Multiple Media Outlets Amend Captions Calling Gaza Arsonists ‘Activists’

CAMERA’s Israel office has prompted multiple media outlets, including Agence France Presse, Flash 90 (an Israeli photo service), and Times of Israel, to amend captions which had falsely characterized serial arsonists from Gaza as “activists.” In recent weeks, Gazans have launched Israeli farmland and nature reserve land. The smoke from these deliberately set fires caused 1000 turkeys to choke to death earlier this. Explosives-laden kites and balloons across the border, reaching a highway and even the roof of a home

As detailed yesterday at CAMERA’s Snapshots blog, AFP misidentified these serial arsonists as “activists” or “protesters.” A sampling of these erroneous captions follows:

Palestinian activists fill hilum [sic] gas in a ballon [sic] that will be attached to flammable materials to be flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. SAID KHATIB / AFP

An Israeli man and a boy extinguish a fire in a filed next to Kibbutz Beeri reportedly caused by inflamable [sic] material attached to kites and flown across the border to Israel by activists in the Gaza strip on June 18, 2018. Kite-borne fire bombings have reportedly caused significant damage to Israeli fields. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP 

 

A Palestinian protester holds a bag containing with [sic] flammable materials that will be attached to ballons [sic] and flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. SAID KHATIB / AFP

In response to communication from CAMERA, AFP editors commendably amended the captions, removing references to the arsonists as “activists.” The amended captions for the above images, for example, now state:

Palestinians fill hilum [sic] gas in a ballon [sic] …

An Israeli man and a boy extinguish a fire in a field next to Kibbutz Beeri reportedly caused by inflamable material attached to kites and flown across the border to Israel from the Gaza Strip on June 18, 2018. Kite-borne fire bombings have reportedly caused significant damage to Israeli fields.
MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP

As of this writing, one AFP caption (see above) still says “A Palestinian protester holds a bag containing with [sic] flammable material … ” CAMERA continues to call on AFP to correct this caption.

Flash 90 captions earlier this week had falsely described the arsonists responsible for the fires as “activists.” The original caption for the following photographs was:

Palestinian activists prepare a balloon that will be attached to flammable materials to be flown toward Israel near the Israeli Gaza border, in Rafah the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. Photo by Abdel Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

In response to communication from CAMERA staff, Flash 90 commendably removed the inaccurate reference to the arsonists as “activists.” The amended captions now state:

Palestinians prepare a balloon that will be attached to flammable materials to be flown toward Israel near the Israeli Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

In addition, Times of Israel, a client of Flash 90, likewise its caption following the Flash 90 change. It too removed the false description of arsonists as “activists.” Its revised caption begins: “A masked Palestinian prepares a balloon that will be attached to flammable materials …