Double Duty and Journalistic Dereliction: Ashraf Ibrahim, Served Both Intelligence and Terror Forces

Ashraf Mohammad Ibrahim, killed in Jenin two days ago during a pitched gunbattle with Israeli troops, was a Palestinian intelligence officer. He also moonlighted as a fighter belonging to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a designated terrorist organization affiliated with Fatah. While many news outlets reported his day job, they initially neglected to note his role as a terror operative. Following communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, media outlets including Reuters, Associated Press and Times of Israel added the terror affiliation, while Haaretz and Agence France Presse ignored calls to share the relevant information.

Haaretz, for instance, whitewashed (“Palestinian Officer Killed By Israeli Army Fire in West Bank City of Jenin,” Jack Khoury):

A Palestinian intelligence officer was killed Monday morning by Israeli army gunfire in the West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. . . .

According to the health ministry’s statement, the officer who was killed with 37-year-old Ashraf Ibrahim.

Palestinian sources in Jenin told Haaretz that Ibrahim was active in the Fatah, and spend 11 years in Israeli prisons before being released in 2019. Like many other former prisoners, he joined the ranks of the Palestinian security organizations, finding a role in the intelligence wing.

But, as this graphic (below) issued by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade confirms, Ashraf Mohammad Ibrahim was also a “martyr, colonel and clash participant” and “one of the commanders of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.”

Similarly, Times of Israel had initially reported  (Palestinian killed, 7 wounded in IDF raid in Jenin. . .”):

A Palestinian man was killed and at least seven were wounded during a raid by the Israeli military on the northern West Bank city of Jenin early Monday, according to Palestinian health officials.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 37-year-old Ashraf Muhammad Amin Ibrahim was fatally shot in the abdomen and chest by Israeli troops during the raid.

In the international press, Agence France Presse likewise ignored Ibrahim’s terror affiliation, reporting (“Israeli forces kill West Bank Palestinian in West Bank raid: ministry“): “Ibrahim was an officer in the Palestinian intelligence service, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.”

Similarly, Associated Press had initially only reported (“Jewish settlers erect religious school. . . “):

In Jenin, a major flashpoint for violence over the last year, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli forces killed 37-year-old Ashraf Mohammed Ibrahim. The Israeli military said forces on an arrest raid came under heavy fire and fired back.

Reuters, too, originally reported only Ibrahim’s position in the security forces, ignoring his position in the terror forces (“Israeli forces kill Palestinian officer in clashes, WAFA says”):

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party identified the officer as Ashraf Sheikh Ibrahim, saying he had died “as he confronted the aggression and the occupation’s storming of the city of Jenin.”

CAMERA commends the three media outlets — Times of Israel, Associated Press and Reuters — which subsequently added the information about Ashraf’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade affiliation into its reports following correspondence from CAMERA staff.

Times of Israel added both a tweet of the Al Aqsa graphic identifying Ibrahim as its “martyr” commander and the following text:

Palestinian media later circulated a graphic and carried a statement by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade claiming Ibrahim was a member of the terror group as well as an intelligence officer in the Palestinian Authority security forces.

Reuters’ Arabic report, reproduced on MSN, identifying Ibrahim as an officer in the intelligence services, alongside a Reuters photograph of his body wrapped in Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade shrouds (screenshot)

Reuters likewise added to both its English and Arabic reports: “Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade militant group, associated with Fatah, claimed him as a member.”

In addition, AP expanded its article to include:

Ibrahim, an officer of the Palestinian security forces, was identified as a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a militant group loosely linked to President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

See also, “Reuters Backs Away From a Blood Libel: ‘Alleged’ Islamic Jihad Fatalities Were Verified Senior Terrorists

This article was updated on June 4 to reflect the fact that Reuters amended its Arabic report to include Ibrahim’s affiliation with the terror organization.

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