Palestinian boys with flowers. (illustrative) (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

Media caught again in another anti-Israel propaganda ploy that gave real coverage to a very fake story.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The media watchdog Honest Reporting exposed yet another staged story designed to make Israel look bad.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported an uncorroborated account from the anti-Israel group B’Tselem, which got the facts wrong.

Honest Reporting discovered that the AP story was “based entirely on a video and statement supplied by the provocative NGO B’Tselem,” in which it claimed “Israeli troops detained five Palestinian children for several hours after they were confronted by Jewish settlers. while gathering wild artichokes near a settlement outpost.”

The AP story was used by newspapers and outlets around the word, with the British Independent newspaper’s Middle East correspondent, Bel Trew, who tweeting, “Israel arrested 5 Palestinian children aged 7-11 … after they were picking flowers.”

But Honest Reporting dug into the story to reveal it as nothing more than very fake news.

If the boys were simply out “picking flowers,” why was a B’Tselem film crew was there taking still pictures and videos of the supposedly innocent children?

The AP story was chock full of inflammatory quotes from the alleged “human rights” officials from B’Tselem, who graciously provided the AP with the pictures it used in the so-called “news” story.

AP did not have a reporter or photographer on the scene, and when AP asked the IDF for a response they were told that “a number of suspects” were detained after they “infiltrated into a house’s private property.” The IDF Spokespersons office told AP the children were transferred to the Israeli police, who released them to their parents.

But the damage from the AP story was done and social media readers were given the fake news that the boys were “arrested” even though it appears that they were indeed trespassing – while accompanied by the B’Tselem film crew.

“It is important to bear in mind that B’Tselem has been accused of ‘major omissions and distortions,’ using figures that are not reliable and failing to present definitive evidence that would justify allegations,” Honest Reporting notes. “B’Tselem’s video activists specifically have a reputation for going well beyond what could be considered reasonable behavior for an NGO.”

Earlier this year, Honest Reporting challenged AP after it published an article describing B’Tselem as a “leading proponent of human rights” and spreading the false B’Tselem accusations that Israel is guilty of “apartheid.” Honest Reporting called the AP on the carpet for running the story with no comment from any individual or organization who disagreed with B’Tselem’s highly tendentious claim.

As a result of the Honest Reporting expose, AP was forced to update its story.

United With Israel has previously reported on highly-organized Palestinian productions in which premeditated “incidents”  are filmed to portray Israelis – especially the IDF – as if they are violating human rights. The anti-Israel propaganda industry is dubbed “Pallywood” by those who expose it.

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