AFP Reports Disputed Claim About IDF’s Use of Live Fire as Fact

March 16 UPDATE:

AFP Removes Questionable Claim About Live Fire

In response to communication from CAMERA, AFP yesterday removed the disputed claim that the Israeli army fired live ammunition during the March 11 clash in Nablus. See below for a detailed update.

Multiple AFP captions last week stated as fact that the Israeli army fired live ammunition during a March 11 clash in Nablus, despite the fact that Palestinian witnesses and the Israeli military agree that only rubber bullets and tear gas were used.

The captions claim: "Clashes broke out from early morning, with Israeli forces firing tear gas, live ammunition and rubber bullets to break up the demonstration."
Yet, according to the Associated Press ("Palestinians: 15-year-old killed in clash with Israeli army," March 11):
Palestinian witnesses said the Israeli military arrived to disperse the protest, and the protesters began hurling stones at the soldiers. The witnesses said the Israeli forces responded with tear gas and rubber coated bullets.
In addition to the Palestinian witnesses, the Israeli military has also said that that it used only rubber bullets, and not live fire. IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus told CAMERA that the army used only rubber bullets.
Example of some of AFP's problematic captions, which state a disputed claim as fact, follow:

Palestinians carry the body of Mohammed Hamayel, 15, during his funeral in Bayta village, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on March 11, 2020, after he was shot dead by Israeli forces amid clashes in the city, the Palestinian health ministry announced. An AFP correspondent in Nablus said hundreds of Palestinians had gathered in an area south of the city in response to information that Israeli settlers would arrive and seize some land. Clashes broke out from early morning, with Israeli forces firing tear gas, live ammunition and rubber bullets to break up the demonstration. JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP

 

Palestinian women mourn at their window during the funeral of Mohammed Hamayel, 15, in Bayta village, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on March 11, 2020, after he was shot dead by Israeli forces amid clashes in the city, the Palestinian health ministry announced. An AFP correspondent in Nablus said hundreds of Palestinians had gathered in an area south of the city in response to information that Israeli settlers would arrive and seize some land. Clashes broke out from early morning, with Israeli forces firing tear gas, live ammunition and rubber bullets to break up the demonstration. JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP

 

Palestinian women mourn during the funeral of Mohammed Hamayel, 15, in Bayta village, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on March 11, 2020, after he was shot dead by Israeli forces amid clashes in the city, the Palestinian health ministry announced. An AFP correspondent in Nablus said hundreds of Palestinians had gathered in an area south of the city in response to information that Israeli settlers would arrive and seize some land. Clashes broke out from early morning, with Israeli forces firing tear gas, live ammunition and rubber bullets to break up the demonstration. JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP

CAMERA last week contacted AFP editors to request clarification of the captions noting that though the Palestinian Ministry of Health accused the Israeli military of using live fire at the clash, both Palestinian witnesses and the IDF dispute the charge. As of this writing, AFP has yet to clarify. Stay tuned for updates.

March 16 Update: AFP Corrects

In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably amended the captions, removing the disputed claim that the Israeli military used live fire in the March 11 clash in Nablus.