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Al Jazeera Backtracks on Claim of IDF Rapes in Gaza Hospital

March 26, 2024

by: JNS

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Employees at the Al Jazeera office in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 | The Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel has quietly removed a libelous story accusing Israeli soldiers of raping Palestinian women in Gaza, a day after it went viral on social media.

The glaring about-face from the state-run mouthpiece comes amid an intense war of narratives being played out in the global media as Israel’s war against Hamas rages for its sixth month and follows vastly underreported or ignored testimonies of Israeli women raped and otherwise sexually assaulted during the October 7 Hamas massacre.

The story, which spread like wildfire over the last 24 hours on social media in the Arab world and beyond, accused Israeli soldiers of raping Palestinian women during their ongoing military operation against hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists held up at Gaza’s main hospital.

“It was revealed through Hamas investigations that the story of the rape of women in Al Shifa Hospital was fabricated,” tweeted Al Jazeera columnist and former director Yasser Abuhilalah. “The woman who spoke about rape justified her exaggeration and incorrect talk by saying that the goal was to arouse the nation’s fervor and brotherhood.”

The original story published by Al Jazeera featured “testimony” by a Gaza woman named Jamila al-Hessi, who claimed that while she was under siege in the area of the hospital complex, she witnessed Israel Defense Forces [IDF] soldiers “raping women then killing them and burning entire families alive.”

A pro-Hamas preacher from Gaza, Jihad Khelles, also tweeted that it became evident that there was no evidence of these alleged events and that the “witness” told a story that she had heard and not witnessed.

Al-Hessi, who was interviewed live on Al Jazeera, alleged that she had witnessed women being raped, kidnapped and killed during the incursion, describing what the incident as “more than an action film.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded to the report, writing on X: “Look surprised, the Palestinians fabricate stories of rape to incite anti-Semitism. [UN Secretary General] António Guterres, I’m sure that’s sad for you to hear, but that’s the reality.”

Al Jazeera was founded with the financial backing of the Qatari royal family and has served for decades as a mouthpiece for the regime, which provides asylum for the leaders of Hamas, a group designated as a terror organization by the US, Canada, the European Union, Israel and other nations.

The Arabic-language network is notorious for its anti-Israel reporting, anti-Semitic rhetoric and Holocaust denial, even as its English outlet has sought to offer a veneer of objectivity to Western viewers through some high-profile international anchors.

Last month, the IDF exposed two Al Jazeera reporters as Hamas terrorists, after earlier disclosing that additional journalists worked as operatives for the Islamic terror group.

Israel’s government has also moved to shutter the Al Jazeera offices in Israel. However, the initiative, which is backed by Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency] and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was never brought to the Security Cabinet, a move necessary to enact the ban.

Posted on March 26, 2024

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 25, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/