UPDATE 7:41 am EST:
AP Adds: Salama Abed Was an Islamic Jihad Member
After sustained communication from CAMERA, AP has amended the caption to include the fact that Salama Abed belonged to Islamic Jihad. It still does not acknowledge that PIJ mourned him as one of their commanders. See below for a detailed update.
In an Aug. 25 Associated Press photograph, adorable young girls in the Gaza Strip clasp a photograph of their dear relative killed "during the last war on Gaza," as the caption stated. It read:
Children hold photos of their relative, Salama Abed, who was killed during the last war on Gaza, during an anti-Israel rally called, 'the way to Jerusalem, the battle of the unity of areas,' on the main road of the Shijaiyah neighborhood in Gaza City, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. Arabic reads, "I'm the son of the silencer and the keeper of the will, with your martyr you raised our heads." (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
It's a powerful image of innocent youth longing for the slain Salama Abed. About the purported victim, the caption reveals only two points. First, that he was killed "during the last war on Gaza," and second, that he was a relative of the charming girls.
What the caption does not reveal is Salama Abed's standing in Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a designated terror organization. Islamic Jihad's official Jerusalem Brigades martyr page twice identifies Abed as one of their commanders. (Of the 12 Palestinians killed in the Aug. 5 Israeli airstrike targeting Tayseer al-Jabari, Islamic Jihad's leader in the Gaza Strip, the terror organization's martyr page identified three as senior commanders, three as commanders, and seven as jihad warriors, the lowest ranking epithet.)
AP's erasure of Abed's PIJ affiliation is a well-worn habit at the news agency. Earlier this month, AP captions about 17-year-old Dherar al-Kafrini, killed in an Israeli military raid, ignored that he was an Islamic Jihad member. Covering up the violent crimes of Palestinian teenaged assailants is something of a pattern at the news agency. But older Palestinians also benefit from AP's kid-glove treatment. In June, the news agency ignored the distinct ISIS flag draped over the body Baraa Lahlouh, killed by Israeli forces in Jenin. In December 2021, AP whitewashed Abu Nidal terrorists responsible for the 1985 murder of 19 passengers in the Rome and Venice airports as "guerillas," not members of a terror organization. Also that month, captions about a Palestinian shot dead by police omitted the fact that he had just stabbed and wounded an Israeli.
This @AP photo caption tells us Salama Abed was killed during "killed during the last war *on Gaza*." It also tells us he was the relative of some very adorable little girls. You know what it doesn't say? He was a commander in Islamic Jihad, a designated terror org (1/2) pic.twitter.com/nf2J4OQiB6
— Tamar Sternthal (@TamarSternthal) August 28, 2022
By withholding that essential "detail" that Islamic Jihad claimed Salama Abed as one of its commanders, AP advances the false narrative about "war on Gaza," as the caption put it, as opposed to war on a terror organization. Likewise, AP's routine practice of obscuring the terror affiliations and violent attacks of Palestinian casualties promotes the fallacy of Palestinians as perennial, hapless victims, never perpetrators.
In doing so, AP fails news consumers on its promise to "expand the reach of factual coverage." One might even say it has waged "war on factual coverage."
With research by CAMERA Arabic.