The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report that says Palestinians, rather than Israelis, killed the infant son of BBC journalist Jihad al-Masharawi on November 14. When the boy was killed during Operation Pillar of Defense in November, the media and various monitoring groups piled on Israel. Photographs of the father holding the deceased infant were shown around the world.
The Washington Post featured the picture on the front page and above the fold on November 15, 2012, attributing the boy’s death to “an Israeli airstrike” (source: UK Spectator):
Neither the Washington Post nor the rest of the media bothered to check Palestinian claims or to report them with an appropriate degree of skepticism.
U.N. watchdog group Human Rights Watch, which attempted to keep a running tally of all the civilian deaths Israel and Hamas had caused during Pillar of Defense, reported that Israel had killed Mishrawi’s “11-month old” son the day after the infant died.
BBC journalists used tweets to imply Israel’s guilt in the infant’s death the day the child was killed. But now, the U.N. says the infant was killed by a rocket fired at Israelis “by Palestinians that missed its mark.” The infant boy and his mother were both killed by the Palestinians.
This incident serves as an example of how the mainstream media amplifies Palestinian casualties to hurt Israel’s image but rarely, if ever, clarifies the record once Israel is shown to be innocent.