The Winston Churchill expression, “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”, came to mind when on 28 May, 2021, the New York Times front page, published pictures of children killed in the recent Israel-Gaza war.
The headline read, “They were just children”, as the New York Times listed the names of 67 children under the age of 17 who were killed. Two in Israel and 65 in the Gaza Strip.
Investigative journalists and bloggers questioned the NY Times “splash” and began to look into the subject.
A few days later, the NY Times printed a retraction that stated one of the 67 pictures, was of a child killed under “other circumstances” and not during the hostilities.
The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre (www.terrorism-info.org.il) kept digging and revealed the name of one of the children, belonged to a Hamas military terrorist wing operative. He was Muhammad Sabar Ibrahim Suleiman, 16, killed on 11 May 2021, in an attack in the eastern part of Jabalia along with his father, a commander in Hamas’ military wing, Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades.
A video then circulated on social media after the end of the hostilities of Muhammed Saber Ibrahim Suleiman, wearing an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades uniform, despite his young age. In other words, he had been recruited by Hamas into its military terrorist wing.
Previously, Khaled Imad Khaled al-Qanua (Abu Suheib), who was identified by the New York Times as a 17-year-old boy, was found to be a 20-year-old terrorist operative. He was killed on May 13, 2021, in an aerial attack on a Palestinian terrorist squad near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.
The Mujahedeen Brigades, which is the military-terrorist wing of the Mujahedeen Movement, whose leadership split from Fatah and are today allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and closely allied to Iran, issued a mourning notice. It stated he was an organisation operative and that he was 20 years old. (Source: Mujahedeen Brigades’ Telegram channel, May 13, 2021).
Furthermore, at least two young children were killed at around 6.05 pm on 10 May, 2021 when a homemade rocket fired by a Palestinian armed group, fell short and killed eight Palestinians.
The aid agency, Defence for Children @DCIPalestine based in Gaza tweeted the information and named Saleh Dardouna Street, near the Al-Omari Mosque in Jabalia, where the rocket fell.
DCIP also confirmed they collected the evidence. However, two days later, the tweets were unsurprisingly removed and no further information was posted on terror rockets falling short of their target. But satellite and camera video clearly shows around 400 rockets fired from Gaza residential areas, fell inside of Gaza.
The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre believes that the other six individuals mentioned by the DCIP were also teenagers. Therefore all eight of the children whose names were on the NY Times list, were killed by Gaza terror organisation rockets that either misfired or dropped inside of Gaza on 10 May, 2021.
Their names were: Baraa al-Ghrabi, 4, from Jabalia, Ibrahim Hassanein, 16, from Beit Hanoun, Mustafa al-Abir, 17, from Beit Hanoun, Hussein Hamad, 11, from Beit Hanoun, Yazen al-Masri, 2, from Beit Hanoun, Marwan al-Masri, 7 from Beit Hanoun, Ibrahim al-Masri, 11, from Beit Hanoun, Rahaf Muhammad Atallah al-Masri, 10, from Beit Hanoun.
Most of the remaining 55 were killed when the IDF attacked command centres and children were either on the site or nearby. In a briefing, the IDF admitted that they hit a building after giving the usual warning, but because of underground tunnels close to its foundation, buildings close-by collapsed, adding that most of the deaths occurred on the same street.
We must never forget that Palestinian Hamas used the tunnels as command centres and to store weapons. In addition, there were numerous hidden passageways for operatives to move between posts.
Whilst the deaths of innocent civilians is tragic, the IDF carried out around 1,500 aerial attacks. Yet despite its huge efforts to avoid harming civilians, children in particular, Hamas’ tactic of positioning its command centres in the heart of densely populated areas, led directly to the unfortunate deaths of more than 50 children.
It is estimated that around 120 non-combatants, including children, were killed in the IDF strikes, but at least 135 terrorist operatives from the various organizations in Gaza were also killed.
After “Operation Guardian of the Walls”, Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, admitted that positioning their headquarters in civilian structures was “problematic,” (Al-Jazeera, June 5, 2021).
But no one has time for the “facts” these days. Media organisations including the New York Times are sloppy with their reporting and therefore mislead the public, which of course increases the anti-Semitism.
Truth matters and all of us have a responsibility to seek it and disseminate it.