On February 2, I reported that Chris Gunness was looking for dead babies:
Can anyone put me in touch with a family in Gaza where a child died of hyperthermia? Thanks. @ChrisGunness
— Chris Gunness (@ChrisGunness) February 2, 2015
I predicted that UNRWA would produce a staged video with whatever families it could find for fundraising.
Sure enough, that’s what it did, and Gunness calls the video “dramatic” and “great:”
The UN Multimedia division released the video, with script and description of the shots and narrative to spoon-feed the story to any lazy reporters who wanted it.
Gideon Levy of Haaretz dutifully complied.
The main victim profiled in the video, Salma al-Masry, does appear to have died of hypothermia as the family was staying in a temporary shelter in Beit Hanoun.
The end of the video is a bit more suspect:
Outside the al-Masry-family’s tent, Mirvat’s (Salma’s mother] sister-in-law, Nisreen, 28. tells about her son Moemen who died at just 50 days old in the UNRWA school where the family had taken refuge.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Nisreen al-Masri, mother of baby Moemen:
“The child was sleeping in my lap. I felt that he was cold. I covered him and I put him to sleep. When I woke up at four in the morning he was blue and dead. I held him and I started to scream. They took him from me and went to the hospital and then they brought him back.”
Isn’t it an astonishing coincidence that Salma’s cousin Moemen also died from the cold, even though he was in a presumably heated UNRWA school?
I can’t find anything about Moemen but his death was not reported in any news media as far as I can tell.
UNRWA is not above shading the facts when it comes to fundraising.