UKMW prompts Daily Mail correction to article claiming Israel “killed” 11 year old Gaza boy

Following communication with UK Media Watch, editors at the Daily Mail corrected an article which stated, as if it were a fact, that Israeli soldiers killed an 11 year old Palestinian boy on the Gaza border.

Last Friday, the Daily Mail published an article (original here) claiming that Israeli troops shot and killed a a young Palestinian boy during violent riots on the Gaza border (Israeli troops ‘kill three Palestinians, one of them an 11-year-old boy’ during violent protests at Gaza border, Sept. 14).

Israeli soldiers today killed three protesters at the border including an 11-year-old boy, Palestinian medical officials say.

The army is said to have wounded at least 248 others taking part on Friday in weekly protests at the fortified Gaza Strip boundary.

The Israeli military says it used force necessary to repel 13,000 Palestinians who massed at several points at the fence.

However, as we argued in a complaint to Daily Mail editors, the article relied entirely on claims by “Gaza health officials”, and didn’t include a statement by the IDF alleging that the boy was killed when a rock thrown by a Palestinian protester hit his head – information that AP published before the final edit of the Daily Mail article.  Further, several days after the incident, the Gaza Health Ministry backed away from their original assertion that the boy was killed by Israeli fire, stating instead merely that he died of a (non-specified) head injury.

Following our communication with the Daily Mail, they made substantive changes to the article, including an addition of the following bullet point to the strap line:

  • Israel’s military say their evidence shows he was hit by protester’s rock

Further, they rewrote the opening paragraphs.

Israeli soldiers killed three protesters at the border including an 11-year-old boy, Palestinian medical officials claimed on Friday.

But the following day the Israel’s military said their evidence shows the 11-year-old was hit by a rock thrown by protesters. 

On Friday the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Shady Abdel-al was killed by Israeli fire. On Saturday a Ministry spokesman said he died from head wounds, without elaborating.

They also added the following context, noting a previous case this year when Gaza officials were forced to retract a claim that Israeli troops killed a Palestinian baby.

The ministry removed a baby from their official death toll in May after The Associated Press reported she died from a pre-existing medical condition, not from Israeli tear gas, as it had claimed.

Though, unfortunately, editors failed to revise the headline, we nonetheless commend the Daily Mail on the substantive revisions to the text of the article.

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