TEL AVIV – National Public Radio reported that Israel bulldozed a terrorist’s home and killed him in the process but failed to mention that the assailant, who was responsible for the murder of a rabbi in July, had turned his home into a warzone by bringing members of his armed cell inside and initiating a shoot-out with IDF forces.
NPR’s segment on “All Things Considered” said “the Israeli military traced the Mark family attacker to a home in the village of Surif. That night, soldiers bulldozed the house, killing him. His wife Hadeel Odeh, who was not with her husband at the time, is six months pregnant.”
Media watchdog HonestReporting.com charged NPR was in “breach of journalistic ethics” by failing to include critical context.
“NPR’s version of events gives the impression that [Mohammed] Fakih was a victim who was bulldozed to death in his home, rather than a terrorist who had turned his home into an armed camp and his neighborhood into a war zone,” the watchdog reported.
The raid, conducted jointly by police, Shin Bet security forces and the IDF, revealed that Fakih was in possession of a weapons cache including a Kalashnikov rifle and a homemade grenade.
Earlier in July, Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered by Fakih and other members of a terror cell in a drive-by shooting near his West Bank home while his wife and two of his children were in the car. Chava Mark was critically wounded in the attack.
The NPR segment focused on an incident that occurred immediately after the attack. A Palestinian man and his wife, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash, came to the Mark family’s aid, likely saving their lives by pulling the Mark children out of the car and administering first aid until emergency responders arrived at the scene.
The good Samaritan suffered terrible consequences as the result of helping Jewish Israelis. He suffered public humiliation and insults by fellow Palestinians and was fired from his job. This turn of events caused the head of the local Jewish settlers’ council, Yochai Damari, to become involved. Damari, who met with the man, launched a campaign calling on Israel’s government to give the man a permit to work in Israel.
As HonestReporting notes, NPR is to be commended for reporting the story, which illustrates the “kind of depth and complexity that we rarely see in mainstream media” surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It’s just a shame that the radio show made such a “critical and disturbing error” in its account of the terrorist’s death, the report said.
NPR is not the first media outlet to report on the incident with blatant inaccuracies.
The BBC ran a headline stating: “Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian suspected of killing rabbi” with only one tiny mention of the firefight buried at the end of the article and qualified by the disclaimer, “Israeli media reports said.”