A Palestinian from the West Bank city of Bethlehem was falsely accused by Israeli television of being a terrorist behind a deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem on Friday night, prompting him to post a clarification on Facebook.
Channel 12 News broadcast a picture of Fadi Ayesh during a special on the terrorist attack in Neve Yaakov that killed seven and said he was the attacker.
The network’s military correspondent said Ayesh is an Israeli citizen and a member of the Hamas terror group from East Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood.
Channel 12 then aired a second image of a man with two assault rifles, saying it was an older image of Ayesh.
The pictures and information about the attacker were all false.
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The second picture showed Raed Al Karmi, a Tanzim terror commander killed in a 2002 explosion attributed to Israel.
This push notification, sent by Channel 12 News on January 27, 2023, features an image of Raed Al Karmi. The text reads: “The terrorist who carried out the murderous attack: Fadi Ayesh, an Israeli citizen, residing in Shuafat. (screenshot)
And the terrorist was later named as Alqam Khayri, 21, a resident of At-Tur in East Jerusalem with no prior terrorist offenses.
The network did not provide any clarification, but said later in the program the images were released by Palestinian media before the Shin Bet security agency released the terrorist’s real name to reporters.
Ayash took to Facebook after the attack and wrote in a post: “I’m Fadi, I live in Bethlehem. I neither performed nor was I involved in the operation.”
“God bless the martyrs,” he added.
The image, broadcast by Channel 12, made the rounds on the internet and was even printed on posters by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip celebrating the deadly attack.
Palestinians with placards of Fadi Ayesh in the Gaza Strip celebrate a deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem, January 27, 2023. (Social media)
In another post on Facebook, Ayesh asked for his images to be removed from online posts.
With seven dead, the Jerusalem shooting was the deadliest terrorist attack since 2011, when terrorists entered Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and killed eight Israelis. It was the deadliest Palestinian terrorist attack since 2008, when a gunman from East Jerusalem killed eight Israeli students at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in the capital.
In a separate shooting on Saturday morning, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two Israeli men near the Old City.
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