Latest Blood Libel: The Death of Hashem al-Azzeh

hashem al azzehA palestinian with a a long-term cardiac condition has died from what seems to be a heart attack.

But heart attacks alone are hard to blame on Israel.

Not to worry. The heart attack was made worse by the “conditions in Hebron.”

Long term supporter and friend of ISM, Hashem Azzeh, has tragically passed away today aged 54, following health complications exacerbated by the conditions in Al-Khalil (Hebron). Hashem, who had a long-term cardiac condition, called for an ambulance on feeling discomfort in his chest earlier this afternoon. As Palestinian vehicles are banned within his H2 neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, Hashem had to be assisted to walk the 700 meters from his house to the Shuhada street checkpoint in increasing pain. He passed the soldiers who harass him and his family on a daily basis and was accompanied into an awaiting ambulance. He passed away not long afterwards.

Yet note the bottom of this very article: the ISM admits they really do not know for sure why he died.

An autopsy will occur overnight to determine the exact cause of Hashem’s death and the degree to which the Israeli-delayed medical assistance contributed to his untimely passing.

This version explicitly mentions him suffering a heart attack in his home and not just “discomfort in his chest.”

He had another heart attack in his house in Tel Rumeida. Local youth had to carry him down the hill and out the checkpoint to get him to an ambulance and to hospital as it is so very difficult to get ambulances in through the checkpoints.

The lack of an autopsy has not stopped others also from making definitive claims regarding the cause of his death. Ma’an and others blame it on excessive tear gas inhalation.

Dr. Hashem al-Azzeh, who died on Wednesday after suffering excessive tear gas inhalation in Hebron’s Old City, was the latest victim of the Israeli settlement policies he spent most of his life struggling against.

The 54-year-old activist and medical doctor was one of a few Palestinians who chose to remain with his family in Tel Rumeida, a neighborhood in central Hebron that over the course of decades has seen most of its Palestinian residents pushed out by aggressive Israeli settlers.

On Wednesday, after experiencing chest pains in his home, he found himself trapped.

His family called an ambulance, but it was unable to reach him due to a series of Israeli army checkpoints along the nearby Shuhada Street, his niece Sundus al-Azzeh told Ma’an.

Hashem began to walk toward the checkpoint at Bab al-Zawiya, where fierce clashes were underway as Palestinians protested the death of two Palestinian teenagers shot dead the night before.

Once there, however, Sundus said that Israeli soldiers stopped him from moving on, and he soon found himself engulfed by tear gas. Unable to breath, he collapsed.

He was rushed to Hebron’s governmental hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.

A doctor told Ma’an that Hashem had a history of cardiovascular disease, but it was tear gas inhalation that killed him.

The Palestinian Information Center tries to paint the 54-year-old as a frail old man.

A Palestinian old man died on Wednesday from excessive tear gas inhalation fired by Israeli occupation forces during clashes that erupted in al-Khalil.

The clashes erupted at Container checkpoint following the funeral of a Palestinian teen who was earlier shot and killed by Israeli gunfire.

The old man was identified as Hashem al-Azzeh.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera makes no mention of chest pains, a potential heart attack or his cardio condition.

A 54-year-old Palestinian Hashem al-Azzeh died on Wednesday due to inhaling excessive tear gas fired by Israeli forces in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local media reports.

More tellingly, neither does the AFP.

And this, my friends, is just one example of a blood libel being reported as fact.


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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