A video at CNN with reporting by Sara Sidner from Gaza tells us "how a small child became a symbol of civilian casualties." Some of her narrative: "A scene no parent should ever have to endure"; "Four year-old Mahmoud Sadallah lies dead in the arms of a neighbor, a child of Gaza, another victim of an airstrike"; "we saw no evidence here of military activity." There's even a scene where Ms. Sidner reports having to flee where she is currently reporting because "there are airstrikes" and "rockets." Since Hamas doesn't have an air force, we're supposed to assume that Israel's military is responsible for Mahmoud's death.
Except, as Joel Pollak at Breitbart noted this morning, others have shown that Sidner wants us to believe isn't the truth (bolds are mine throughout this post; links are in originals presented):
Hamas has once again apparently been caught faking an image of a dead Palestinian child--this time using a child likely killed by its own rocket fire and claiming that an Israeli attack was responsible. CNN's Sara Sidner ran a full report on the child's death, strongly implying that an Israeli bomb had been responsible.
The dead child was paraded before the cameras during the visit of Egyptian prime minister Hisham Kandil, who kissed the dead child in the presence of Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. But even the New York Times was suspicious.
Bloggers such as Elder of Ziyon quickly pieced together the evidence of Hamas fakery:
... the fact that Hamas and other terror groups were firing rockets throughout Friday morning while the IDF did not, plus the fact that over 100 rockets have fallen short in Gaza (both using past performance and IDF statistics as proof), and the fact that the shrapnel in the video matches almost exactly the shrapnel damage we have seen from rocket fire into Israel, and it is very clear: this child was killed by Gaza rocket fire, not by Israel.
Not every civilian death in Gaza is faked, of course. But almost every civilian death can be attributed to Hamas, which deliberately fires rockets from civilian areas and hides its weapons caches in mosques and homes.
Update: According to the office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 60 of the 703 rockets fired by Hamas and other terror groups since the start of the conflict have fallen on Palestinian civilians. The Israel Defense Force says that 99 rockets in total that were fired at Israel have hit Gaza itself in four days of conflict.
Update 2: Several sources now report that the child was, in fact, killed by a Hamas rocket, not Israel. Those sources include the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Will CNN issue a correction to its earlier false report?
If CNN has issued a correction, I wasn't able to find it.
The truth about this incident reveals a horrifying aspect of Hamas's conduct of which I daresay even most relatively informed followers of the news aren't aware, as explained by Richard Landes at PJ Media:
... the head of Hamas, whose boys systematically fire from the midst of civilians — in order to create civilian casualties they can then blame on Israeli counter-strikes — exploiting a death directly caused by his men, in order to appeal to western sympathy. It would be hard to imagine a more stunning portrait of the most depraved hypocrisy (and contempt for viewers who believe this display of compassion).
... It is hard to imagine a more grotesque expression of a mutual corruption: trying to demonize your enemy before an outside audience whom you expect to side with you in the name of empathy for the very children you victimize. How disordered the emotional and moral world of the masterminds of this kind of manipulation must be.
... In other words, Hamas engages in the exceptionally rare wartime act of actively victimizing one’s own civilian population –specifically a war crime – in order to win a victory in cognitive war.
And they can only do so if a corrupt media on the scene (including NGOs and UN agencies), rather than expose their criminal strategies, play along and present the images of dead babies in the framework of the Palestinian narrative of Israeli victimization.
Even if others don't play along (Pollak notes that the Associated Press as well the New York Times reported reasons to be skeptical), the damage is done, as millions of viewers of CNN, especially overseas where alternative media is often not as strong as in the U.S. (not that it's strong enough in the U.S. yet), will never see or hear the truth about Hamas's barbarity. That sad reality makes me wonder if Sara Sidner was really "fooled" at all.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.