Last Saturday riots broke out near the Israeli village of Esh Kodesh near Nablus.
As usual the incident found its way into the international media.
Here is how AFP reported the story:
AFP – Israeli soldiers on Saturday were trying to break up clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the northern West Bank town of Qusra. Palestinian security sources and eyewitnesses said settlers used the cover of fog to approach the town south of Nablus with the aim of uprooting dozens of olive saplings, but were confronted by farmers who threw stones at them.
So AFP based its story on Palestinian sources. Let’s take a look at how the story was reported by these Palestinian sources.
Here is the version of the Palestinian news agency Ma’an in Bethlehem:
NABLUS (Ma’an) – Israeli settlers raided a northern West Bank village on Saturday for the second time this week, leading to clashes with local Palestinians, a PA official said.
Dozens of settlers from the illegal outpost of Esh Kodesh raided the Nablus village of Qusra, firing live ammunition into the air, settlement monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas told Ma’an.
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the area to defend the village, throwing stones at the settlers until they retreated.
No injuries were reported.
Here is what really happened:
Source: Tatzpit News Agency
Some 250 Palestinians rioted Saturday afternoon just outside the village of Esh Kodesh in the Benjamin region of Judea and Samaria. The rioters broke down the fences around the village’s vineyards causing heavy damage.
Following the disturbances, about 30 residents arrived from the entire Shilo area to Esh Kodesh, and at first had to push out the Arab rioters with hurdled stones. Shortly thereafter, the regional emergency squad was activated by the security forces, and its members fired in the air until the arrival of the IDF and the transfer of management of the incident to the military.
A representative of the Esh Kodesh settlement told Tazpit News Agency that 11 Jewish residents, including the chief security officer who was hit in the leg by a rock, were injured lightly during the Arabs’ violent riots and were treated on the spot.
How do we know that this is what really happened?
First the Jews living in Esh Kodesh would never initiate a raid on a Palestinian village on Saturday. All of them are religious Jews (orthodox) who observe Shabbat. This means that an orthodox Jew will stay within the boundaries (eruv) of his place of living. In this case they would not go outside the eruv of the village they are living in. Only in life threatening situations is an orthodox Jew permitted to travel outside the eruv.
Secondly there is video footage of the incident. The video makes clear that Palestinians attacked the Jews in Esh Kodesh and that they tried to cause damage to the vineyards of the Jewish village.
Watch the video here:
The way this incident was reported by the international media is not an exceptional case. Most of the media reports about incidents in the West Bank are based on Palestinian sources or on reports by pro-Palestinian NGO’s.
As this case makes clear, these sources are not reliable at all. To the contrary, they are heavily involved in disseminating propaganda.