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Media Analyses





AFP, Reuters Add IDF's Account to Captions on Disputed Gaza Death


Today CAMERA's Israel office prompted improved captions at two major photo agencies concerning the disputed death Friday of Gaza teen Abdulrahman Al-Dabag. As noted earlier today on CAMERA's Snapshots blog, biased captions by AFP and Reuters noted only the Palestinian charge that Israeli troops shot him dead.
 
In response to communication from CAMERA, Reuters and AFP both added the Israeli army's assertion that troops used only tear gas at Friday's border clash.
 
In news stories Friday, both Reuters and AFP accurately reported the two sides' conflicting claims. Reuters, for instance, reported:

An 18-year-old Palestinian was killed during a rock-throwing protest near the Gaza-Israel border on Friday and a Palestinian health official said Israeli soldiers shot him, but the Israeli army said troops were not responsible.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said Abdel-Rahman Al-Dabbagh was killed by an Israeli bullet to the head during the border clash in the central Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military said troops had sought to contain the violence on the other side of the border fence and had used only tear gas.

"Dozens of rioters breached the buffer zone and attempted to damage the security (border) fence. ... Forces stationed at the border used tear gas that led to the dispersal of the riot. Following a preliminary review, the Israel Defense Forces did not conduct the reported shooting," a military statement said.

Nevertheless, both agencies ran published photo captions which ignored the Israeli account, and cited only the Palestinian charge blaming Israeli live fire for the teen's death. Reuters' original captions, along with the improved captions containing the Israeli army's information, follow.
 

A man mourns the death of Palestinian youth Abdulrahman Al-Dabag, who medics said was shot dead by Israeli troops on Friday, at a hospital in the central Gaza Strip September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
 

A man mourns the death of Palestinian youth Abdulrahman Al-Dabag, who medics said was shot dead by Israeli troops on Friday, at a hospital in the central Gaza Strip September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
 
Reuters today republished the above photographs with the amended caption (below), which adds: "The Israeli army later said troops were not responsible for his death."
 

One example of AFP's original, tendentious captions, followed by the amended caption which now appears in the agency's archive, follows:
 

Palestinian Territories, Deir el-Balah : Palestinian men mourn the death of 16-year-old Abdel Rahman al-Dabbagh, who according to the health ministry was shot dead by Israeli troops during clashes near the border fence, at a hospital morgue in the central Gaza Strip, on September 9, 2016. Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra identified the teenager as Abdel Rahman al-Dabbagh, and said he was killed east of Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, saying the teenager was hit in the head and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead./ AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB
 
AFP's amended captions add: "The Israeli army stressed that forces only used tear gas to disperse the youths."
 

 
CAMERA commends both Reuters and AFP for their quick action to set the record straight.
 
Visit our Department of Corrections for more AFP and Reuters corrections prompted by CAMERA.

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