Omission of key information on Jenin Raid in Winnipeg Free Press

"Unfortunately, this single reference to amateur footage describes a violent crowd of Palestinians, which frames the gunshots as a form of self-defence. However, all of the surrounding context and other alarming footage is ignored. In fact, there is footage of live rounds being fired into the crowd of civilians (a bullet coming from the direction of the car can be seen striking a civilian near the end of the clip) and the subsequent scene of casualties in a local hospital."


March 17, 2023

Dear Mr. Federman and Mr. Samyn,

I’m writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express alarm regarding glaring omissions in an article entitled “Palestinians: 4 killed in Israeli army raid in West Bank” by the Associated Press published on the Winnipeg Free Press website on March 16, 2023. (All references to sources and video footage in this letter are contained in endnotes with content warnings.)

The article describes a brazen arrest raid carried out during the day in Jenin on March 16. References are made to amateur video footage of the raid:

“Amateur video taken by people in Jenin appeared to show a crowd of Palestinians surrounding a car that people suspected carried undercover Israeli troops. In a video posted on social media, a crowd of people surround a car and hurl objects at it. Several gunshots ring out and the crowd starts to scatter. Another clip appeared to show Israeli military vehicles towing the car away.”

Unfortunately, this single reference to amateur footage describes a violent crowd of Palestinians, which frames the gunshots as a form of self-defense. However, all of the surrounding context and other alarming footage is ignored. In fact, there is footage of live rounds being fired into the crowd of civilians (a bullet coming from the direction of the car can be seen striking a civilian near the end of the clip)[1] and the subsequent scene of casualties in a local hospital.[2]

The article fails to make reference to two other widely circulated videos showing: 1. The body of a child who had just been shot in the back by undercover Israeli soldiers carrying out an assassination, or 2. Footage of an undercover soldier shooting an already dead or wounded Palestinian man on the ground from point-blank range.

  1. The human rights NGO Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) reports that Omar Mohammad Omar Awadin, 14, “was shot with live ammunition in the back by undercover Israeli special forces while he was riding his bike outside his parents’ shop.”[3] That this context was omitted from the original AP article and any subsequent updates is shocking. The article must be promptly updated to include this critical context. Eyewitness accounts and amateur video footage[4] confirm this account.
  2. As reported by Haaretz, “Israeli soldiers shot a wanted Palestinian at point-blank range to confirm he is dead.”[5] Many argue that the footage[6] and eyewitness accounts confirm that this extrajudicial execution was a war crime.

In conclusion, for AP to make reference to ‘amateur video footage’ and use it only to describe a ‘violent mob’ of Palestinians and omit all of the other contextual information is more than disconcerting.

I insist that AP immediately and significantly update its article to include all of this pertinent information. The article, with these omissions, is in clear violation of basic ethical standards.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss this matter further at 438-380-5410.

Respectfully,

Jason Toney

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Director of Media Advocacy

 

[1] CONTENT WARNING: GRAPHIC: https://twitter.com/QudsNen/status/1636649697333977088?s=20

[2] CONTENT WARNING: GRAPHIC: https://twitter.com/Timesofgaza/status/1636368264493404166?s=20

[3] DCIP, “Israeli Special Forces Kill Palestinian Boy Riding His Bike in Jenin,” https://www.dci-palestine.org/israeli_special_forces_shoot_kill_palestinian_boy_riding_his_bike_in_jenin

[4] CONTENT WARNING: GRAPHIC: https://twitter.com/cqc_coffee_guns/status/1636411483155468290?s=20

[5] Jack Khoury, “Video Shows Israeli Soldiers Shooting Wanted Palestinian at Point-blank Range in West Bank Raid,” March 16, 2023, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-03-16/ty-article/.premium/four-palestinians-killed-during-israeli-army-raid-in-west-bank/00000186-eac7-d719-a1ce-eff781390000

[6] CONTENT WARNING: GRAPHIC: Widely circulated Twitter video showing point-blank gunshot: https://twitter.com/LollllllaJR/status/1636431332837343234?s=20

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  • Jason Toney
    published this page in Letters 2023-03-17 15:42:16 -0400