image for free?

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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