Monday, October 29, 2012

At Los Angeles Times, Slain Hamas Gunman Is 'a Palestinian Man'

CAMERA Media Analyses..
29 October '12..

The Los Angeles Times published the following brief today in its print edition:

A deadly Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip and rocket and mortar fire from the Palestinian territory marred a fragile truce that took hold late last week.

Gaza health official Ashraf Kidra said one strike killed a Palestinian man and wounded another. . . .

The wire story was apparently based on an AP story that was published early yesterday, which reported the following about the slain Palestinian man:

The identity of the dead Palestinian wasn't immediately known. The Israeli military said it targeted a militant squad that had fired a rocket at Israel.

Yet, shortly later, and long before the LA Times went to press last night, the casualty's identity was known. Many online news outlets reported throughout the day that the killed Palestinian man was a Hamas fighter. As Reuters reported in a story posted yesterday on the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency Web site ("Israel kills Hamas fighter in south Gaza"):

An Israeli air strike before dawn on Sunday struck two gunmen from Hamas' military wing as they rode a motorcycle near the central town of Khan Younis, local officials said.

The Al-Qassam Brigades said Suleiman Qarra, 27, from Bani Suheila, was killed, and another fighter wounded.

An Israeli military spokesman said the air force had targeted a squad preparing to fire a rocket into Israel.

And there were pictures of the Hamas fighter's funeral, also available yesterday, long before Times editors went to press:

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Hamas militant Suleiman al-Qarra during his funeral in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. A deadly Israeli airstrike and rocket and mortar fire from Gaza on Sunday marred a fragile truce that took hold late last week. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Given that the Times had all the information it needed to identify yesterday's casualty as a Hamas fighter, why did it call him just "a Palestinian man," as if he may have been an innocent bystander?


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