Last Friday, I was shocked to see a series of photographs on the news wires, sent across by Reuters photographer Kevin Frayer, one of the photographers of Qana fame. The pictures illustrated a picture of a large crowd, grieving the death of a ten-year-old Palestinian girl, Abir Aramin, who was reported to have been injured by a stray rubber bullet fired by none other than the Israeli Defence Forces, and whose subsequent death has "enraged" the local Palestinian population.
There were some immediate problems with Mr. Frayer's depiction of these events, though. First and foremost, as someone who is constantly monitoring the news wires, I can comfortably say that there are no pictures on the wire of any anti-barrier protest at Anata during this time, and certainly no pictures of what would be a very injured girl. Furthermore, there are no photos of her in the hospital, a scenario that would obviously be very sympathetic, something which would attract every photographer in the area!
In other words, there is no photographic evidence that the Palestinian version of this story happened at all!
So what did happen?
Is it possible that a girl was injured by the IDF at an anti-barrier protest, and it was not covered by a wire photographer? I doubt it. These types of protests are the lifeblood of the modern news media, and much like their anti-war American counterparts, there is always somebody on-hand to cover them.
CAMERA has discovered some new information which may shed light on her injuries:
Police sources said on Sunday that autopsy findings indicated Aramin could have been killed by concussion from a shock grenade or by a thrown rock. However, they said, the findings were inconsistent with her having been killed by a rubber bullet: No bullet wounds were found on her body, and the skull injury that caused her death was a large one, whereas rubber bullets, even if they do not penetrate, usually make small wounds.