This post edited on 1 January with an update:Â
On the radio news this morning (31 December) 6PR reported that Israeli troops had fired into civilians returning from the Haj pilgrimage and killed one civilian.
A quick check of the Israeli news at the time showed that thisÂ was a Palestinian claim, that has yet to be verified.Â YNet NewsÂ reported that “the Army had denied opening fire”
Israel National News reported as follows:
(IsraelNN.com) Local Arabs reported fighting on Sunday night between Egyptian security forces and Gaza residents attempting to return to Gaza from their pilgrimage to Mecca.Â While some Gaza Arabs were reportedly allowed through the Rafiah crossing earlier in the day, many others continue to wait.Â The group of pilgrims refuses to reenter Gaza via a crossing controlled by Israel, for fear that several members of the group will be detained by security forces.
According to some reports, gunfire broke out near Erez crossing, and one woman from Gaza was killed.Â Local Arabs blamed the IDF for the gunfire, but IDF sources said that soldiers were not involved in any incident in the area.
It is disturbing that a news service can take a Palestinian claim and report this as fact, without the balance of noting that the incident was denied by the Israeli Army.Â It is well known thatÂ many events are “constructed” for the media.Â It is very easy for news editors to check the way in which these items are being reportedÂ within the Israeli pressÂ to obtain a sense of balance.Â
The report on 6PR made the Israeli army seem like indiscriminate and subhuman killers.Â The wording was as if to say that the Israeli soldiers wereÂ shooting recreationally intoÂ a crowd of civilians.Â It was a biased and obscene.
By the way, there was also no mention on the radio news about the 15 missiles fired over theÂ last few days from Gaza into Israel.
Update on 1 Jan:
One day later, the news is updated from Israel.Â Ynet suggests that a crowd of 700 people panicked the IDF soliders who fired in the air to disburse the crowd.Â Jerusalem Post reports as follows:
The Palestinian woman who died Sunday at Erez Crossing was likely killed by IDF fire, the army announced Monday in a statement. Â According to the conclusions of the investigation, the soldiers opened fire because they felt threatened by the press of Palestinian pilgrims returning from the haj to Mecca. Â “After the group had passed to the Palestinian side of the crossing, hundreds of Palestinians crowded together within the passage and began to advance en masse towards an IDF post located nearby,” the statement said. “The IDF force at the post, feeling threatened by the advancing crowd, called on them to back away. When the Palestinians did not comply, the force fired warning shots into the air in order to distance the crowd.” Â
The statement said that the woman was “apparently” killed and an additional man was injured “as a result of this fire.” The army said that “at no stage was there intent to harm civilians.”
The above explanation provides context, and notes the intent of the IDF.Â In order to place balance into the story 6PR needed to either hold their story until this information was available,Â or present theirÂ news reports as aÂ PalestinianÂ claim.Â
There is no justification for the way in which this incident was initially reported.Â Â TheÂ Israelis did not indescriminantely set out to kill somebody.Â Unlike the Palestinians who firedÂ a further two rockets into Israel from Gaza overnight.Â