PJ Media

Reuters: In the Service of Hamas

A series of captioned photos from Reuters over the past few days in the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip proves that the news organization employs editors that are either as politically biased or as technically incompetent as those they fired after Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj was exposed for Photoshopping images during the 2006 Israeli conflict with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

At least four Reuters photos released over the weekend purported to show Israeli aircraft deploying weapons against Hamas targets, when the photos clearly show that the helicopters and fighter aircraft were actually dropping flares to thwart possible surface-to-air missile attacks.

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Actual scene: F-16 fighter, single flare

Reuters caption: “An Israeli F-16 fighter jet flies over the northern Gaza Strip after deploying a weapons system January 3, 2009. Israeli forces bombed the Gaza Strip from the air and sea on Saturday, and desperate residents of the Palestinian enclave sheltered in their homes as the offensive entered a second week.”

Actual scene: AH-64 Apache helicopter, single flare

Reuters caption: “An Israeli Apache gunship flies over the northern Gaza Strip after firing a weapons system January 4, 2009. Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants battled in Gaza on Sunday after Israeli troops and tanks invaded the coastal enclave in the most serious fighting in the conflict in decades.”

Actual scene: AH-64 Apache helicopter, three flares

Reuters caption: “An Israeli Apache helicopter flies over the northern Gaza Strip after firing a weapons system January 4, 2009. Israeli tanks and infantry battled Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in a ground offensive launched after eight days of deadly air strikes failed to halt the Islamist group’s rocket attacks on Israel.”

Actual scene: AH-64 Apache helicopter, multiple flares

Reuters caption: “An Israeli Apache gunship flies over the northern Gaza Strip after firing a weapons system January 4, 2009. Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants battled on Gaza City’s outskirts on Sunday after Israeli troops and tanks invaded the coastal enclave in the worst fighting in the conflict in decades.”

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This deception is particularly heinous considering that Hajj’s retouching of a photo of an Israeli F-16 and labeling defensive flares as offensive weapons was one of the reasons that he and a Reuters photo editor were fired and more than 900 of Hajj’s photos were withdrawn by Reuters in 2006.

There is simply no excuse for a Reuters photo editor to again allow such deception, considering the high-profile disinformation that stung that organization in 2006. Captions created by Palestinian photojournalists with an obvious pro-Hamas bias are being furthered without competent editorial oversight by a news organization that has been caught fabricating anti-Israeli propaganda on multiple occasions.

Two Reuters employees were fired in disgrace the last time the news organization was caught with its bias too nakedly exposed. Obviously, the lesson was not learned.