Death of Abu Rahma: More Holes In The Story

Despite the palestinians and their supporters dismissing the fundamental questions raised by the IDF regarding the death of palestinian protester Jawaher Abu Rahma, the whole things still smells worse than tear gas.

For instance, Ynet quotes one of the protesters who tries to refute the claim she was not at the rally in question.

Jawaher_Abu_RahmaHowever, far Left activist Yonatan Pollack, who attended the rally in question, dismissed the army’s claims.

“I saw that Jahawer took an active role in the protest,” he told Ynet, while presenting his update on the incident in his Twitter account.

“I saw how they put her in the ambulance that took her to the hospital. I know with certainty that she arrived there and stayed there, and later died at the hospital,” he said.

Despite the problematic findings presented by the army, Pollack insisted that “the IDF’s version isn’t based on any facts…the only thing the army’s claims are based on is the error of a doctor who got one digit wrong when he wrote down the time.”

But if she took an active part in the rally, why is there not even one photo of her there, despite the plethora of photos from the rally which were taken? If she was seen being put in to ambulance and taken to the hospital, then this surely would have been captured on film.

And why are her very own family and friends quoted as saying she did not attend the rally? They are hardly Israel National News.

Furthermore, notice how Pollack dismisses the IDF claims as “based on is the error of a doctor who got one digit wrong when he wrote down the time.” But if you read the claims, you will see they are based on much more than that, including the doctors writing her cause of death as “Inhaling gas of an Israeli solider according to the family” (hardly the kind of professional and exact report you would expect from a doctor), and evidence of a preexisting condition (possibly cancer). In short, he is not addressing the issues.

There’s also other inconsistencies in the versions of the story coming from the palestinians. For instance, regarding Abu Rahma’s pre-existing illness, the Independent quotes her brother, who seems to minimize the severity of the illness, as well as protest organizers, who claimed something else entirely:

There were conflicting reports yesterday over whether the dead woman had any medical condition that made her especially susceptible to tear gas. One of her brothers, Samir, yesterday denied suggestions that she had suffered from asthma.

He said she had had trouble with one ear and protest organisers said she had suffered recently from flu or another illness which may have included respiratory problems, but that she had recovered well before Friday’s protest.

But in this report, the quote of a brother suggests something more serious. 

Iyad Haddad, a West Bank field researcher for the Israeli human-rights group B’Tselem, said he believed the gas could have exacerbated an illness from which Jawahar was already suffering, and which could have been the reason she did not take part in the protest.

“Her brother told me a week before the incident that she had become sick and had to see a specialist,” he said.

As does the medical information made available to the IDF, which suggests something far beyond ear troubles.

In short, the inconsistent stories and denials coming from the camp of the palestinians and their supporters only seem to support the IDF claims, and raise the likelihood that what we are seeing here is the latest instalment of Pallywood.

I will continue to closely monitor this developing story and post updates when time permits.

Another inconsistency: How can protester Yonatan Pollack claim she was at the protest and saw her put in the ambulance that took her to the hospital, while at the same time her cousin and neighbor claims she waited for an ambulance at her house.

With the help of another cousin, Ilham got her into the house, where she said they waited nearly half an hour for an ambulance.

Another inconsistency: The doctor who treated Abu Rahma keeps changing his story.

At first, he claimed she had a preexisting condition – asthma – contradicting her parents.

Mohammed Eideh, who treated Abu Rahmah in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said she had asthma. Her parents said she did not.

But today he dropped the asthma claim, and adopted the parents’ narrative.

Hospital director Mohamed Eideh told AFP that Abu Rahma arrived at the hospital with her parents, suffering lung failure.

“Her parents, who accompanied her in the ambulance, said she had inhaled a large amount of tear gas and said she had no pre-existing serious medical condition,” he said.

Another inconsistency: According to eyewitnesses, the tear gas acted quickly as follows:

Eyewitnesses told Haaretz that the tear gas had an immediate and dramatic effect on Abu Rahmah, who within a few minutes after exposure went into convulsions, began foaming at the mouth and lost consciousness.

Compare this to her cousin’s account, which suggests a slower demise in which the victim “vomited” (not “foamed at the mouth”) and was conscious for about half an hour:

She was vomiting yellow stuff and lying on the ground. She waved me away to say she was still being sick. I couldn’t carry her.” With the help of another cousin, Ilham got her into the house, where she said they waited nearly half an hour for an ambulance. She added: “There was saliva in the corner of her mouth. She was pointing at her chest and saying, ‘Am I going to die?'”


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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