The New York Times Al-Najar story: A journalistic sham

Israel should express sorrow at the death of a young Palestinian paramedic, but no apology is needed
A picture taken on March 30, 2018 from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza Strip shows tear gas grenades falling during a Palestinian protest, with Israeli soldiers seen below in the foreground. (AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ)
A picture taken on March 30, 2018 from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza Strip shows tear gas grenades falling during a Palestinian protest, with Israeli soldiers seen below in the foreground. (AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ)

The New York Times recently published an investigation into the events that led to the death of Razan Al-Najar, a 20-year-old Palestinian paramedic who was killed during Hamas’ violent demonstrations in the Gaza Strip border. The investigation, which was based on 1,000 videos and pictures taken at the event, stated that her shooting was “negligent at best, and may consist of a war crime”

If I, a reserve soldier, would have to summarize this research, the two words that would best fit to describe it would be “journalistic sham.” Why? Because the job of journalists is to present their readers with the full picture and the whole story. In this case it is far from reality. This research is simply a one big manipulation.

Anyone who knows a bit about the reality on the Gaza Strip border in the last ten months knows that the paramedic here is not the story. The story is a democratic state with an orderly army, with clear orders, an internal enforcement mechanism, and a clear code of ethics that fights against a murderous terror organization, for which the murder of Israeli women and children is a source of pride.

A decent journalist who would be interested in investigating what that appeared to be a war crime in the vicinity of the events on the fence would tell the whole story and ask the questions that no one seems to want to ask: Why does Hamas use women and children? Who is paying to transport the ‘civilians’ to the fence? How deep is the involvement of Hamas terrorists and other terrorist organizations in these demonstrations? Why does Hamas send children to sabotage the fence?

In the past few months, ‘My Truth’ have collected dozens of testimonies of IDF soldiers describing the use of human shields by terrorist organizations in order to harm IDF soldiers and civilians, including the use of women, children, the elderly, medical teams and more. Among our witnesses were also combat soldiers who recently served on the border of the Gaza Strip and took part in dealing with the violent demonstrations every Friday. The reality they describe is inconceivable – throwing explosive devices from a group of children, placing women, children and medical teams on the front line, and other examples.

We have not chosen our neighbors, and it is regrettable to see how the terrorist organization Hamas is abusing its people, however protecting our citizens from these terrorists is more important.

It has been a long time since the international community has almost completely ignored the shocking methods used by Hamas to harm soldiers and civilians. The use of children as human shields, the exploitation of the elderly and the handicapped and the launching of rockets from schools are only a small part of the ways in which Hamas uses its own civilians to harm IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens. This latest New York Times research is yet another link in a chain of escalating moral distortion. Instead of standing alongside those who value life, the New York Times stands alongside a murderous terrorist organization that, in this case, used ambulances and medical teams to promote violent and dangerous demonstrations.

The testimonies we have gathered at ‘My Truth’ are expected to serve on the Israeli public relations front, but this is not enough. The State of Israel must put international PR at the top of its priority and fight back against the growing global Fake News industry against the IDF soldiers.

When an uninvolved person is killed in war, it is sad and unfortunate no matter the circumstances, and certainly every person should be sad at the death of the paramedic. However, from this to issuing an apologize, the road is very long. Official Israel should express sorrow, but under no circumstances to apologize. The only one who must apologize here is Hamas, which sends its medical teams to be puppets in the circus it runs every Friday on the fence.

About the Author
Avihai Shorshan is the director of the "My Truth" organization, which gathers reservists and soldiers in order to bring to the public eye in Israel and abroad the true story of the IDF fighters when dealing with the terrorist organizations.
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