UPDATE: LA Times Reporter Erroneously Claims Hamas Never Beheaded Babies

October 10th, 2023 3:44 PM

UPDATE 1: As of Wednesday evening 10/11/23, LA Times investigative reporter Adam Elmahrek claimed President Biden was "amplifying propaganda" by saying he saw images of the beheaded babies.

UPDATE 2: There was apparently a glitch with X that made Elmahrek's account unviewable.

On Tuesday, a disturbing trend of misinformation spread around social media asserting that the Hamas terrorists – the same ones who killed women, children, and the elderly, raped women, and abducted those same groups back to Gaza – for some reason wouldn’t behead babies and that any report of such acts were lies. This was the disgusting assertion pushed by LA Times investigative reporter Adam Elmahrek.

Without evidence, Elmahrek went on Twitter to try to discredit the reporting of 40 beheaded babies being found in the Kibbutz community of Kfar Aza, close to the Gaza Strip. “The only source for “Hamas beheaded babies” appears to be the Israeli military, which is widely known to spread lies and disinformation,” he proclaimed.



He scolded his fellow journalists for daring to report Hamas’s atrocities: “Journalists, this is the fog of war. You’ll be seeing all sorts of claims. Don’t amplify unverified, sensational info[.] [sic]” He was so confident in his position that he turned off the ability for people to comment on his thread.

All of that was commented over a tweet from CNN’s Abby Phillip, who said, “Babies with their heads cut off. This is unbearable. But don't look away.” And she was commenting on a video from i24 News featuring reporter Nicole Zedeck. “I’m talking to some of the soldiers and they say what they witnessed…Babies, their heads cut off,” Zedeck reported with emotion welling up in her voice.



Elmahrek continued his short thread with a now-deleted tweet from New York Times investigative reporter Evan Hill, who claimed i24’s reporting was “how misinformation spreads.”

“I decided to delete a tweet about i24's report citing Israeli military claims of decapitated babies found at the site, which has yet to be verified and is being widely mischaracterized online, because it was not clear,” Hill claimed. But that was not true.

Independent French reporter Margot Haddad reported that she had seen images of their little bodies with her own eyes. “For those asking for the source. They are multiple: Israeli army, internal intelligence service and atrocious images which reached me and which I was able to cross-check,” she said, according to a Google translation.

“But the best source remains this: courageous journalists from the foreign press who were able to see / agreed to see with their own eyes the bodies in Kfar Aza,” she added.

The beheaded babies were also confirmed by CBS, as reported by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell. CNN’s Nic Robertson also confirmed the beheadings on social media. “There were so many murdered members of this kibbutz. Men, women, children, hand bound, shot, executed, heads cut,” he said.

Robertson also shared what he witnessed at Kfar Aza on CNN News Central (video above). He described it as "ISIS-style executions" where they were "cutting the heads off of people" including babies and killing their pets. He recounted how one pair of parents hid their 10-month-old twins in a cupboard and went out to distract Hamas attackers. They were killed, but their distraction worked.

If Elmahrek’s lies about Hamas not beheading babies weren’t enough, he put out a snarky tweet, bloviating: “We are now in the period when misinformation will spread like wildfire. Take everything with a grain of salt[.] [sic]” and insinuated the beheadings were a lie on par with “Saddam Hussein has WMDs!”

On Wednesday, President Biden stated that he was shown images and was able to personally verify that babies were indeed beheaded by Hamas terrorists. "I never really thought that I would see and have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children. I never thought I’d ever — anyway," Biden said.

"President Biden just claimed to have seen photos of terrorists beheading children," Elmahrek wrote in a tweet. "Again, this is an extraordinary thing to claim. I'm not saying it's false, but reporters need to press him for actual verification that this is true. Anything short of that is amplifying propaganda."



There was an apparent glitch with Twitter that made Elmahrek's account unviewable.