To France24’s Laila Odeh, civilian victims meet their “death” but murderers “ascend”

June 25 UPDATE:

On June 22, following the publication of this post, Laila Odeh deleted her tweet stating that the terrorist who murdered four civilians in "ascended" to heaven.

In less than an hour, France24’s Jerusalem correspondent Laila Odeh went from glorifying a terrorist who murdered four civilians (“settlers,” in her words) to being treated as a respectable, balanced journalist reporting on the exact same terror attack.

Following the murder of four Israeli civilians by Hamas terrorists near the town of ‘Eli, Odeh took to Twitter and posted the following:

A screenshot of the post by Laila Odeh.

“Israeli military broadcaster: the perpetrator who ascended [i.e. to heaven, Arabic: ارتقى] near the ‘Eli settlement in Ramallah [governorate], is a resident of ‘Urif near Nablus.” 

Of course, Israeli military radio never used the term “ascended” in reference to IDF killing the al-Qassam Battalions murderer Khaled Mustafa Sabah (one of two culprits; the other is Muhannad Faleh Shehadeh from Hawara.) Rather, this was a novelty of Odeh’s own sick imagination.

This isn’t the first time the Jerusalem correspondent glorified Hamas terrorists who targeted civilians. Consider, for example, the following October 2013 Facebook post, which she wrote while employed by France24:

A screenshot of the post by Laila Odeh.

“Palestinian youth Muhammad ‘Asi ascended to the highest heavens after his assassination by the Israeli military […]”

Hamas- and PIJ-affiliated ‘Asi planted a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus in November 2012, wounding 28 civilians.

In yesterday’s case as in several previous ones, Odeh also distinguished between the murderers – whose death she labeled “ascension” or “martyrdom” – and their victims, who are simply “dead” or at best “were killed.” Similarly, during a round of fighting between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in May 2019, Odeh differentiated between the “martyrdom of seven Palestinians in Gaza” (three of them combatants, including two PIJ members) and the “death of an Israeli settler in Ashkelon.” That “dead settler” was Moshe Agadi, 58, a father of four, from Ashkelon, a town on the Israeli side of the “Green Line,” indicating Odeh views all Jews in Israel as “settlers.”

France24’s management was made aware of its Jerusalem correspondent’s social media record several months ago, but, after a brief suspension pending an investigation, chose to reinstate her even without an apology or retraction of her posts. Having done so, France’s publicly-owned international broadcaster now pretends that Odeh is capable of functioning as a balanced observer of the conflict, as though her extremist views on the subject will not affect her coverage.

But this premise was disproven once again following yesterday attack, as Odeh rationalized the murder of the four Israeli civilians while speaking with the studio in Paris:

“We know that the West Bank settlements are illegitimate settlements, according to international law. Therefore, naturally, this settlement [‘Eli] where approximately five thousand settlers live, is among these illegitimate settlements. Therefore, it seems that three Palestinian perpetrators headed out to execute this targeted operation, according to [Israeli] channel 13”

Unsurprisingly, in typical France24 fashion, Odeh’s legitimizing of terrorism was picked up and echoed in the comment section of the YouTube version of Odeh’s video. Of the 14 comments, 12 expressed support for the attack and celebrated the murder of civilians (screenshot below).

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