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Thursday Jan. 20, 2011 5:50 PM (EST+7)
Spin on villager's death reveals Israeli media-military connections

Read more: Jawaher Abu Rahmah, media, Central Command, Avi Mizrachi, +972, Noam Sheizaf

RAMALLAH, Jan 20 (JMCC) - The latest Israeli government version of the events surrounding the death of Bilin villager Jawaher Abu Rahmah contradicts all previous ones, according to Israeli journalist Noam Sheizaf.

Jawaher's brother Bassem was killed in 2009 by a tear gas canister shot to the chest, and her jailed cousin Abdullah's sentence has been extended by Israeli military courts.

Each story has sought to move blame for her death from soldiers' actions. Sheizaf charges that the way in which each version was adopted and disseminated by the Israeil media and blogosphere illuminates the connections between military communications officers and newsrooms across Israel.

[T]he army’s story was released (again) through unofficial channels, and not by IDF spokesperson. Harretz’s piece, as well as other reports in the Hebrew media, indicates that the source of the story was at Central Command. The fact that same story appeared on all media outlets suggests that Central Command’s CO Avi Mizrachi was personally involved in releasing it.

After the protest, Palestinian sources claimed that Jawahar Abu Rahmah stood on a hill near her home, not far from the protest, inhaled massive amounts of tear gas and as a result, collapsed. She was rushed to Ramallah’s hospital, where she died the next day.

In the following days, the army presented several versions for the event. It claimed that Abu-Rahmah died at her home, that she died of cancer, and that she wasn’t present at the protest or hurt from tear gas. An army source even spread a vicious rumor that Jawahar was murdered by a Palestinian for violating her family’s honor.

The current IDF version contradicts all previous ones.

Read more in +972mag...






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