We updated the story on Mahmoud Sunday when the Israeli Military told us it did not have any airstrikes then. Was it a Militant rocket?—
Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) November 20, 2012
As Twitchy reported several days ago, the widely-noted death of 4-year old Palestinian boy Mohammed Sadallah appears to have been the result of a misfired Hamas rocket, not an Israeli bomb.
CNN’s Sara Sidner was among the first to spread the unsubstantiated story. Her video about the incident is here. Granted, Sidner did not state explicitly that Sadallah was killed by a Israeli military forces, but she strongly suggested it:
- About 50 seconds into the video, Sidner refers to Sadallah playing “when the bomb fell.” This is not language one uses to refer to an errant missile.
- At about 1:03 she refers to the incident as “an attack.”
- At about 1:16 everyone scurries away because they hear “another plane” overhead. None of the Palestinians want to be hit by “another airstrike.”
- At about 1:23 Sidner announces that she is fleeing the area because she fears more airstrikes.
The strong implication of all this is that an Israeli fighter jet dropped the bomb that killed the little boy.
We now know that this almost certainly did not happen. Even CNN anchor Don Lemon appeared to acknowledge that a misfired Hamas missile was probably responsible for Sadallah’s death.
After Twitchy and several tweeters called on Sidner to retract the story, she acknowledged that a Hamas missile might have caused the boy’s death and noted that she had run an “update” to her video:
Yes, a brief overdub has been added to the video stating that Israel denies killing the Palestinian boy.
An update is progress, but Sidner’s entire report was based on a unsubstantiated premise. The right thing to do is run a formal retraction and remove the video from CNN’s web site.