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Media Analyses





Independent, Times of Israel Update: Police Find Palestinian Girl Died in Car Accident


Fatal Palestinian road accidents are, sadly, all too common, and it seems unlikely that The Independent would have reported on the tragic death, on Saturday (Aug. 26), of a young Palestinian girl in the West Bank if there wasn’t a "settler" angle. The girl, Aseel Abu Oun, was killed after an Israeli vehicle struck her on a road which runs through the Jordan Valley.
 
Here’s the Indy’s headline accompanying their story on the incident.
 

The article opens:
An Israeli settler has reportedly been questioned by police after running over and killing an eight-year-old Palestinian girl. Aseel Abu Oun was killed near her village of Furush Beit Dajan in the occupied West Bank. She was leaving a supermarket with a friend when she was hit by the car, Al Jazeera reported.
Then, after citing a Haaretz report that “police detained the driver for questioning and had opened an investigation,” the article continued:
Members of Aseel’s family told Al Jazeera they had asked for an independent actor to oversee the investigation. “We are used to the Israeli police and their ways of dealing with settler aggression or attacks on Palestinians,” Jawdat Abu Oun, one of Aseel’s relatives said.
CAMERA's UK Media Watch contacted Mickey Rosenfeld, spokesperson for the Israeli police, to check on the results of their investigation. Rosenfeld said that police determined that Abu Oun was killed in an accident, and ruled out the possibility of any negligence or criminal actions by the driver. UK Media Watch tweeted Samuel Osborne, the journalist who wrote the article.
 
A couple of hours later, the Indy added text noting the police conclusion that it was “a regular road accident.” Though the headline wasn’t changed, the strap line was updated and now reads: "Israeli police say event was 'regular road accident.'"
 
In addition, Times of Israel updated its article ("Palestinian girl killed after being struck by car in West Bank") about the fatal accident after communication from CAMERA. The article had reported:
The driver of the vehicle was detained for questioning and police said an investigation was opened into the incident, the Haaretz daily reported. Channel 2 said the vehicle was Israeli.
Following CAMERA's request, editors commendably added the following information to the article:
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later reportedly said that an investigation into the incident determined it was an accident.
In addition, editors added this sub-headline: "Police reportedly determine incident that caused death of 5-year-old on Route 80 in Jordan Valley was an accident."

A version of this post earlier appeared at CAMERA's UK Media Watch.

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