"When Israel carries out arrest raids it is often met with Palestinian resistance. However, as The Associated Press itself regularly reports, much of the resistance is typically from unarmed civilians throwing stones or committing other acts of non-violent civil disobedience. Often, innocent civilians are killed during these arrest raids. 15 children have been killed as a result of Israeli military and settler violence this year alone."
March 9, 2023
Josef Federman, News Director, The Associated Press
Nasser Nasser, Journalist, The Associated Press
Isabel Debre, Journalist, The Associated Press
Jonathan Whitten, News Director, CityNews Toronto
Dear Mr. Federman, Mr. Nasser, Ms. Debre, and Mr. Whitten,
I’m writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express concern regarding an article on the Toronto City News website, written by Nasser Nasser and Isabel Debre of The Associated Press, entitled, “3 Palestinian militants killed in Israeli raid in West Bank.”
There are several statements which are misleading and must be improved.
First, the article states that:
“This year has been marked by escalating unrest across the West Bank, as Israeli arrest raids spiral into protracted firefights with armed Palestinians.”
This is highly misleading language that obfuscates the asymmetrical nature of violence in such a way that the statement’s veracity is questionable. When Israel carries out arrest raids it is often met with Palestinian resistance. However, as The Associated Press itself regularly reports, much of the resistance is typically from unarmed civilians throwing stones or committing other acts of non-violent civil disobedience. Often, innocent civilians are killed during these arrest raids. 15 children have been killed as a result of Israeli military and settler violence this year alone. The Associated Press has regularly, as of late, used language to suggest that half of the Palestinians killed are ‘associated with militant groups.’ Looking at this the other way means that roughly half of those killed by Israeli violence are civilians. It is alarming that language is being used to obscure the very facts on the ground that you report on.
I insist that you modify the above sentence to reflect that innocent civilians are often killed during arrest raids and that not all Palestinians involved in resistance are armed.
Next, throughout the piece, more qualifying language should be used regarding what is alleged to have happened when 3 Palestinians were killed while in their car in Jenin. For example, the article states:
“The suspects opened fire on Israeli troops, who shot back and killed three people, all affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, police said.”
However, this is the narrative being alleged by the Israeli military. As reported by Reuters, the military confiscated the security cameras and erased pictures on the phone of a witness, Noaman Khalileya. Beyond the many examples of Israeli military accounts of justifications for violence against Palestinians being later proven false, this reporting from Reuters is cause for increased skepticism around the Israeli military claims. Merely stating “police said” at the end of the sentence is inadequate and does not capture these nuances.
I insist that the article improve its language to reflect that many of these narratives are alleged by the Israeli military, not matters of settled fact. The above sentence should read: “The suspects, according to Israeli military sources, allegedly opened fire on Israeli troops…” The Associated Press should make an effort to cite Palestinian sources and at very least use appropriate language that makes clear these are allegations by the Israeli military without clear evidence at this point.
Next, the language used to describe the number of deaths in the recent Israeli raid in Jenin should be more clear:
“Earlier in the week, at least six Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that 14-year-old Walid Nasser died Thursday from wounds suffered in Tuesday’s raid.”
It should be made clear that Walid Nasser constituted the 7th confirmed death after the Israeli raid. The way it is written could lead many ordinary readers to believe he was the 6th casualty.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss this matter further at 438-380-5410.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Director of Media Advocacy
 “Distribution of Palestinian Child Fatalities by Month,” Defense for Children International, Palestine,” https://www.dci-palestine.org/child_fatalities_by_month. On March 9, it was reported that a 15-year-old died from wounds during a recent Israeli military raid in Jenin, making him the 15th child casualty.
 “Israeli forces kill three Islamic Jihad gunmen in West Bank,” Ali Sawafta, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/three-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-forces-palestinians-say-2023-03-09/.