AFP: Photo-Journalism or Photo-Fabrication?

February 7, 2012

CAMERA reports that on Jan. 26, the International Herald Tribune published a photo by Agence-France Presse photographer Hazem Bader across four columns with the caption: "A Palestinian construction worker screamed in pain Wednesday after he tried to block an Israeli Army driver who drove a trailer over his legs near Hebron."

The Washington Post ran the color image across five columns, and several news websites featured Bader’s photo, including the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian and MSNBC.

Yet it seems that the "injured worker," Mahmoud Abu Qbeita, was not actually injured. Moreover, there is no evidence that he was even run over.

IDF spokesman Capt. Barak Raz said soldiers were on site to protect officials who were confiscating Palestinian construction equipment in an area not permitted for building. Abu Qbeita was on the ground blocking the trailer when he started screaming that he had been run over, although no one saw it happen.

Initially, Abu Qbeita complained his left leg was injured. After an army medic’s examination found no wound, Abu Qbeita then claimed his right leg was injured. Raz said that the Palestinian Red Crescent likewise found nothing wrong with him.

While several photographers were on site snapping away, not one has released a single image of Abu Qbeita as he was being run over.


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