GroundBrief: Associated Press article misses the mark, Al-Qaeda in Syria and more

Associated Press article misses important information regarding Palestinians they profile

Author: Joe Truzman

On December 9th, the Associated Press published an article titled, “In Gaza protests, Israeli troops aim for the legs.” The subject of the article was the injuries inflicted on 10 Palestinians shot by IDF troops during Gaza border protests. Let's take a closer look at some of the Palestinians profiled in the article to see if there's more to this story than what we know.


Mohammed Al-Esawei

According to the AP article, Mohammed Al-Esawei was shot several times while throwing rocks with a slingshot. What the article does not mention is Al-Esawei’s membership in one of the Palestinian border units and his violent activities against IDF soldiers at the Gaza border.

Here we see Al-Esawei’s Palestinian border group, called “Confusion Unit.” One of the members throws an explosive towards the security fence at the Gaza border. You can see Al-Esawei when he shows his face to the camera.

In this video, Al-Esawei can be seen participating in the beginning stages of an infiltration at the Gaza border. Members of the Palestinian border unit cut through the security fence as Mohammed records their actions.


Mohammed Hilles

The AP article states that Mohammed Hilles was chatting with other youth when he was shot by the IDF. However, similarly to its treatment of Al-Esawei, the article fails to note important information about Hilles’ other activities at the Gaza border.

Hilles is a member of a Palestinian border unit called “Kushuk Unit,” whose members are made up of young men led by commanders from various Gazan militant groups.

Here we see Hilles (black shirt) in a caravan of Kushuk members heading to riot at the Gaza border during the March of Return. Recognize anyone with him?


Going Forward

The profiles of the two men are examples of how the AP article missed important information about their subjects. The article isn’t entirely misleading, but it does not give us the entire story on some of the Palestinians discussed. Their membership in Palestinian border units commanded by members of militant groups, and their active roles in violence at the Gaza border, puts them in grave danger of being injured, a factor which is entirely missing from the article. More research on the subjects would have revealed their membership in these violent units and would have likely changed the article dramatically.


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