Guardian photo caption of the day: Palestinian ‘stones’ which somehow ignite

Today’s edition of the Guardian’s ‘Picture Desk Live’ included a photo, by Atef Safadi of EPA, showing a riot near Ramallah related to the recent death of Arafat Jaradat.  Jaradat is a Palestinian arrested on Feb. 18 for committing acts of violence, and whose cause of death on Saturday in an Israeli prison is unknown. (There were three additional photos in today’s edition of ‘Picture Desk Live’ related to Jaradat’s funeral.) 

First, here’s the Guardian caption which accompanied the photo:


Keep in mind the claim that Israeli soldiers were firing rubber bullets on “Palestinian stone throwers” when you see the photo:

West Bank clashes erupt after Palestinian detainee funeral

I’m no explosion expert, but my laymen’s eyes couldn’t help but notice the center of the photo where a small fire is raging.

Can ‘stone throwing’ cause fires?

Indeed, a brief search for additional photos from today’s riot identified the possible cause of the blaze.


So, it appears that a fire bomb thrown by a Palestinian rioter may have caused the fire which ignited near Israeli soldiers.

Regardless of the cause of the particular fire seen in the photo, however, characterizing the Palestinians at the protest as merely ‘rock throwers’ is extremely misleading.

While Palestinian Authority leaders, or groups tacitly supported by the PA, may be initiating the recent “low-scale” conflict in the Palestinian territories, it seems certain that those responsible can continue to count on a compliant media which will employ language serving to significantly downplay the lethalness of such Palestinian violence.

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