"Hamas did not “overrun” the Gaza Strip but was voted into power by Palestinian citizens who, among various reasons, support its resistance towards Israel’s military occupation and appropriation of land."
June 28, 2023
Josef Federman, News Director, Associated Press
Dan Taylor, Managing Editor, CTV News
Dear Mr Federman and Mr. Taylor,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to request immediate updates to the article titled “Israel approves plans for thousands of new settlement homes defying White House's calls for restraint” written by Josef Federman of the Associated Press and published in CTV News on June 26, 2023.
First, I take serious issue with the misleading and problematic language used to describe the international status of the Gaza Strip. In the article, you write:
“It says the West Bank is disputed territory whose fate should be determined through negotiations, while Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Two years later, the Hamas militant group overran the territory.”
The word “overran” implies the act of invading and occupying or ravaging an area – a characterization which is highly inaccurate regarding Hamas’ governance of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas is an Islamic, Palestinian Liberation Organization that was founded in 1987. In 2006, Hamas participated in the internationally supervised Palestinian legislative council elections where it won 74 of 132 seats and 44.45 percent of the popular vote. The elections were monitored by a delegation of 84 international observers who stated that the elections were “peaceful and well-administered.” Hamas did not “overrun” the Gaza Strip but was voted into power by Palestinian citizens who, among various reasons, support its resistance towards Israel’s military occupation and appropriation of land.
By framing Hamas in this manner, the article completely disregards the reality that the Gaza Strip is considered “occupied” under Israeli “effective control” via a land, sea, and air blockade since June 2007. Described as an open-air prison, this “effective control” dictates the entry of basic necessities such as fresh meat, sanitary products, building supplies, school supplies, medical equipment, and more. Gazans are also restricted from travel to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel. Moreover, Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip have endured four major assaults launched by Israel between 2008 and 2021.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel’s blockade on Gaza is a “denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law and amounts to collective punishment.” Moreover, Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that “No protected person may be punished [by an occupying power] for an offense he or she has not personally committed.” Despite its “disengagement” in 2005, the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations hold Israel responsible for the well-being of Gaza’s civilian population, and ensuring it has adequate access to water, food, and medical care.
I insist that you update your statement to read:
“Two years later, the Hamas paramilitary group won the parliamentary elections and currently governs the Gaza Strip, which remains under Israeli military occupation.”
Because of how the original sentence is written, there is a strong argument that it is biased and factually incorrect. I insist that it is corrected, clarified or removed. Otherwise, I will be forced to file a complaint with the National NewsMedia Council (NNC).
Second, in your article, you write:
“Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war.”
In 1967, Israel militarily occupied the territories of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in violation of international law, which does not recognize the “capture” of territory by armed force. Article 2, Section 4 of the UN Charter provides no avenue for a country to violate or infringe on the territorial integrity of another country. In 2001, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention reconvened to reconfirm the applicability of the Convention and reaffirm that Israel is indeed an occupying power.
As such, I insist that you update your article to read:
“Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war.”
I expect that the Associated Press and CTV News will take immediate action to make these corrections.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
 Central Elections Commission – Palestine, “The final results of the second PLC elections,” published January 29, 2006, accessed June 27, 2023, https://www.elections.ps/Portals/0/pdf/The%20final%20distribution%20of%20PLC%20seats.pdf
 National Democratic Institute, “Final Report on the Palestinian Legislative Council Elections January 25, 2006,” accessed June 27, 2023, https://www.ndi.org/sites/default/files/2068_ps_elect_012506.pdf
 Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, “Partial list of items prohibited/permitted into the Gaza Strip,” July 3, 2022, accessed June 27, 2023, http://www.gisha.org/UserFiles/File/publications/Products060610_Eng(1).pdf