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Israel Accuses Abbas of Lying About Wounded Boy in Video

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    Israel Shows Boy Abbas Said Was Dead

    President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said Ahmad Manasra, 13, was killed by an Israeli on Monday. Then Israel released video of the living boy being treated in a hospital on Thursday.

    By REUTERS on Publish Date October 15, 2015. Photo by Reuters. Watch in Times Video »
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    Israel has accused the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, of lying about a video of a 13-year-old Arab boy bleeding profusely on an East Jerusalem street on Monday that has provoked outrage in the Arab world.

    The graphic clip, which has been viewed nearly three million times on the Facebook page of a Palestinian journalist, was said to have been recorded and shared online by an Israeli bystander who jeered and heckled the boy, Ahmad Manasra, after, the police say, he attacked a Jewish boy his age with a knife and was hit by a car while fleeing the scene.

    But in a statement distributed by Israeli government officials on Tuesday, Hadassah University Hospital said that “in stark contrast to circulating rumors,” Ahmad was in stable condition and fully conscious. The hospital also released a photograph of the boy in bed on Thursday, which was displayed prominently in the Israeli news media.

    Nonetheless, Mr. Abbas held up a still image from the video of Ahmad in a televised address broadcast Wednesday night, and he asserted that the boy had been killed.

    Many viewers of the clip have expressed sympathy for the wounded teenager and anger at the Israeli who recorded the video. The unseen man, who was eventually pushed away from the boy by officers, stood over him, cursing and shouting, “Die, son of a whore!”

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    لمن يبحث عن الادب والنعومة واللطافة ان لا يشاهد هذا الفيديو . ونحن لا نعتذر بل على كل العالم ان يعتذر لنا ولاولادناهذا فيديو حقير وفيه الفاظ حقيرة وتطرف مجنون وكلمات نابية ... لكن فيه شرف العرب . ودمعة طفل من القدس يطلب الاسعاف ولكن ... شاهدوا

    Posted by د . ناصر اللحام on Monday, October 12, 2015

    As the images spread on social media, however, so did misinformation about the boy’s fate — with many captions asserting, incorrectly, that Ahmad had been shot and killed, either by an Israeli soldier or a settler. (The episode took place in Pisgat Zeev, which Israelis describe as a Jewish neighborhood in the predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, but which Palestinians call a settlement, as it was built on land seized by Israel’s military in 1967. Israel later annexed the eastern half of the city, in a move that has never been internationally recognized.)

    In a video report accusing Israel of faking evidence of other knife attacks, a reporter for the Palestinian news agency Maan described the clip as evidence of “murder” and claimed in her narration that the video showed the boy lying on the ground when “an Israeli occupation soldier shoots him in the head,” which it does not.

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    A video report by Mirna al-Atrash for the Palestinian Maan News Network, accusing Israel of framing Palestinians it "executes." Maan Network, via YouTube

    Another copy of the video, subtitled in English and Spanish and viewed thousands of times on YouTube, came with an introduction that said the boy “was shot and injured by a settler.”

    On Wednesday, after Ahmad’s father told Channel 2 News in Israel that his son had not stabbed anyone — but had simply gone to buy something at a store with a cousin, Hassan, when “a car came and struck him, and then the settlers came and continued, beating him” — the Israeli police released surveillance-camera footage that appeared to show the two Arab teenagers carrying knives as they chased a second Jewish man who was stabbed in the neighborhood on Monday.

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    Video released by Israel's police on Wednesday, said to show two Arab teenagers running through a Jewish area of East Jerusalem with knives on Monday. Ofir Gendelman

    The new footage also shows the Israeli boy who was stabbed falling from his bike after the attack, and Ahmad’s older cousin being gunned down a short time later as he appeared to charge at officers with a knife. Video of Hassan’s body, lying near light-rail tracks in the pavement like his wounded cousin, also circulated on Facebook, which perhaps caused some confusion.


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    Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, drew attention to the new video, which he said offered evidence that Palestinian officials had lied by claiming “that these two terrorists were innocent bystanders.”

    It was not clear why Mr. Abbas said that Ahmad had died, given that the hospital clarified the record a day earlier.

    Photo President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority held up an image of Ahmad Manasra, 13, during an address televised Wednesday night. Credit Palestine TV, via YouTube

    “We will not submit to the logic of overwhelming force,” Mr. Abbas said in his address on Wednesday, “the policies of occupation and aggression practiced by the Israeli government, and a herd of its settlers, who practice terrorism against our people and our holy sites, our homes and our trees, executing our children in cold blood, as they did with this child, Ahmad Manasra, and other children in Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine.”

    Mr. Gendelman and other Israeli officials were quick to react.

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    Abbas' comments tonight were incitement and lies. The youth he is talking about is alive & was hospitalized after he stabbed an Israeli boy.

    — Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) Oct. 14, 2015

    On Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem, Israel’s General Press Office released proof that they boy was alive, in the form of video of him being cared for in the hospital.

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    Video of Ahmad Manasra, a Palestinian boy injured on Monday in East Jerusalem, being treated in an Israeli hospital this week. Israel's Government Press Office, via YouTube

    Mr. Netanyahu on Tuesday had urged Mr. Abbas to “stop lying” about what took place before and after the scene of the boy’s agony was recorded on video, and “not turn murderers into heroes.”

    “An Arab boy critically wounds a Jewish boy, and after the security forces stop him so that he cannot continue with his stabbing spree, he is turned into a martyr who was supposedly executed, having done no wrong,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “Well, first of all, he is not dead, he is alive. Second, he was not executed, he attempted to execute. He attempted to kill and execute, but your spokesperson announces the complete opposite in a distorted and outrageous statement.”

    Mr. Netanyahu made his remarks to a special session of the Israeli Parliament dedicated to the memory of Rehavam Zeevi, an Israeli minister who had advocated the “voluntary transfer” of the entire Palestinian population. He was assassinated in 2001.

    On Thursday, Palestinian officials distributed an “unofficial translation” of Mr. Abbas’s speech into English in which the wording had been changed. Where, in the Arabic original, Mr. Abbas had accused Israel of “executing our children in cold blood, as they did with this child, Ahmad Manasra,” the English version had Israel “shooting” Ahmad in cold blood instead.

    A Palestinian official, who asked not to be named because of the political delicacy of the issue, struggled to explain the discrepancy. He said that Mr. Abbas was aware that Ahmad was alive when he made the speech, and that the context and meaning of his Arabic comments had been misread. Mr. Abbas had meant that the Israelis “attempted” to execute Ahmad, the official said.


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