AFP Corrects Caption Falsely Alleging Palestinian Prisoners Died in Jail

CAMERA’s Israel office this week prompted correction of a Nov. 17 Agence France Presse caption which falsely alleges that numerous Palestinian prisoners died in Israeli prisons. While all nine prisoners in question died in Israeli custody, seven out of nine died in Israeli hospitals, and one died in a medical center within a prison. The final case, from more than four decades ago, involves a prisoner who reportedly died in his Ashkelon cell.
There is a critical distinction between dying in jail from unstated causes (suggesting torture and abuse) as the caption reported, versus dying from natural causes in a hospital while in Israeli custody, as was actually the case for most of these prisoners.
The Nov. 17 caption in question states: “Palestinians protest demanding Israel to hand over bodies of Palestinian prisoners who died in Israeli prisons, on November 17, 2022 in Hebron in the occupied West Bank.” The photograph shows demonstrators holding a sign with the pictures of nine men. But just two of the nine died “in prison.” (Of those two, one died in a medical facility within the prison.)

They are:

Kamal Abu Awar, a cancer patient — died in Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center

Sa’di Khalil al-Gharabli, suffered from chronic diseases, including prostate cancer — died in Kaplan Medical Center

Bassam al-Sayeh — died of complications from cancer in Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center. AFP previously corrected several captions which wrongly reported he had died in Israeli prison

Sami al-Amour, suffered several medical problems including blocked arteries — died in Soroka Hospital

Douad Al-Zubaidi, shot in stomach during shoot out with Israeli troops — died in Rambam Hospital

Nassar Taqatqa — died in a mental health facility in Nitzan Prison

Fares Baroud, liver problems, plus a tumor — died in Soroka Hospital

Anis Doleh, hunger striker — died 1980 in his Ashkelon cell, according to Haaretz

Following CAMERA’s communication with AFP, the news agency amended the caption to more accurately refer to “Palestinian prisoners who died in Israeli custody” as opposed to “Palestinian prisoners who died in Israeli prisons.” While the amended caption no longer contains a factual error, it still neglects to note that most died in hospitals from medical problems, potentially misleading readers to assume they died due to mistreatment while in custody.

See also “AFP Corrects Over a Dozen Captions: Prisoner Bassam Al-Sayeh Convicted in Henkins’ Murder” and “With False Report That Palestinian Prisoner Died in Jail, AP Adopts Anti-Israel Propaganda

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