Never believe the Israeli army killed an unarmed civilian until it’s officially denied. This paraphrasing of Mark Twain’s “never believe anything until it has officially been denied,” should become a mantra for journalists operating in the Middle East.
It is a point reinforced recently by the death of a West Bank Palestinian resident, Jawaher abu Rahmah, who died from tear gas exposure during the recent demonstration against Israel’s separation wall and land annexation in the village of Bil’in.
It has become an almost predictable pattern: a Palestinian civilian is killed during a demonstration or Israeli military incursion and the evidence and witness testimony clearly demonstrates Israeli culpability. Then, military sources give farfetched and contradictory statements that become the central focus in Israeli and American media reports.