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March 9, 2023 11:30 am

Media Miss Mark Following ‘Surgical’ Anti-Terror Raid in Jenin

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avatar by Akiva Van Koningsveld


Palestinians run near burning tires during clashes with Israeli forces following a raid, in Jenin in the West Bank April 9, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

As Israelis celebrated the holiday of Purim on Tuesday, security forces entered the terror stronghold of Jenin with an eye towards capturing a suspect in the murder of Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, two Jewish brothers who were fatally shot while driving through the West Bank on February 26.

According to an Israel Defense Forces statement, Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha and other Hamas operatives had barricaded themselves in a house while firing “heavily” at soldiers. Troops reportedly employed shoulder-mounted missiles in a bid to make the terrorists surrender.

During the shootout, which included gunmen targeting security forces from an ambulance, Palestinians hurled rocks and explosive devices, with the US-designated terrorist organization Islamic Jihad confirming its involvement in the clashes. Unconfirmed video footage showed two IDF drones being shot out of the sky.

In response to the events in Jenin, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at Israeli territory. Meanwhile, in Nablus, where Israeli forces apprehended two men suspected of aiding Kharousha, the Lions’ Den terror group vowed to “wreak revenge on Zionists” and attack Tel Aviv.

When the gunfire fell silent, local media reported that six Palestinians were killed in the arrest raid. In a press release, Hamas described all casualties as “martyrs,” “combatants,” and “fighters,” and independent researchers soon confirmed that no civilians died in the military operation.

Yet rather than highlighting Israel’s “surgical” action and devotion to protecting innocents in challenging circumstances, some major media outlets opted to omit crucial facts about the operation in Jenin.

For instance, in a piece entitled, “Israeli troops kill at least 6 Palestinians in raids carried out in broad daylight,” NBC News initially failed to note that the six Palestinians were gunmen who died during an exchange of fire:

Israeli forces stormed into a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday, killing at least six Palestinians in the latest in a series of deadly military raids carried out in broad daylight.

Israel said the troops targeted and killed a Hamas operative responsible for gunning down two Israeli brothers last month. At least five other Palestinian men were also killed and more than 20 wounded, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

As Foundation for Defense of Democracies research analyst Joe Truzman pointed out in the hours following the operation, these “five other Palestinian men” were all associated with or members of terrorist organizations. Nasser al-Sabbagh was claimed as a member of Hamas, while Ziyad Amin al-Zaraini and Muhammad Wael Ghazzawi belonged to the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. Mohamed Ahmed Khalouf and Tariq Ziyad Natour were allegedly members of Islamic Jihad.

To NBC’s credit, after HonestReporting called out correspondent Raf Sanchez on Twitter, the piece was immediately amended to read “six Palestinian militants,” adding that “Palestinian armed groups later said that all five of the other fatalities were also militants and members of either Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.”

In a similar journalistic faux pas, The Guardian’s Bethan McKernan libelously insinuated that IDF troops during Tuesday’s operation attacked medical personnel in violation of international law:

A wedding celebration was put on hold when the fighting broke out; the children present ran outside to see how many drones they could count. ‘They are not letting anyone in and they are shooting ambulances,’ said one wedding guest on the phone with a relative trapped in their home by the shooting.

Footage circulated by members of the Palestinian Red Crescent on social media showed an ambulance with bullet holes in the side, and witnesses said that medics were prevented from reaching the injured. A spokesperson for the IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, some two hours before the publication of McKernan’s article, the IDF had already put out a statement refuting these allegations. “Armed suspects were identified opening live fire towards the soldiers from an ambulance, and used the vehicle as a shield,” the military wrote in a statement to the press.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Palestinian terrorists use ambulances for transportation, and although the IDF subsequently shared solid video evidence corroborating its claim on social media, The Guardian has yet to issue a correction to the story, which still claims there has been no Israeli response — despite Israel’s answer.

As Israeli forces continue to operate under great pressure to save Israeli and Palestinian lives, some news organizations seemingly echo the narrative promoted by the terror groups responsible for the latest escalation.
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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