Update: This just in – A JVP tweet from the Bil'in Protest establishes that before 2:36:54 pm Israel time, Jawahir Abu Rahmeh was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The tweet is as follows:
One eye injury and jawaher - sister of bassem who was killed last year at a demo -was taken to the hospital for gas inhalation.
Fri Dec 31 2010 14:36:54 (IST) via Twitter for iPhone [the actual time on the tweet is 4:36:54 Pacific Standard Time, 10 hours difference, since it was from JVP's Rebecca Vilkomerson's cell phone]
This goes a long way to refuting the IDF's sickening innuendos about the inconsistencies of time Read more about this story soon on the +972 webzine
Remember Jawahir Abu Rahmeh, who was killed three days ago by the inhalation of tear gas at the Bil'in demonstration? According to the IDF, as being reported in the Israeli media, she may not have been at the demonstration, and she may not died of tear gas. It may have all been a hoax.
According to Ynet,
Did Palestinians lie about death of Jawaher Abu-Rahma? Two days after reports that an anti-fence protestor died after inhaling tear gas fired by IDF troops, the army says medical information handed over to Israel raises fundamental question marks about the story.
According to IDF officials, Abu-Rahma may have not even participated in the protest in question
Note that the IDF does not conclude that Abu Rahma was not there. Note that the IDF does not claim that she did not die from gas inhalation. Note that the IDF has no evidence refuting the testimony of the family.
Instead, the IDF "raises question," "points out 'contradictions' in the medical data" suggests that there is on evidence that she was there, claims to have gone over (tens of thousands?) of photographs of demonstrations and not being able to find her.
According to the medical report, there was no clear cause of death, the burial was undertaken via an accelerated procedure, and no post-mortem was performed.
The information also reveals that Abu-Rahma was administered an unusual quantity of drugs, used to offer treatment against poisoning, drug overdose, or leukemia. Moreover, her family's report that she was "hurt by Israeli gas" was not corroborated by any other source.
Since the medical report has not been published, I don't know whether it actually said, "there was no clear cause of death." But it did report – and why shouldn't it – the claims of the family. And why would there be any reason to doubt them? As for no post-mortem and accelerated burial procedure – what religious Jew is unfamiliar with that. What cause was there for a post-mortem examination? As for the drug claim – that is not worth responding to. Who is making the claim? What is considered an unusual quantity of drugs? Who determines what the drug is for?
Who the hell is behind all this crap? Even an idiot can see that the IDF is using the same "methodology" that Holocaust deniers use to raise questions about the number of Jews killed, or the presence of gas chambers to kill Jews, etc. That methodology is to "raise questions," to "point out contradictions", to suggest that the evidence is not convincing, to insinuate that those who make the claims are not to be trusted.
But wait! The same IDF, which only "raises questions" for the mainstream media, has answers to the rightwing blogosphere. As reported in the Muqata at an "exclusive" briefing for bloggers
IDF: We have reason to believe that the death 2 days ago was because of another reason than what the Palestinians are claiming (tear gas inhalation).
We know this woman visited the same hospital 10 days ago and many other times in the past month. When we looked at the medication she was taking – it was for cancer.
Whoaa! Nowhere does the IDF "source" actually say that Abu Rahmeh had cancer, or that a doctor had diagnosed her for cancer, or that people with cancer cannot die from, say, being run over by a car or tear gas inhalation. I know lots of people with cancer – apparently that makes them superman.
The point is, dear reader, that the IDF is desperately trying to grab the narrative, the same way it tried to do in Gaza – and failed – and with the Mavi Marmara – and failed.
Meanwhile, only Haaretz bothered to get a response from lawyer Michael Sfard:
The lawyer representing the Abu Rahma family completely denied the IDF's claims. Lawyer Michael Sfrad said that Abu Rahma went in for testing a week ago for a routine winter illness.
"According to people I spoke with, [Abu Rahma] was at the demonstration on Friday but not at the forefront of the protesters," he said. "After she was injured by the tear gas, she was taken to the village and then transferred to an ambulance. An operational investigation cannot produce reliable findings; therefore we demand a criminal investigation by the military police."
Let's hope somebody in the IDF is listening to Sfard.