The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) criticized journalists on Sunday for spreading a “lie” about the death of a one-year-old Palestinian whom news outlets said had been killed by Israeli strikes, but which the IDF says was killed by an errant rocket fired by terrorist groups.
CNN, among others, drew attention to the death of the one-year-old Palestinian in a report Saturday with the headline, “250 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel; 1-year-old child among those killed in retaliatory airstrikes.” The report said:
In response to the rockets, the IDF said it has carried out airstrikes on about 130 militant targets in Gaza, including a tunnel, rocket launcher sites and other military compounds used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Four Palestinians have been killed in the airstrikes, including a 14-month-old child and the child’s pregnant mother, Gaza health officials said.
But the IDF pushed back, noting that its own investigations had concluded that the woman and her child were killed by a Palestinian rocket. The IDF criticized journalists who “amplified the lie”:
Yesterday, Palestinian weapons caused the tragic death of a mother in Gaza and her baby. Hamas blamed Israel. Journalists amplified the lie. Our assessment indicates that the incident had nothing to do with IDF strikes.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 5, 2019
Four Israeli civilians, including an Arab Muslim citizen of Israel, were killed by the Palestinian rockets, and dozens more were wounded, even though the Iron Dome missile defense system reportedly intercepted 86% of the nearly 700 rockets fired.
Rockets fired by Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad are notoriously inaccurate (see image above), and often kill or wound Palestinians themselves.
In the 2014 Gaza war, for example, a rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad landed on a Palestinian kindergarten. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs noted that “hundreds of rockets fell within Gaza itself and killed or wounded untold numbers of Gazan residents. … Almost certainly, the names of these innocent civilians can be found in the Hamas casualty list blamed on Israel.”
Palestinian terror groups score propaganda victories regardless of where their rockets land: if they land in Israel, the terror groups can claim victory; if they land in Gaza, the terror groups can blame Israel — and the media will dutifully comply.
CNN’s article does not include the IDF comment.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.