Friday, January 09, 2004

BBC Knows Best ...

How did 15-year old Amjed el-Masri die ?

BBC version

"On Saturday morning, Amjad al-Masri, 15, died after being shot in the chest by Israeli troops as they fired into a large crowd of protesters. "

No source given.

We do get the Palestinian and Israeli sides, after a fashion. No names given to any of the deceased.

"Palestinian sources said three were killed by Israeli sniper fire as they broke a week-old curfew, while a fourth was shot dead during the funeral of the others."

"Israeli forces said the troops had "felt themselves in danger".

""One of the Palestinians had dropped a large concrete block in the direction of a soldier," an Israeli Army spokesman said."

What do Reuters say ?

Palestinian witnesses said Amjed el-Masri, 15, was shot in the chest by a sniper as he threw stones at an Israeli armored vehicle from a rooftop in the old city area of Nablus.

An Israeli army spokesman said Masri had been shot while dropping large bricks on soldiers from a roof top, which he called a life-threatening assault, while two other Palestinians had been shot, one while holding a pistol and the other a petrol bomb.

Now I'm presuming the full (with names) Israeli version was available to the BBC. Why didn't they quote it ? And where did they get their story of Masri's death ? Did the (unnamed) reporter actually witness the boy being shot "by Israeli troops as they fired into a large crowd of protesters." ? Or have the BBC made it up and deliberately chosen to ignore the Israeli version ?

Israel claims Masri was "dropping large bricks from a rooftop".

A Frontpage piece condemns the Aussie ABC network and Associated Press, who report the deaths as the shootings of 'stonethrowers'. Yet to the BBC he was just a random victim of troops firing into a crowd. (There is however one other possibility - that a bad sub-editor has confused the deceased 'stone-thrower' with his cousin, 17 year old Mohammed el-Masri, who was shot by troops at the funeral of the three. Now that does sound more feasible - and more as if the IDF shot when they shouldn't. Can a pall-bearer be a threat ? I don't know - and the BBC doesn't seem to either. If anyone does know please tell me.)

Here are pictures of 'stonethrowers' in Nablus, taken the day before Masri's death by AP.

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