(CNN) — At a Gaza hospital, doctors tried to revive a 12-year-old victim of the violence, but their efforts were in vain. Mahmoud died.
Recording the tragedy at the hospital was his brother, freelance cameraman Ashraf Mashharawi.
Just a short time earlier, Mashharawi had been filming other, less personal images of the war– scenes like incoming missiles and the damage they do. Then, he got a phone call. Mashharawi was told the family home had been hit by a rocket.
His brother, Mahmoud and his 14-year-old cousin Ahmad, had been allowed to play on the roof after days of being cooped up inside as Israel continued its assault on Gaza.
Both boys died after the rocket hit.
The family had believed their house — now pockmarked by shrapnel and splattered with blood — was safe from the conflict. The family says the rocket was fired by a pilotless Israeli drone.
Mashharawi filmed the doctors’ efforts to save his brother’s life at the hospital; he also captured images of relatives cradling the boy wrapped in a white sheet after his death. Why? Because he said his family wanted the world to see the human toll of the conflict.
Just hours after play turned to death, Mahmoud was laid to rest.
Israel says it does not target civilians and it does all it can to avoid civilian casualties. Israel says it is unaware of the incident in this report.
With it, they ran an even more heartrending video of the cameraman’s footage.
Except, the footage seems to be a fake. A medical doctor commented at the indispensible Little Green Footballs:
I’m no military expert, but I am a doctor, and this video is bullsh-t. The chest compressions that were being performed at the beginning of this video were absolutely, positively fake. The large man in the white coat was NOT performing CPR on that child. He was just sort of tapping on the child’s sternum a little bit with his fingers. You can’t make blood flow like that. Furthermore, there’s no point in doing chest compressions if you’re not also ventilating the patient somehow. In this video, I can’t tell for sure if the patient has an endotracheal tube in place, but you can see that there is nobody bag-ventilating him (a bag is actually hanging by the head of the bed), and there is no ventilator attached to the patient. In a hospital, during a code on a ventilated patient, somebody would probably be bagging the patient during the chest compressions. And they also would have moved the bed away from the wall, so that somebody could get back there to intubate the patient and/or bag him. In short, the “resuscitation scene” at the beginning is fake, and it’s a pretty lame fake at that.
So the question is, were they re-enacting the resuscitation scene by repeating their actions on a corpse, because the child had died earlier? It’s likely that the answer is no, that child is still alive, and is just an actor pretending to be a child who was killed. Why do I say that? Because the big guy in the white coat, if he’s really a doctor, nurse, nurse’s aid, EMT, or any sort of health care provider at all would be entirely aware that tickling the boy’s sternum doesn’t really look like actual chest compressions. If the boy was dead, the man would have done a more convincing job in compressing the chest. The taps on the chest that he’s doing are the sort of thing you see in bad TV dramas, when you don’t want to make the poor actor playing the victim uncomfortable by really pushing on his chest. I think the man in the white coat knows this child is actually alive, and is making the simulated chest compressions gentle so as not to hurt the child. My guess is that he assumed the videographer, like those on better TV shows, would have been smart enough not to film as far down as the man’s hands on the chest.
CNN has now taken down the video, but left the story up. England’s Channel 4 has a similar story, also emphasizing the pathos of the affair:
Despite his own family tragedy Ashraf Mashharawi managed to send us the images surrounding his brother’s death and the impact on his family.
The family were keen that the story of what happened to them today should be told.
This incident deserves close attention. Like the Gaza Beach tragedy which the Palestinians turned into a Pallywood extravaganza, blaming Israel for a Palestinian “mistake,” this one has many of the usual suspects:
The Palestinian child who plays a part in the tragedy “for the camera,”
The Western “volunteer” there to help the beleaguered Palestinian people. Then it was “military expert Mark Garlasco,” here it’s Norwegian radical and occasional doctor, Mads Gilbert, a radical Marxist (there still are some!) who thinks the US deserved 9-11 and who has spent many hours telling reporters what a disgusting people the Israelis are.
The Western media, ever eager to have their heart-rending story of Israeli cruelty and Palestinian suffering, who, when caught making an error, quietly remove the problem without admitting the error. (In a section entitled “From the blogs: Commentary, Controversy, Debate, none of the three that appear mention the problem.)
If indeed this is a false story, it tells us, above all, about how radically unreliable our information from Gaza. Here we have a European doctor engaged in staging a scene for the camera. As with the scenes from Netzarim Junction on September 30, 2000, we’re dealing with a public secret: staging is permissable.
All of our statistics and stories about what’s happening in Gaza come from Palestinian sources and NGO’s/UN personnel. Many who might discount Palestinian sources nonetheless credit the UN spokespeople and NGOs. In my viewing of the coverage, I’m struck by the Pallywood-style editing we are presented: no long shots, almost every sequence is less than 3 seconds, and it’s impossible to see whether the person is genuinely injured (e.g., many with no sign of blood). I am not denying that there are dead and wounded, but it may be that the numbers are significantly less that we are told, in particular the percentage of civilians, which, with every day, has become increasingly inflated.
Some have argued that it’s a good thing that the MSM has not made it into Gaza. I’m not so sure. Although I think the Western media is exceptionally badly behaved — an Augean Stables of bad habits — it’s not as wretched as the full-bodied weaponized mode of the Palestinian and Arab media. There is a difference between dupes and demopaths. I think had they been there, it’s very likely that a fair amount of the open faking that goes on might not happen so openly. Who knows, among the swarm of Western reporters, maybe somone would have the courage to say, “this is loony.”