Reuters, AFP Headlines Cast Reported Palestinian Assailant as Victim

Harking back to the period of stabbing and other Palestinian attacks four years ago when mainstream media outlets routinely published headlines falsely casting Palestinian perpetrators as victims, two leading wire services this weekend once again offered up headlines turning a reported Palestinian assailant into the victim.

The newest case concerns Badawi Masalmeh, a Palestinian attacker who reportedly was hurling fire-bombs at Israeli vehicles on a West Bank road. The Reuters headline fails to note that the Palestinian teen was reportedly carrying out an attack when Israeli troops fatally shot him. It reads: “Israeli troops kill Palestinian in the West Bank: Health Ministry.” 
But as the accompanying article rightly reports: 

Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank opened fire at a Palestinian who threw a fire-bomb at a car on Saturday, the Israeli military said, and the Palestinian Health Ministry said the man was killed.

The military said the troops were carrying out operations in the area to prevent militant attacks when they saw three Palestinians throwing petrol bombs at an Israeli car traveling on a nearby road.

The troops then opened fire and saw that one suspect had been hit, the military said in a statement. The two other suspects were taken into custody for questioning.

(Regarding the fatal stabbing attacks Friday in London, in contrast, Reuters’ headline rightly noted that the assailant carried out stabbing attacks when police shot him dead: “Police shoot London killer dead, call stabbings a terrorist attack.”)
Like Reuters, Agence France Presse also published a grossly misleading headline about yesterday’s West Bank firebombing attack: “Israeli army kills Palestinian in West Bank.” 

AFP’s accompanying article provides the full picture: 
Israel’s military said the man had been throwing petrol bombs.
An army spokesman said soldiers on [sic] an “anti-terrorist operation” near the village saw three Palestinians throwing petrol bombs at a military vehicle and opened fire, hitting one.

In contrast to AFP’s and Reuters’ headlines, Associated Press’ headline accurately states: “Israeli army kills alleged Palestinian teen attacker.”



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