Reuters, AFP Captions Misidentify Bombed Hamas Base as ‘Under-Construction Seaport’

March 7 (6:50 a.m. EST) UPDATE:

AFP Corrects

In response to communication from CAMERA, AFP commendably corrected its photo captions. They now refer to an "Israeli air strike targeting a site belonging to Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, in Khan Yunis," as opposed to an air strike at an "under-construction seaport." See below for a detailed update.

March 10 UPDATE:

Reuters Amends Its Captions

In response to communication from CAMERA, Reuters amended its captions to state "Israeli military said it hit a Hamas target."  See below for a detailed update.

Both Israeli and Hamas sources confirm that an Israeli airstrike last night hit a Hamas base in the southern Gaza Strip, but that fact did not stop two leading photo agencies – Agence France Presse and Reuters – from publishing numerous captions falsely claiming the bombed Hamas site is an "under-construction seaport."

Hamas has itself acknowledged that the site, which the IDF bombed after Gazans fired a mortar shell at Israel, belongs to the organization. Hamas' Shehab News Agency reported that the Israeli airstrike hit "a site belonging to the Palestinian resistance in the city of Khan Younes" (ie, Hamas).
The Palestinian Maan news site accordingly reported: "Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes, targeting two Hamas movement sites, located in central and southern Gaza." Indeed, AFP itself has reported:

Israeli fighter jets later struck several sites belonging to Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas in southern Gaza, an army statement said.

An army statement said the strikes were "in response to the balloons carrying explosive devices and the projectile that were launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory earlier this evening."

A Palestinian security source said a Hamas base was struck in southern Gaza, causing damage but no injuries.

A selection of the Agence France Presse and Reuters photos with erroneous captions follows, including one marked as a Reuters "TPX [top picture] image of the day":

A Palestinian shepherd herds his sheep as he walks past the site of an Israeli air strike at an under-construction seaport in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on March 7, 2019. A Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli fire during renewed clashes along the Gaza border overnight, the health ministry in the strip said, with Israel striking a Hamas position in response to the violence. SAID KHATIB / AFP

Palestinian men check the site of an Israeli air strike at an under-construction seaport in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip March 7, 2019. A Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli fire during renewed clashes along the Gaza border overnight, the health ministry in the strip said, with Israel striking a Hamas position in response to the violence. SAID KHATIB / AFP

A Palestinian man checks the site of an Israeli air strike at an under-construction seaport in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip March 7, 2019. A Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli fire during renewed clashes along the Gaza border overnight, the health ministry in the strip said, with Israel striking a Hamas position in response to the violence. SAID KHATIB / AFP

Palestinians inspect the site of an Israeli air strike at an under-construction seaport in the southern Gaza Strip March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Palestinians inspect the site of an Israeli air strike at an under-construction seaport in the southern Gaza Strip March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Palestinians inspect the site of an Israeli air strike at an under-construction seaport in the southern Gaza Strip March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

CAMERA has contacted AFP and Reuters to request corrections. Stay tuned for an update.

With research and translation by CAMERA Arabic

Update (6:50 a.m. EST): AFP Corrects

In response to communication from CAMERA, AFP commendably corrected its multiple erroneous photo captions. They now refer to an "Israeli air strike targeting a site belonging to Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, in Khan Yunis," as opposed to an air strike at an "under-construction seaport." An example of one of the corrected captions appears below.

Update: Reuters Amends

In response to communication from CAMERA, Reuters added to its captions:

Israeli military said it hit a Hamas target but Hamas made no official statement. 

Though the addition is an improvement, the caption still states as fact that the site is an "under-construction seaport" and obscures that Hamas' Shehab News Agency, along with other Hamas sources, identified the target as a Hamas base.