Where A Sponge Bullet Isn’t Lethal But The Journalism Is

A freelance journalist by the name of Allyn Fisher-Ilan – who is clearly no fan of Israel- tweeted out the following over a week ago:


Even though the Ha’aretz report, to which she links, mentions conflicting narratives as to what happened

A 21-year-old Palestinian man who was injured during clashes between police and worshippers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem last month, succumbed to his wounds on Saturday, his family announced. 

According to Palestinian sources Walid a-Sharif, an East Jerusalem resident, was severely wounded by a sponge-tipped bullet. He was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. Police, however, said he had fallen and sustained a head injury during the skirmishes.

she simply adopts the palestinian narrative and blames Israel.

Yesterday, Ha’aretz admitted that Israel did not kill him. Not only that, but we tried everything possible to help him and save his life:

The Palestinian who died during last month’s unrest on the Temple Mount wasn’t hit by a sponge-tipped bullet, an investigation into his death concluded.

The findings, which were obtained by Haaretz, are based on medical opinions and medical documents, including documents from Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, where Walid al-Sharif was hospitalized after being injured.

Al-Sharif, 21, of East Jerusalem, collapsed last month while fleeing from the Temple Mount after police stormed it and was taken to the hospital with mortal injuries. The Palestinians claimed he was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet fired by police. Police said he had been throwing stones at them, but was injured when he fell while running away. He died of his injuries on May 14.

According to the medical documents, there are no marks on Al-Sharif’s body indicating that he was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet. Medical experts at the hospital think he collapsed due to a heart attack, and the heart attack is also what caused the massive brain injury that led to his death.

Video footage from the Temple Mount shows Al-Sharif running away swiftly and then suddenly falling on his face. The police gave him first aid, along with medics at the scene, and he was taken to the hospital with severe facial injuries.

But the medical findings show that the injuries suffered during his fall weren’t what caused his death. Moreover, medical experts said, the kind of massive brain injury he suffered can be caused by a heart attack.

After Al-Sharif died, police wanted to send his body to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir for an autopsy, but the family refused. Police initially considered asking the court to order an autopsy despite the family’s opposition, but ultimately decided to release the body to the family without carrying it. However, they did have the institute do imaging scans of the body.

And this Allyn Fisher-Ilan who wrote that “Israeli TV and radio stations didn’t report this death btw in line with country’s embarrassing tendency to ignore Palestinian casualties whenever possible”? She has totally ignored the new Ha’aretz report exonerating Israel for his death.

But it is worse than just this lone freelancer. If you look at the Ha’aretz homepage, a link to their original report appears – but not the updated one exonerating Israel.

Talk about an embarrassing excuse for journalism.


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