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Reuters Under Fire for ‘Puff Piece’ on Alleged Palestinian Terrorist

(Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Reuters is facing backlash for a headline which positively depicted a young Palestinian who is accused of opening fire on a group of Israelis before one shot and severely wounded him.

Thirteen-year-old Mahmoud Aleiwat is accused of shooting at a group of Israelis passing by in the Silwan district of Jerusalem on Jan. 28, before one of them reportedly shot back, putting Aleiwat in the hospital. Reuters characterized Aleiwat as a star student who dreamed someday of being a chef.

“In the middle of last week, 13-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud Aleiwat was pressing his teachers for the school report he needed so he could go to a Jerusalem college to train as a chef,” the opening paragraph of the story, headlined “Palestinian teenager dreamt of being a chef before attack, teachers say,” reads.

“People who knew Aleiwat are puzzled about what could have prompted him to carry out such an act,” the article continues. “They described a popular teenager with a strong personality, a passion for football and an ambition to be a chef.”

Israeli police did not directly identify Aleiwat as a suspect, only saying that a 13-year-old “lone wolf” carried out an attack. A lawyer for the teen said he was the one being accused. His family, according to Reuters, denies his involvement.

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