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[Warning: The links below contain distressing images of the result of violence.]

X/Twitter account @HoyPalestina posted a tweet on 15 November 2023, claiming:

In 2015, Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee posted a photo of an Israeli soldier “serving water to an elderly Palestinian woman.”

Journalists later revealed that the soldier shot the disabled elderly woman, who was identified as Ghalia Abu Reida.

The soldier murdered her right after the photo.[Google translated]

Attached is a 2015 screenshot from Avichai Adraee Arabic Twitter/X account posting a picture of a frail elderly woman accepting water from an armed uniformed man, and a second picture of the same woman's corpse.

Meanwhile X/Twitter account @QudsNen ("QNN" -- Quds News Network) posted a tweet on 13 Nov 2023 claiming:

[...] In 2015, the spokesperson for the Israeli army Avichai Adraee published a photo of an Israeli soldier serving water to an old Palestinian woman. Journalists revealed afterward that the soldier shot the disabled old woman, who was identified as Ghalia Abu Reida, right after taking the picture with her.

Is this story true?

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    The Q seems reasonable, but I warn you that self-answers are being treated harshly here on topics like this, especially when posted right after the Q. Nov 15, 2023 at 11:32

2 Answers 2

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This case is far from proven to the end.

No proof she was shot, and that it was from close range, or that it was intentional.

Finding a dead body in a place where intense fire exchanges took place doesn't prove an "execution".

Even the evidenceless UN report doesn't come to the conclusion that it was an execution of some sort.

Quote from Ir0's answer (Ir0 also asked the question): "The doctor who later examined the body told the witness that she had been shot from close range" - A witness reporting that some doctor said. Who is the doctor? An expert crime scene detective? Let him show his face and credentials.

For whom it might be interesting (I didn't verify everything in there): https://www.israellycool.com/2015/01/21/latest-palestinian-blood-libel-the-case-of-the-thirsty-old-woman/

The only earlier mentions of her name are here [by al-Haq].

Khan Younis Governorate

Morning – Evening Paramedics and civil defence forces recovered 10 bodies, including Ghalia Abu Rida and nine resistance fighters from the rubble of destroyed houses in Khuza’a and Absan al-Kabira. They were killed following the shelling of the area.

And this from PCHR Gaza:

– In the morning, medical crews recovered the bodies of a woman and 9 members of Palestinian armed groups from the debris of destroyed homes in Khuza’a and ‘Abassan villages. The woman was identified as Ghalia al-‘Abed Abu Raida.

Here, her death is reported in connection with an IDF shelling of Khan Younis on August 3rd, and not a deliberate execution-style killing as is now being claimed.

The quote from PCHR can be verified via archive.org. It's a report from August 4, 2014. And the same goes for the al-Haq page/quote, which however is reported for August 3; note that the current/live contents of that page is different from the one archived in 2014.

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    The Israellycool link which cites PCHR, cites it as "In the morning, medical crews recovered the bodies of a woman and 9 members of Palestinian armed groups from the debris of destroyed homes in Khuza’a and ‘Abassan villages" which clearly implies that the women and the 9 armed Palestinians where from multiple "destroyed homes" and two different villages (Khuza’a and ‘Abassan), how does this mean "sitting among 9 terrorists"?
    – صالح
    Nov 15, 2023 at 12:08
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    Actually, PCHR did mention it (can be verified via archive.org) as "In the morning, medical crews recovered the bodies of a woman and 9 members of Palestinian armed groups from the debris of destroyed homes in Khuza'a and 'Abassan villages. The woman was identified as Ghalia al-'Abed Abu Raida." The date of the 'morning' referred seems to be 04 August 2014. Nov 15, 2023 at 12:20
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    @lr0: I found it web.archive.org/web/20140930194735/http://www.alhaq.org/… The old page does have "Morning – Evening Paramedics and civil defence forces recovered 10 bodies, including Ghalia Abu Rida and nine resistance fighters from the rubble of destroyed houses in Khuza’a and Absan al-Kabira. They were killed following the shelling of the area." Nov 15, 2023 at 13:09
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    I'm rather unsure why this is getting DV after the details/quote I edited in. It's a reasonable point of uncertainty IMHO. Maybe tone down down the language in the earlier part? I loathe to change peoples words though (unlike adding quotes). Nov 15, 2023 at 15:25
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    Asking about the identity and expertise of the doctor is reasonable. Saying, "Let him show his face and credentials." is combative and not constructive and should be edited out. Nov 16, 2023 at 21:24
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It does not seem that there was any further investigation by the Israeli officials about the incident, so there is no really any concrete proof or evidence that the IDF executed her, however, we know that the IDF met and took a photo with her and that there was a women who has been killed in 04 August 2014 in the IDF invasion (see PCHR report).

There is also a UN report here about the incident supports the claims that the woman spotted in the IDF picture is the same one found dead later:

  1. The case of Ghalia Abu Reda: A witness told the commission that he and his family decided to leave their home in Khuza’a in accordance with the warnings issued by the IDF prior to the launch of the ground operation. As attacks were intensifying, they fled Khuza’a in a state of complete panic, leaving behind one of the family members, Ghalia Abu Reda, a woman aged about 70, in a wheelchair. Ghalia Abu Reda’s cousin stayed behind, in order to look after her for as long as possible, but eventually the cousin too was compelled to leave. When the witness returned to the family home a few days later, he found Ghalia Abu Reda’s dead body. She had a bullet mark in her head and blood on her face. The doctor who later examined the body told the witness that she had been shot from close range, from a distance of about two metres. Another member of the Abu Reda family confirmed the above allegations to the commission. That witness stated that the house was very close to the Green Line and that, some days or weeks later, an Israeli soldier posted on twitter a picture of another IDF soldier offering water to Ghalia Abu Reda:

“The soldiers did this to pretend that they were human. They did not know that Gaza is small, and that the picture would be recognized by the family. When the family returned to Khuza’a they found Ghalia dead!”

The post from Avichay Adraee official account can also be found here.

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    How are these two linked? The lady in the picture does not seem to be in wheelchair. The X (tweet) says '2015' and report is about incidents in 2014. Nor doe it verify that the soldier in picture would have been the perpetrator.
    – pinegulf
    Nov 15, 2023 at 7:25
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    They are linked because both mentioned the woman name Ghalia Abu Reda and the post with giving her water. Also the report is indeed from 2015 not 2014. See this version of the same report with its date in the first page: undocs.org/Home/…
    – صالح
    Nov 15, 2023 at 7:30
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    My take is that the tweet mistakenly dates the event in 2015 instead of 2014, but that it is referring to the same facts as in that answer.
    – Evargalo
    Nov 15, 2023 at 7:42
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    However, the UN report collects testimony but doesn't offer further investigation into this specific case. I am afraid the precise circumstances of this woman's death will never be elucidated.
    – Evargalo
    Nov 15, 2023 at 7:46
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    I agree. Anyway, the tweets do not mention anything about when did this happen instead they are citing when did Adraee posted the picture.
    – صالح
    Nov 15, 2023 at 7:55

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