A recent post on July 27 was no exception. Petricic stated the following to his almost 12,000 followers:
The main problem with this tweet is Petricic’s claim that the 3rd Palestinian had died “at (the) hands of Israeli forces” and his failure to acknowledge that Israel claims he was planning to carry out a terror attack. At present, this is an issue of competing claims. The Haaretz article says Israeli forces were trying to arrest two Palestinians who they claim were planning on carrying out a terror attack and one of them named Mohammed Abu Latifa, they claim, fled and in pursuit the Israelis shot him in the lower body and in an attempt to escape while jumping from one rooftop to another, he fell to his death. And the article notes that a “A medical team confirmed his death soon after his fall, despite attempts to treat him.” It’s unclear at this point if an autopsy will be done.
Accordingly, it’s unfair to characterize his death as being at Israeli “hands” as he died, it’s alleged, from a fall while evading Israeli forces. Meanwhile, the Haaretz article claims that “according to the teen’s father, Ata Abu Latifa, the Border Policemen left his son bleeding on the roof for about three hours after they shot him, and the loss of blood is what led to his death. ‘My son was murdered in cold blood,’ he charged.” At present, there has been no proof which confirms the veracity of the father’s claim.
Essentially, there are two competing claims: 1) Israelis say a Palestinian planning a terror attack fell to his death while trying to evade an arrest raid and 2) The father of the Palestinian teen claims he was murdered though he doesn’t even present himself as a witness.
Secondly, here’s some context from the Guardian about the other two reported deaths:
1) “On Thursday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in the southern West Bank while arresting his son. According to Palestinian witnesses, 53-year-old Faleh Hamed Zamel Abu Maria was shot in the chest after throwing a plastic plant pot at soldiers.”
And there are competing claims on this one too:
“According to the IDF, forces from the Kfir Brigade’s Shimshon Battalion arrived at the scene to detain a Palestinian wanted for questioning by the Shin Bet security services. The IDF claims that after one of the family members attempted to strangle one of the soldiers, a soldier shot a family member in the knee. In the ensuing clashes, a soldier opened fire after stones were thrown, fatally wounding Abu Maria.
According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, IDF forces shot Abu Maria’s son Mohammed in the pelvis during the initial confrontation. A confrontation between Abu Maria and the soldiers ensued after he attempted to help his son, and was reportedly shot in the chest at close range.”
2) “On Wednesday, 21-year-old Mohammed Ahmed Alauna was shot and killed by IDF soldiers in the West Bank village of Burkin.”
AP reports that: “The Israeli military says its troops were on a routine patrol in the West Bank when they were attacked by a group of Palestinians hurling rocks in their direction. The military says its troops called on the men to halt and when they did not, soldiers opened fire toward the main instigator.”
Obviously, Twitter has its inherent space restrictions, but that can be eclipsed by authoring a series of tweets in succession or striving for balance and context within an individual tweet. On its own, Petricic’s tweet was marred by the fact that it presented the Palestinian narrative that this Palestinian teen died at Israeli “hands” as a fact, and the tweet fails to mention that the teen was alleged to have been planning/carrying out a terror attack in Israel proper, and that he died while evading an arrest raid after falling from a rooftop. It also fails to mention the context of the deaths of the other two dead Palestinians.
HonestReporting Canada contacted senior editors at the CBC who agreed that Petricic’s tweet lacked nuance and did not use the best language to illustrate this incident. Subsequently, Sasa Petricic issued the following Tweet while citing HonestReporting Canada’s own twitter message that we sent to this reporter:
While we appreciate that Petricic did issue this Tweet and that he referenced our message, this reporter regretfully did not – despite being given an opportunity to do so – retract his claim that this Palestinian teen had died “at the hands of Israeli forces”.