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Media Critiques

After HRC Complaint, CBC Reports on Child Killed by Palestinian Rocket

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posted by Mike Fegelman

Screengrab from CBC News Website

Last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) released a report on the November hostilities between Israel and Hamas confirming that a Palestinian rocket and not an Israeli airstrike, had tragically killed 11-month-old Omar al-Masharawi, the infant son of BBC photographer Jihad al-Masharawi.

The UNHRC – an organization traditionally hostile to Israel – contended that a Hamas rocket fell short of its intended target (Israel) and landed in Gaza killing baby Omar instantly.

The UNHRC report said the following: “On 14 November, a woman, her 11-month-old infant, and an 18-year-old adult in Al-Zaitoun were killed by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel.69 In addition, OHCHR received reports related to an incident in which two civilians, including a child, were killed, and five persons, including three children, were injured, as a result of what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short and hit a house in Al-Quds Street, near Khilla Gas Station, Jabalya, on 16 November.”

At the time, many media outlets rushed to blame Israel for this Palestinian child’s death. In Canada, CBC News published a report to its website on November 15 which carried unsubstantiated claims by unnamed Palestinian hospital officials who contended that the infant was killed in an Israeli airstrike. This UN report provided proper countenance to these claims which had lacked veracity.

In the interests of accuracy and fairness, on March 8, we asked CBC News.ca’s Managing Editor, Ms. Marissa Nelson, and the CBC’s Editor-in-Chief, Ms. Jennifer McGuire, to issue a story update to bring this new development to CBC reader’s attention.

We are pleased to report that on March 11, CBC.ca issued the following story to its website: Baby killed in Gaza likely died of Palestinian rocket, UN says:

Likewise, CBC National aired the following 20 second report:

We hope this incident will serve as a reminder that Canada’s news providers must avoid rushing to judgement, especially in controversial news stories and even more so when the credibility of some news sources are unreliable. Indeed, the mainstream media’s knee-jerk tendency to malign Israel as the ruthless murderer of Palestinian children would never had taken place if some due diligence was exercised by international journalists.

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