Last night, the army released a statement to the Israeli press about the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah in Bil’in. For the past two weeks, the army has been spreading lies and half truths about her death ranging from suspected cancer to Abu Rahmah not being present at the demonstration on New Years Eve. The most recent army statement actually catchs the army in its own web of lies. The IDF now confirms that Abu Rahmah was at the demonstration (exactly where in the demonstration they are still speculating) she was in fact tear gassed and she was admitted to hospital for the effects of tear gas. This is in stark contrast to the statements that central commander Avi Mizrahi passed to unvetted right wing bloggers and subsequently to the media after Abu Rahmha’s death.
Like previous statements, the current one is full of inconsistencies and half truths. The army is claiming that Abu Rahmah received an overdose of a drug that is used to treat nerve and tear gas. So, according the army, her death is completely the responsibly of the hospital and tear gas played no role. However it was the gas that put her life in danger and the reason she was in hospital in the first place. The current report must be treated with extreme caution based on the track record of blatant lies that the army has spread about this story. As the statements continue to roll out, the Palestinians version of events has been vindicated. The army is making a last ditch effort to try and create an atmosphere of confusion in the hopes that the story will dissolve by itself.
The Israeli strategy of confusion of facts has been so successful that press articles in today’s Israel papers make little rational sense. They appear as a mash up to lies and half truths that contradict one and other. Ynet, citing army reports, is reporting that Abu Rahmah was not at the demonstration but was admitted to the hospital because of the effects of tear gas. The newstream is now so polluted with disinformation from the army that the story will most likely die out with each side holding to their own version of story regardless of the facts. This is exactly the army’s strategy.