"Your news article claims that the Israeli killed has been identified as 'Meir Tamari, a 32-year-old resident of the settlement.' However, your headline identifies Tamari as a 'civilian' rather than a 'settler.' It is important that your headline correctly identifies Tamari as a 'settler' in order to place the attack by Palestinian gunmen within the context of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank."
May 31, 2023
Josef Federman, News Director Jerusalem, Associated Press
Paul Berton, Editor-in-Chief, Hamilton Spectator
Jennifer Moore, Editorial Assistant, Hamilton Spectator
Dear Mr. Federman, Mr. Berton and Ms. Moore,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to request for a headline change to your news article titled “Israeli army says Palestinian gunmen kills Israeli civilian in West Bank shooting” published by The Hamilton Spectator (Associated Press) on May 30, 2023.
Your news article claims that the Israeli killed has been identified as “Meir Tamari, a 32-year-old resident of the settlement.” However, your headline identifies Tamari as a “civilian” rather than a “settler.” It is important that your headline correctly identifies Tamari as a “settler” in order to place the attack by Palestinian gunmen within the context of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
If you prefer the language of civilian, there are important considerations that the article must include in the context of international law.
According to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention:
“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
Further, it prohibits “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.
Additionally, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court makes clear that:
“[The] transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory [is a war crime].”As such, I insist that you change your headline to “Israeli army says Palestinian gunmen kills Israeli settler in West Bank shooting.”
In addition, I take issue with the term “captured” in the following paragraph by Associated Press:
“Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem, along with the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians seek these territories for a future state.”
International law does not recognize that the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip as “captured” by Israel and the international community has never diplomatically acquiesced to Israel’s ongoing military presence in these territories. The appropriate term to use is “occupied” as it is outlined in international law. As such, I insist that you replace the term “captured” with “occupied” in the above paragraph.
Thank you in advance for making these changes. Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Policy Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East