"Your description of a “clash” obscures the Israeli military’s role in provoking the confrontation between stone throwers and heavily armed soldiers. The Israeli military uses sophisticated weapons and equipment whereas the Palestinians, as mentioned in your own coverage, were throwing stones. Your coverage obscures and downplays the asymmetrical nature of the violence."
July 24, 2023
Ali Sawafta, Journalist, Reuters
Nidal al-Mughrabi, Journalist, Reuters
Ari Rabinovitch, Correspondent, Reuters
William Maclean, Journalist, Reuters
Steve Bartlett, Senior Managing Editor, Saltwire
Bradley Works, Managing Editor, Saltwire
Dear Mr. Sawafta, Mr. al-Mughrabi, Mr. Rabinovitch, Mr. Maclean, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Works,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express several serious concerns regarding a July 21 Reuters article published on Saltwire titled “Israeli troops kill 2 Palestinians in West Bank violence…”
Firstly, the article uses the word “clash” more than once when describing the Israeli military’s murder of a child. It is a problematic and inaccurate descriptor for the following reasons:
- According to Al Jazeera, Palestinians were having “demonstrations” in Umm Safa. To call this a “clash” downplays that Palestinians were involved in a political demonstration at the time of Muhammad Fouad Atta al-Bayed’s murder.
- According to the Wafa News Agency, the murder took place “following an Israeli military incursion into Umm Safa during which the forces attacked residents with live ammunition, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades, shooting and seriously injuring two people.” Your description of a “clash” obscures the Israeli military’s role in provoking the confrontation between stone throwers and heavily armed soldiers. The Israeli military uses sophisticated weapons and equipment whereas the Palestinians, as mentioned in your own coverage, were throwing stones. Your coverage obscures and downplays the asymmetrical nature of the violence.
The following sentence, “Israel’s border police said that during the clash in the village of Umm Safa...” should be changed to:
“Israel’s border police that that during their attack on stone throwers in the village of Umm Safa…”
Second, the 17-year-old Palestinian that was killed by the Israeli military should be described as a child rather than a teenager. The legal age of majority in both Israel and Palestine is 18, thus anyone 17 or younger is a child. The use of any word other than “child” in this context is misleading.
As such, I must insist that you change the sentence “Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian teenager during clashes with store throwers in the occupied West Bank on Friday” to the following:
Israeli troops shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian child during their latest offensive in the occupied West Bank on Friday
Third, there are no Palestinian perspectives regarding the Israeli military’s killing of an 18-year-old youth apart from the medical officials’ statement. Better journalistic practices would ensure that your sources are more diverse and mention the perspectives of Palestinian civilians, and perhaps even eyewitnesses to this latest killing of an unarmed Palestinian civilian by the Israeli military.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Director of Strategic Operations,
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East