Latest Palestinian Blood Libel: The Case Of The Thirsty Old Woman (Updated)

A few weeks ago, IDF Spokesperson in Arabic Avichay Adraee tweeted the following photo of an IDF soldier giving a drink to an elderly palestinian woman.

Palestinians and their supporters responded to this with the claim we shot and killed her moments later. For example:

During the Israeli bombardment and shelling of the Gaza Strip last summer, an Israeli soldier approached a 74-year-old Palestinian woman Ghalya Abu-Rida to give her a sip of water. He gave her the water, took a photo with her and then he shot her in the head from a distance of one metre. He then watched as she bled to death, the Palestine Information Centre reported.

This is how Ahmad Qdeh, a journalist in Al-Aqsa TV, described the scene that he witnessed during the latest Israeli aggression. The spokesman of the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee, shared the photo of an Israeli soldier holding the water bottle and helping the old woman drink as an example of the “humanity” of the Israeli army towards the civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The field executions were among the stories Qdeh reported during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip. He said: “Ghalya Ahmad Abu-Rida lived in the Khuza’a area in the east of Khan Younis city. I live in that area too and I made a television report on her story after the Israeli soldiers executed her during the aggression.”

“During the aggression, an Israeli soldier approached the old woman and took a photo for another soldier while giving her water. They then executed her by shooting her in the head from a distance of one metre and let her bleed until she died,” he added.

They have also disseminated images like the following:

elderly palestinian woman 2

elderly palestinian woman

While the motionless woman does seem to be the same one being given the drink, it does not constitute proof she is dead (she might be resting). Furthermore, there is no sign of blood or a wound as one would expect in the case of someone shot in the head from one meter as claimed.

Also, a Google search of her name reveals all the reports of her being shot at close range originate after Avichay Adraee posted on January 2nd the photo of the soldier giving her water. But her death supposedly occurred on August 3rd. Why the radio silence for 6 months?

The only earlier mentions of her name are here.

Khan Younis Governorate

Morning – Evening Paramedics and civil defence forces recovered 10 bodies, including Ghalia Abu Rida and nine resistance fighters from the rubble of destroyed houses in Khuza’a and Absan al-Kabira. They were killed following the shelling of the area.

And this from PCHR Gaza:

– In the morning, medical crews recovered the bodies of a woman and 9 members of Palestinian armed groups from the debris of destroyed homes in Khuza’a and ‘Abassan villages.  The woman was identified as Ghalia al-‘Abed Abu Raida.

Here, her death is reported in connection with an IDF shelling of Khan Younis on August 3rd, and not a deliberate execution-style killing as is now being claimed.

So what we seem to have here is another example of palestinians and Israel haters lying in order to demonize Israel. Assuming Ghalia was killed (which is also not certain), it would seem to have been due to a strike on an area from where rockets were launched (given the bodies of 9 terrorists were supposedly recovered with hers). Then after Avichay Adraee posted the photo, the story was changed to one of a close-range execution, as a way to counter the photo’s effectiveness.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Update: As commenter The Reader points out, Ghalia’s name does not even appear on the Gaza Health Ministry casualty list, and it is highly unlikely it would appear as ‘unidentified’, given the name was mentioned elsewhere.


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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