The Manasra family, whose young son was wounded after stabbing a Jewish Israeli teen his age, was working with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to fabricate their son’s death at the hands of Israeli security forces, sources close to the Israeli health minister, Yaakov Litzman, told Israeli news outlet nrg on Thursday.
The report came after Litzman apparently intervened to allow cameramen to snap photographs of 13-year-old Ahmed — who is being treated at the Ein Karem branch of Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem — after Abbas blamed Israel for his “execution.” According to NRG, the Manasra family had refused to permit reporters to document the boy, who is alive and well.
Ahmed, together with his 17-year-old cousin, Mohammed Manasra, carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood on Monday, wounding two Israelis. Ahmed was hit by a passing car after bystanders began chasing him. On Wednesday, Abbas bemoaned his “execution.”
“We will not succumb to the logic of brute force, policies of occupation and aggression practiced by the Israeli government and the herd of settlers who are engaged in terrorism against our people, our holy places, our homes, our trees and the execution of our children in cold blood as they did with the child Ahmed Manasra and other children from Jerusalem,” said Abbas, demanding an end to the Israeli “occupation” and the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office quickly responded to Abbas, calling his speech “incitement and lies,” while stating that “the teenager he [Abbas] is referring to is alive and hospitalized at Hadassah, after he stabbed an Israeli child who was riding his bicycle.”
Still, following Abbas’ speech on Wednesday, Manasra’s story quickly spread through the Internet, as did a video of him lying on the ground while some Israeli bystanders shouted. The hashtag #AhmedManasra trended, with users claiming photographs showed him bleeding “to death.”
By Thursday, the story had mostly flipped back to those posting videos proving Manasra is alive and recovering through the treatment of doctors in Israel.
Sources with Litzman claimed to have foiled a plot between the Manasra family and Abbas, underscoring the extent of the information war playing out around Manasra, but also throughout the escalated prevalence of individual, small-scale terror attacks against Israelis over the past few weeks, of which Manasra was a part.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] and the terrorist’s family cooperated to falsely claim that the boy [Ahmed] was dead, and the family refused to allow his picture to be taken, under the pretext of privacy and his being a minor. But the reality and the family’s motivations are clear. Here it is, the boy is alive and here’s the proof,” the sources said. “We cannot allow false incitement under protection of the law, so to speak.”
The P.A. has blamed Israel for the escalated violence, especially over alleged violations of the status-quo agreements relating to prayer at the Temple Mount — violations that Israel denies, accusing Palestinian officials of cynically using the issue to inflame Palestinian tensions against Israel.
Israeli police shot dead two terrorists in separate attacks in Jerusalem on Wednesday, one of which resulted in the stabbing of a 70-year-old woman at the Central Bus Station. They were the latest attacks since the surge in violence began about a month ago. Israel deployed 300 soldiers in Jerusalem and around the country to prevent new street attacks.