AFP Corrects Captions about Rockets “Reportedly” Fired from Gaza

CAMERA’s Israel office prompted correction yesterday of Agence France Presse photo captions which referred to rockets “reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip,” as if the origin of the attacks was not confirmed. A sampling of the original captions, since corrected, follows:

Young residents of the southern Israel city of Sderot walk in front of a fence damaged by a rocket reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip on July 14, 2018. Israel unleashed its biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip since the 2014 war today, killing two Palestinians, while dozens of rockets targeted Israel as months of tension threatened to escalate into wider conflict.

 

An Israeli policeman inspects a fence damaged by a rocket, reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip, on July 14, 2018, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. Israel unleashed its biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip since the 2014 war today, killing two Palestinians, while dozens of rockets targeted Israel as months of tension threatened to escalate into wider conflict.

 

A member of the Israeli security forces gestures as another inspects with a fire fighter the damage on the rooftop of a building in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, caused by a rocket reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip on July 14, 2018. Israel unleashed its biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip since the 2014 war today, killing two Palestinians, while dozens of rockets targeted Israel as months of tension threatened to escalate into wider conflict.

 

Why qualify these attacks as “reportedly” emanating from Gaza when there is no doubt about the rockets’ origin? As AFP reported the same day that the photographs were taken, Hamas even acknowledged that it was responsible for the rocket attacks (“Israel says hits Hamas with biggest strikes since 2014 war,” July 14).

Notably, in these AFP captions and others, Israeli air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza aren’t similarly identified as “reportedly” originating from Israel’s army. Indeed, the very same captions clearly identify Israel as responsible for air strikes (“Israel unleashed its biggest air strikes,”) while obscuring Palestinian responsibility for the rocket attacks (“rockets – [as opposed to Palestinians] – targeted Israel”) and even cast doubt on their origin (“reportedly fired the Gaza Strip”).

CAMERA pointed out the inconsistency and unfounded use of the term “reportedly,” and AFP editors commendably deleted the qualification from the captions.