"Thank you especially for highlighting Sadeel’s classmates’ grief at her funeral and your effort to humanize this child and her family by letting her father tell us about his daughter’s life in Jenin Refugee Camp. In doing so Sadeel becomes not just a statistic, as Palestinian deaths are so often reported."
July 3, 2023
Isabel Debre, Correspondent , Associated Press
Joseph Federman, News Director, Associated Press Jerusalem
Anne Marie Ownes, Editor-in-Chief, Toronto Star
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Dear Ms. Debre, Ms. Owens, Mr. Federman and Mr. Vincent
I am writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org ) to express my appreciation regarding your article “Israeli killing of 15-year-old Palestinian girl in West Bank casts light on civilian casualties” that was published in the Toronto Star on June 29, 2023.
I appreciate that the title of the piece does not shy away from indicating who is responsible for the killing of Sadeel Naghniyeh who reportedly was nowhere near the fighting.
Thank you especially for highlighting Sadeel’s classmates’ grief at her funeral and your effort to humanize this child and her family by letting her father tell us about his daughter’s life in Jenin Refugee Camp. In doing so Sadeel becomes not just a statistic, as Palestinian deaths are so often reported.
I am puzzled by your reporting that “12 children under the age of 16” were killed so far in 2023. The UN Convention on the rights of the child to which Israel is a signatory defines ‘child’ as a person under 18.
UN and Defense for Children International Palestine report 24 children have been killed by Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2023 . Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds are children too.In future I would like to see all children included in your reporting. Although you might have used the under 16 bracket to garner more sympathy, the reader should know the number of children of all ages killed.
Thank you for including a statement from al Haq emphasizing the lack of accountability which allows the killing to continue. You point out that 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israel in the West Bank so far this year “almost half of them affiliated with military groups” This implies that at least one civilian is killed for each militant. Perhaps you could have put his disproportionality more strongly.
I hope this informative article that gives the reader a glimpse of life and death in Jenin Refugee Camp , will be followed up by one reporting on the ‘renewed scrutiny’ of killing of civilians, especially children, who were killed despite presenting no threat.
Renée A. Nunan-Rappard