A number of major international media outlets on Sunday jumped on a story about a young Palestinian Arab boy who was killed during an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists in central Gaza.
In their initial reports, CNN and the Agence France Presse (AFP) directly attributed the boy's death, and his severe injuries suffered by his brother, to Israeli tank fire on the strength of unquestioned Palestinian claims. The Associated Press and Reuters were slightly more vague, but still left the reader with the impression that Israel was responsible for the boy's death.
On Tuesday, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights released a report summarizing its investigation into the incident, which concluded that a mortar shell fired by Palestinian forces had in fact killed the boy and maimed his brother.
The international media regularly prints Palestinian claims about brutal and indiscriminate Israeli military tactics as headline news, only to later have those claims refuted. Retractions, however, are almost never printed, and the damage done to Israel's image by the initial reports remains.
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