The front page photo on Thursday’s Washington Post tells, in a single frame, a very personal story from Wednesday’s Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month old son, Omar, through al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
An Israeli round hit Misharawi’s four-room home in Gaza Wednesday, killing his son, according to BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar, who arrived in Gaza earlier Thursday. Misharawi’s sister-in-law was also killed, and his brother wounded. Misharawi told Danahar that, when the round landed, there was no fighting in his residential neighborhood.
“We’re all one team in Gaza,” Danahar told me, saying that Misharawi is a BBC video and photo editor. After spending a “few hours” with his grieving colleague, he wrote on Twitter, ”Questioned asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad’s son get killed.”
The story that these photos tell, of loss and confusion, may help inform the Palestinian reactions – and, as the photos continue to spread widely on social media, perhaps the reactions from beyond the Palestinian territories – to the violence between Israel and Gaza.
Yes... perhaps this story, released today, will do just that:
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report that says Palestinians, rather than Israelis, killed the infant son of BBC journalist Jihad al-Masharawi on November 14.
When the boy was killed during Operation Pillar of Defense in November, the media and various monitoring groups piled on Israel. Photographs of the father holding the deceased infant were shown around the world.
U.N. watchdog group Human Rights Watch, which attempted to keep a running tally of all the civilian deaths Israel and Hamas had caused during Pillar of Defense, reported that Israel had killed Mishrawi's "11-month old" son the day after the infant died.
BBC journalists used tweets to imply Israel's guilt in the infant's death the day the child was killed.
But now, the U.N. says the infant was killed by a rocket fired at Israelis "by Palestinians that missed its mark." The infant boy and his mother were both killed by the Palestinians.
Please dear reader, don't hold your breath thinking the media will correct the record on this.
I'd be surprised if any of them even carry the U.N. correction at all.