The New York Times' rendering of recent violence on the border between Gaza and Israel is a shining example of the chronological sleights of hand that have come to characterise mainstream reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Isabel Kershner's December 24 dispatch, "Killing and Retaliation at Gaza-Israel Border Continue Violent Cycle", sets up the timeline as follows:
"An Israeli labourer who was repairing the security fence along the border with Gaza was fatally shot on Tuesday by a Palestinian sniper, according to the Israeli military, and Israel immediately responded with airstrikes and tank and infantry fire against targets it associated with militant groups in the Palestinian coastal territory."
The seeming cause-and-effect relationship is emphasised by two photographs appearing side by side at the top of the article. On the left: the body of the sniper victim. On the right: the body of the three-year-old Palestinian girl cast as unintended collateral damage in the photograph's caption: "A shell killed her as Israel, responding to the sniper attack, struck targets it associated with militant groups."
Buried in a paragraph in the second half of the article, however, is the following detail: "On Friday, Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian man who approached the border fence separating Gaza from Israel."
As it turns out, the Friday in question occurred four days prior to the Tuesday sniper fire and military assault. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.