Haaretz Clarifies on Death of Palestinian-American Omar As’ad

Haaretz is the second media outlet to correct in recent days after publishing the unfounded claim that elderly Palestinian-American Omar Abdalmajeed As’ad died while in Israeli military custody. Following the United Press International correction last week, CAMERA’s Israel office prompted correction of the lead article which appeared on today’s front page of the English edition (“Report: Death of Palestinian was moral lapse,” and online here), which claimed that Omar As’ad “died while in custody, allegedly without any attempt at medical intervention by the soldiers guarding him.” (Screenshot of the original below.)
The Hebrew version of the same article, in contrast, does not state that As’ad died while in custody. Indeed, there is uncertainty about when he passed away.
As the Associated Press reported today: “It’s unclear when exactly he died. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead after the other detainees found him unconscious.”
Evidently, the soldiers certainly did not act as they should, as the army itself found. But that failure doesn’t negate the fact that the English edition claim overstepped the known facts when it asserts that he died “while in custody.”
In response to communication from CAMERA, Haaretz editors commendably corrected the digital article in a very timely fashion. The amended online article now accurately reports:
 While in custody, As’ad was motionless for an extended period of time, allegedly without any attempt at medical intervention by the soldiers guarding him. He was later declared dead at a nearby hospital.

State Department spokesman Ned Price Jan. 12 on the death of As’ad: “We support a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this incident.”

Meanwhile, Agence France Presse’s English article today (“Israel to remove two commanders over the death of Palestinian-American,” 11:10 AM GMT) misreports: “The Palestinian Authority welcomed the investigation into last month’s death in Israeli custody of Omar Assad, 78, but called on Israel to probe all Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli troops, not just those involving US passport holders.” (Emphasis added.)
CAMERA has contacted AFP about the error. Stay tuned for an update about a correction.

Feb. 2: AFP Corrects

In response to communication from CAMERA's Israel office, AFP has commendably corrected its article. The updated text (8:56 PM GMT) accurately reports:

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death last month of 78-year-old Omar Assad, but called on Israel to probe all Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli troops, not just those involving US passport holders.