Daily Mail omits that emaciated Gazan suffers from cerebral palsey

Ignoring overwhelming evidence that has emerged in recent weeks contradicting the ‘starvation in Gaza’ narrative, several British media outlets have nonetheless continued to sell this baseless charge to news consumers.

Last month, the BBC published an article suggesting that the the severe illness of a nine-year-old boy in Gaza, Yunis Jumaa, was famine-related, and that he previously was healthy and had no pre-existing conditions. They were forced to amend that article, however, when it was revealed that the boy had spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that caused his sickness.

The latest outlet to peddle such misinformation is the Daily Mail, in an article by Taryn Pedler (“How is he still alive? Tragic images of Palestinian, 21, reduced to mere skin and bone as he suffers severe malnutrition in Gaza”, July 5).

Daily Mail readers are told the following, in a heartbreaking story:

Shocking images from Gaza show the devastating effect severe malnutrition is having on those trapped in the war-torn enclave as a young starving man appears to be mere skin and bones in latest tragic photos. A series of pictures of 21-year-old Ahmed Al-Najjar have emerged from Gaza as the Palestinian territory continues to be battered by Israeli raids.

The haunting images show the young man laying on what appears to be a bed constructed of wooden planks, a single pillow, and a thin mattress wrapped in a sheet. In one photo, Ahmed can be seen shirtless while attempting to support his body to hold a raised position using his arms – but his skin is sucked into the hollow space between his bones.

His rib cage appears incredibly prominent, his jaw sharply defined as his skin hangs onto his bones – a heartbreaking symptom of the malnutrition and brain atrophy he suffers from. Another chilling image shows a close up of Ahmed’s legs which seem to be too weak to support his body if he were to try to stand.

His thighs, knees, shins, and feet are mere bones wrapped in a thin layer of skin with not a single inch of muscle or fat visible to the eye. Ahmed’s toes appear to be deformed as they curl forward and bend in different directions – a sign he may never walk again.

In a third and final photo released of the young man, he could be seen drinking from a small bottle of what seems to be milk. His long, thin fingers are wrapped around a small handle as his other hand rests on his stomach while he drinks.

Ahmed’s red ‘sport’ t-shirt emblazoned with a cartoon photo of a teddy bear and football hangs off his body as the arm holes gape around his tiny upper arms. He can be seen gazing off into the distance as he drinks the white liquid, holding up the plastic bottle while he lays supine.

But Ahmed is just one of thousands of Palestinians suffering with malnutrition due to Israeli restrictions on humanitarian aid.

First, there are no Israeli restrictions on purely humanitarian aid entering Gaza, which is why there have been no credible reports of anyone in the Strip, who didn’t have a pre-existing condition, dying of malnutrtion. Indeed, studies have revealed that the food supply provided to Palesinians in the Strip has averaged 3,374 calories per person daily, well above the 2,100 recommended by the Sphere humanitarian movement as the minimum standard.

But, of even greater importance is one glaring omission in the Daily Mail article: the fact that Ahmed Al-Najjar, as even pro-Palestinian outlets and activists have reported, has cerebral palsy, a condition that can cause malnutrition because it “affects the muscles and movements involved in chewing, swallowing, and eating and can cause gastrointestinal issues”.  Other symptoms include accelerated musculoskeletal aging, accompanied by severe muscle atrophy.

In other words, the Mail omitted the one fact that would have contradcited their desired narrative.

Earlier today, we contacted Daily Mail editors asking that they amend the article to note Ahmed’s cerebral palsey.

Related Posts

Channel 4 News promotes Al Jazeera’s ‘war on Gazan children’ propaganda

Written By
More from Adam Levick
The ‘settlements’ which occupy Michael White’s mind: Sasha Baron Cohen edition
The British Labour Party recently suspended Baron Ahmed, a Muslim member of the House...
Read More
Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. says: Mr Saul Gerstenhaber

    Last I looked, over 2000 comments from good people pointing out that more photos in the same story show Gazans, none of whom appear malnourished, with some appearing to be well overweight.
    Another discrepancy is that the bone deformations shown could not have occurred due to malnutrition just 9 months after Hamas invaded Israel.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *