By Simon Plosker


From Honest Reporting Managing Editor at HonestReporting

 "Tweeted photos claiming current Gaza violence are refuted"
From JTA
March 12, 2012

(JTA) -- Two photos tweeted as being the result of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in the recent round of violence have been proven false.

One photo, showing a dead Palestinian girl covered in blood in the arms of her father, was tweeted by Khulood Badawi (@KhuloodBadawi), who was identified by Honest Reporting as the information and media coordinator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Badawi has a history of engaging in blatant anti-Israel political activities. In 2008, she was in a video leading protesters in the chant: "Defense Minister Barak, how many kids have you killed up to today?" The photo also was tweeted by Diana Alzeer.

Khulood Badawi (photo: Luis Jaume)

"Palestine is bleeding ... another father killed by #Israel ... another father carrying his child to a grave in #Gaza," Badawi's tweet posted March 10 reads. It has been retweeted at least 300 times.

The picture was refuted by tweeter Avi Mayer, who identified it as a 2006 Reuters photo, and that the girl had died in an accident, according to Honest Reporting. Alzeer later tweeted an apology.

Another photo uploaded to Facebook by Maissam Nablussi on March 11 and later tweeted by Gaza Youth Break Out, showing an explosion in Gaza, was identified as "Gaza Under Attack Today." In reality the photo was taken by Reuters in 2009 during Operation Cast Lead.

2009 Explosion in Gaza

Explosion in Gaza in 2009. Uplifted to Facebook in 2012 as a 2012 picture. (photo: REUTERS)

Khuloodbadawi Tweet
Caption: Palestine is bleeding. Another child killed by Israel. Another father carrying his child to a grave.

The offending photo was originally tweeted by Khulood Badawi.

Khulood Badawi happens to work for the OCHA — the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs where, according to a UN Contact List, she works as an Information and Media Coordinator.

A Google search reveals that Badawi has a history of activism in a range of pro-Palestinian non-governmental organizations, some of them radical and politicized. While this background may not in itself disqualify her from a career with the UN, it is absolutely unacceptable that a UN employee working specifically on dissemination of information to the media and public tweets malicious and false information to libel Israel.

HonestReporting's CEO Joe Hyams comments:

Once again, we are bearing witness to the extent that organizations such as the United Nations have failed to vet the integrity of their employees. The disgusting actions of this individual — invoking the imagery of a dead child to slander Israel — exposes once more the abject failure of NGOs to ensure a basic work ethic and commitment to fair and impartial conduct on the part of its employees.

The halo-effect enjoyed by the UN, where the public trusts the integrity of its staff and its Mission, demands higher professional standards than we are seeing. The UN owes the public, no less than this young girl's family, an apology. The immediate dismissal of Khulood Badawi on the grounds of incitement is expected.

Powerful images such as these have a deep impact on public opinion. Where Israel is trying desperately to defend more than 1 million of its civilians from the incessant murderous rain of Gazan rocket terror — it is abhorrent that a UN employee working for a body concerned with humanitarian welfare would have more concern for manipulating public sentiment than a true desire to protect innocent human life. Badawi cares more for the lie, than for life.

Call on the UN to take the appropriate action by contacting the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs through its Contact page:

This appalling breach of integrity on the part of a UN employee deserves to be widely exposed. Please consider clicking +1, Tweet, Like or linking to this article on your blog or website. Getting the UN to take note is only effective when this article reaches a large readership, especially through the Google search engine. Creating a link to this page with the text "UN Employee Exposed Over False Photo Tweet" helps this article reach the first page search results for the term.


Badawi first tweeted the picture at noon on March 10, claiming it was linked to last night's air strikes. Alzeer tweeted it on March 11, claiming the same. This is a later comment and apology by Diana Alzeer who found that that the photo dated back to 2009 at least.

In fact, the photo was taken by Reuters on August 9, 2006. It was originally released with an incorrect caption, and then corrected a day later:

Reuters Rajaa Abu Shaban

A Palestinian man carries the body of three year-old Raja Abu Shaban, in Gaza August 9, 2006. The three-year-old girl who had been reported killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza on Wednesday actually died of an accident, Palestinian medical workers said on Thursday. Workers at Gaza's Shifa hospital said on August 10, 2006 that the initial mistake over the cause of death appeared to have arisen because the girl's corpse was brought in at the same time as the bodies of the gunmen. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES)

A correction was published on August 10th, 2006. The girl in the photo had died in a playground or car accident, according to various reports.

Alzeer later published an apology and withdrew her claims. Badawi has yet to respond.


In a letter to the U.N., Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to the UN, called for Badawi's dismissal, pointing out that Badawi's actions not only "violate conduct expected of a UN official," but she also "actively engaged in the demonization of Israel, a member state of the United Nations. Such actions contribute to incitement, conflict and, ultimately, violence." Valerie Amos, a UN emergency coordinator, responded that Badawi's opinions were not endorsed by the agency.

I hope that makes it clear to one and all that Badawi was only using her position as ID, not to lend gravitas to her story. She hasn't been suspended as the UN gears up to investigate. Mz Badawi must be essential in her UN job. Or maybe the UN concluded it didn't need to apply much damage control.

These are various comments from different places that enlarge on the story:

An interesting article is on the website
( debunked-story-of-palestinian-childs-death.html). Mondoweiss has never used its Israeli-developed software or Israeli-developed hardware to say a kind word about Israel. They made a noble attempt to keep some of the information as anti-Israel propaganda. In an article March 29, 2012 by Allison Deger, assistant editor of, they cite a Ma'an News Agency report that indirectly admits the photograph is from 2006, not 2010, but disputes that anyone lied about it being Israel's reponsibility. After interviewing the family and such reliable human right groups as B'Tselem, Ma'an concluded that "the impact of the [Israeli] strike caused her to fall" [height: unknown; what she was doing outside during a bombing: unknown; why there was was no autopsy report cited: unknown; blast concussion data: unknown]" They do give us a morsel of actual information in the last paragraph of the story, quoting Reuters:

The head of the Palestinian ambulance service, Muawiyah Hassanein, said the girl fell from a swing at her home near the scene of the attack that killed two gunmen. He believed the girl had fallen because of the sound of the blast.

Some comments to Deger's article voiced indignation that Israel refuted the hoax, attributing to Israel evil intent and savage behavior. If you didn't know the object of the writer's venom, you'd think they were describing the Palestinian arabs.

One comment puzzled me -- I still can't figure out how anyone, even someone with a 2-digit IQ, could produce such a bizarre conclusion as did Talkback, who wrote:

Maan writes: "Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor called Badawi's tweet a 'false description that demonizes Israel through a furious fabrication of facts,' in a Facebook post slamming the UN." (link to

If this was only "demonizing" what is Israel when IT IS in fact directly responsible for the death of a Palestinian child? Sitra Achra?


It is curious that people can not accept the truth. As Melanie Phillips wrote in the Daily Mail (UK) on March 21, 2012:

"No Palestinian children have ever been targeted by Israel for murder. Quite the reverse: Israel regularly puts its own soldiers in harm's way in order to any minimise civilian casualties in military operations against Palestinian terrorists and their infrastructure which it undertakes solely to protect its own people from further murderous Palestinian attacks. Any Palestinian child casualties in such operations occur solely as a tragic and inadvertent by-product of war — and as often as not because the Palestinians have put their own children in harm's way."

Israel can't seem to grasp this simple Arab strategy of using their own women and children as shields. It's too alien to Jewish practices. And it's evolved over the years. In 1967-8, Yasser Arafat has a simple strategy illustrated in the Jerusalem compound of 3 houses in the Jordanian sector: the foot-soldier house, the officers' quarters and the house for the women and children. Arafat put the ammunition in the women's house. If the Jews shot the house up, it was great propaganda. If they wouldn't shoot for fear of killing civilians, the powder stayed safe and dry. For him, it was a win-win.

In a similar vein, Occupied Palestine, March 16, 2012,
( the-magnum-opus-of-israels-bankrupty-trying-to-get-a- human-rights-activist-fired/) was annoyed that "In the newest Israeli 'witch-hunt' the dying propaganda machine of zionism has taken an aim on Khulood Badawi, a human rights activist and demands UN fires Khulood Badawi over a 'false Gaza' picture." Occupied Palestine notes that the picture had no time stamp. "...the post does not even mention a date nor a momentum[sic] of the time of the picture concerning any event, it just recalls a child is dead an carried to the grave. Nothing more or less."

Now why would anyone suppose the picture had anything to do with Israel retaliatory strike in Gaza the day before Khulood tweeted?

Raymond Ibrahim has written about deceits permitted the Muslim by his religion. Taquiya, allows -- even obliges -- a Muslim to lie in certain situations in order to carry out his mission of jihad while living among the infidels. Tawriya (creative lying), allows a Muslim to say a lie while appearing to tell the technical truth by shifting context. In the example given, he's asked if he's seen Mike and answers 'No' because he starts to think about another Mike, whose whereabouts he really doesn't know. Are we now dealing with yet another type of lying where you can post a picture of a dying child when the context will force a particular but wrong conclusion. Then you can deny you did anything but reminisce, when caught. Actually, such a dispensation would allow you to use pictures of massacred Jewish children to imply the Jews had carried out another brutal attack against innocent Arab children. And such pictures are much easier to come by.

Simon Plosker is the Managing Editor at HonestReporting(, With a decade of working in pro-Israel advocacy work and public affairs on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

The article appeared at MARCH 12, 2012 16:22

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