According to CNN International, while Israelis shoot and kill Palestinians, Israeli cars “receive” bullets and the occupants die in a “crash.” That is how, at least, two separate incidents were described during a single segment on Isa Soares Tonight on April 10.
On Friday, April 7, a mother, Lucy Dee, and her two daughters, Maia and Rina Dee, were murdered in a terrorist attack in the Jordan Valley. Terrorists fired on them as they were driving to Tiberias as part of a family trip, causing the car to veer off and crash. The terrorists then fired again at the Dee family to make sure they were dead.
How did CNN correspondent Frederik Pleitgen describe this incident?
“But earlier in the West Bank, there was a shooting incident where a car received a bullet shot, or gunshots, with the family in it. It was a mother and her two daughters, and the two daughters were killed in that crash.”
The car “received…gunshots.” The mother and her daughters were “killed in that crash.” It was a “shooting incident” instead of a terror attack (not even “terror attack” in scare quotes, or qualified by the word “suspected.”) Who the suspected shooters were is left entirely unaddressed.
The description stands in stark contrast to how another “shooting incident” was covered by the same correspondent.
On Monday, April 10, a Palestinian, Mohammad Fayez Balhan, was killed during an Israeli military raid in Aqabat Jabr, near Jericho. The Israel Defense Forces were operating in Aqabat Jabr to detain a suspected terrorist when “Palestinians confronted the soldiers,” according to Palestinian Authority’s Wafa News Agency, during which “suspects hurled explosive devices and Molotov cocktails and opened fire” at the Israeli soldiers, according to the IDF. The exact circumstances of Balhan’s death are not clear, however.
Did the CNN correspondent use the same evasive, circuitous style of speaking as he did to describe the murder of the three Israelis? No.
Instead, Pleitgen states:
“[T]he Israeli military shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, Mohammad Fayez Balhan, in another part of the West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health says.”
Earlier in the segment, Isa Soares’s own language was similar:
“Elsewhere in the West Bank, mourners buried a 15-year-old Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers in a refugee camp near Jericho.”
In both cases, the language is clear: Israeli military action killed Balhan.
Absolutely bizarre wording from @CNNI. Compare how it described two shooting incidents.
Israelis “shoot and kill” Palestinian.
Israeli car “received…gunshots” from mysterious, unnamed sources and the occupants were “killed in that crash.” pic.twitter.com/OYpTNx5pIV
— David Litman (@dmlitman) April 10, 2023
Lest one suggest that the correspondent’s language on the shooting death of Balhan was more direct because he cited the Palestinian Ministry of Health, notice that no Israeli official sources were used in describing the murder of the three Israelis. For example, nowhere did the segment use the word “terrorism” in reference to the attack on the three Israelis, despite the fact that Israeli and other governments have clearly labeled it as such.
Furthermore, while Balhan’s age is referenced twice during the segment, not once was it mentioned that Rina Dee, one of the Israeli shooting victims, was also 15 years old.
The bizarre, inconsistent treatment of these two incidents is yet another example of an unmistakable decline in the quality of CNN’s coverage of Israel.