IDF pushes claim that ‘Palestinians lied’ about Jawaher Abu Rahma’s killing

on 37 Comments

The Jawaher Abu-Rahma case is taking on huge political significance, the international attention given to the 36-year-old woman killed by teargas in occupied Bil’in on Friday, a year and a half after her brother Bassem was struck and killed by a teargas canister fired by the Israeli army in another demonstration against the wall. The Israelis are now actively trying to undermine the story. The human-rights attorney Michael Sfard has responded with this statement:

Lawyer Michael Sfard who represents the Abu Rahmah family rejects these claims categorically. According to him, “Jawahir went a week ago for an examination for a common winter illness. According to people with whom I spoke, she was at the protest on Friday, but not in the first line of demonstrators, and after she was injured by the gas, she was removed to the area of the village houses, and from there was moved to the ambulance. The operational investigation cannot uncover reliable data, and therefore we are demanding a criminal investigation by the military police”

What are these claims? First from Muqata:

Senior IDF military sources briefed an exclusive group of bloggers this evening on the events surrounding this past Friday’s Bilin demonstration and the “alleged tear gassing to death” of a Palestinian woman, Jawaher Abu Rahma.
IDF: We have reason to believe that the death 2 days ago was because of another reason than what the Palestinians are claiming (tear gas inhalation).

And this from Ynet’s Hanan Greenberg:

Did Palestinians lie about death of Jawaher Abu-Rahma?

Two days after reports that an anti-fence protestor died after inhaling tear gas fired by IDF troops, the army says medical information handed over to Israel raises fundamental question marks about the story. According to IDF officials, Abu-Rahma may have not even participated in the protest in question. 

Sources familiar with the material said that unlike similar incidents in the past, the report about Abu-Rahma’s injuries arrived late and contained puzzling details. According to the medical report, there was no clear cause of death, the burial was undertaken via an accelerated procedure, and no post-mortem was performed. The information also reveals that Abu-Rahma was administered an unusual quantity of drugs, used to offer treatment against poisoning, drug overdose, or leukemia. Moreover, her family’s report that she was “hurt by Israeli gas” was not corroborated by any other source.

One of the Israeli claims is that not much teargas was used. But Jewish Voice for Peace’s twitter feed clearly contradicts that claim– it was “raining” gas–as do Lisa Goldman’s feeds posted here the other day. We’re awaiting updates on the case.

37 Responses

  1. Pamela Olson
    January 3, 2011, 7:21 pm

    Looks like they’re just making sh-t up, knowing they have the “Israel never lies” mantle to protect them (which works best with the patented “Arabs aren’t trustworthy” shield).

    That mantle’s looking thinner and thinner.

  2. radii
    January 3, 2011, 7:48 pm

    by way of deception, thou shalt do war

    the israeli motto of the Mossad says it all – all lies all the time as an offensive strategy

    • Taxi
      January 3, 2011, 8:15 pm

      Is that why the israeli proverbial pants are always on fire?

    • yonira
      January 3, 2011, 11:29 pm

      It looks like the Palestinian ‘non violent’ resistance is following in the Mossad’s footsteps of deception.

      • kalithea
        January 4, 2011, 2:36 am

        Looks like you’re the one following in Mossad’s footsteps of deception.

      • talknic
        January 4, 2011, 2:54 am

        Uh huh… yonira, did the IDF do an autopsy? Yes? No?

      • Taxi
        January 4, 2011, 4:59 am

        No yonira the Palestinian non-violent resistance is NOT following in mossad’s footsteps – not even in the slightest.

        Why d’ya go round saying lies like that? Seriously, WHY D’YA DO THAT?!

        Remind us why peace activism in the holy land is THAT threatening to you yonira, jealous meanie, sitting out there in the Dakota Plains.

      • annie
        January 4, 2011, 7:28 am

        you tell ’em taxi! yonira is a jealous meanie tellin lies lies lies out there in the dakota plains

        truth feels dangerous to people who’ve been sucking off a tit of deception their whole lives.

      • Richard Witty
        January 4, 2011, 8:05 am

        What features of skepticism towards reports that you hear, do you employ?

        Deception is easy towards those that don’t question.

        Its not just the mass media that you have to question.

      • Chaos4700
        January 4, 2011, 10:12 am

        And you were the one who was denouncing the Goldstone Report before you even read it, Witty, you hypocrite.

  3. syvanen
    January 3, 2011, 8:58 pm

    Robert Fisk has spent a good part of his career documenting Israeli atrocities only to see the story that is spread through the MSM is the Israeli denial. This is automatic on the part of the IDF — lie, lie, lie. In a few months they will issue a “correction” once the story is no longer on the front page.

  4. Antidote
    January 3, 2011, 9:17 pm

    Looks to me like the IDF is trying to write this off as a Pallywood fraud, killing her a second time. What will it be: honor killing or cancer?

    “IDF has heard about the honor killing theory, that Abu Rahma was stabbed to death for being pregnant as a family “honor killing”, however they cannot confirm this and the direction they currently are progressing is more in towards death from a chronic illness.”

    link to

    see also:
    link to

    • annie
      January 3, 2011, 9:21 pm

      honor killing? unbelievable.

      • Antidote
        January 3, 2011, 9:49 pm

        I first noticed the honor killing-theory on talk-backs at Haaretz on the very first reports on the death of Jawaher. Reminds me of the fake ‘Go back to Auschwitz’ tape from the Gaza aid flotilla (which was quickly debunked as a fraud and retracted by the Israeli government/IDF). Let’s just hope Caroline Glick doesn’t come up with another ‘We con the world’-spoof about gassing Palestinians. Here’s another article: you would think if any of this was based on actual medical records, there’d be no question whether the cause of death was leukemia or lung cancer?

        “The IDF shot down an ugly Arab hoax Monday, after it had already been propagated worldwide. The Nana-Channel 10 website reported that a military investigation found that the woman who supposedly died when she inhaled tear gas at a demonstration Friday was not even present at the protest. She did not die of tear gas inhalation but of cancer, the IDF found, and had been lying in a hospital bed for ten days before passing away.

        Arabs and leftists propagated the story that the woman, Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, had inhaled tear gas at their weekly staged riot at Bilin, in Samaria. Adding pathos to the story was the allegation that she was the sister of an Arab who was killed in Bilin in 2009 after being struck by a tear gas canister. Israeli papers carried photos of her and quoted her as saying that she wishes to join her brother in Paradise.

        The Palestinian Authority was quick to seize upon the story for lambasting Israel. “We condemn this abominable crime by the Israeli occupation army in Bilin against people taking part in a peaceful demonstration and consider it an Israeli war crime against our people,” chief PA negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

        However, the IDF has now found that Jawahel Abu Rahma died of leukemia or lung cancer, and had been in Ramallah hospital for ten days before passing away. The story was a fabrication intended to delegitimize Israel, the IDF said.

        It seems that Arabs in the PA have become creative in making up lies that make Israel look bad worldwide. Unfortunately, even when their lies are discovered, the damage has already been done and the refutation of the story will receive less publicity than the original libel did.”


      • annie
        January 3, 2011, 10:04 pm

        omg, this is a gruesome application of the ‘throw everything against the wall technique” and then it turns into a he said/she said and then the consensus becomes ‘well let’s all be reasonable and admit we really don’t know.

        we just have to not engaged these lies, at all. it is disgraceful and they should be ashamed.

      • Antidote
        January 3, 2011, 10:25 pm

        Just look at the ‘investigation’ of her brother’s death to assess the credibility of the IDF’s claims:

        link to

        Here’s an eyewitness (whose credibility will be dismissed, of course, by the ‘far Right’):

        … far Left activist Yonatan Pollack, who attended the rally in question, dismissed the army’s claims [that J. was not at the rally].

        “I saw that Jahawer took an active role in the protest,” he told Ynet, while presenting his update on the incident in his Twitter account.

        “I saw how they put her in the ambulance that took her to the hospital. I know with certainty that she arrived there and stayed there, and later died at the hospital,” he said.

        Despite the problematic findings presented by the army, Pollack insisted that “the IDF’s version isn’t based on any facts…the only thing the army’s claims are based on is the error of a doctor who got one digit wrong when he wrote down the time.”

        link to

      • Kate
        January 4, 2011, 12:56 am

        Note that Israel National News is Arutz Sheva, which was the subject of an argument here several days ago when it claimed that the story about settlers burning a Palestinian farmer’s sheep was false. There is nothing this so-called news site won’t say to counter unpleasant truths about Israel and blame its misdeeds on the Palestinians.
        Unfortunately quite a few people who are unaware of this site’s agenda and think that when there’s smoke there’s always fire may well believe even its most outrageous statements.
        I personally would not believe this site if it said the sun was coming up tomorrow morning.

      • Chaos4700
        January 3, 2011, 9:50 pm

        What did you expect? There’s no depth of racist caricature to which Israel won’t sink.

  5. Elliot
    January 3, 2011, 9:29 pm

    I confess that I did part of my military service issuing this kind of nonsense. We must always remember that the PR part of the army is completely separate from the combat units. The IDF hasbara machine has poor access to the parts of the military where the stuff is actually happening. In fact, the generals have their own direct media contacts to whom they leak information, at times before sharing it with the official hasbara people .
    It’s not that this verbiage is lies, it’s that it has no connection to reality. It can be discounted as the closed loop of an addict. They just throw random statements out and watch to see what sticks.

    • annie
      January 3, 2011, 10:33 pm

      They just throw random statements out and watch to see what sticks.

      yep, then when they get caught at it they moan we’re paying too much attention to them (instead of darfur) or we’re a-s.

  6. radii
    January 3, 2011, 9:34 pm

    zionists killed their own honor almost from day 1

  7. David Samel
    January 3, 2011, 9:36 pm

    This has become a deeply ingrained part of the Israeli m.o. following a killing. If at all possible, lie about even committing the act. For example, remember the video of the little girl on the Gaza beach in the summer of 2006 whose entire family was wiped out by an Israeli shell, when Israel claimed it had been a Hamas land mine that exploded. If not possible to deny the act, lie about the victims, casting them as perpetrators. Example – the recent slaughter of the 91-year old man and his grandson and friend, when Israel first claimed they were “terrorists.” If caught in one lie, go with another. Example – when it became impossible to cast this trio as terrorists, Israel claimed one of them picked up a weapon and pointed it at the soldiers. A full list of similar rotten excuses would easily fill an entire book.

    Considering the fresh outrage of the loss of this family’s second sibling as a result of the illegal presence of the IOF, who used illegal methods to break up a legal demonstration, these latest lies are particularly hard to stomach. But not for everyone. Read the comments to the ynet article, which are almost uniformly gullible of Hanan Greenberg’s slimy suggestions.

    In Ahmed Moor’s article, he said he had a photo of Jawaher just before she died. I’m not sure if that is her pictured in the photo accompanying the article.

    • Antidote
      January 3, 2011, 10:42 pm

      talkback #5 on ynet article (from a Washington reader):

      “I’m glad at least, this time, the IDF didn’t rush to apologize for something it did not do.”

      Alternate reality.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    January 3, 2011, 9:49 pm

    RE: “IDF pushes claim that ‘Palestinians lied’ about Jawaher Abu Rahma’s killing” – Weiss
    MY COMMENT: They are no longer humans.

  9. johd
    January 3, 2011, 10:12 pm

    I am certain I saw a photo published on mondoweiss of Jawaher taken on the day. It can’t be that far back.

    From what I read, the Israelis are claiming no photo of her at the protest exists.

  10. johd
    January 3, 2011, 10:22 pm

    I found the post by Ahmed Moor.
    One of the pictures he puports to be of her saying:

    [“We exchanged a few words of encouragement before I snapped her picture, when she was still someone’s mother.
    I wish I knew how distressed she was”]

    • Antidote
      January 4, 2011, 12:30 am

      Jawaher was not a mother from what information
      I’ve seen elsewhere. At any rate, you see the same woman pictured in AMs article in this video, with the IDF shooting tear gas right at her and another protester in a wheelchair (1:58)

      link to

      according to the video description, several protesters were injured and treated in hospital (contrary to IDF claims and bewilderment that only one protester came to harm)

      In this clip (last minute) you see a young woman in an ambulance

      link to

      • annie
        January 4, 2011, 7:39 am

        yes you can see her quite clearly and them shoot one right at her for no reason.

  11. Jeff Klein
    January 3, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Interesting, a posting at a right-wing Zionist blog (with many links):
    “Arab Woman “Killed” by Teargas Actually Died of Cancer – The Abu Rahma Hoax”
    link to
    has been removed and the link no longer works. Maybe a sign that the Israelis are already backing away from their vile smear. . .

  12. yonira
    January 3, 2011, 11:43 pm

    Congrats Mondoweiss on being #25 on the JTA Twitter 100

    link to

    This list does not represent an endorsement of who to follow, or even who JTA follows. It represents a metrics-based approach to Twitter usage of a select group of individuals over a particular period of time who were nominated by their peers. All limitations nonwithstanding, we believe this list is still a useful guide to determine who is steering conversation about Jewish life on Twitter.

    • annie
      January 3, 2011, 11:48 pm


    • Chaos4700
      January 4, 2011, 12:46 am

      Yeah, okay, great but why are you (yet again) posting something immensely distracting on a post about a woman’s murder. Why do you keep doing that, exactly?

  13. yourstruly
    January 4, 2011, 6:18 am

    A two day’s delay? Two days, probably the minimal amount of time it takes to concoct a phony story. That goes for not only the IDF, but for all militaries, going back at the very least to that first popular resistance (wherever it took place) to tyranny. Which means that the IDF’s martyrdom of Jawaher Abu Rahma represents but the latest example of the relentless mercilessness of tho powers that be. Not only at the top of the military hierarchy but at lower levels, such as a certain local police department. Specifically, the case of the murder of teenager ___ ____ , who, a decade or so ago, while in the backyard at his mother’s birthday party one Sunday afternoon in a suburb of a large metropolis was shot to death by a local cop. What happened then was that the PD went into its “Rest assured there’ll be a thorough investigation, so don’t nobody jump to any conclusions” standard public relations mode. Then, several days later (takes time to smooth out the rough spots in a totally fabricated story, prepare the witnesses, etc etc), guess what? That’s right, the PD “story-tellers” came up with what little it took to prevail over a couple dozen protesters marching around City Hall chanting justice for ___ _____, justice for ____ _____. Needless to say the murdering cop got off scot-free. .

    • MHughes976
      January 4, 2011, 9:51 pm

      The British among us will remember the extraordinary falsehoods surrounding the police shooting of an innocent bystander – he was scarcely even that – in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings.

  14. seafoid
    January 4, 2011, 7:59 am

    The settlers are now claiming that M;s Rahma died of cancer and that this case is a blood libel.

    link to

    Because it couldn’t be anything else, could it ?

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