Days after Agence France Presse published a series of captions which omitted that Osama Dueij, who died from a fatal wound incurred during clashes at the Gaza border, was a combatant in Hamas’ military wing, the news agency’s captions again erase key information tying the scenes to terror organizations.
On Sunday, Aug. 29, incomplete and misleading AFP photo captions accompanied images of Gaza homes (one damaged) following an Israeli bombing in Beit Hanoun. The captions failed to note that the Israeli military targeted Hamas infrastructure — specifically, a military compound and terrorist tunnel — when the nearby home was damaged. By ignoring the target of the attacks, AFP captions falsely implied that the home itself was targeted. Examples of the misleading captions follow:
In contrast, Reuters captions for pictures of the same damaged house provided the essential context missing from AFP’s captions. Reuters rightly noted that Israel had targeted nearby Hamas sites. A brief but informative (if somewhat awkwardly worded) Reuters caption stated, for example:
A Palestinian woman looks out of her house damaged in a nearby Israel bombing at Hamas sites over fire balloons into Israel, in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip August 29, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Hey, @AFP @AFPFactCheck, don’t you mean Israeli forces attacked 2 *Hamas* sites? Or is the idea to falsely suggest @IDF targeted homes, little girls & pet parrots as opposed to terror infrastructure? What would it cost to add 1 more word & include essential context? @CAMERAorg pic.twitter.com/2D4GvvO09X
— Tamar Sternthal (@TamarSternthal) August 31, 2021
AFP itself reported on Sunday, albeit only in the third paragraph:
Israeli “fighter jets struck a Hamas military compound used for manufacturing weapons and training as well as an entrance to a terror tunnel adjacent to Jabalia,” the Israeli army said.
Hamas in the Gaza Strip wasn’t the only Palestinian terror group to benefit this week from AFP’s tendency to leave terror groups out of picture captions meant to inform about photographs.
Update, 2:45 pm EST: AFP Whitewashes Al Qassam Terrorist As ’32-Year-Old Man’
It’s not just a photo editor who has taken it upon his/herself to erase terror organizations from the story. Thus, an AFP article today, “Israel further eases Gaza restrictions despite unrest” (5:45 am GMT), described Osama Dueij, the Al Qassam Brigades combatant fatally wounded Aug. 21 at the Gaza border, as a “32-year-old man.” It reported:
Less than a week later, on August 21, clashes accompanying a demonstration on the Gaza border wounded around 40 people, according to Hamas, including a 12-year-old Palestinian boy and a 32-year-old man.
Nearly one week after Hamas published mourning notice for Al-Qassam “heroic martyr” Osama Dueij, @AFP continues to insist on concealing his terror affiliation. Today’s article whitewashes him as a “32-year-old man”https://t.co/wsQSzkrNX6 https://t.co/8znRZZupD1
— Tamar Sternthal (@TamarSternthal) September 1, 2021
AFP subsequently amended the report. But instead of coming clean and finally acknowledging that Hamas has identified him as a member of its military wing, the wire service simply made him disappear entirely from the story. The later truncated article (1:22 pm GMT) reports:
Less than a week later, on August 21, clashes accompanying a demonstration on the Gaza border wounded around 40 people, according to Hamas, including a 12-year-old Palestinian boy.