Pro-Israel Media Lie Again, Claim Dead Palestinian Baby Was a Doll – Robert Inlakesh 12/3/23


The Jerusalem Post has retracted an article claiming Palestinians in the Gaza Strip used a doll to fake the death of a baby killed by Israeli attacks. When the mainstream Israeli media outlet made the allegation, pro-Israeli accounts quickly began to share the story, garnering tens of thousands of retweets. Despite the outlet’s half-baked apology for publishing a blatantly false story, this isn’t the first time such claims have been made.

The war rages on inside the besieged Gaza Strip, worsening what UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths called “the worst ever” humanitarian crisis he has seen in his long career. All the while, Israeli media outlets have gone into overdrive in their attempts to downplay the suffering. In the latest atrocity denial deception, the Jerusalem Post manufactured a fake news story to try to detract from the civilian massacres that the Israeli military has inflicted in recent days. The original article was written to sound as if it had been established as a fact that the Palestinian child was, in fact, a doll (and that his family was faking their grief). It was removed from the outlet’s website, but it can be viewed in full here.

To begin with, the videos, which pro-Israeli propagandists falsely claimed featured a doll, show five-month-old Palestinian baby Muhammad Hani Al-Zahar, who was killed after Israeli airstrikes targeted the area of Deir al-Balah in the central area of Gaza. Two videos that were circulated, showing the slain baby in the arms of his mother, Asmahan Attia Al-Zahar, and his grandfather, Attia Abu Amra, were taken at the scene of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. For a thorough debunking of the Israeli lies about the baby, here is a fact-check investigation. If this is not sufficient for some people, they can view the photos of the five-month-old, which were uploaded to Getty Images in higher quality.

The deceased baby’s body was undergoing rigor mortis when the footage was filmed, and pro-Israeli outlets and online personalities likely seized on the opportunity presented to them with some of the videos of this dead infant, as little Muhammad does appear similar to how a baby doll looks. However, if you look at different videos as well as the photos taken by various journalists, which you can find in the links above, it is clear that you are witnessing a real family mourn over a real dead baby.

The Jerusalem Post‘s retraction, posted on X, states that “over the weekend, we shared an article based on faulty sourcing. The article in question did not meet our editorial standards and was thus removed.” It expresses regret and says the issue was being addressed internally. However, the retraction never mentions the article in question, nor is there an apology to the bereaved family of the slain Palestinian baby.

Although it is impossible to tell with absolute certainty what the specific intent of all those involved at the Jerusalem Post was, what is clear is that this was no accident. For an established news outlet to publish such a wild claim in an article that attempts to undermine the professionalism of another outlet, in this case, Al-Jazeera, the piece would have to go through editors first. This means that at minimum, two people were looking at the article and gave it the go-ahead ( at least three or four people are likely to take a look at something of this nature, perhaps more). On November 25, the Jerusalem Post ran a piece that attacked fake news and lies spread online about Israel’s war on Gaza, which makes their recent article even more damning.

The fake baby story stated that “social media users quickly shared footage of the ‘baby’ without the blurred edits shared by the News source, revealing it to be only a doll.” When they claim “faulty sourcing,” the only source for their claim appears to be “social media users,” which no professional journalist would ever cite as proof of the claim that a Palestinian family and local media, who would have had to conspire with medical workers, faked the death of a baby and mourned over a doll. This is such a despicable and dirty claim that for it to be published as fact, the Jerusalem Post would have to be made up of people who are incapable of critical thinking or willing to conspire to push a fake story….

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