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Whodunit? Who didn’t? What the press is saying on November 30

14 5 7
30.11.2020

1. Twitter’s reliable, right? Israel’s press is following along closely as Iran attempts to piece together the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

  • A report in Iran’s semi-official Fars news describing the killing as having been carried out by a remote control machine gun attached to a self-exploding Nissan, which first caused Fakhrizadeh to leave his car and then took him out with bullets, is picked up widely in the Israeli press.
  • Another account making the rounds (but widely discounted as unreliable) goes to the other extreme, describing a team of 50 people involved in the assassination, as well as a 12-man squad that opened fire on Fakhrizadeh’s car, then pulled him out and killed him at point blank range.
  • (It’s hard to believe that the Mossad would take the silly risk of trying to keep a secret among 62 people inside Iran, just for the overkill of having a full dozen machine-gun toting assassins.)

Absolute nonsense. I see the @DailyMailUK have also taken the bait. https://t.co/zR1Y32X7VN

— Toby Lerone (@Tob1Leron) November 29, 2020

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  • Yedioth Ahronoth prints pictures on its front page of four people it says have been fingered by Iranian intelligence as involved, according to the rock-solid source of a social media rumor.
  • In fact, the pictures come not from Yedioth’s source in Iranian intelligence, but from the same account that apparently started the 62-man team rumors — one Mohamed Ahwaze, also known as M Majed. Nonetheless they are picked up by several Israeli outlets, including Channel 12, which hours earlier had dismissed his 62-man squad claim as “disinformation.”
  • Channel 13 reports matter-of-factly that “opposition activist Mohamed Majed reports that intelligence agents distributed the pictures in every hotel in the country and demanded that the owners of the hotels report immediately if they identify one of the suspects.”
  • Haaretz picks up a Press TV report that claims that “the weapon collected from the site of the terrorist act (where Fakhrizadeh was assassinated) bears the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry.”

Absolute nonsense. I see the @DailyMailUK have also taken the bait. https://t.co/zR1Y32X7VN

— Toby Lerone (@Tob1Leron) November 29, 2020

Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up

2. What hath we wrought? Aside from tarring people as assassins based on rumors, Yedioth’s front page also features a top headline crowing that “Israel’s ability to strike at the heart of the enemy is unprecedented,” with the paper still wetting its pants over ex-spook Bruce Riedel’s comments to The New York Times published Sunday.

  • ToI’s Judah Ari Gross writes, “This type of highly public killing is deeply embarrassing for Iran, demonstrating both internationally and domestically that it cannot provide adequate security to a high-profile official like the head of its constantly-under-fire nuclear weapons program, which has already been targeted in........

    © The Times of Israel


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