Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Reuters photo fraud

A Palestinian woman displays empty Israeli bullet shells inside her house in the Rafah refugee camp between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip, February 16, 2001. Five Palestinian families said this week that they are homeless after Israeli army forces demolished their houses in Rafah in southern Gaza. Reuters: Suhaib Salem

From: David Frankfurter []
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 12:23 PM

Dear Sir,

I am shocked by the irresponsible reporting depicted in the photo and caption at which is attributed to Reuters.

The unfortunate Palestinian woman depicted with a mound of bullet shells which she says the IDF fired into her home in Rafiah this past Friday, rendering her homeless. The photographer has plainly bought her story hook, line and sinker, along with yourself. The photo is published, and only the discerning will notice the really strange side of it. Those aren't bullets. They're bullet shells. Bullet shells are what's left lying on the ground after you've done your shooting. They're not what you pull out of a wall which has just been fired at. So what the Palestinian woman is actually waving to the photographer and the world is silent, powerful evidence that someone in or near her house fired a serious number of bullets. I don't know whom they were fired at. Possibly, just possibly, they were directed at precisely the people - the IDF - whom she accuses of being home-destroyers. And who did the firing? Hard to know that with any certainty either. But it's probably not that hard to make an educated guess as to which side's rifle-men the Palestinian woman and her family would allow into her living room.

I would expect that you re-examine the photograph, gain an Israeli response and then re-publish it with an appropriate apology & corrected caption. I would also expect Reuters to check its sources more thoroughly in future.

David Frankfurter


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