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June 29, 2006

Times Ignores Palestinian, Israeli Sources; Blames Israel

Two Palestinians were killed yesterday in Khan Yunis in an incident that both Palestinian and Israeli sources blame on Palestinian explosives. The New York Times, however, blames "an unexploded Israeli shell."

Voice of Palestine radio in Ramallah reported in Arabic yesterday at 13:00 gmt : “Two citizens, including an infant, were martyred and seven others were wounded in an internal explosion in a house in Khan Yunis a short while ago.” The BBC Worldwide Monitoring, which provided the translation, then paraphrased:

The announcer-read report is followed by an interview with Adi al-Za’nun, radio correspondent in Gaza. Al-Za’nun says the “martyrs” are “one-year-old Maysam Iyad Mas’ud and her cousin Qasim Muhammad Mas’ud, 23.” Al-Za’nun cites eyewitnesses as saying that the explosion occurred while a member of the family was “carrying a grenade” which exploded inside the house.

Likewise, an AFP article yesterday, headlined “Accidental grenade explosion kills two Palestinians,” states:

Two Palestinians were killed and another seven, including a baby, wounded when a grenade accidentally exploded in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, medical and security sources said.

Family members were playing with a grenade in the town of Khan Yunis when it exploded, killing 23-year-old Qassem Massud and his one-year-old niece, Maissam, the sources said.

Ha’aretz had a slightly different version, blaming the death on a Palestinian Qassam, as opposed to a grenade, but there, too, no information supported the Times' claim that an unexploded Israeli shell at fault. Amos Harel, Yuval Azoulay and Aluf Benn report:

Meanwhile, a 26-year-old Hamas activist was killed in an explosion in his Khan Yunis home yesterday. A 9-month-old girl was also killed, and the man’s mother was seriously injured. The explosion apparently occurred while the man was putting together a Qassam rocket.

CAMERA has contacted the New York Times to ask for substantiation that an Israeli shell is at fault for these deaths. If none is available, a correction is in order. Stay tuned.

Posted by TS at June 29, 2006 04:30 AM

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