She was hit by a ricochet from a bullet that hit the ground several yards away. But you have to read deep down into the Times’ two articles to find that conclusion.
Rouzan al-Najjar was a female Palestinian medic who died of a bullet wound during violent protests near the Gaza-Israel border.
As we have documented dozens of times, those protests are organized and manipulated by Hamas and other terror groups, who plant their military members in the crowds under cover of burning tires. Dozens of Hamas and other terror members have been killed in the attempts to breach the border with the intent to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.
The mainstream media and anti-Israel biased international media almost never focus on the terror-related nature of the protests, and the involvement (and death) of military members of terror groups.
International media routinely accept and run with “facts” provided by Hamas-affiliated ministries and journalists. When a baby died, for example, the NY Times and other media accepted claims that Israeli tear gas was the culprit, but that turned out to be false.
When al-Najjar was shot, the media reacted as it always does, accusing Israel of deliberately targeting a civilian non-combatant.
This media bias is a key part of Hamas strategy, as the media usually has no information from Gaza other than what the Hamas-run health ministry or Hamas-controlled Gaza media operations provide. Israeli military information is discounted or disregarded.
The NY Times undertook a massive investigation into al-Najjar’s shooting. While the Times indicates it simply wanted to get to the truth, there is little doubt that the Times hoped to find Israel guilty of deliberately shooting al-Najjar. The main story is
A Day, a Life: When a Medic Was Killed in Gaza, Was It an Accident? with details on the investigation methodology in a separate post here.
As Lenny Ben-David points out on Twitter, the resources the Times devoted to the investigation were extraordinary:
The NYT’s indictment of #IDF is 5,500 words long & accompanied by 17 minute video! When was the last time NYT spent so many manhours & millions of $ on an investigation?
Not since Warren Commission on JFK’s assassination have I seen such research, stopped frames, diagrams.
Yet despite all those words, the investigation conclusion is almost buried in the headlines, diagrams, video and verbiage: Israel did not deliberately or directly shoot al-Najjar. She was hit by a ricochet of a bullet that fragmented hitting a total of three people.
Here are the key quotes from the main Times article, several paragraphs into the article:
The bullet that killed her, The Times found, was fired by an Israeli sniper into a crowd that included white-coated medics in plain view. A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished.
Notice how in that key paragraph, the first to introduce the Times’ conclusion, no mention is made of the ricochet. The paragraph makes it seem as if al-Najjar was deliberately and directly shot when Israel fired “into” a crowd that included medics. Only much later does the Times acknowledge that al-Najjar was not directly shot, the bullet did not go “into” the crowd, it struck the ground several yards away.
You have to read deep down into the article, to find these details:
Three medics down, all from one bullet. It seemed improbable.
But The Times’s reconstruction confirmed it: The bullet hit the ground in front of the medics, then fragmented, part of it ricocheting upward and piercing Ms. Najjar’s chest.
It was fired from a sand berm used by Israeli snipers at least 120 yards from where the medics fell.
To get even more details, you need to go to the separate methodology article the Times ran, including that Israel did not fire at the medics, but rather, people near the medics, and that the bullet hit the ground “a few yards away from the medics, and ricocheted off the ground:
What’s more, behind the target was a group of bystanders and medics in white coats. Former snipers in the United States Army and the Israel Defense Forces told us that, without a backstop, it was a reckless shot to take.
The bullet missed and hit the ground a few yards in front of the medics. Michael Knox, a forensic ballistics investigator, told us that the type of bullet used by the Israeli sniper could skim like a stone off the rocky soil. When it hits soil at a low angle, it pushes the soil ahead of it into a miniature ramp and projects itself up and out of the ground. Mohammed Shafee was hit in the torso with shrapnel. The bullet grazed Rami Abo Jazar’s thigh and continued its upward trajectory to pierce Rouzan just above her chest, severing her aorta.
It is understandable that anti-Israel activists like James Zogby are upset that the facts of the investigation rebutted the narrative:
I am horrified by this @nytimes whitewash of the murder of #Razan – 20 yr old Palestinian medic murder by Israeli sniper in July. Israeli closes story w/ “accidents happen”. Not an accident when you shoot into a crowd from 120 yards away. It’s murder. https://t.co/rFz4rWAfEJ
— James J. Zogby (@jjz1600) December 30, 2018
This is indeed a massive rebuttal of the Palestinian and international de facto indictment of Israel in al-Najjar’s death, yet the Times goes out of its way just after those facts to still blame Israel based on tendacious claims it was “reckless” and that recklessness might still be a “war crime”:
Though Israel claims Rouzan’s killing was unintentional, our investigation shows that her shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished.
The Times set out to indict Israel, but instead indicted its own bias. The Times headline should have been: “Investigation clears Israel of accusations of intentionally shooting Palestinian medic.”
Independent investigation finds that a wayward bullet fired by a soldier at the ground ricocheted up, hitting a medic in Gaza and tragically killing her.
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) December 30, 2018
Instead, we have an investigation that cleared Israel surrounded by arguments as to the difference between negligence and recklessness.DONATE
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