The Injured Man Who Wasn’t and Agence France-Presse

February 9, 2012 2:21 pm 0 comments

The man claiming to have been runover. Photo: screenshot.

If you’re going for transparency, you can’t do much better than an x-ray.

The Agence-France Presse, an international news service, claims there are x-rays that substantiate the caption of a recent photograph allegedly depicting Israeli army brutality.

The caption stated: “An injured Palestinian construction worker screams in pain after an Israeli army driver drove a trailer hooked to a tractor over his legs, as he tried to block him when Israeli forces stopped workers on January 25…”

The International Herald Tribune, published by the New York Times, prominently printed the image by Hazem Bader, as did the Washington Post. Several news outlets featured the photo online, including the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and MSNBC.

Yet, after checking Palestinian, international and Israeli sources, it appears that the “injured worker,” Mahmoud Abu Qbeita, was, in fact, not actually injured. Moreover, there is no evidence that he was even run over. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights and the United Nations, both of which provide comprehensive reports about West Bank casualties, made no mention of the alleged injury.

On the Israeli side, spokesman Capt. Barak Raz said Abu Qbeita was on the ground blocking Israeli officials from confiscating the trailer and other equipment being used for unpermitted construction when he started screaming that he had been run over. 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 no injury.

Presented with this information, AFP Jerusalem bureau chief Philippe Agret angrily responded that because several media outlets were on the scene, including Palestine TV, Pal Media, and Al Quds TV, Abu Qbeita could not possibly have faked being run over. The AFP also claims to have viewed footage of Abu Qbeita on a stretcher, but does not claim to have seen footage showing Abu Qbeita being run over.

Agret unwittingly raised a key point: of the several photographers on site who were snapping away, not one has released images of Abu Qbeita actually being run over.

Moreover, a Feb. 3 AFP statement contradicted the original caption on several basic facts. For instance, while the caption claimed the vehicle ran “over his legs,” in plural, the more recent statement quoted Abu Qbeita: “it drove over one of my legs.” Likewise, while the caption said he was run over by the trailer, Abu Qbeita later claimed he was run over by the much larger tractor. Similarly, the caption noted that the man was injured “as he tried to block” the trailer. In contrast, the AFP later quotes Abu Qbeita as saying: “I started walking over to where my stuff was so I could get my phone and ID card and that’s when the tractor hit me.”

Which one is it? A tractor or trailer? Did it run over one leg or two? The AFP has gone back and forth on these essential questions.

As for the x-rays, they were mentioned in a “medical certificate” released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Why would the health ministry, and not the hospital itself, release a statement about a patient?

The AFP translated the peculiar document as stating: “We conducted X-RAYS on him and found fractures.” The wire service also quotes Abu Qbeita boasting that he has “a medical certificate and I will show it to anyone who wants to see it.” But, tellingly, he does not offer to show the x-rays. Nor has the AFP released them.

The AFP has plenty to answer for, and it can start by releasing the elusive x-rays.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    JNS.org – An Israeli-Arab microbiologist and mother of three won the fourth season of Israel’s most popular reality TV show, “MasterChef.” Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, 32, who holds a PhD in microbiology and is from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, described winning as the “the most exciting moment in her life.” She said she plans to use the prize money to open up an Arab-Jewish cooking school. MasterChef is a popular reality TV show that originated in the U.K. It is [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Theater Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Jewish comedian and writer David Baddiel is seeking public support to help produce a musical based on his film about a British Muslim man who discovers his parents are Jewish. London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East is in development to premiere The Infidel in October, London’s Evening Standard reported on Wednesday. However, the theater needs another £55,000 on top of around £200,000 already raised in order to produce the show. Baddiel, 49, retained the stage rights to the story when he wrote the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.