The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Gaza Dog Bites Media Hand

AFP photographer Sayyed al-Kateib was injured in the great Palestinian/Egyptian conflict today. From the looks of it, he got hit in the back of a head by a rock—and while Reuters doesn't seem to think that merits a mention, there is one group in particular that happens to have a proclivity for throwing those (be sure to scroll down).

A Palestinian helps AFP photographer Sayyed al-Kateib who was injured during clashes between Palestinians and Egyptian riot police near the destroyed section of the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt January 25, 2008. Egypt began closing its breached border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, using barbed wire and water cannons to keep Palestinians from crossing into Egypt in defiance of an Israeli blockade. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)

By the way, incidents like this aren't too surprising, when one considers which side the press tends to hang out with.

Here's another, more detailed angle of Mr. al-Katieb's injury, thanks to eagle-eyed reader Ulrike and Spiegel Online. Ulrike asks,

The blood on the hand seems to be red paint. Compare it to the postetd pc: the blood from the head-wound ist noticably darker than the red colored hand.

Can anybody shed some light on this?

Zooming in on the photo, the colour on his hand seems to be a reasonable match for the colour of the blood that's streaming down the side of his head, so I don't see any obvious reason to declare this fauxtography. See the detail below:

Click to zoom

It's not 100% proof, but the inverted regions of the photograph are in almost the same exact hue, which seems to indicate to me that whatever's on his hand came from the wound on his head. The inversion also highlights his wound pretty dramatically, some of which you can see in the inverted area there.

If anyone has more convincing evidence either way, I'm open to suggestions. I'm not claiming that this is a scientific conclusion or anything.

He definitely seems to be genuinely injured, and I don't think the substance on his hand is paint. The only question then is how he got injured—and I think my original supposition that it was an easily-identified flying object is still on the mark.

 Tags: ibraheem abu mustafa sayyed al-kateib AFP REUTERS #Intifada


#1 Ulrike 25-Jan-2008
This looks like another Pallywood-act. Look at this shot:,1020,1078121,00.jpg

The blood on the hand seems to be red paint. Compare it to the postetd pc: the blood from the head-wound ist noticably darker than the red colored hand.

Can anybody shed some light on this?
#2 Ulrike 25-Jan-2008
Thanks for explaining. It sounds very reasonable. But I still have doubts concerning his hand. I do believe he was hit on his head. But than he started exaggerating by holding up his hand and having his buddy attend his wound. The blood just clots not right. Compare:

It seems like a nose-bleed. It's bright red to begin with but as soon as you rub it off with your hand it clots and starts to oxidize, turning brownish.

Once again: I don't doubt his head wound. But in addition to it he plays the drama queen.

Sorry to be such a pest, but I wish to hear all pros and cons on this case.
#3 DJM 25-Jan-2008
My initial thought, as well, was that it was paint. The coverage appears more similar to the way paint coats rather than blood.

Thanks for the analysis, Brian! :)
#4 Kevin 25-Jan-2008
A lot of violence could be ended in palestine if someone would just remove all those rocks.
#5 captainfish 27-Jan-2008
Now, are they really protesting against ISRAEL, or Egypt for closing the border?

Also, wouldn't this be the highlight of a sympathetic photojournalist to have his picture taken being part of the battles he and his crew have been helping to spread for decades?

Remember all the hype over previous photos of journalists being in harm's way during wartime. It is said to bring the war home. Making the battles more real.

This event would appear to be an accident, but they will darn sure play up on the injury. "Look, I got hit by a rock thrown by arabs. See how evil the Israeli's are."

But again, isn't all this hub bub because Egypt closed all the accesses down.
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