The IDF shot down an ugly Arab hoax Monday, after it had already been propagated worldwide. The Nana-Channel 10 website reported that a military investigation found that the woman who supposedly died when she inhaled tear gas at a demonstration Friday was not even present at the protest. She did not die of tear gas inhalation but of cancer, the IDF found, and had been lying in a hospital bed for ten days before passing away.
Arabs and leftists propagated the story that the woman, Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, had inhaled tear gas at their weekly staged riot at Bilin, in Samaria. Adding pathos to the story was the allegation that she was the sister of an Arab who was killed in Bilin in 2009 after being struck by a tear gas canister. Israeli papers carried photos of her and quoted her as saying that she wishes to join her brother in Paradise.
The Palestinian Authority was quick to seize upon the story for lambasting Israel. "We condemn this abominable crime by the Israeli occupation army in Bilin against people taking part in a peaceful demonstration and consider it an Israeli war crime against our people," chief PA negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.
However, the IDF has now found that Jawahel Abu Rahma died of leukemia or lung cancer, and had been in Ramallah hospital for ten days before passing away. The story was a fabrication intended to delegitimize Israel, the IDF said.
It seems that Arabs in the PA have become creative in making up lies that make Israel look bad worldwide. Unfortunately, even when their lies are discovered, the damage has already been done and the refutation of the story will receive less publicity than the original libel did.