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October 14, 2015 / 1 Heshvan, 5776
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The Real Facts of the Palestinian Teen Shot for Waving a “Toy” Gun in Hevron

The Arab assailant pressed the realistic looking run it to the IDF officer's throat and further attacked other IDF officers, throwing punches and grappling with one.
The toy gun pressed by the Palestinian against the guard's neck. Quite convincing toy.

The toy gun pressed by the Palestinian against the guard's neck. Quite convincing toy.
Photo Credit: IDF

Guardian columnist Harriet Sherwood’s Dec. 13 report, “Hamas rallies in Fatah-dominated West Bank suggests growing Palestinian unity,” included this passing reference to an incident in Hebron last week.

In Hebron, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers erupted at the funeral of a teenager who was shot dead at a checkpoint on Wednesday. The Israel defence forces said a female soldier had killed Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah, whose 17th birthday it was, after he waved a toy gun. [emphasis added]

First, the Arab assailant did much more than “wave” a toy gun at the IDF.  He reportedly pointed a quite realistic looking weapon (at night) at an IDF Border Patrol Officer, pressing it to his throat and further attacked IDF officers, throwing punches and grappling with one officer.

Here’s an IDF security video of the incident.


And, here’s the toy gun (above).

As Captain Barak Raz, of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, noted:

“Ask yourselves how you would react if this was pressed against your partner.”

Moreover, Sherwood’s passage about the incident, like so much reporting about Israel at the Guardian, is revealing in what information is included, the specific words used to characterize events and – just as importantly – what is left out:

* Sherwood didn’t deem it important to explain the context of the gun (later discovered to be fake) –  the suspect’s unprovoked assault on the Israeli officer.

* Sherwood didn’t deem it important to note that the gun likely looked quite real at the time (especially considering it was in the evening).

* Sherwood deceptively characterized the suspect as having merely “waved” a “toy gun” at the Israeli officer, designed, presumably to downplay the presumed danger to the Israeli officer who had what appeared to be a real weapon reportedly pressed to his throat.

*Sherwood evidently deemed it important in the context of the story to note that the Arab suspect was celebrating his 17th birthday.

Sherwood’s passage about the incident in Hebron only had 49 words, but so much deception.

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About the Author: Adam Levick serves as Managing Editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and is a member of the Online Antisemitism Working Group for the Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism. Adam made Aliyah from Philadelphia in 2009 and lives with his wife in Modi'in.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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5 Responses to “The Real Facts of the Palestinian Teen Shot for Waving a “Toy” Gun in Hevron”

  1. Manuel Godinez Jr says:

    What in the hell has happened to our world?!!!!

  2. The initial reports stated clearly that it was a plastic toy gun.This is made of metal.Look at the video and 1/4 of the way in it has been chopped as though a different scenario was about to be added differing from the real time incident.

  3. Anonymous says:

    the video is blurry and film at a distance. Cannot see any toy gun pointed at officer. The toy gun could be a plant to frame the Palestinian.

  4. That initial 'report' was from a Palastinian blogger not on the scene who also reported that it happened in broad daylight, not the evening, said the man involved was just going to the store to buy 'a birthday cake' (aw, how sweet) while posting a picture we were told was taken just prior to the incident which showed the man sitting at a table full of…cake.

  5. Bob Hathaway says:

    coolieno99, what an idiotic statement. One can clearly see the arab attack the soldier. There is no need to "plant" a toy gun to see the need to defend the soldier.

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