AP Retracts Story Based on Hamas Lie
The Associated Press (AP) retracted a story that was discovered to be based on a Hamas lie, claiming that an Arab baby died due to the fuel shortage in Gaza.
It turns out that the story was based on a complete manipulation and distortion of the facts and that the story of Mohammed Helou’s death first appeared on March 4 in the local Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds -- before the shortage that allegedly caused his death.
The AP issued a statement saying, it “has withdrawn its story about a 5-month-old baby who was said to have died Friday after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel, the first known death linked to the territory's energy crisis.”
“The timing and reason for the death were confirmed to the AP by a man identified as the baby's father and a Gaza health official, but the report has been called into question after it was learned that a local newspaper carried news of the baby's death on March 4,” the statement continued.
“A substitute story will be filed shortly reflecting the new information,” added the AP.
They then issued a follow-up noting that, “A Gaza man said Sunday his 5-month-old baby died two days ago after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel, but the report was called into question after it emerged that the timing of the baby’s death was misrepresented.”
“The baby’s death — which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a man identified as the father and a Gaza hospital official — would have been the first linked to the territory’s energy crisis, and the report appeared to be an attempt by Gaza’s Hamas rulers to use it to gain sympathy,” noted the AP.
There have been numerous cases, over the years, of media outlets reporting inaccurate information based on stories relayed by Gazan officials. Less than two weeks ago, the Ma’an News Agency reported that Nayif Shaaban Qarmout, 15, was killed in Beit Lahiya, north Gaza. It was reported that, “the 15-ear-old was playing with friends in a play ground near his school when an Israeli missile hit the area.”
However, later in the day the AFP reported that “there was no sign of an [Israeli] air raid.”